Updated February 13, 2022 - 10:26 pm
The ideal scenario for sportsbooks in the Super Bowl is usually for the favorite to win but not cover and for the game to go under the total.
Las Vegas books hit that elusive trifecta for millions Sunday when the Rams defeated the Bengals 23-20, but didn’t cover the 4½-point spread and the game stayed under the total of 48½.
“Most people betting on the Rams are laying points, and people betting the Bengals bet them to win the game. But the under was the big one,” Boyd Gaming sportsbook vice president Bob Scucci said. “Because whether they bet the Bengals or the Rams, everybody seemed to parlay them with the over.”
Los Angeles trailed 20-16 with 6:13 left when Matthew Stafford directed a game-winning 15-play, 79-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp with 1:25 left.
Joe Burrow marched Cincinnati to midfield in the final minute before turning the ball over on downs when his fourth-and-1 pass fell incomplete.
It was the biggest Super Bowl win ever for Station Casinos, according to Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito.
“What a kind of Hollywood ending with the way that game finished,” he said. “Giving them the ball back with 1:25 left, with the way this season has gone, I thought there was a real chance it could go to overtime. But the Cinderella slipper finally fell off.”
$1M bad beat
BetMGM won seven figures on the game despite a bettor winning two of three $1 million wagers placed on the Rams on Saturday night at the Bellagio.
The bettor won $1 million wagers on Los Angeles -½ in the first quarter (7-3) and -2½ in the first half (13-10). But a botched extra point by the Rams in the second quarter cost the gambler $1 million on Los Angeles to go over its first-half team total of 13½ points.
“That extra point was huge,” MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback said. “Not only because that bettor had over 13½ points in the first half, but the game could’ve fallen four. If that happened, and we pushed on four, we might’ve been crying right now.
“But it was a storybook ending to the season, when the Super Bowl comes down to basically the last minute of the game.”
“Mattress Mack” loses
Caesars Sportsbook won multiple seven figures, including $9.5 million in bets on the Bengals on the money line (+170) made by Houston furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale.
“It is what it is. We took the bet, and if it wins, we congratulate him and pay it out,” Caesars vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said. “It’s nice to get that kind of bet beat and be the company that takes those kinds of bets.”
Another Caesars bettor lost $1.56 million in wagers on the Rams -4, and the book also won all the bets placed on Los Angeles when it lowered the line to 3½ on Thursday.
“Everybody took the Rams with us,” Mucklow said. “We went for the middle, and we got it for once.”
Public wins big on Beckham
While some of the prop results were still being tallied Sunday night, Mucklow said Caesars lost millions on Odell Beckham Jr. scoring the first touchdown.
“Beckham Jr. was huge for the public,” he said. “That cost us a couple seven figures.”
BetMGM took a six-figure hit on that prop.
Caesars also lost seven figures on Bengals running back Joe Mixon throwing a TD pass to Tee Higgins.
The Westgate SuperBook also took a hit on that prop (over 2½ players to have a pass attempt) and was a small winner on the game itself after taking big bets on the Bengals ATS and on the Rams on the money line.
“It just wasn’t the perfect scenario for us,” SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “But it could’ve been a lot worse.”
Mack will be back
Mack has now lost $22.3 million in wagers — which are hedges against furniture promotions — since winning $2.7 million on Tampa Bay in last year’s Super Bowl.
He watched the game at Camp Hope with combat veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorder and said that helped him keep his gambling losses in perspective.
“Even though I lost $10 million, when I see those guys struggling to get back in society and battling valiantly to try to turn their lives around, me losing a football game is not a big deal,” he said. “I had a good time with them cheering for the Bengals. We got really close on that one. We live to play another day.”