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Super Bowl Wagers Total $93.9 Million at Las Vegas Sports Books

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A total of $93.9 million was wagered on the New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory at Nevada’s 184 sports books, the second most in history.

The Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17 in the National Football League’s championship game two days ago, scoring the winning touchdown with 57 seconds left at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Giants were three-point underdogs.

Nevada’s sports books, most of which are located in Las Vegas and Reno, won $5.06 million on Super Bowl wagers, according to figures released by the state’s Gaming Control Board. The sports books have made a profit on the Super Bowl in 20 of the past 22 years.

This year’s Super Bowl handle in Nevada increased for the third straight year and fell just short of the record $94.5 million bet in 2006, when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10.

It surpassed the $87.5 million total for the Green Bay Packers’ 31-25 win against Pittsburgh last year and the $92.1 million bet on the 2008 Super Bowl, when the Giants upset the Patriots 17-14 as 12-point underdogs to end New England’s pursuit of a perfect season.

The Giants’ previous win against the Patriots is the last time Nevada’s sports books have lost money on the Super Bowl.

While approximately 52 percent of bets were on the Giants, Nevada’s sports books were big winners on the over/under and on proposition bets, said RJ Bell, the founder of Las Vegas-based handicapping information website Pregame.com.

Projected Point Total

The majority of wagers were on the game surpassing the projected point total of 53, as the Patriots and Giants had averaged a combined 56.7 points during the regular season. Sports books also take a commission on all bets, including the popular so-called prop bets, such as which quarterback would pass for more yards or whether a team would score in the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game.

“Props overall were a big winner for sports books, as they nearly always are due to their high commissions,” Bell said in an e-mail.

While Super Bowl betting topped $90 million for the fifth time in Nevada, it amounted to less than 1 percent of the worldwide wagering action on the game, said Bell. He estimated that more than $10 billion overall was bet on the Giants’ win.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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