Actually, it was Vegas that lost its shirt on Super Bowl wagering

Brett Michael Dykes

On Friday we told you about how gambling sportsbooks are usually the biggest winners on Super Bowl Sunday. Well, for once at least, it looks as though the house didn't win.

As reported by Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the betting public went heavy for the Green Bay Packers and for the rival teams to score more than 45 1/2 combined points—the "over" in gambling parlance—both of which happened. Typically, oddsmakers structure betting lines to encourage an even number of bets to be placed on both sides, but it appears as though they decided to gamble a bit themselves this year—and came up losers.

"It was a rough day," MGM's Jay Rood told the paper. "It was the worst Super Bowl that I've been a part of. That's an accurate statement."

And, of course, the day wasn't without controversy. One of the more popular Super Bowl "proposition bets"—i.e., wagers on Super Bowl events extraneous to the game proper—was whether Christina Aguilera's rendition of the national anthem would be under or over a minute and 54 seconds. Opposing sportsbooks clocked it at different times, and the whole thing became a bitter source of contention because Aguilera left out some lines of the song. At least one online sportsbook decided to shun the Great Aguilera Controversy altogether, though: It paid out winnings to anyone who made the bet.

(Photo: Lennox McLendon/AP)