Nevada bookmakers bested bettors on the Super Bowl once again.
The state's sportsbooks won a net $5.5 million of the $153.2 million that was bet on Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. The amount wagered was down approximately 14.8% from last year's Super Bowl, which attracted a record $179.2 million in bets. The $5.5 million win by sportsbooks also was down from last year's game.
Nevada sportsbooks have come out ahead in 14 consecutive Super Bowls and have suffered net losses on the NFL title game only twice since the state's gaming control began tracking the action in 1991. The books lost $2.6 million on the New York Giants' upset of the New England Patriots in 2008, and approximately $397,000 on the San Francisco 49ers' rout of the San Diego Chargers in 1995.
Bookmakers said the number of bets on this year's Super Bowl was comparable to last season, but there were fewer of the massive wagers that often appear on the big game. Last year, seven Super Bowl bets of $1 million or greater were reported by sportsbooks. This year, there were only five $1 million bets reported, the largest a $2.2 million wager on the Eagles -1.5 placed in New York with Caesars Sportsbook.
GeoComply, a technology provider for online sportsbooks, said it tracked 100 million geolocation checks between bettors and sportsbooks on Saturday and Sunday, a 25% increase from last year during Super Bowl weekend. There were 100,000 geolocation checks in and around State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which was the first Super Bowl venue to have a retail sportsbook on the premises, the company said.
The Chiefs, who closed as small underdogs, rallied back from a 10-point halftime deficit behind quarterback Patrick Mahomes and used a late field goal to finish off the Eagles in a 38-35 win. The majority of the betting public backed Philadelphia, leading to what was described by bookmakers around the nation as a "moderate" win.
"We did well on the game," SuperBook executive director John Murray said. "Props were bad [for the house], but I would've expected worse considering the 73 points scored."
Bettors did well on the game flying over the total of 51.5 points and on many of the player prop bets offered by sportsbooks. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was heavily backed by bettors to score a touchdown. More money was bet on Kelce than any other player at multiple sportsbooks.
"Mahomes was a really big winner for the public on the MVP market and to go over his passing touchdown total [2.5]," said Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Caesars Sportsbook. "Kelce going over on the receiving yards and scoring a touchdown was also big for the public."
Mucklow added that the coin flip landing tails produced a "huge win" for the betting public, despite a $51,000 bet on heads. The three largest reported bets on the coin flip were all on heads.
"The public had tails all the way," Mucklow said. "The coin toss cost us double, because the public had Kansas City winning the coin toss as well. As they say, tails never fails."
Bettors at DraftKings capitalized on what's known as the "octopus prop," which asks whether a player will score a touchdown and the ensuing 2-point conversion at 14-1 odds. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts accomplished the feat in the second half.
"We had an excellent day overall," DraftKings sportsbook director Johnny Avello said. "The octopus prop got its tentacles around us."
In-game wagering also was popular during the Super Bowl. SimpleBet, which provides in-game odds on microevents, said $1 million was bet with its sportsbook partners on the result of the Chiefs' final drive, which ended in Harrison Butker's winning field goal with eight seconds remaining.
By Monday, bettors were already turning their attention to next year's Super Bowl. In the first 12 hours after Sunday's game at the sportsbook PointsBet, the Chicago Bears had attracted the most bets to win next year's Super Bowl, including a pair of $1,000 wagers at 80-1. Super Bowl LVIII will be held Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas.