Updated February 4, 2019 - 12:33 am
The lowest-scoring game in Super Bowl history might produce the highest betting handle ever at Nevada sportsbooks.
A late flurry of money poured in on the Rams and Patriots before Super Bowl LIII, including at least three $1 million-plus wagers, giving bookmakers reason to believe the total amount wagered in the state could eclipse last year’s record of $158.6 million.
“The handle is going to be up there,” MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jay Rood said Sunday night after New England’s 13-3 win over Los Angeles.
“It will probably be a 10 percent increase. If every (other book) was pacing the same way as us, it should set a record.”
Caesars Entertainment and the Westgate sportsbooks also reported higher handles than last year.
“The mobile app is a difference maker and in-play wagering adds so much,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “There’s a real opportunity that it could be a record.”
MGM, Caesars Entertainment, CG Technology, the Westgate and Station Casinos all reported small wins on the game despite the Patriots covering as popular 2½-point favorites.
The books came out on top thanks largely to the game staying under the closing total of 56.
“The under was the key and will probably keep the industry a moderate winner,” Esposito said. MGM took a $2 million money-line wager on the Rams and a $1 million-plus straight bet on the Patriots (-2½). William Hill sportsbook took a $1.5 million money-line wager on L.A.
Books across the city were packed with fans and bettors who didn’t get many chances to cheer in a game that featured only one touchdown — Sony Michel’s tiebreaking 2-yard run in the fourth quarter.
“It was not a super Super Bowl,” Rood said. “Everyone was kind of sitting there waiting for something to happen.”