Las Vegas oddsmakers are optimistic this year's Super Bowl on Feb. 3 in New Orleans could surpass the all-time record for most action, set at $94.5 million for the 2006 game.
"It's a monster matchup, brother versus brother," William Hill oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro told the Huffington Post. "I believe it will top last year's Super Bowl handle and could go higher."
You'll hear so much about head coaches Jim and John Harbaugh over the next two weeks you might forget it's the players who actually play the game. That storyline could help draw action from some of the most novice bettors who wouldn't even normally wager on the Super Bowl.
Pete Korner from Nevada oddsmaking service The Sports Club also told Covers this week he expects a flood of money to come into Nevada sportsbooks because of the proximity of San Francisco. That's why he set the Niners at -5 over the Baltimore Ravens, though most books opened San Francisco at -4.5.
Most of the early money is coming in on the Ravens so far and most books have dropped their lines a half-point from their opening numbers. But Korner feels San Francisco money that comes in later could push this spread as high as -6 before the line stops moving.
One other reason we could see record Super Bowl action is the improved economy. The handle for the four games from 2005 to 2008 was over $90 million each year and then the numbers took a nose dive in 2009 after the crash of 2008. The numbers have increased the past two years, coinciding with some economic growth across North America.
For those who have been to Las Vegas recently, it's obvious the city is getting its groove back compared to where it was in 2009 and 2010. The Strip has returned to life with the heavy foot traffic we were more accustomed to seeing in the mid-2000s with busting hotels and restaurants everywhere you go.
Below is a look at the numbers going back to 2001 in terms of total action and hold (win percentage from the books) via the Gaming Control Board.
Baltimore's only Super Bowl appearance was in 2001, which was one of the most profitable Super Bowls for sportsbooks over the past 12 seasons. The Ravens were favored by three points in their 34-7 win over the Giants.
Nevada saw $93.9 million on last year's Super Bowl and earned a healthy take of over $5 million.
SPORTSBOOK PERFOMANCE FOR THE PAST 12 SUPER BOWLS