Legal gambling takes over Super Bowl: Here are five big bets you can make
The Super Bowl has for decades served as the biggest sports gambling event of the year, and this weekend’s NFL finale is slated to be the most bet-on sporting event in history.
The American Gaming Association estimates some 31 million American adults plan to bet a combined $7.61 billion on this year’s Super Bowl, which will pit the underdog Cincinnati Bengals against the slightly favored Los Angeles Rams as the two teams square off Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Southern California.
Nearly 100 million people are expected to tune into the game, which will be broadcast on NBC.
And reminders about sports gambling throughout the pre-game packages on various networks will be frequent.
“This year’s Super Bowl is expected to generate the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller earlier this month. “With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers.”
Ahead of Sunday’s big game, online and in-person sportsbooks have spent the last several days making available and taking bets on hundreds of highly specific and unique outcomes before, during and after the game — ranging from the result of coin toss to the length of the National Anthem to the number on the jersey of the first player to score a touchdown.
Here are a few of the most popular bets, highly-specific playable outcomes and biggest payouts sportsbooks around the country are offering ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl showdown.
Heads or tails on the coin toss
Picking heads and tails are two of the top five most popular bets ahead of this year’s Super Bowl, according to Caesars, one of the nation’s largest sportsbooks.
The odds are 50-50 so the payout is not great either way a bettor plays this prop, with most books offering either heads or tails at even money — meaning a winner gets paid the exact amount they wagered and gets their money back. Still, many bookmakers see an opening here to draw in business even before the game starts.
Most experienced gamblers will caution against betting the coin toss. With the Super Bowl one of the few games a year featuring hundreds of other prop bets during the game, the coin toss may be a popular option, but it is also among the riskiest with a relatively small reward considering the other props available.
What will happen to the price of Bitcoin during Super Bowl 56?
Some of the most-bet outcomes on the night of the Super Bowl have nothing to do with the game. One example is a prop bet being offered by Bovada on whether the price of Bitcoin will go up or down during the broadcast of the game.
Coinbase, FTX, Binance, BitBuy are all reportedly running ads around Sunday’s primetime game, so Bovada places this bet at -130 that the price of Bitcoin goes up and even money that the price will go down.
Most sportsbooks do not accept Bitcoin for wagering, so you’ll have to wager real money if you think you can accurately predict how a big push in Super Bowl ad advertising will affect the value of growing online currency systems.
Length of the National Anthem
Even before the coin toss, singer and songwriter Mickey Guyton is scheduled to perform the National Anthem at SoFi Stadium before a packed crowd on an 85-degree day in Southern California.
The over-under on how long it will take the country artist to get through the Star Spangled Banner opened at 95 seconds earlier this month, but has since jumped to 104.5 seconds as many gamblers expect her to go long.
The Gatorade color
The so-called “Gatorade Bath” has become one of football’s most recognizable traditions. Some college football bowl games with funky sponsorships have ended with coaches doused in everything from mayonnaise to Cheez-its in recent seasons.
In the NFL, the communal drink of choice between the players and coaches is usually Gatorade and once again sports bettors will be looking to predict what color of Gatorade the winning coach will be hit with.
Some have tried to use the uniform colors of the two teams facing off as an indicator of what color the drink will be that is poured on the winning coach. This year, orange appears to be the favorite at +135 with blue coming in at 3-to-1 odds and a number of other selections available.
Play this one correctly, and you could be the one drenched in cash as the confetti falls on the heads of the winning players and coaches.
Odell Beckham Jr. to score the game’s first touchdown
Bettors who wish to go a more traditional route and bet on the actual game are apparently confident in the Rams wide receiver as he plays in his first Super Bowl.
As of Wednesday, the Rams pass catcher was getting more than 7-1 odds if he scores the game’s first touchdown. Caesars listed Beckham’s “first TD scorer” prop as the most popular, meaning the most amount of individual bets had been placed on that outcome of any other.
Other popular props during the game include the Rams to attempt a field goal on their first drive of the game (4-1 odds) and Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson to make more than one field goal (-130).
ESPN.com also listed this week a few high-rolling or unique bettors, including one person who has wagered $4.5 million on Bengals to win the game at +170 to win $7.7 million with Caesers and another who bet $100 on no touchdowns being scored in the game to earn a 100-1 payout with BetMGM.