This is by far the busiest day of the year for sports betting on the Strip.
It’s estimated that gamblers wagered more than $132 million on last year’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas. Those numbers are expected to keep climbing as resorts offer more and more prop bets, parlays and teasers. This event is now much more than just the final score or most valuable player of the game.
Which team will score first? Who will win the coin flip? Which player will be the first to score a touchdown? You can even predict the exact final outcome. There are pages and pages of prop bets, but it will take some time to get through the entire list.
If this is your first time to Las Vegas, here are three tips to remember: Everyone hates the hotel resort fees, expect to walk more than you thought you would, and it’s at least an hour wait to make your bets on Super Bowl Sunday. Plan accordingly.
The good news is, next to the site of the Super Bowl, this is the place to be. Football fans from across the nation flood the Strip each and every year, decked out in hats, jerseys and whatever else they need to wear to help their favorite team win.
Every major resort hosts a Super Bowl party, but they’re typically invite-only for high rollers or those who wager often on their rewards card. But televisions and big screens are everywhere at Las Vegas Boulevard resorts and, if you don’t mind standing, there’s space for thousands of visitors throughout the casinos.
Some of the bigger lineups to wager on the big game will be at the major resorts.
In you’re staying at the south end of the Strip, the sportsbooks at MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay will be busy.
If you’re staying in a central location, then you will find thousands of sports fans at the Bellagio and Caesars Palace.
At the north end of the Strip, many will visit the newly renovated venue at the Wynn.
You might qualify for a complimentary drink ticket if you wager enough money on the game. In a visit to the Cosmopolitan late last year, the ticket seller said a $300 minimum was needed for a free drink. That’s one expensive martini.
The lineups seem to grow the longer you wait to bet on the NFL championship. Thankfully, this is the time of year when all betting windows will be open. Unfortunately the lineups are just as long after the game if you’re lucky enough to have a winning ticket or two.
Be sure and keep your tickets until the championship is over. There were rumors all over the Strip last year of visitors destroying their New England tickets at halftime as the Patriots trailed 21-3.
What unfolded in the second half was the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Atlanta Falcons weren’t the only people stunned by the Patriots’ 34-28 overtime victory.
You can skip the casino lineups, if you’d rather take your action online. There are plenty of wagering options on Bovada, TopBet or Betonline.
What Do All These Numbers Mean?
Don’t be intimidated. The money line, point spread and over/under totals are the ABCs of sports betting. Let’s explain each bet for Super Bowl LII one at a time (odds provided by bovada.lv).
Money line: Philadelphia (+155) vs. New England (-175)
This bet is all about picking the winner of the game. It’s that simple. The numbers after the teams determine how much your winning ticket returns. If you bet $100 to win on Philadelphia, your ticket will pay $255 ($100 bet plus $155 profit). If you bet on New England, you have to bet $175 to make a profit of $100 — since the Patriots are the overwhelming favorite.
Point spread: Philadelphia +4.5 (-110) vs. New England -4.5 (-110)
This wager is commonly referred to as the “spread.” For New England (favorite) to win this bet, the Patriots must win by five or more points. For Philadelphia (underdog) to win this bet, the Eagles must either win the game outright or lose by four points or less. Both teams are listed at -110 for the payoffs, which means a bettor must wager $110 on the team that “covers” the spread to make a profit of $100. If New England wins by five points, that’s called a “push” and all tickets for this bet are refunded.
Over/under totals: 48.5 over (-105), 48.5 under (-115)
Will the Super Bowl be a high- or low-scoring game? You make the call. For the totals wager, it does not matter which team wins the game. Just add the scores of each team together. If it totals 49 points or more, the “over” wins. If it totals 48 points or less, the “under” wins. You have to bet $105 on the over to make a $100 profit. You have to bet $115 on the under to make $100.