The Philadelphia Eagles have plenty of reasons to be confident going into the Super Bowl. Sure, the New England Patriots are a machine melded from talent, experience, and grit, but the Eagles are comfortable as the underdogs. It’s a role they’ve played all postseason, and thanks to their playmaking defense and the steady performance of backup quarterback Nick Foles, Philadelphia has a real shot at shocking the Patriots on Sunday.
I wouldn’t bet a million bucks on it, however. Even so, others would—and a select few actually have.
According to ESPN’s David Purdum, at least four separate million-dollar-plus bets have been placed on the Eagles ahead of Super Bowl LII. “William Hill reported taking a $1.6 million bet on the Eagles +4.5 and another $1 million money-line bet on Philadelphia,” Purdum writes. “Last week, MGM’s sportsbook reported taking a ‘multimillion’ bet on the Eagles,” and another million-dollar money-line wager was placed on the Eagles on Friday. (There have been no reported million-dollar bets placed on New England.)
The Super Bowl always prompts a gambling frenzy, but this rush of seven-figure Eagles bets is a little surprising. For reference, there was just a single reported million-dollar wager on last year’s game.
What could possibly account for this surge of confidence in the underdogs? According to our proprietary gaming analysis algorithm, there are precisely five reasons why someone would take a $1 million risk on the Eagles.
1. A rakish billionaire spots your spouse from across the casino floor, becomes enamored, and offers $1 million to spend the night with her. They depart in a helicopter and, considering you have some time to kill, you head to the sportsbook. Rather than spend the evening panicking about whether or not your wife will return, you bet the million bucks on the Eagles and panic about that instead.
2. A source inside the Patriots’ locker room informs you that Tom Brady ate a bell pepper. The dreaded nightshade causes the quarterback’s finely tuned microbiome to revolt and, as a result, he forgets how to play football. Thanks to this tip, the money-line Eagles bet becomes a smart play.
3. An acquaintance gives you a copy of The Secret. You’re usually not into new-age self-help stuff, but something about it really speaks to you. You become obsessed with the power of positive thinking, and this religious devotion to optimism leaves no room for rational, healthy doubt. You are also Nick Foles, and so you bet $1 million on your team to win the Super Bowl.
4. Having grown numb to the pain of watching the Patriots win, you wager $1 million against them in a desperate attempt to feel something—anything—should those smug pissants do it again.
5. The Eagles are due, baby!