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More on Super Bowl Betting Profits

2010 February 10
by Brad Humphreys

Here’s a brief follow up on my Sunday night post on how much money sports books made on Super Bowl wagering. I pointed out that, based on the volume of bets placed on the sides and overs at offshore sports books, Super Bowl betting was profitable for sports books. The Nevada Gaming Control Board put out an information release on Tuesday detailing the returns to the 182 legal sports books in Nevada. $82.7 million was bet on the Super Bowl, and Nevada sports books earned $6.8 million, for a 8.3% return.

Year Volume Won by Books Return Game Results
2010 $82,726,367 $6,857,101 8.3% Saints 31 Colts 17
2009 $81,514,748 $ 6,678,044 8.2% Steelers 27 Cards 23
2008 $92,055,833 $(2,573,103) -2.8% Giants 17 Pats 14
2007 $93,067,358 $12,930,175 13.9% Colts 29 Bears 17

The rate of return is quite variable, but the only year sports books lost money on Super Bowl betting in the past few was when the Giants upset the Patriots. The patriots were 12.5 point favorites in that game, and the bet volume was 61% on the Giants and 39% on the Patriots. The over/under was 55. Sports Illustrated reports that some books lost money because of proposition bets (“props”) that paid off on the game. Prop bets typically pay long odds for rare events, and the two that hurt sports books were the two point conversion prop and the “pick six” (int returned for a TD) prop. Update: No idea why Blogger insists on adding that whitespace before the table. Grrr.

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