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Sportsbooks make $20M profit from Super Bowl

Nevada sportsbooks have reported an estimated profit of $19.7 million on almost $120 million of gambling wagers on last night's Super Bowl XLVIII. Both numbers are records.

Seahawks fans celebrate their team's victory in the Super Bowl, while bettors who liked the Seahawks celebrate with freshly won cash.
Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images

Sportsbooks made lots of money on traditional lines and the over-under. Heavy action on the Denver tilted the line to make the Broncos a 2.5 point favorite, but the Seahawks routed Denver 43-8. A late Seattle touchdown also made the point total go over the over-under of 47.5 points, further costing bettors.

Individuals playing prop bets got fairly lucky, though. For the third straight year, a safety was tallied, and anyone betting that a safety would occur got paid out at 8-to-1 odds. Furthermore, anyone betting that a safety would be the first score of the game (as it was, on a muffed snap on Denver's first play from scrimmage) got paid at a whopping 60-to-1 return.

Denver did make bettors happy in one way, at least, by converting a two-point conversion late in the third quarter. Indivuduals betting on that event got paid out at 5-to-1 on their money.

Seattle's defense played its part for prop bets. With a touchdown returned for an interception by Seattle's Malcolm Smith, bettors received a 5-1 payout. By allowing only one touchdown pass, bettors were able to collect a 7:2 payout. By forcing two Manning picks, bettors collected another 7:2 payout. In short, if you liked Seattle and put your money where your mouth is, you made a big profit.

Over 111 million people watched the Super Bowl, making it the most-watched event in television history.

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