Leave it to those pushy Northeasterners to try and set the pace for everyone else.
It seems that the combination good old-fashioned homerism and a few bucks in New Jersey has had a far-reaching, topsy-turvy effect on Super Bowl odds all the way out in the desert. A recent PIX11 report spotlighted the flurry of activity that Monmouth Park, Borgata and Ocean Resort Casino have all seen in Big Game futures bets on the Giants in particular.
Unsurprisingly, the defending champion Eagles, with their fervent North Jersey following, aren’t far behind. The lowly Jets are seeing brisk action in their own right, too – even the goofy kid is getting a little lovin’.
Oddsmakers having to adjust on the fly
Bookmakers have had to adjust accordingly in their properties out west.
William Hill has come down from their original 40/1 odds on the Giants winning the Super Bowl LIII to 25/1, largely because of the volume of tickets written in New Jersey.
MGM, which also had 40/1 odds on the G-Men back in late January, has followed suit and made an even more drastic cut – bettors now have to settle for 15/1 if wagering on Big Blue to go all the way. And that sneaky longshot that once was the Jets at 100/1? Those odds have been sliced almost in half due to the Garden State’s flurry of tickets, now sitting at a slightly less appealing 60/1.
The ripple effect has been predictable, but given that Nevada has essentially had sports betting all to itself for decades, also unprecedented prior to the Supreme Court’s decision to eradicate PASPA.
Hints of regional bias had already started emerging earlier this summer. Unsurprisingly, traditionally Lakers-leaning Vegas sportsbook patrons have been plunking down plenty of cash on LA in terms of NBA Finals futures; however, the Celtics hold the distinction of top dog in New Jersey on those same wagers, even post LeBron-signing.
A sign of the times, and it’s likely to continue
These types of circumstances are likely to become increasingly commonplace, at least in states that boast both legalized sports betting and a proximate professional team or two. Bookmakers that operate multiple properties around the country may be in “tweak mode” from time to time as a result, especially while the number of states taking action remains relatively sparse.
And it may not necessarily be limited to futures bets, of course. We could certainly see similar night-to-night — or in the case of football, week-to-week — patterns emerge as each major sport goes through its first full season in a post-PASPA world. To that end, the 2018 NFL campaign should be one of the most intriguing ever from a sports betting perspective, even with only a handful of states accepting wagers.
It could develop into a phenomenon somewhat akin to All-Star Game fan voting, where “popularity bias” often ruins a good thing for someone else. In that scenario, it’s typically a deserving player that gets shut out of an honor due to another’s name recognition and past accomplishments.
The sports betting equivalent — sharp players missing out on potentially bigger scores due to bookmakers mitigating risk on certain underdogs more than they normally had to in the past.
All because some J-E-T-S fans think there’s at least a smidgen of a chance they can ride on Josh McCown’s shoulders all the way to February — and a massive payday.