Betting on the Super Bowl is always big business for sportsbooks, with Nevada casinos serving as a benchmark for sportsbooks results overall since the state's 184 sportsbooks report their results each year as far as the action and results of the wagers they take in.
Nevada sportsbooks took in a total of $93.9 million in bets, which was the second highest in the history of Super Bowls with only the $94.5 million bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers - Seattle Seahawks matchup in 2006 surpassing it.
52% of people betting picked the underdog Giants to beat the New England Patriots but Nevada sportsbooks still managed to rake in just over $5 million in profits. Much of that profit came from a low-scoring game that saw gamblers betting on the over of 53 points as far as combined scoring, with a relatively low-scoring affair producing big profits for the sportsbooks with heavy betting on the over.
The growing popularity of prop bets and in-game betting options also added to the profits of the sportsbooks, as these bets charge a higher commission and can add up to big profits when bet in volume.
Nevada sportsbooks have profited from betting on the Super Bowl in 20 of the last 22 years, with one of the more notable exceptions the previous meeting of the Patriots and the Giants in the Super Bowl, when the big underdog Giants derailed the Patriot's Super Bowl dreams and sent sportsbooks to their worst loss on the Super Bowl ever.
Analysts predicted that over $10 billion would be wagered on this year's Super Bowl, with much of that action handled by online sportsbooks. Online betting is becoming increasingly popular around the world, especially as a global recession has forced many bettors to forego trips to Vegas or other legal betting areas and place their bets online instead.