Super Bowl 50 was such a landmark sport event for that the brand did away with the usual Roman numerals. The American football annual mashup drew record global viewing audiences and record pregame activity in casinos, blowing the roof off with $132 million total wagered on who would beat who’ in the Denver Broncos Carolina Panthers matchup. The Broncos took it at 24-10.
Despite preseason odds on the Broncos, odds the day of the game favored the Panthers by 4.5 points, down from an earlier favored 6-point lead. These close odds notwithstanding, casinos reported overwhelmingly that bets coming in favored the Panthers.
The Panthers dominated their season. The team entered the playoffs with a 15-game win season, a standout season of all American football teams in the last few years. In the playoffs they walked all over the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals. Storming into the Super Bowl game in San Francisco, the Panthers looked unstoppable.
Casinos took notice despite Denver having the nod in preseason. The two sports teams had a record. In past seasons of sport games, the two tangled four times, with Denver crushing the numbers at 3-1. The last matchup in 2012 was a blowout of the sort that has the losing team leave with their tails between their legs with the 36-14 loss.
How good are predictions of the casinos and online odds makers on American football? In 33 of last 49 times 67% of time Las Vegas called the winner. That means if you call it right in the 33% of years they get it wrong, you’d have a chance at the big payoff.
What the real story out of the casinos for the big game number 50 was the prop bets. These bets differ from casino to casino and place wagers on specific outcomes or actions of specific players in each game. From the single line in 1986 on whether Refrigerator Perry would score a touchdown that Super Bowl game, these bets numbered 400 in 2016. You could wager on everything from the exact number of points scored by a team to which player would make the first touchdown. There were even wagers on how long it would take Lady Gaga to sing the national anthem, and whether Peyton Manning would announce retirement before the game.