From: Southern Ontario, Canada
Super Bowl 50 result not the 'best case scenario' for sportsbooks
From sportsbook to sportsbook to sportsbook, the lament was similar
after Super Bowl 50 wrapped up on Sunday night in Santa Clara, Calif.
Denver moneyline, Denver and under.
That’s what most bookmakers least wanted, but what they ended up getting
as the Broncos – who closed as 4.5-point underdogs – completely shut
down the Carolina Panthers in a 24-10 outright victory.
“The result was probably like a wash, because there was nothing but
Denver money in the last two hours this afternoon,” South Point
oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro told Covers. “Denver and under, Denver and
under, Denver and under, and Denver moneyline. It was a long day. We
surely didn’t win much. With everything in, if we win a ham sandwich,
that’ll probably be about it.”
Tony Miller, race and sports director for the Golden Nugget, concurred with Vaccaro for the most part.
“It was so-so. It could’ve been a lot better with the Panthers winning
by 1, 2, 3 or 4,” Miller said. “Denver and under kind of crushed us a
little bit, but other than that, it was a pretty decent day. There’s
nothing out there that really stings us. It was a pretty good win
overall, but the moneyline just hurt us in the end.
“And the MVP was no help, either,” Miller added of the honor that
Broncos linebacker Von Miller clearly earned. “We opened that at 25-1,
and we took good money at 20-1. We took that one in the shorts.”
Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports for MGM-Mirage, also found
the MVP proposition a big defeat. This was the first year books could
take bets on the MVP prop, and having it go to a defensive player at
long odds was a tough pill to swallow.
“We got dinged up on the MVP prop,” Rood said. “We finally get the
opportunity to book that, and of course, the best defensive player on
the field wins it. We opened Miller 60-1 and closed 15-1. He by far had
the most tickets of anyone.”
The game as a whole went better than that for MGM-Mirage, but Rood still felt a little shortchanged.
“It’s not the best-case scenario. We didn’t get hurt, we just didn’t
capitalize on the opportunities,” said Rood, noting what looked like a
very possible final score would’ve been huge for his shops. “If we get
Carolina 17-16, it’s a totally different scenario.”
Over at the Westgate Superbook, vice president of race and sports Jay
Kornegay was among the few who didn’t have a problem with Denver/under.
“It was one of our better scenarios, and I’ve got no complaints,”
Kornegay said. “We had some Broncos and under money, but one of our
best-case scenarios was Denver winning and going under. So it was a very
favorable result for us.”
It was also a pretty good day at William Hill books across Nevada. Nick
Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill U.S., was drained but
pleased when the final gun sounded on Super Bowl 50.
“I’m tired and worn out. It’s been a long week,” Bogdanovich said. “The
best scenario was a Carolina win and not cover, but this is the
second-best scenario for us. We’ll be more than a little ahead. It was a
big-bet game. The handle was through the roof. Congratulations to the
people out there. Betting is vibrant, to say the least.”
That said, William Hill – like many shops – took some hits on the props.
Bogdanovich particularly noted the public got over on his books with a
field goal as the game’s first score, total number of field goals
(over), interceptions (over), sacks (over), and the biggest setback –
that late 2-point conversion for Denver.
“That was a monster for bettors, because that was a big number,”
Bogdanovich said. “The public won their share of props, I can tell you
At the Nugget, despite the MVP payout, Miller said a couple props did
his shop right: neither quarterback passing for 300 yards, and no
running back rushing for 100 yards.
“Those two helped us a lot,” Miller said.
Kornegay said the Superbook had the MVP (25-1) and a few other props go sideways, but generally speaking, that wasn’t the case.
“It was a small sample compared to how many went our way,” he said. “We
definitely had a positive result on propositions, with just a few
As far as handle goes, the ticket counters were slammed at books all
around town, from sun-up right until kickoff. The state record came from
the Super Bowl two years ago, between Denver and Seattle, reaching
$119.4 million, and last year’s handle was a healthy $116 million. This
year might be an all-timer.
“I would say yes,” Bogdanovich said. “Our handle for sure was definitely the most we’ve ever done.”
Added Miller: “That was probably the busiest Super Bowl I’ve ever done,
and the hardest. We broke all records in handle. So if the total handle
doesn’t break the state record, I’d be very surprised. If my joint was
any indication, it was just massive.”
Vaccaro told a similar tale from the South Point, pointing out once
again that if you can’t be at the game, Las Vegas is the place everybody
wants to be on Super Bowl Sunday.
“The handle was through the roof,” Vaccaro said. “It was a banner day just for what the Super Bowl does for the city.”
Colin Kelly is a Las Vegas-based contributor.
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