Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More on Super Bowl Betting Profits 

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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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Super Bowl Wrap Up 

The Saints beat the Colts 31-17 for their first Super Bowl victory. It was a thrilling win, with the outcome in doubt until Tracy Porters' 74 yard "pick six" with 3:12 left in the game and the Colts driving for the potential tying score.

The other big winner in this game was sports books. Evidence shows that bettors love two things: favorites in point spread betting and the over on total betting. According to, as of about 4pm Eastern on Sunday the line was the Colts -5 and the over-under was 57. Based on action at off-shore sports books, 63% of the sides betting was on the Colts, and 66% of the totals betting was on the over. The Colts didn't cover, and the 48 point total was well under 57. Given the bet-110-to-win100 payoff structure on sides and totals, and the fact that the Super Bowl is the most popular sporting event to bet on all year, that translates to a big payday for sports books.

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