It wasn’t a glorious day for many Las Vegas bookmakers last night after the Green Bay Packers took down the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV. But for bettors, particularly those backing Green Bay, it was a win-win situation.
Considering the Packers and the Steelers were sporting the top two defenses in the league, the Total of the game was set accordingly by bookmakers. Instead, the game turned into a bit of a shootout in the second half and the total shot well over the mark set by many bookmakers in Vegas at 45.5. Factor in that some Green Bay fans were able to place halftime bets on the Steelers favored at 2.5, and the fact that the Packers covered the spread and many Vegas sportsbooks found themselves taken to the cleaners by proud Green Bay Packers fans and savvy bettors. How bad did it get? Well MGM Resorts Race and Sportsbook director Jay Rood commented was quoted in LA Times, saying,
“The combination of the ‘over’ and the Packers’ victory was lethal,” Rood said. “It’s the worst Super Bowl I’ve seen since being here in 1993. There was no getting around it. Not a great scenario.”
Many of us probably know someone who came up a big winner betting on the Packers and Super Bowl XLV. It’s rumored that one of the most feared sports bettors, Billy Walters cashed in on a lucrative bet on the Packers in a Las Vegas Sportsbook.
It’s not too surprising that Vegas sportsbooks got taken to the woodshed in Super Bowl XLV. But it’s not the case across the board. Some of the more conservatively managed online operations actually did OK in this game. In comparison to Las Vegas Sportsbooks, the international online companies are well known for being much better bookmakers than the big casinos in Vegas and are less susceptible to being cleaned out when things go bad.
If you’re like me, you’re kicking yourself over and over again for not taking the Packers. Again, if you’re also like me, then you want to slit your wrists for giving up on the Steelers at the half and NOT taking them as favorites in the second half.
I know, any football fan would have expected the Steelers to storm back in the second half after the dismal first half. So what was I thinking? Truth is, I wasn’t thinking. I was watching the Lingerie Bowl instead of hedging my bets.