|According to the reports from AP, upwards of $71.5 million was wagered in Nevada’s 151 sports books on last Sunday’s Super Bowl, but the bookies saw little of it. Sports book operators held only 3.3% of the handle, the lowest percentage hold since 1998.|
'Unaudited figures show a sports book win of $2,331,607 was recorded on wagers totaling $71,513,304,' state Gaming Control Board chairman Dennis Neilander said Tuesday.
Despite a larger handle than last year, the bettors won out as the underdogs New England Patriots triumphed 20-17 over the St. Louis Rams. Last year, sports books held $11 million of the $67.6 million wagered.
The Patriots’ victory took odds makers by surprise. Although the Rams were the early favorite, many gamblers favored the Patriots as 14-point underdogs over the weekend when most of the Super Bowl money is bet.
'Any time the underdog wins the game straight up, more players did well than not,' said Bally's-Paris Las Vegas Race and Sports Book director John Avello, adding that the money line opened up paying 5-1 on the Patriots.
Industry experts believe sports books' hold on the Super Bowl has been declining due to the increased amount of betting channels. namely in 'offshore' sports books, which allow bettors to place their wagers over the phone or on the Internet.