Americans love to bet on the Super Bowl. According to the American Gaming Association, an estimated $16 billion was wagered on Super Bowl LVII in 2023.
That number is hard to prove definitively, however, as the association said the estimate included a wide variety of bettors, including those who were planning on betting “online, with a bookie, with a casino sportsbook, in a pool or squares contest, or casually with family or friends.”
According to Forbes, at least $1 billion was anticipated to be bet via sportsbooks in states where sports betting is legal, while another big piece of the action was expected out of Las Vegas.
What Are The Most Popular Super Bowl Bets?
The coin toss prop bet is a quintessential and straightforward option among Super Bowl prop bets. It involves predicting the result of the coin toss before the Super Bowl starts, specifically whether the coin will show heads or tails. This bet is famously popular for its simplicity and balanced 50/50 odds, appealing to novice and experienced gamblers. It’s a pure chance bet, independent of any football knowledge, making it accessible to anyone watching the Super Bowl.
This bet’s inclusion among Super Bowl bets is because of its wide appeal and traditional role in the event. It marks the beginning of betting for the Super Bowl, setting the stage for the rest of the event. The allure of this bet lies in its simplicity and the immediate result, providing either instant satisfaction or disappointment. In contrast to other bets that require a deeper understanding of the game and patience for results, the coin toss outcome is revealed at the very start, eliciting immediate emotional reactions.
In terms of trends, there isn’t much to analyze since it’s a random occurrence. Some gamblers might enjoy looking at historical data of Super Bowl coin tosses for fun, but previous results don’t affect future outcomes. The coin-toss prop bet remains a vital part of the Super Bowl betting experience, drawing everyone into a moment of shared suspense and excitement, and thus is a fundamental aspect of Super Bowl betting tradition.
Opening Kickoff To Be A Touchback
The opening-kickoff-to-be-a-touchback bet is a popular wager in Super Bowl betting, as Legal Sports Report noted with its list of top Super Bowl handles from DraftKings in 2023. This bet predicts whether the initial kickoff will result in a touchback, where the ball is downed in the end zone and not returned. Participants can easily partake in this bet by selecting “yes” if they believe a touchback will occur or “no” if they expect a different outcome. What makes this bet particularly engaging is the rapidity with which it’s resolved; bettors will know the result just seconds after the kickoff, as the ball soars through the air.
However, this bet comes with an intriguing historical context, making it a subject of interest and speculation among bettors. In 28 of the past 32 Super Bowls, the opening kickoff did not result in a touchback. Former NFL punter and media personality Pat McAfee provided insights into this trend on his radio show. He explained that a brand-new, unbroken football is used for the opening kickoff in Super Bowls. Unlike the worn and conditioned footballs typically used in NFL games, which are prepared to optimize distance and softness, the Super Bowl kickoff ball is fresh out of the box. This unused ball quality potentially affects its flight and impact, leading to fewer touchbacks.
Will There Be Overtime?
In 2022, ESPN reported that the prop bet “will there be overtime” garnered the highest handle before the kickoff of the Super Bowl between the Bengals and Rams.
This bet attracted significant interest at Caesars Sportsbook the same year, even though only one Super Bowl had ever extended into overtime: the matchup between the Patriots and the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
The odds for overtime were initially set at +1100 for “yes” and -2500 for “no” at Caesars.
A notable trend at Caesars Sportsbook was that many bettors believed the count of Super Bowls with overtime would remain at one after that Sunday. The option for “no” overtime had attracted twice as many dollars as any other Super Bowl prop bet then. Specifically, “no” had received 90% of the total dollars wagered in this category, whereas “yes” led in the number of tickets, accounting for 79%.
The moneyline bet’s allure in the Super Bowl lies in its simplicity and directness, offering a clear choice for bettors to pick the team they believe will emerge victorious. This betting style appeals to those who prefer a straightforward approach over more complex betting options. Bookmakers set odds for each team, indicating their perceived likelihood of winning. Typically, the team deemed more likely to win is given negative odds, while the underdog has positive odds, reflecting their lower expected chance of winning.
For a specific example, in Super Bowl 57, FanDuel set the following odds:
Philadelphia Eagles: -122
Kansas City Chiefs: +104
These odds indicated the Eagles were the favorites, meaning a bet of $122 was needed to win $100. If the Eagles had won, the bettor would have received $222, which included their initial $122 bet and a $100 profit.
In contrast, the Chiefs, as underdogs, had more favorable odds for bettors. At these odds, a $100 bet on the Chiefs resulted in a total payout of $204 since they won, comprising the original bet and a $104 profit.
Odds are dynamic and can shift up to the game, often swayed by last-minute developments such as player injuries or other significant news about the teams. This fluidity in odds means bettors who spot attractive moneyline odds should act swiftly to lock them in. The straightforward nature of the moneyline bet, combined with the dynamic odds, makes it an exciting and popular choice for Super Bowl betting. It offers the seasoned bettor and the casual viewer an easy way to engage with the game and adds an extra layer of excitement to watching the outcome unfold.
The point spread bet is highly favored in the Super Bowl owing to its unique ability to equalize the contest between the teams. It creates a hypothetical victory margin the favored team must exceed for a successful bet. Meanwhile, the underdog team must either outright win or lose by a narrower margin than the point spread for a bet on them to pay off. This betting format injects strategy and thrill into betting, demanding more intricate predictions than just selecting the winner.
In Super Bowl 57, for instance, the point spread offered by BetMGM was tightly set:
Philadelphia Eagles: -1.5 (-110)
Kansas City Chiefs: +1.5 (-110)
Under these terms, the Eagles, being the favorites, were required to win by at least two points for bets on them to be successful. Conversely, the Chiefs, positioned as underdogs, needed to either lose by no more than one point or win the game for bets on them to yield returns.
The odds for both outcomes were -110, indicating that bettors needed to risk $110 to win $100. This pricing of the point spread bet is especially attractive to many bettors, as it offers a balanced equation of risk versus reward. The point spread goes beyond merely picking the winning team; it compels bettors to estimate the winning margin accurately. It keeps bettors engaged throughout the game, as the final score in relation to the spread becomes as critical as the outright winner, thus enhancing the overall Super Bowl viewing and betting experience.