Heavy betting continues on Carolina for Super Bowl

The Super Bowl line continues to rise in Carolina's favor, with big bets coming in on the Panthers. ESPN Illustration

After an early flurry of activity, the Super Bowl 50 point spread has settled, for now.

On Tuesday morning, the Carolina Panthers were 5.5-point favorites over the Denver Broncos at the majority of sportsbooks. That's up a couple of points from the opening line, and it may not be done moving. The wiseguys have yet to weigh in.

The bulk of the money in Las Vegas is on the favored Panthers. Several sportsbooks have already moved the line to Carolina -6 in an attempt to attract action on the underdog Broncos. It hasn't slowed down the Carolina money much.

William Hill and CG Technology, two of the Nevada books still at Panthers -5.5, were holding approximately 90 percent Carolina money. William Hill took a $623,142.25 money-line bet on the Panthers, the largest bet booked in the company's brief history in Nevada, according to director of marketing Michael Grodsky. CG Technology, which operates the book at the Venetian, among other casinos, said the two biggest bets it has taken on the Super Bowl so far were on the Panthers, "mid-to-low six figures" on the money line and at Carolina -5.

"For every 10, we probably write nine tickets to the favorite and one ticket to the 'dog," Treasure Island sportsbook director Tony Nevill said Monday afternoon.

However, it's still early. Most books estimate 80 to 90 percent of money wagered on the Super Bowl is placed on the weekend of the game.

Wynn race and sports executive director John Avello said the handle is on pace for another record Super Bowl for Nevada. The past two Super Bowls have generated more than $115 million in bets. It's by far the biggest game Las Vegas will book, and one of the rare times where the money coming in from the recreational public bettors overwhelms the amount of money wagered by sophisticated bettors, which is one of the reasons Nevada's books have come out ahead in 24 of the past 26 Super Bowls.

Westgate SuperBook assistant manager Ed Salmons believes the line on Sunday's game could grow to Carolina -6.5 and wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of getting to the key number of seven.

"The public would have to come in on an all-time record level for us to get that high," Salmons said. "We thought that the public would really like Carolina, and we thought they'd like them a lot. Sometimes it's hard to tell, though. Sometimes the public isn't as strong on a team as you think. But in this case, they definitely like Carolina a lot.

"The Denver money, at some point, will show as far as the wiseguys. It's just a question of when."

The betting also has begun on the hundreds of Super Bowl proposition bets available, including early action on "heads" for the coin flip.

"We always need tails," Salmons said.