The day after Super Bowl XLVIII, Nevada’s Gaming Control Board reported that a record $119 million was bet on the game at Nevada casinos. That blew away the $98.9 million wagered on the previous Super Bowl.
With the Denver Broncos favored to beat the Seattle Seahawks, bets that picked Seattle (whether proposition bets or overall score) would pay out the most. So when the Seahawks scored a safety on the Broncos’ first offensive play (50 to 1 odds – $1 wins $50), the casino sports books were a bit worried.
But apparently Bronco fans wagered the most money. Denver’s loss gave Nevada casinos a profit of $19.7 million, which was millions more than they earned from the past three Super Bowls combined.
I don’t gamble, so I don’t know a lot about betting odds. (Gambling is a dangerous habit to acquire when the casino is just blocks away.) But a lot of Super Bowl fans obviously don’t understand either. It’s obvious that if the team you pick to win actually loses, you lose too. But if you bet on the team that is favored to win, and they do win, you get back less than you wagered. It seems silly to waste your money, even for your favorite team.
If you must bet, better to find some proposition bets where you can support your team and maybe still win some money. You can wager on kick-off temperature, first interception, who is named MVP, even the halftime show. But remember, casinos are in business to make money; overall odds always favor the house.