Luke Tancreti, a senior at Castleton University, placed his modest $50 bet on the New England Patriots with the thought that it was a guaranteed profit maker.
“I bet on the Pats because they have Tom Brady and Bill Belicheck,” said Tancreti. “I never doubted them. Tom is too good.”
It wasn’t long into Super Bowl Sunday before Tancreti sat on his couch with his face buried into his hands, just 12-minutes away from witnessing a third Patriots Super Bowl loss and the loss of 50 bucks.
But in what most people would describe as a miracle victory, the Patriots overcame the largest Super Bowl deficit, beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime by six points. This outcome made Tancreti $50 richer and even more important, a very happy and satisfied Patriots fan.
“If the Patriots would have lost, I would have been more upset about the actual loss than loosing the 50 bucks,” Tancreti said.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sports gambling platforms that there is. In this year’s Super Bowl, an estimated $139,000,000 in bets were made on the game, according to the Las Vegas Sportsbook. This does not account for all of the off-book bets that people hold, including friendly bets and Super Bowl boxes.
“I threw down five bucks on Super Bowl boxes. The most I could have won was $50, but I wasn’t looking to get carried away. It was all for fun. Sadly I didn’t win,” said senior Tyler Higley as he shrugged his shoulders.
But there are more ways to bet on the Super Bowl than just the score.
Just one day before the big game, CBS Sports released an article entitled “2017 Super Bowl Prop Bets: 51 wacky things you can bet on for Patriots vs. Falcons.”
This list included countless betting options including what will Luke Bryan be wearing when he sings the National Anthem? Blue Jeans / Other; which team’s cheerleaders will be shown first; the coin toss; how many times will Donald Trump be mentioned during the broadcast; will “Houston, we have a problem” be said during the live broadcast; which song will Lady Gaga play first and will either team score three straight times?
George Bell, who no longer attends Castleton University, believes that silly bets like the ones listed by CBS sports can lead to something more than just winning or losing money.
“I think it’s a little extreme and I also think it’s a step that can lead people to a gambling addiction,” said Bell. “You start by saying, oh it’s just a couple of bucks on a goofy thing. But you can start winning and start making bigger bets on better odds.”
One Castleton student’s uncle, who wishes to remain anonymous, can speak from experience and cautions students to keep an eye on their gambling.
“It always starts small. If you start winning, you want to keep winning and if you lose, you want to find a way to make it back. It’s fine to gamble, but be smart about it, it can become an addiction,” he said. “I can no longer gamble because of the rush. It’s the rush that people find themselves addicted to.”