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.
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.