The Super Bowl is by far the biggest bet sporting event of the year. Las Vegas takes in more than $100 million of legal sports bets on the Super Bowl annually and while they hate admitting how much money they make from their customers, the results are published and the average annual profit from Super Bowl betting has been over $10 million per year over the last few years.
That 10% margin is obscenely high since Las Vegas ‘only’ makes 5% VIG or commission on standard bets. How is it so high? The Super Bowl is the king of the prop (short for proposition bet), where casino margins (read how much they gouge from casual unsuspecting players) is way higher.
How much higher are margins on proposition bets? Let’s use an example from the largest Las Vegas prop centre, the Westgate, and a very popular prop bet: who will score the first touchdown?
|PLAYER TO SCORE FIRST|
Note: The ‘field’ includes all other players not listed. Not surprisingly, the favourite target, Rob Gronkowski, of the favourite passing team, the Patriots is the favourite to score first at 7-1 odds. This translates into a 1/(7+1) chance of scoring first, or 12.5%. If you added up everyone on the list, including the field it would total 89%, meaning the implied odds and payouts equal 89%. However, it should equal 100%. That difference, the 11%, is the higher commission that the casinos charge on prop bets which explains their high Super Bowl margins.
When betting the Super Bowl, avoid prop bets unless you see a clear edge as you are paying a lot more VIG. Also, do not feel the need to bet on a lot of props just because it is the Super Bowl or you will get juiced to death, a violation of betting commandment 5a.
Look at all the props and bets offered, shop amongst the casinos for the best odds, and make only the best value bets. Successful sports betting is like successful poker, the best players are tight and aggressive. They patiently wait for only the best value spots and then bet them.
I will be studying various bets this week and publish my best one(s) next week.