Record $98.9 million bet on Super Bowl XLVII in Vegas

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Super Bowl XLVII turned out to be a great game for Nevada sports books. According to figures released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board Monday afternoon, bettors set a record handle, wagering $98,936,798, surpassing the previous mark of $94.5 million set in 2006.

The books’ hold, though not a a record, was a very respectable $7,206,460 or 7.3%, up 42% over last year’s modest $5 million win.

But, as always, some books broke even, some won, and a few lost. “I’m just glad the football season is finally over,” said LVH Super Book vice president Jay Kornegay. “It just seemed whatever we booked on Sunday, we were on the wrong side.”

While the Ravens’ 34-31 win produced bad results due to the popular public parlay wager on the dog moneyline to the OVER, Kornegay’s loss on Super Bowl Sunday was spurred by losses on the props.

“It was like Murphy’s Law props for us. Everything that could possibly go wrong for us happened on the props,” said Kornegay. “It was the second time in the last three years we lost on the props. Between the game going OVER and the 41 different props on Colin Kaepernick going against us, it turned out terrible for us.”

Kaepernick threw for 302 yards and rushed for 62 along with a touchdown, giving most bettors their money’s worth on their wagers. They got to see what they wanted out of the phenom and cashed in by betting OVER both 235.5 yards passing and 48.5 yards rushing.

“It got worse at the end of the game when the 49ers got a safety,” said Kornegay. “We had the last scoring play of the game with a safety being 75-to-1, which people love to play just because the odds are so high, and 9-to-1 that a safety would happen at all during the game, which people always bet ‘YES’.” “People love to bet the safety to occur,” said Wynn sports book director John Avello who had a small overall win on the day.” It’s a small window of opportunity to happen, but the big odds always have people throwing a few dollars on it. It’s weird, last year we had a safety happen as the first play of the Super Bowl and this year we have one to end the game. You couldn’t even make a price on that happening.”

Up north in Reno, the Peppermill was in a position where they thought they were going to have to fend off all the 49ers action with plans of keeping the number higher than Las Vegas, but the action didn’t allow it.

“We had a record handle on the game,” said Peppermill sports book director Terry Cox. “The most surprising thing about it all was that we got way more Ravens money than anticipated, but in the end we still had a great day. Between the game itself and posting the futures – where the 49ers were bad for us – we did well.”

Cox had stated last week that their goal was to stay about a half-point higher than Las Vegas on the game just because of being 49ers country, but the money forced them into another game plan.

“We just let the money tell us where to go,” said Cox who initially opened the 49ers high at -6½. “When it seemed like we were ready to make a move higher, we’d get Ravens money that balanced us out. We got as high as -5, but closed at -4½.”

The consensus around Las Vegas closed 49ers at -4½ or 4. But the big killer was the Ravens getting +155 or +160 on the moneyline parlayed to the OVER. Despite the line being about 20 percent less value than what a regular season game would offer to the dog, bettors still took the plunge and cashed in.

The underdog Ravens covering was the fifth dog to succeed against the spread in the last six years and ninth in the last 12.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Contact Micah at [email protected].

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