10/21/2014

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Sports

Gamblers have $100M riding on coin toss alone

Heads or tails? Bettors worldwide are expected to wager $100 million on that coin toss outcome at the Super Bowl.

That's according to gambling expert R.J. Bell of Pregame.com, which tracks betting trends in casinos in Nevada and elsewhere.

Bell says in the past 46 Super Bowls, the coin has fallen heads 23 times and tails 23 times. But the NFC has won 14 of the past 15 Super Bowl tosses.

Suckers might think that means the Ravens are due for the AFC, but Baltimore's chances of winning the toss this time: Still 50 percent.

After heavy betting on the Baltimore Ravens, sports betting professionals and last-minute casual bettors in Las Vegas and around the world are heavily swinging toward San Francisco.

The 49ers were favored by 5 points when betting action started two weeks ago, meaning San Francisco bettors need them to win by at least two field goals to collect. But the spread encouraged lots of bettors to take Baltimore, pushing the line down to 3½. Now, San Francisco supporters have moved the line back up to 4 points in most sports books and 4½ in others, according to gambling expert R.J. Bell of Pregame.com.

Bell says that a few days ago, nearly two-thirds of the bets taken in Las Vegas and online sports books offshore were on the Ravens. It's close to 50-50 now and the 49ers are closing the gap quickly in the hours before the game.

Adjustments to the line are encouraging bettors on the fence to pick sides.

"The moves are taking a lot of money right now," Bell said.

An estimated $10 billion is expected to be wagered on the Super Bowl, with less than 1 percent of that coming from legal sports books in Nevada, Bell says.

— Oskar Garcia — http://twitter.com/oskargarcia

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