Delaware could lose $350K if the Eagles win the Super Bowl

Philadelphia Eagles' Alshon Jeffery catches a touchdown pass during the first half of the NFL football NFC championship game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Eagles' Alshon Jeffery catches a touchdown pass during the first half of the NFL football NFC championship game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

With more than $92,000 bet on an Eagles win in Minnesota, Delaware will face a $354,465 loss should the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

When it comes to betting on sports, gamblers are often faced with a dilemma. Do you bet for your home team? Or do you bet on what you think is a sure thing? For Eagles fans this year, it seems like the answer to those two questions is the same: put it on the Birds.

More than a thousand bets were made on the Eagles winning it all at Delaware casinos and sports books, according to numbers from the Delaware Lottery obtained from WHYY. That’s 26 percent more bets for the Eagles than the next closest team, the Steelers.

“You can make this bet throughout the year, and I think [the Eagles] made some believers out of a lot of people as the year progressed,” Delaware Lottery Director Vernon Kirk said.

Delaware is the only legal place to bet on football on the East Coast, and with $92,670 bet on the home team, Delaware could be on the hook for a big payout if the Eagles win. The state will lose $354,465 on an Eagles win vs. a profit of $271,301 for the state, if the Patriots win.

And while lottery workers don’t technically root for one outcome or another, Kirk said this year might be an exception, despite the loss in revenue. “In this particular case, I think you’re going to have even some in the state rooting for the Eagles.”

Kirk said the high number of bets for the Eagles was likely influenced by the team’s surprisingly strong start to the season. “My guess is that most of the Eagles money was wagered earlier on when Carson Wentz started performing so well, and the Eagles were doing well, then I think the odds might have shifted considerably. I think most of the Eagles’ money was wagered probably in the first half of the season.”

The Super Bowl bet is a little different than other wagers throughout the season in Delaware. The state is not allowed to offer single game bets, but rather offers parlay bets which combine three or more games. The state bends the rules a bit to allow betting on the championship game. “We push the envelope a little bit and we say ‘Well, in order to win the Super Bowl, you must win at least three games, so those are the three games technically that you’re betting on.”

A total of 12,543 bets were made totaling $481,410. That pales in comparison to the $3.6 million that was bet on all NFL games in the 2017 season. The state paid out $1.3 million in winnings to bettors, and collected nearly $2 million in net proceeds.

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