Did Las Vegas win money last year on Super Bowl XLVII

It’s time for the Super Bowl XLVIII Debate!

This weekend is the one time of year that everyone seems to have an opinion on sports, Super Bowl weekend.  Whether you’re a stock broker, construction worker, teacher, secretary, homemaker or an avid sports fan just about anyone and everyone you come in contact with will have an opinion of which team will be victorious this year and bring the coveted trophy and parade back to their home town.    This “tastes great” vs. “less filing” debate is so wide spread and deeply embedded in the culture that it brings Las Vegas to the forefront with betting lines and who is the favorite and by what margin.  All across the country squares games, office pools and friendly wagers are impacted by what the sharks in Vegas have to say about the game and which team should have the advantage.

How did Las Vegas do on the Super Bowl XLVII last year?

South Point Sportsbook in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sportsbooks won money on Super Bowl XLVII, is that really a surprise? Yes large jackpots are won, long winning parlays are paid in Vegas everyday but, does Las Vegas ever lose money in the long term.  According to the Nevada Gaming Commission $98,936,798 was wagered on the game, $91,730,338 was paid back out, leaving Las Vegas with a tidy $7,206,460 win or profit for Super Bowl XLVII.  That is a 7.3% winning percentage for Sin City.  For the last ten years Las Vegas has won money each year except for 2008.  The sports books in Las Vegas lost $2,573,103 on Super Bowl XLII (2008) when the New York Giants, a -12 point underdog, upset the New England Patriots.   The NE Patriots had achieved a perfect regular season record and were on their way to win the big game and join the Miami Dolphins as the 2nd club to go undefeated throughout the season and playoffs until Eli Manning lead his Giants to victory.  Many would argue this is due to the Giants being an underdog, but 7 out of the last 10 games have been won by the underdog with Sin City winning money on 6 of those outcomes.

How the Super Bowl point spread is determined

For many years during the regular NFL season, the standard procedure in Las Vegas would have been having sports books like the Mirage (for example) open their lines early Monday morning and allow a privileged few (Sharks), to wager on the early line.  These Sharks, were seasoned sports bettors with large resources and a proven track record for picking winners on a consistent basis.  This first round of privileged betting gave further intelligence to the sports books on whether to move their line before opening up all wagering to the public.  In some sports books this is still done today, however the impact of internet and other communications devices have deeply widened the playing field for the betting public which has also made their impact on this process greater.  Many sports bettors now monitor betting trends as well which shows percentages of which way the public is leaning on any specific lines, and sometimes causes the betting line to move as well. It’s good to remember that sports books create betting lines to spark this argument and hopefully have each side of the public 50/50 on the game so they can simply collect their 10% service fee and run a balanced book.  So remember the when you make your picks the line doesn’t necessarily 100% reflect the true nature of how much better a team is than the other.

How to make your picks for the Super Bowl

Unfortunately there are way to many strategies to list for betting on the Super Bowl and being so popular this seems to be the one sports bet that is most personal.  How to approach it; some bettors have been researching all year or following these teams for many seasons with an educated pick, some simply pick a team based on their colors or helmets, maybe always root for the underdog, I tend to pick the team my girlfriend is rooting for so I can join in her excitement and my Super Bowl party food is always that much better!

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