Amongst all the hype and razzmatazz that inevitably surrounds American Football’s showpiece event, on Sunday the talk will stop and the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will take to the field of US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and fight for the right to be crowned champions.
For The Eagles, who denied the Minnesota Vikings a shot at glory at their home turf with a convincing 38-7 win in the NFC Championship game, the franchise is aiming to secure its maiden Super Bowl triumph.
Standing across from them is The Patriots who have enjoyed an unprecedented level of success under the stewardship of Bill Belichick, and are aiming to replicate the back to back titles won in Super Bowl 38 and 39 in 2004 and 2005.
The latter of those also marking the last time Philadelphia reached this stage, some 24 years after their first visit, and resulting in a 24-21 loss.
Stephen Baumohl, Co-Founder of Redzonesports.bet, has been speaking to SBC regarding all the ins and outs ahead of one of the biggest global sporting events.
SBC: New England Patriots are favourites heading into Sunday, what are the reasons for this?
Stephen Baumohl: The Patriots, under coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, are making their 8th Super Bowl appearance and, if victorious, would be lifting their 6th Vince Lombardi Trophy. This is dominance like we have never seen before in the sport and it would be very hard not to make them favourites against almost anyone.
The Eagles have never won the Super Bowl and have lost their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, to injury so it is certainly fair to make New England favourites but, of course, that doesn’t mean Philadelphia cannot win. Without the injury to Wentz, the betting would have been pretty close to even.
The handicap, which opened with New England favourites by 6, has dropped to 4.5 as people take note of the fact that last year’s six point overtime win was the largest margin of victory the Patriots have ever had.
SBC: Is this reflected by punters? And Has any big money been placed on the Eagles?
SB: We took our first four figure bet on New England just minutes after they won the trophy last year at 5/1 and there has been a steady stream of big bets on them since then and throughout the season.
Somewhat surprisingly, now that they have made it, the money has dried up and it is the Eagles that everyone wants to be with. Since the Championship games, bets on the Eagles have outnumbered bets on the Patriots four to one and in terms of the handicap it has been 75% Philadelphia money.
The biggest bet so far has been £25,000 on the Eagles +5.5 but we are expecting bigger bets nearer the time and we feel that New England backers will be coming out in force on Sunday.
SBC: From a betting perspective, where does the Super Bowl rank amongst other global sporting events?
SB: For us at Redzonesports.bet, where we particularly focus on American sports, it is very much our biggest event. NFL is a sport that we push very comprehensively and expect to have our biggest ever single event turnover in our history.
We have priced up hundreds of markets for the game and tried to offer some value and especially some originality in our markets that will hopefully attract even more business and satisfy existing customers.
While most UK operators will expect the World Cup to set new records in terms of turnover, we expect it to be on par with our NFL season numbers.
SBC: What could be done to further grow the Super Bowl, and the NFL, as a betting proposition for bettors worldwide?
SB: NFL, as a sport, has been going through a growth spurt worldwide, and especially the UK, for a few years now and it appears to be still on an upward curve. Extensive TV coverage, multiple overseas games and exciting finishes have contributed to more people taking notice and this has spilled over into the betting industry as turnover on the sport is increasing significantly year on year.
I believe the NFL is making the right moves to grow the sport internationally and with the very real possibility of a London franchise coming, it is up to the gambling operators to make betting on NFL more accessible if they want turnover to grow alongside.