Gambling NFL Super Bowl

Super Bowl Betting Recap

The results are in, and Super Bowl XLV was not super for Vegas sports books. The Packers were a three-point favorite in the game, and the line didn’t move much.  Early reports suggested that the betting volume was relatively even, which is typically a signal of a profitable, but not exceptional, game for sports books.  I have not been able to track down an estimate of the actual volume on the side betting.

The State of Nevada Gaming Control Board released their Super Bowl Wagering estimates yesterday, and Nevada sports books made a tiny 0.83% profit on more than $87 million wagered on the game.  Here’s the betting volume and amount won and lost by Nevada sports books on the Super Bowl over the past 10 years:

YEAR WAGERS WIN/(LOSS) Profit % GAME RESULTS
2011 $87,491,098 $ 724,176 0.83% Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25
2010 $82,726,367 $ 6,857,101 8.3% New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17
2009 $81,514,748 $ 6,678,044 8.2% Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23
2008 $92,055,833 $(2,573,103) -2.8% N.Y. Giants 17, New England 14
2007 $93,067,358 $12,930,175 13.9% Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17
2006 $94,534,372 $ 8,828,431 9.3% Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10
2005 $90,759,236 $15,430,138 17.0% New England 24, Philadelphia 21
2004 $81,242,191 $12,440,698 15.3% New England 32, Carolina 29
2003 $71,693,032 $ 5,264,963 7.3% Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21
2002 $71,513,304 $ 2,331,607 3.3% New England 20, St. Louis 17

As you can see, Super Bowl XLV was not very profitable.  Nothing close to the losses in the 2008 game, when the Giants upset New England, but not much of a payday.  Given the relatively balanced volume in betting on the sides, I expect that the total betting accounted for a lot of losses, since the money, as usual, was heavy on the over (44 to 46 depending on the book).

Professor of Economics, University of Alberta

1 Comment

  • Avatar Of Ryan
    ryan February 10, 2011

    Interesting how the only lost came from the season long undefeated streak coming to an end on superbowl day, everyone seemed to favor them som pats.

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