According to PlayUSA’s estimates, US bettors will put more than $500m in wagers on Super Bowl LV on legal online and retail sportsbooks across 21 US jurisdictions where sports betting is legal in some way.
The match between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, February 7, whether those predictions are met or exceeded, would almost certainly become the most legally wagered-on single case in US history, it said.
A historic weekend inevitable
Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayUSA.com said: “With the expansion of legal sports betting over the last year, both in terms of new markets and growth within existing markets, a historic weekend is inevitable.
“Half a billion dollars or more bet on one game seems almost unfathomable, but considering the direction of the US market, that handle is easily within reach.”
A year-over-year leap is certain, with 20 states and Washington DC representing a population of about 120 million now providing some form of legal sports betting. 14 states, representing a population of 70 million, approved legal Super Bowl bets last year. For an approximate Super Bowl handle of $300 m, those 14 states combined, according to PlayUSA.
The Super Bowl is always the single sporting event in the US with the most bets. In 2020, both lawfully and unlawfully, the American Gaming Association reported that $6.8 billion was wagered in the US.
In Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia, game sports betting is legal in at least some way for this year.
A boost could also come from two of the most populous legal states, Michigan and Virginia, which introduced online sports betting only last week.
For last year’s Super Bowl, Illinois, Colorado and Tennessee did not offer any form of legal sports betting. They together constitute three of the seven main markets for legal sports betting currently operating in the United States. It is also expected that Michigan will enter the upper tier of US markets rapidly.
According to PlayUSA estimates, Nevada, the second-largest market in the US, is projected to lead all US markets with $125m in bets on the big game. No. 1 New Jersey is projected to take in $75m in Super Bowl wagers, which is less event-driven than Nevada.
Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayUSA said: “The potential this year is enormous compared to last year, with legal sports betting available to 50 million more people than last year’s Super Bowl.
“The US market has changed so much over the last year. Not only has it nearly doubled in size, but bettors now make a higher percentage of their bets online compared with a year ago. And sportsbooks will utilize the Super Bowl to aggressively promote themselves to new customers, especially in fledgling markets like Michigan and Virginia.”
The Mahomes-led Chiefs are 3-point favourites of consensus over the Brady-led Bucs, with an over/under that could exceed by kickoff the Super Bowl mark of 57 points. Prop bets and in-game wagering would also add significantly to the grip, especially as bettors have become more used to mobile app betting.
Books are now providing prop bets, including who will be the first player to score, who will win the coin toss, and how many players during the game will throw a pass over/under.
“It’s an intriguing matchup with two of the biggest names in the sport, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, facing off, and that should help compensate for both teams being from relatively small markets,” Gouker said. “With the expansion of the sports betting market, it is close to a certain win for the industry, with the potential to reach more customers than ever before.”