Football season is officially here the NFL future bets continue to pour in from eager gamblers. Teams seeing the most action from bettors to win the Super Bowl this year are … the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers?
It’s true. According to William Hill, the 49ers are tied with the Los Angeles Rams for the most amount of money bet on to win the Super Bowl. The Giants are second. In terms of the total number of tickets coming in to win the Super Bowl, the Giants top the list (8 percent), followed by the Rams (7 percent), 49ers (6 percent), Packers (6 percent) and Vikings (6 percent).
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So why are two teams that won a combined nine games in 2017 popular with bettors to make a Super Bowl run this season? There’s no one answer, but value, homerism and regional bias all play a big part in how gamblers view a team’s long-term outlook.
“Teams like the 49ers and Giants are surprising because of hype around the 49ers this year (Jimmy G) and the New Jersey bettors betting the Giants heavy,” Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading at William Hill, told TheLines. “The Raiders, Packers, Cowboys and a few contenders are always heavily bet so that doesn’t come as a surprise.”
The Giants were the NFL’s biggest disappointment last season. Predicted by many to be a serious Super Bowl contender, New York stumbled to the second-worst record in the NFL at 3-13.
The Giants opened at 60/1 to win the 2018-19 Super Bowl at the Westgate SuperBook and 40/1 at William Hill. They’re down to 25/1 at both places and as low as 15/1 at the MGM.
Looking back as to why the Giants imploded, a rash of injuries and Ben McAdoo pretending to be an NFL head coach made New York one of the most uncompetitive teams in the league. The Giants lost eight games by 10 points or more.
Despite their struggles, bettors jumped on the Giants early on to win the Super Bowl. A new coach in Pat Shurmur and key additions like left tackle Nate Solder and rookie running back Saquon Barkley have bettors believing 2107 was just a hiccup for the Giants, especially in the state of New Jersey where sports betting just became legal on June 11.
“In New Jersey we are seeing increased action on the local teams there like the Giants, Eagles, Jets, and Steelers so we have to adjust those accordingly as people are swarming to bet them there,” Bogdanovich said. “In Nevada, we don’t have to adjust those teams too much but we do have to keep an eye on it. For the Giants, bettors in New Jersey are wagering on them like crazy and that is the main reason why we are seeing heavy action on them.”
A 49ers’ gold rush?
The 49ers have been a hot pick to make noise ever since Jimmy Garoppolo took over at quarterback late last season and led San Francisco to five-straight wins to close out the year after the team started 1-10.
The 49ers opened at 20/1 to win the Super Bowl at the Westgate and even though they didn’t offer the same kind of value as teams like the Giants, bettors pounced on San Francisco’s Super Bowl prop. The 49ers are also the second favorite (3/1) to win the NFC West at CG Technology, behind the Rams (2/3).
“We are seeing high betting interest in the 49ers, Rams, and Raiders because of how close in proximity they are to Nevada,” Bogdanovich said. “Bettors in California always seem to stop into our Nevada books to wager on their favorite team. They are also wagering on them because they have a bright future going forward with young promising quarterbacks.”
Just win again, baby
Another team that finished with a losing record but bettors are smitten with heading into the season is the Oakland Raiders. After finishing a disappointing 6-10 last year, the Raiders summoned Jon Gruden from the broadcasting booth following a nine-year hiatus from coaching to return the franchise to glory.
Besides the addition of Gruden, another thing favoring a quick turnaround in Oakland is the Raiders had the third-worst turnover differential last year at -14, ahead of only Denver (-17) and Cleveland (-28). Predictably, those three teams finished a combined 11-37.
So far, bettors are buying a Raiders’ resurgence under Gruden. CG Technology has the highest single bet on the Raiders winning the Super Bowl at 25/1. Oakland is currently down to 20/1 at CG Technology.
“Our biggest overall liability is on the Giants,” Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management at CG Technology, said. “Our single biggest ticket for liability is on the Raiders of $10,000 at 25/1.”
New year, same results?
It’s not inconceivable to think teams coming off a losing season won’t make a Super Bowl run the following year. Just look at last season, for example.
The Philadelphia Eagles were at 45/1 to win the Super Bowl, while the Saints (70/1), Jaguars (75/1) and Rams (125/1) were considered longshots but all three teams won their division. A year later, the Eagles (10/1), Rams (10/1), Saints (16/1) and Jaguars (16/1) are among the favorites to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy.
So, will history repeat itself this season? Many gamblers are betting on it.