Nevada sportsbooks record lowest Super Bowl win in 10 years

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy holds the Vince Lombardi trophy high and celebrates winning Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers (L) and president/CEO Mark Murphy applaud. The Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win. UPI/Brian Kersey

The Nielsen Co. said on Monday that an estimated 111 million people watched the Packers beat the Steelers on Sunday night. But while the FOX network and advertisers cashed in, the Nevada sportsbooks did not.

According to (via the Nevada Gaming Control Broad), Nevada sportsbooks won “just” $724,176 on Super Bowl wagers this year. In comparison, the sportsbooks raked in over $6 million in each of the last two Super Bowls.

At kickoff, the Packers were 3-point favorites over the Steelers, while the over/under total was set anywhere from 44.5 to 46 points. A total of $87,491,098 was wagered on the Super Bowl, which was the most since 2008.

While the sportsbooks in Nevada still recorded a profit, it was the lowest win in the past 10 years. In fact, MGM Mirage sportsbook manager Jay Rood told Covers that the Packers’ win was the worst Super Bowl loss he’d seen in 25 years. That’s surprising considering the Giants’ win over the Patriots in 2008 cost the books over $2 million, which was their largest loss ever.

Of course, no one will be shedding a tear for the books any time soon. Since 2002, Nevada sportsbooks are up approximately $70 million on the Super Bowl. Most of us won’t ever see $1 million, so I certainly won’t lose sleep tonight thinking about their “losses.”

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Final Thoughts: Anthony & John wrap-up Super Bowl XLV

Super Bowl MVP and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers celebrates alongside teammate Clay Matthews after winning Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. The Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win. UPI/Brian Kersey

On most “morning afters,” Anthony and I will discuss the big game over Skype as we go about our work day. Since this is the Super Bowl, we thought we’d have a quick conversation in our usual barstool debate format. Super Bowl XLV was extra special for me, a die-hard Packer fan, while Anthony was rooting for the Packers for…ahem…other reasons.

JP: On Friday I wrote a piece entitled “As a Packer fan, here’s what I’m worried about…” and listed (1) Mike McCarthy’s conservative playcalling, (2) not being able to stop Rashard Mendenhall, (3) the Packers not playing a clean game, (4) that the O-line wouldn’t be able to protect Aaron Rodgers, (5) that the Green Bay receivers wouldn’t be able to hold onto the ball and (6) that the Packers wouldn’t be able to bring down Big Ben as the six biggest things I was worried about heading into the game. Whew, that was a long sentence. Anyway, of those concerns, the biggest issue was the 4-6 drops by the Green Bay receivers, and even they made enough plays to make up for it. Jordy Nelson came back after a drop with a big first down catch and run in the second half, while James Jones made a couple of nice grabs on the Packers’ two fourth quarter scoring drives to make up for his awful drop in the third quarter. Mendenhall was running well (4.5 ypc), but he only got 14 carries when he should have had 20 – and his fumble (and subsequent Rodgers-to-Jennings TD) in the fourth quarter completely changed the game. The O-line played well, McCarthy didn’t retreat into his turtle shell when the Packers had the lead, and GB got enough pressure on Big Ben to rattle him a little – Nick Collins’ interception return TD was obviously a huge play in the first half. The special teams dodged a bullet when they recovered Tramon Williams’ first quarter fumble and on the whole played a reasonably clean game. Well enough to win, anyway. You wrote in your wrap-up that you didn’t think it was a very well-played game. The Steelers made some serious mistakes, but I thought the Packers played a pretty good game.

AS: Outside of the drops I would agree with you, John. If it weren’t for the drops and a few passes that were off the mark in the third quarter, Aaron Rodgers played a near-perfect game. Some will say that the Steelers didn’t pressure him, but they did. He was just that good. Most of his passes were accurate and he did a great job of standing in the pocket and setting his feet. On the other side, there were a handful of passes that Big Ben short-armed in the first half because he didn’t set his feet properly. There was a huge difference in the play of the two quarterbacks and that reflected in the final score. Big Ben put together a nice second quarter when Dom Capers was scrambling to adjust to the injuries of Charles Woodson and Sam Shields, but Roethlisberger came up short in the end. Think about it: the Packers were without two of their top three corners for nearly two and a half quarters and Big Ben produced a 77.4 QB Rating. That’s weak. As a Packer fan how nervous were you when Woodson went down? I thought they might have been it for Green Bay.

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Aaron Rodgers is the heavyweight champion of the world

In case you missed it, during the awards ceremony after the game, Clay Matthews brought a heavyweight championship wrestling belt up to Aaron Rodgers on the podium. Rodgers was a big wrestling fan growing up and when he runs for a TD he always goes to his waist and pretends that he has a championship belt on.

Here’s a pic:

As a Packer fan, here’s what I’m worried about…

Green Bay Packers fans celebrate after the NFC Championship game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on January 23, 2011. The Packers won 21-14. UPI/Brian Kersey

Pundits are great. They’re usually knowledgeable and objective. But no one knows a teams like its fans. True fans have watched all 19 games from start to finish and know their team’s ins and outs better than anyone. Informed fans are cautiously optimistic or appropriately pessimistic because they’ve seen their team at its best, and at its worst.

So with that in mind, here are a few things that this die-hard Packer fan is worried about…

1. That Mike McCarthy will play too conservatively with a lead.
We’ve all seen it. The Packers get up by 10 or 14 points in the second or third quarter and Mike McCarthy changes his game plan to try to kill the clock with his running game. Only the Packers can’t line up in the I-formation and run it up the middle with consistent success. I think the Steelers’ vaunted rush defense is actually a blessing in disguise for Green Bay because McCarthy knows he can’t run the ball down Pittsburgh’s throat. While most teams set up the pass with the run, Green Bay will need to set up the run with the pass. The Packers fare pretty well when they spread the defense out and run draws or inside handoffs out of the shotgun, and Brandon Jackson and James Starks could catch the Steelers off guard once or twice and break off a 15-yard run.

Sometimes McCarthy will take his shots downfield with a lead, but it’s usually a deep pass that has a low success rate. What’s wrong with a 20-yard post route that moves the chains and gets the team into field goal range?

2. That the Packers won’t be able to stop Rashard Mendenhall.
The Steelers offensive line is banged up, but Mendenhall scored twice against the Ravens and rattled off 121 rushing yards against a pretty good Jets defense. The Packers have been susceptible to the run all season, but have masked problems in that area with an outstanding pass defense, and teams haven’t been able (or haven’t been willing) to commit to a run-oriented attack.

The last time the Packers were in the Super Bowl, Terrell Davis rushed for 157 yards and three TDs as the underdog Broncos controlled the ball and the tempo. Packer fans do not want to see a repeat performance by an opposing running back.

3. That the Packers won’t play a clean game.
Penalties, turnovers and special teams. These are the areas of a football game that can swing the outcome even if a team dominates both offensively and defensively. And these are the areas where the Packers sometimes struggle. Whether it’s James Jones’ untimely fumble against the Bears in Week 3, the 17 combined penalties in losses against the Redskins and Falcons, or the many problems of the Green Bay special teams, Packer Nation will be holding its collective breath when the ball hits the turf, when the yellow flags fly or when the opponent is setting up a return. If the Packers can play a clean game in these areas, they have a great shot at winning the Super Bowl.

4. That the O-line won’t be able to protect Aaron Rodgers.
It was just last season that the Packers led the league in sacks allowed (51). This was a combination of two things: 1) the Packers’ O-line was getting beat at the point of attack and 2) Rodgers was holding the ball too long. Over the past year, the Packers have improved in these areas, but against a great pass-rushing team like the Steelers, protecting the QB is no gimme. Had the Falcons been able to wrap Rodgers up, that game in Atlanta could have gone very differently. The Steelers are going to throw all sorts of blitz packages to try to rattle Rodgers and his fairly young offensive line, and everyone needs to hold up to the pressure.

5. That the receivers can’t hold onto the ball.
Drops have been a problem this season, but the game is indoors so the weather won’t be a factor. Concentration is key. James Jones, Greg Jennings…even Donald Driver have all had key drops this season, and one nightmare scenario has Rodgers finding the open guy on a game-changing third down only to have the receiver drop the ball. It’s so deflating to see the ball bounce off of a receivers hands. The Packer wideouts need to come up big on Sunday if the Packers are going to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

6. That the Packers won’t be able to bring Big Ben down.
We’ve all seen Ben Roethlisberger extend plays with his incredible strength in the pocket and use that extra time to find an open man downfield. The Packer secondary is great, but DBs can only cover for so long, so it’s crucial that the Green Bay front seven find a way to bring Big Ben down when they get a free shot at him.

Goofing around at the Super Bowl [video]

Alana G of Yardbarker had a chance to ask some of the Steelers a few goofy questions at the Super Bowl’s media day. There was quite the debate about what a player should do when he has to pee during a game.

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