Super Bowl Betting Outcomes

In my previous post, I discussed the 50-50 odds of betting on the coin toss for the Super Bowl yesterday.  I just found a few more interesting stories about the Super Bowl and betting which I would like to share.

First of all, Vegas had the Packers as two point favorites coming into the game, and had an over/under of 45.5 points.  The majority of betters (more than 50%) placed bets on the Packers and/or Over 45.5 total points for the game.  Because of the outcome of the Packers winning 31-25, a lot of people won on the bets they placed yesterday.  In fact, Vegas and the Sport Books took a big hit on the game, with reports of this being the worse loss for Vegas on Super Bowl betting since 1993.  Looking at the figure I have provided at the top of this post, one can see how the betters have done againstVegas in Super Bowl betting (image courtesy of Yahoo sports and the Nevada Gaming Commission).

Now to make matters worse, in the previous games for the AFC and NFC Championships, Vegas also took quite a beating with a large number of betters taking the Steelers to top the Jets and the Packers to beat the Bears.  The playoffs have been pretty tough for Vegas this year, but it has been good for a lot of the betters.  Things were so bad last night at the end of the first half with the Packers winning 21-10, that Vegas tried to change strategies by offering a new line with the Pittsburgh Steelers favored to win by 2.5 points.  As noted in the LA Times, this move was meant to encourage fans to bet on the Steelers, as the value of this bet was given at the equivalent of an 8.5 point underdog.  However, this plan backfired, and more fans placed bets on the Packers than was expected, and Vegas ended up taking another hit from this failed strategy.

The official numbers will be released tomorrow by the Nevada Gaming Commission, I’ll be curious to see how the numbers compare to last year, where there was over $80 million in betting, with casinos taking in about $6.8 million of that amount.

On a final note of betting, one of my students pointed out to me that a rapper by the name of “Birdman” took out a million dollar bet on the Packers winning.  I’m pretty sure he’s a happy man this morning.


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