Sunday’s Super Bowl LII didn’t just set offensive records. Gamblers watching the game helped set a record by wagering a record $158.58 million on Super Bowl LII at Nevada sportsbooks.
The books have come out ahead in 26 of the last 28 Super Bowls, however, the margin in 2018 was slimmer than ever. Reportedly, the books only pulled a $1.1 million windfall from the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 win over the New England Patriots, which would be the smallest margin since the Nevada Gaming Control began tracking the action. To put it in perspective, sportsbooks won a total of $248.7 million after the Patriots mounted a furious comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in 2017.
The Patriots opened as high as 6-point favorites, however, after early money came in on the Eagles, the line was lowered to -4. However, several notable sportsbooks reported considerable losses.
William Hill, which took four of the $1 million bets, reported suffering a “multimillion-dollar” loss on the game. Sportsbooks Boyd Gaming, CG Technology, Station Casinos and the Wynn also suffered losses.
“If I had to do it again, I would book it exactly the same way,” said Johnny Avello, executive director of Wynn race and sports operations and a 30-plus-year Las Vegas bookmaker, who acknowledged that Sunday’s game was the worst Super Bowl of his career.
The Eagles, who popularized authentic dog masks in the lead-up to the Super Bowl, are an appropriate team to emerge on top after a rough postseason for Nevada. According to ESPN Stats & Information, ‘dogs were 10-1 against the spread during the playoffs, which is the best record for underdogs against the spread for underdogs in a postseason since the Super Bowl era began.
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