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Super Bowl LI sets record in Nevada for total sportsbook bets

More money was bet on Super Bowl LI at Nevada sportsbooks than any other Super Bowl in history.

Nevada books won $10.93 million off of a record $138.48 million wagered on Super Bowl LI, the state's gaming control board announced Monday.

The $138.48 million wagered beats last year's record mark of $132.54 million. The books held 7.9 percent of the amount wagered and recorded their seventh-most lucrative Super Bowl ever, when the New England Patriots erased a 25-point deficit and beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history.

Since the Nevada Gaming Control Board began tracking wagering on the Super Bowl in 1991, the state's regulated sportsbooks have come out ahead in 25 of 27 games. The books are up a net $173.6 million on the Super Bowl during that span, capped by this year's big win.

The Patriots covered as 3-point favorites, and the game went over the consensus closing total of 57. The favorite and over is normally a bad combination for the books, but that was not the case this year.

The MGM sportsbook reported winning multiple seven figures on the game off of extremely balanced action. Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports, said he ended up with 51 percent of the straight-bet money on the Patriots and approximately 1,000 more bets on New England.

"We did well," Rood said. "It dug us out of the hole. We needed this to make up for such a really bad end to the season."

The action was so evenly distributed on the point spread, total and props that most sportsbooks entered the game in a no-lose situation.

"It would have been difficult not to win money on a day like this," Ed Salmons, Westgate SuperBook assistant manager, said.

The SuperBook saw a 20 percent increase in handle over last year's Super Bowl. The South Point casino also reported record handle at its shop. Sportsbook operator CG Technology, Station Casinos, Caesars, South Point and the Wynn also reported coming out ahead on the game. But the books did have a late sweat.

With the point spread never moving off New England -3 and the over/under total sitting at 59 for the majority of the days leading up to the Super Bowl, a 31-28 Patriots win would have resulted in a push on the side and the total. The game went into overtime tied 28-28. New England running back James White's winning touchdown in overtime helped the books avoid what would have been a lengthy process of refunding millions of dollars in bets.

"I'm sure that almost gave everyone a heart attack," Jason Simbal, vice president of risk for CG Technology, said.

While betting interest surged, television viewership declined. According ESPN senior writer Darren Rovell, 111.3 million viewers tuned in Sunday night, the lowest since 2014.

"Usually, television ratings equate to betting handle," said Station Casinos vice president of race and sports Art Manteris. "But that wasn't the case this year, as betting handle in Nevada continues to soar to all-time heights. The live, in-game betting, I think, played a role in that. In-game betting really came of age yesterday during the Super Bowl."

William Hill's sportsbook was the only Las Vegas shop that reported coming out on the short end. A flurry of in-game bets on the Patriots at odds of 10-1 or greater perpetrated a six-figure loss for William Hill. In the fourth quarter, New England was listed as high as a 16-1 under to win the game. William Hill took only a couple of small bets at that price.

There were some disappointed Falcons bettors, who were willing to lay a heavy price on what seemed like a guaranteed Atlanta win. One bettor at William Hill risked $3,000 on the Falcons at -2,000 odds. The bet would have paid $150.