With only two days left until Super Bowl LVI, the Cincinnati Bengals remain steady 4-point underdogs. But everywhere across the country, sports fans are taking those points and placing wagers on the Bengals.
Everywhere except Michigan.
According to BetMGM, in the 20 U.S. states where it operates its online sportsbook, only Michigan is seeing the majority of bets placed on the Los Angeles Rams.
What’s the reason bettors at BetMGM Michigan are bucking the national trend? It must be former Lions QB Matthew Stafford, who is in his first season with the Rams.
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Michigan Is Outlier For Super Bowl Bettors
BetMGM released information on Wednesday that showed some percentages in ticket counts and money splits for various betting markets.
In 19 of the 20 states or municipalities in which BetMGM operates its online sportsbook, the Bengals had the highest ticket count when it comes to Super Bowl bets. The Rams had the highest ticket count in Michigan.
The Bengals had a higher amount of money bet on them (betting handle) than the Rams in 14 of the 20 states. The handle was even in four states, and the Rams had the higher handle only in Michigan and Nevada.
BetMGM has not launched in California, the home of the Rams.
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Matt Stafford’s History With The Lions
Stafford was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. It was the worst of times for the franchise, which is saying a lot. The Lions were coming off an embarrassing 0-16 record in 2008. Stafford stepped in as the starting quarterback for the woeful team, and predictably, he struggled as a rookie. Stafford threw five interceptions in his first two games, with just one TD.
Stafford eventually recovered from his early jitters, and he overcame injuries to emerge as a talented, strong-armed QB. He was Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 when he threw for more than 5,000 yards and 41 TDs. He produced seven more seasons of at least 4,000 yards for the Lions.
But Stafford and the Lions managed three playoff appearances — each of them crushing defeats. Stafford played poorly in the postseason, and after superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson suddenly quit the team, Stafford was left without much help. While his critics blamed Stafford for the Lions’ awfulness, his supporters said, “Just imagine if he had a team around him!”
That prediction has come true, and many Michigan fans are still fans of their former quarterback. That’s why sports bettors in Michigan, where online sports betting has been legal for more than a year, are putting their money on Stafford and the Rams to win Super Bowl LVI.