- Joined ESPN in 2014
- Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008
On New Year’s Day, bookmaker William Hill U.S. took a six-figure bet on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, but the defending champions are not the sportsbook’s biggest concern heading into the playoffs.
The worst-case scenario for several bookmakers is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs are the consensus Super Bowl favorite, listed at +190 at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. The Green Bay Packers are next at +450, followed by the Buffalo Bills (+700) and New Orleans Saints (+750). The Buccaneers are +1,000.
“Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl would 100% be the worst-case scenario for us,” Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill U.S., said in a post on the bookmaker’s website. “We’re in pretty good shape with most of the teams, but the Bucs are a big loser.”
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and BetMGM also reported significant liabilities on the Buccaneers, a lot of it accruing before the season, when Tampa Bay added Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
There has been recent interest in the Buccaneers as well. William Hill reported taking a $40,000 bet on the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl at 12-1 on Saturday. As of Wednesday morning, it’s the second-largest Super Bowl futures wager placed with the bookmaker, behind only a $115,000 bet on the Chiefs that was placed Friday in Nevada.
The Chiefs have attracted the most bets and most money in William Hill’s Super Bowl futures market. The Packers have the second-most Super Bowl bets, followed by the Buccaneers, Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers.
There has been interest from bettors on some of the Super Bowl long shots at William Hill, including a $10,000 bet on the Indianapolis Colts at 45-1 and a $2,000 bet on Washington at 125-1.
“I had a customer ring me [on Tuesday], asking for a bet that would make Cleveland the worst-case scenario,” Jason Scott, BetMGM director of trading, told ESPN. “But you get a lot of tire kickers in this business. Whether he actually deposits is another story. He was asking for $60,000 at 50-1, so that would win $3 million.”
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