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Nevada sports books won $30.2 million in the month of January, a remarkable 41% increase over January 2011 and the biggest January total since 2006. Sports books handled approximately $365M in horse and sports wagers in January

To the surprise of no one, football was the biggest money maker for Nevada books in January. Combined, Nevada sports books handled $204M in football wagers. In bad news for bettors, books enjoyed a hefty win rate of 7.66% which allowed them to net $15.6M on football action.  This was nearly 3 times the profit sports books made in January 2011 when they won just $5.59M. The 7.66% win rate was more than double last year’s January football win rate which was just 3.16%. Remember, the win rate (also referred to as the handle rate) is how much books netted on all the betting action.

What drove the increased win rate this January? Well, the fact that underdogs performed very well in the NFL playoffs (Broncos over Steelers, 49ers over Saints, Giants over Packers, Giants over 49ers) surely helped books as public money was backing the favorites in almost every playoff game.

Sports books also had a winning basketball month in January. Across NBA and college hoops action, Nevada books handled $124M in basketball bets and won $11.4M on that action for a 9.24% win rate.

But in a shocker, books lost money on parlays in the month of January. Historically, parlays provide books with the largest win rate of any bet type, hovering around 30% over the past decade. But in January, sports books lost a combined $280K on $5.1M in parlay bets. Does that mean you should start betting parlays since books lost money on them in January? Of course not, don’t be insane.




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