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Books Love Peyton Manning Super Bowls

Manning Broncos Super Bowl

There are few things sports books love seeing more in a Super Bowl than Peyton Manning pulling his helmet over his ears. The 39-year-old Broncos QB not only played in the most bet-on Super Bowl of all-time, but he’s also played in three of the four Super Bowls with the best winning percentages for the House over the past 10 years.

Super Bowl XVLIII in 2014 was the most wagered on NFL championship game ever when bettors risked $119.4 million at Nevada sports books and the House earned a decade-high hold of 16.5 percent according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Manning’s Broncos took the majority of the wagers as 2.5-point favorites and Silver State books kept almost $20 million collectively as the Seattle Seahawks thumped Denver 43-8.

Books made almost $13 million on a hold of 13.9 percent in 2007 when Manning’s Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 as 7-point favorites in the second-best hold result of the last 10 years. The public couldn’t resist the seven points Chicago was getting that year, especially in the first rain soaked Super Bowl.

Nevada books also made $6.9 million in 2010 when Manning returned with the Colts and fell to the New Orleans Saints, 31-17, in what was the fourth-best Super Bowl for the books in the last 10 years. The Colts were laying five points in that contest in what turned out to be the second-biggest upset of the last decade in the Super Bowl.

The difference between Manning’s last three Super Bowls and this year is that his team enters as the underdog for the first time. As is often the case for this game, the public money is coming in on the favorite and the Carolina Panthers sit at -5 or -5.5 at most Las Vegas books as of Thursday (Jan. 28). A few offshore books have even moved Carolina to -6 (5Dimes, Bovada, MyBookie).

So a strategy that’s been paying off handsomely at a perfect 3-0 in Peyton Manning Bowls is simply to fade the majority money, which often means public money rather than sharp action in the Super Bowl.

It’s not a bad strategy in general to fade the money in the Super Bowl – the books are 9-1 over the last 10 Super Bowls against the betting public. The only win for bettors came in 2008 when the New York Giants upset the New England Patriots 17-14 and the public claimed 2.8 percent ($2.6 million) of the overall handle in Nevada.

That year it took a perfect storm for bettors to come out on top. The Pats were laying the most points of any Super Bowl in the last 14 years and popular New York money was going to flow in on the Giants regardless of where the spread ended up. The Giants not only covered the spread but the generous moneyline odds ensured there was no way the books could claw their way into the black.

The American Gaming Association says this year promises to be another heavily bet Super Bowl when they estimate Americans will wager $4.2 billion on SB50 in Nevada and beyond. If we assume a hold of five percent – roughly the number won by Nevada sportsbooks from 1984 to 2014 - that means the House will collectively take somewhere around $210 million on February 7.

The good news for bettors – and bad news for the books – is it sounds like Super Bowl 50 could be Manning’s last.

Nevada Super Bowl Hold %, Last 10 Years
YearWagersWin(Loss)Win %Game Results
2015$115,986,086$3,261,0662.8%New England 28, Seattle 24
2014$119,400,822$19,673,96016.5%Seattle 43, Denver 8
2013$98,936,798$7,206,4607.3%Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31
2012$93,899,840$5,064,4705.4N.Y. Giants 21, New England 17
2011$87,491,098$724,1760.8%Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25
2010$82,726,367$6,857,1018.3%New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17
2009$81,514,748$6,678,0448.2%Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23
2008$92,055,833$(2,573,103)-2.8%N.Y. Giants 17, New England 14
2007$93,067,358$12,930,17513.9%Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17
2006$94,534,372$8,828,4319.3%Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10

Numbers courtesy of Nevada Gaming Control Board.