So it’s Super Bowl Sunday and, for the first time in years, I’m actually leaving my home to share it with friends. The past two years, for a variety of reasons mostly related to others’ insistence that it’s simply not safe to have actual human contact, I’ve been fortunate enough to at least have a roommate, and actually his son, to watch with. So it wasn’t as isolating an experience for me as it was one year when I needed to travel for work with foreign-born colleagues completely indifferent to sports, and in a hotel where the sports bar was closed for a private party, and I fell asleep lamenting my loneliness and my inability to share any thoughts as I watched John Elway get his first NFL championship.
Super Bowl Sundays should be spent in the company of others, with the play by play amplified only enough to drown out the conversation, and the fact that it is there is more multitasking that goes on while watching this game, given the size of its audience, than any other televised event anywhere in the world–and, yes, I’m including World Cup, because its viewers are often either too intense and/or too drunk to do much more than watch the game.
Fact is, thanks to the explosion in popularity of FanDuel and Draft Kings, as well as the creativity of oddsmakers, there will be literally thousands of prop bets available both in advance and in real time today, which will make wolfing down chicken wings and beer all the more sporadic for anyone watching, And for those who do have money, apparently a lot of it will be actually at stake. According to Weston Biasi of Marketwatch, last year’s game was the first Super Bowl to exceed $1 billion in legal wagers, and had been exponentially on the rise toward that once infathomable number versus preceding years.:
There are two likely reasons for this surge.
The first is that sports betting has never been more popular in the U.S. as states set monthly records in total bets with regularity. Sportsbooks like Caesars CZR, -2.70%, DraftKings DKNG, -3.27% and FanDuel are in constant competition to draw in new customers with free-bet promotions and deposit-matching initiatives.
The second is more states have legalized online betting. In states where betting is most popular, like New Jersey, online betting makes up roughly 90% of all wagers placed in the state — and over the past 12 months, states like Arizona and New York began accepting online bets.
Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayUSA.com, wrote to MarketWatch in an email: “It would have seemed impossible just a few years ago to reach such heights, but with the expansion of sports betting over the past year it is inevitable that legal wagering will soar.”
(2021)’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw about $500 million in legal wagers, and 2020’s Super Bowl saw a then-record $300 million.
And with so many ways to entice people to back up their opinions, and with states like Ohio now legalizing online betting, that number will likely climb still higher today. I, for one, won’t be contributing to any of it.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t offer you my fearless predictions for some of the more enticing props out there that I would throw a sawbuck on if I actually had any to spare. Among the ones that caught my eye, as Jordan Dajani of CBSSports aggregated. He offered up his expert opinion, so of course I’ll add mine, since they’re equally valuable.
Brotherly Love’ line: Travis Kelce receiving yards (-6.5) (-160) vs. Jason Kelce snaps played. Here’s a fun one for the brothers. Jason is averaging 67 snaps played per game over his last three contests. I’ll take Travis to get to seven more receiving yards. I’m taking Travis, too. I don’t think the Eagles will have the ball often enough to create 67 snap opportunities.
Chiefs’ total rushing yards in game: Under 100.5 (-135): Kansas City reached just 42 total rushing yards against the Cincinnati Bengals, and now has to face another tough defensive line. I agree here, too. Whatever offense KC will muster will be in the air, and I for one think they’re going down early and will need to throw.
What will be more? Connor McDavid points OR Patrick Mahomes TD passes: Mahomes TD passes (-140). The Edmonton Oilers star racks up points at an absurd late, and leads the NHL in that category by a wide margin. Here’s to hoping he has an off day against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday. Nah, I’m rooting for McDavid. I’ll even add he’ll be handed an empty-netter by someone who may have a bet on him.
Will there be a safety? YES (+1000). There has been a safety in nine out of the 56 Super Bowls all time. It last happened for the Seattle Seahawks to end the 2013 season. I’m going chalk, but I’m kinda hoping I’m wrong. The one small bet I actually am making is on the Super Bowl squares, and given where my numbers typically come out I often need a safety or missed extra point to even have a rooting interest.
I may not win a lot of money today, and I’m certainly wagering much less than most. As a proportion of total net worth, though, I dare say I’m a high roller. But at least I’ll have a few other people to share my thoughts with in person. For that alone, I know I’m already a winner.