February 17th, 2016
An average 111.9 million viewers tuned in for Super Bowl 50 on Sunday 7th February, making it the third-largest audience in US TV history. And these numbers don't even include the millions of international fans who watched on as the Denver Broncos won 24-10 against the Carolina Panthers.
It's also since emerged that Super Bowl 50 marked a record in the US state of Nevada for the highest Super Bowl wagering sum of all time. Figures released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) have revealed that $132.5 million (£91.4 million) was wagered on the game. This was a 12.4% increase on the $115.98 million (£80 million) of last year, when Nevada bookmakers were surprised to see that wagering figures had dropped from 2014's $119.4 million.
It's no surprise seeing these record-breaking numbers coming out of only 1 of the 50 US states, that being Nevada, as it is one of the few places sports betting is legal in the United States and home to the most premier gambling city in the world, Las Vegas.
The Carolina Panthers had been widely regarded as the favourites for Super Bowl 50. Quarterback Cam Newton entered the game fresh from being voted the Most Valuable Player of the NFL, the most coveted of all individual player awards. Newton secured the crown having thrown and rushed for a combined 45 touchdowns in 2015. Newton's spotless track record was thought to be enough of a threat to the defence, but events took an unexpected turn.
In the regular season, the Broncos led the league by giving up the fewest yards per game. Indeed, their defence excelled consistently throughout the season, which helped to support a struggling offence that was only able to produce 22.2 points per game before the playoffs.
As it turned out, the Broncos were able to continue depending on their strong defence. After beating the Pittsburgh Steelers and the reigning champions in the Patriots, the Broncos were then able to prove that they had a defence capable of stopping even Newton. On the night, the NFL's Most Valuable Player was sacked seven times and turned the ball over three times.
Newton’s subpar performance will have been a surprise for those fans who, perhaps finding themselves drawn into the hype, had chosen to back the Panthers based on his excellence up until that point.
This was the eighth straight Super Bowl win for Nevada bookmakers. The NGCB has revealed that Nevada’s bookies won by $13.31 million, making it their third-largest Super Bowl win over bettors. Nevada bookies have only actually lost two Super Bowls since the NGCB started tracking figures back in 1991. Today, the bookies hold a winning margin of $157.7 million.
Fans will need to raise their game if they are to beat the bookies in Super Bowl 51, but it won't be easy. Picking the Broncos outright again isn't a sure thing with quarterback Peyton Manning possibly set for retirement, and Newton under pressure to make a comeback.
The 2016 NFL season, which kicks of on 8th September 2016, is likely to be filled with many more dramatic moments. NFL fans can visit Coral Sports today for all the latest odds on Super Bowl 51.