Bloomberg News

Las Vegas Roots for 49ers as Super Bowl Bettors Flock to Ravens

January 25, 2013

Las Vegas Roots for 49ers as Super Bowl Bettors Flock to Ravens

Anthony Dixon #24, defensive back Darcel McBath #28 and defensive back Perrish Cox #20 of the San Francisco 49ers react after stopping the Atlanta Falcons on fourth down in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome on Jan. 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photographer: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Sports books in Nevada and worldwide probably will be rooting for the San Francisco 49ers in next week’s Super Bowl, as 65 percent of the early bets have been placed on the underdog Baltimore Ravens.

Early action on the Ravens has shifted the point spread to 3 1/2 from the opening line of five, according to RJ Bell, the founder of handicapping information website Pregame.com. The National Football League title game will be played on Feb. 3 at the Superdome in New Orleans.

“Although the sports books typically beat the bettors on the Super Bowl no matter what team wins the game -- profiting 20 of the last 22 years -- when one team gets a lopsided amount of bets like Baltimore has so far, the sports books have an especially strong rooting interest against that team,” Bell said.

A handle of over $10 billion is projected worldwide for the game, Bell said, with less than 1 percent of that total wagered in Nevada. Bell said 90 percent of Super Bowl bets in Las Vegas are placed in the two days leading up to the game.

The 49ers are the favorites at roughly 3-to-5 to win their sixth Super Bowl title, meaning a $100 bet on the National Football Conference West division champions would return $60 plus the investment. A $100 bet on the Ravens, a wild-card team that had one more round of the playoffs to win than San Francisco, would return $155 plus the initial wager.

Before the season started, the 49ers were 17-to-1 to win the NFL title, according to Bell. The Ravens were 14-1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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