Las Vegas casinos will be rooting for the Denver Broncos to beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 Sunday Night. Or at least keep the game close. That's because about 70% of the money put down on against-the-spread bets is going for the Panthers, according to Johnny Avello, Executive Director of Race and Sports Book Operations at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Normally casinos try to design the spread so that an equal amount of money will come in on both sides. Because casinos charge 10% "juice," or a vig, on losing bets, if the action comes in even on both sides, the casino will get 5% of the action while taking zero risk. But in a case like this, casinos could stand to lose a lot of money if the Panthers win.
Estimates are for Nevada casinos to handle about $120M on Sunday's game, though some of it will be on other wagers, not just the most common bet on the point-spread.
But Avello has seen this situation before. He says last year the early money was mostly on the Seahawks. But in the two days before the game Avello says so much money was bet on the Patriots that his casino actually needed the Seahawks to cover.
Right now the Wynn's line on the game is Panthers minus 5 and a half points, but Avello says he could move the line to 6 or 7 to get more action on the Broncos.
And if that doesn't work "I will tell everyone that Cam Newton is suspended for ignoring curfew," Avello joked.