Nevada Oddsmakers Squeak Out Super Bowl Win to Continue Streak


Nevada oddsmakers came out on top of Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII, but by a slim margin.

Nevada oddsmakers Super Bowl betting
Taylor Swift embraces Travis Kelce after his Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. Nevada oddsmakers won $6.8 million on the big game. (Image: Getty)

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) reports that $185.6 million was wagered on the big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. The handle easily set a new record, eclipsing the previous all-time mark of $179.8 million set in 2022, when the Los Angeles Rams played the Cincinnati Bengals.

Despite the historic betting, the two-point underdog Chiefs winning in overtime against the Niners wasn’t what the books were rooting for.

The public — as well as some new bettors enticed to the NFL via Taylor Swift’s presence — backed the defending champs. It was a winning bet.

Nevada oddsmakers kept just $6.8 million of the $185.6 million. That translates to a win (hold) rate of only 3.7%. The NGCB said 182 sports betting locations took money on this year’s Super Bowl.

For comparison, sportsbooks reported a hold rate of nearly 6% on all sports for the 12 months ending December 2023.

Successful Debut

Las Vegas was shunned by the NFL before the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2018 overturned a federal ban that had limited single-game sports betting to Nevada. The league believed the state’s widespread sports gambling would jeopardize the integrity of its games and threaten players, team personnel, and officials.

The NFL embraced sports betting in the SCOTUS decision’s aftermath. Team owners approved Mark Davis’ wishes to relocate his Raiders franchise to Las Vegas, and a $1.9 billion stadium was built just west of the Strip.

The Raiders relocated to Southern Nevada ahead of the 2020 season. A year later, after seeing fans embrace Las Vegas and that the nationwide expansion of sports betting helped increase fan engagement and ratings, the NFL in 2021 awarded Allegiant Stadium the 2024 Super Bowl.

Of course, there were some concerns about hosting the big game in so-called Sin City. But aside from a few minor scandals, Super Bowl LVIII was a major success for the town.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board congratulates and thanks all the stakeholders involved for successfully delivering such a spectacular event from the State of Nevada,” said Kirk Hendrick, chairman of the NGCB.

Nevada oddsmakers are now 31-2 in Super Bowls since the NGCB began tracking betting outcomes on the big game in 1991.

The books’ best outcome over the past decade came during the 2020 Super Bowl, when the Chiefs beat the 49ers, 31-20. Oddsmakers kept 12.1% of the $154.7 million wagered for a win of more than $18.7 million.

Record Rating

Along with record betting in Nevada, Super Bowl LVIII led to record television ratings. Nielsen and Adobe Analytics said Monday that Sunday’s broadcast was the most-watched program in television history. The Sunday event averaged 123.4 million viewers, which shattered the previous high of 115.1 million viewers last year for the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles game.

CBS broadcast the Super Bowl, with Nickelodeon and Univision offering alternative broadcasts. The big game was streamed on Paramount+ and the NFL’s digital platforms.

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