With under a minute remaining in the first quarter of Super Bowl LVI, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced 2nd-and-5 from the Kansas Chiefs’ 8-yard-line. Trailing 3-0, Tom Brady took the shotgun snap with 41 seconds on the clock and hit Rob Gronkowski for an eight-yard touchdown. Had Gronkowski been tackled in bounds, the Bucs run a different play that kept the clock running, or the Chiefs scored in the final 37 seconds of the first quarter to regain the lead, one Super Bowl bettor would’ve lost $275,000.
Super Bowl betting, in most areas, including the ticket share (60 percent) and handle share (54 percent) for spread bets, favored the Chiefs. However, several six- and seven-figure bets were placed on the Bucs, among them a $275,000 wager on the Bucs’ first-quarter spread: +0.5 points.
That was one of the five biggest winning Super Bowl bets from the Bucs’ 31-9 win:
- $2.3 million: Bucs +3.5
The biggest Super Bowl bet on BetMGM this year, the $2.3-million wager was placed in Nevada 10 days before the Super Bowl. With the first-quarter touchdown, the Bucs took a four-point lead and never came close to relinquishing it, let alone falling behind or losing by four points. The ticket paid $2 million.
- $1 million: Bucs +135
The Super Bowl spread wasn’t a factor in each of the last 11 Super Bowls. It wasn’t a factor again on Sunday when the Bucs became the ninth outright underdog winner in the last 14 Super Bowls. And by winning outright, the Bucs delivered a $1.35-million win to one bettor who took the Bucs’ money line.
- $345k: Bucs +3.5
Like the $2.3-million bet, this mid-six-figure bet (to win $300k) was never on thin ice. After the Chiefs grabbed the first lead with a Harrison Butker field goal, they forced the Bucs to one third down on the ensuing drive. Had they stopped them on 3rd-and-1, they would’ve had the ball and the opportunity to expand the lead beyond the spread. That didn’t happen, and the Bucs were within four points the entire game.
- $275k: Bucs +0.5 (1st Quarter)
A different playcall in the final seconds of the first quarter could’ve cost this bettor. Instead, Brady-to-Gronk results in BetMGM’s biggest prop bet win ($220k) of the Super Bowl.
- $205k: Under 56.5
Sixty-two percent of over/under tickets and 57 percent of the over/under handle was on an Over that flopped. Even with a late one-point drop to 55, the Chiefs and Bucs came nowhere near the total, which resulted in a $186k win for one bettor.
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Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of High Motor by BetMGM, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else. He has written for Sports Illustrated, HERO Sports, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DoughtyBetMGM