Las Vegas vs. The Super Bowl
As we countdown the days until Super Bowl 54, websites and podcasts of all kinds are preparing betting and fantasy content in anticipation of the big game. This year’s battle between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs looks to be one of the more high scoring matchups in years past. The latest Super Bowl Odds have the Chiefs favorited by 1.5 points with the over/under for the game set at 54. While sports fans are researching where they should place their wagers, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how the sportsbooks and bookies have done over the past few Super Bowls in terms of earnings.
The following information is a breakdown of how Las Vegas sportsbooks did in the last few Super Bowls
- 2019: Patriots 13, Rams 3; $145.9 million wagered; $10.8 million profit (7.4% hold percentage)
- 2018: Eagles 41, Patriots 33; $158.6 million wagered; $1.17 million profit (0.7% hold percentage)
- 2017: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 (OT); $138.5 million wagered; $10.9 million profit (7.9% hold percentage)
- 2016: Broncos 24, Panthers 10; $132.5 million wagered; $13.3 million profit (10.1% hold percentage)
- 2015: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24; $115.9 million wagered; $3.3 million profit (2.8% hold percentage)
- 2014: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8; $119.4 million wagered; $19.7 million profit (16.5% hold percentage)
- 2013: Ravens 34, 49ers 31; $98.9 million wagered; $7.2 million profit (7.3% hold percentage)
My Thoughts & Takeaways
It’s interesting to see how each year can vary. I always assumed that the Sportsbooks in Las Vegas did well no matter the results of the game, but as it turns out, there are a few years where the profits are at a minimum. Some would say the Eagles upset from Super Bowl 52 stands as the obvious outlier, as Nick Foles, the backup QB for the Philadelphia Eagles not supposed to overthrow the Super Bowl regulars, the New England Patriots. The Eagles were 6 point underdogs that year, but there was a lot of smart money on the Birds leading up to the game. In hindsight, the line should have been closer to 3 points in favor of the Patriots if Vegas really wanted to get more from both sides.
I also find it interesting that the Seahawks win in 2014 was such a big moneymaker for Las Vegas sportsbooks. I remember the public being very heavily into Seattle winning that game. That was the peak of the Legion of Doom days in Seattle. Now looking back, the thought of Russell Wilson and a great defense seems unstoppable. Nowadays Wilson has to put the team on his back if they want to win games.
Other Fun Facts
The sportsbooks in 28 years have only had two losses. They are:
- 2008: Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 ($92.1 million wagered; $2.6 million loss (-2.8% hold percentage)
- 1995: 49ers blew out the Chargers 49-26 ($69.6 million wagered; $396,674 loss (-0.6 hold percentage).