Michigan bettors backing Matthew Stafford, Rams in Super Bowl in big way

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

More than $7 billion is expected to be wagered on Sunday's Super Bowl, and a considerable chunk of that is being bet legally in Michigan.

And the numbers don't lie: Michigan still backs Matthew Stafford, the Detroit Lions' quarterback for 12 years before he was traded a year ago and led the Los Angeles Rams to the brink of the NFL championship.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams are 4-point favorites in Sunday's Super Bowl.

DraftKings operates in 17 states, and in 16 of those, the Cincinnati Bengals are the most popular pick when betting against the spread. The only one where the Rams are the favorite: Michigan. About 54% of the spread bets in Michigan have been placed on the Rams.

In the other 16 states, 13 have at least 60% of the money on the Bengals, with three at 70% or more.

"Across our network, the Rams were the third-most wagered team," said Johnny Avello, head of DraftKings' sportsbook. "But in the state of Michigan, the Rams were the No. 1 wagered team during the playoffs."

More: Super Bowl prop bets from Stafford's MVP odds to color of Gatorade shower

The numbers tell the story of just how much support Stafford still has in Michigan, despite never leading the Lions to the promised land. He was 0-3 in the playoffs with the Lions, and is 3-0 with the Rams.

At DraftKings, for Sunday's game, 52% of the total handle in Michigan and 55.5% of the total bets are on the Rams. Also in Michigan, Stafford is the top-bet player to be named the game's Most Valuable Player, drawing 26.1% of the total handle at +100, followed by Aaron Donald's 20.1% at +1600. The Bengals' Joe Burrow is third at 11.8%, and the Rams' Cooper Kupp fourth at 10.2% and Odell Beckham Jr. at 5.5%. 

In all bets on players at DraftKings from Michigan, Stafford comes in third in handle and total bets, behind Burrow and the Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase.

The story is similar at BetMGM from Michigan bettors, with total spread bets on the Rams' reaching 60% in total bets and 59% in total handle — compared to the national average of 39% and 40%, respectively. With the money line, which doesn't use the spread, 39% of the tickets and 44% of the handle is on the Rams, compared to 24% and 36% nationally, respectively.

And, again, Stafford is the popular MVP pick among Michigan bettors at BetMGM, with 30% of the tickets and 38% of the handle, compared to the national average of just 9% and 11%, respectively.

"Michigan bettors continue to back Matthew Stafford and the Rams at a rate well above the national average," a BetMGM spokesman said this week.

The Rams are a 4-point favorite for Super Bowl LVI, with the over-under at 48.5 points.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984