The NFL is easily the most popular sport in the United States, dominating in revenue and drawing higher ratings than any show on TV. This year’s season will culminate with the 2015 Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots, and a large part of the game’s interest is due to gambling.
Last year’s Super Bowl saw $119.4 million wagered on the game at Nevada casinos, and the sportsbooks made a record-setting profit of $19.7 million. That’s just a fraction of the total amount of money that was wagered on the contest, since legalized sports gambling in the U.S. accounts for an estimated one percent of all bets placed on the NFL’s most important game.
Many Americans who can’t get to Las Vegas bet on the games by using online gambling websites. One of the most popular sites, Bovada.lv, sees far more action on the Super Bowl than it does for any other NFL game, throughout the season.
“The Super Bowl accounts for about 7 percent of all our NFL action for the year, and is comparable to a full 16 game regular season week,” Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager Kevin Bradley told International Business Times.
The betting odds for the 2015 Super Bowl have varied since the matchup was set, but the line appears to have settled, with the game just a few days away. Most Las Vegas casinos have the Patriots favored by one point, while the Seahawks are getting two points at Bovada.lv. The over/under is 48 points at most sportsbooks.
The point spread and over/under don’t account for all of the Super Bowl wagers. Many fans also wager on prop bets, which include bets on various events that occur before, during or after the game. According to Bradley, prop bets account for 25 to 30 percent of the Super Bowl wagers at Bovada.lv.
The coin toss is the most popular prop bet each year, and it’s just as unpredictable as the percentages would indicate. In the previous 48 Super Bowls, the coin toss has landed on both heads and tails 24 times each.
Of the more exotic prop bets, Bradley says the length of the National Anthem is the most popular. Before the game kicks off, fans can wager on how long it will take Idina Menzel to sing the National Anthem. The over/under has been set at two minutes and one second. Last year, opera singer Renee Fleming easily hit the under by performing the National Anthem in one minute and 53 seconds.
Below are some of the prop bets for the 2015 Super Bowl, courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Will Marshawn Lynch be fined by the NFL for any incident on Media Day?
Yes +400 (4/1)
No -600 (1/6)
What will Katy Perry be wearing when she begins the Halftime show?
Skirt or Dress 4/5
Pants (below knees) 2/1
Shorts (above knees) 2/1
What color will Katy Perry's hair be when she begins the Halftime show?
Will Al Michaels refer to the point spread, total, odds on who wins game or any prop bet?
Yes +200 (2/1)
No -300 (1/3)
Who will be shown more on TV during the game?
Robert Kraft -200 (1/2)
Paul Allen +150 (3/2)
What will the Nielsen Rating of the game be?
Which region will have the higher Nielsen Rating?
Boston +110 (11/10)
Seattle -150 (2/3)
How many viewers will the game have?
Over/Under 113 Million
What will happen with the Dow Jones the day after the Super Bowl?
Market Up -140 (5/7)
Market Down EVEN (1/1)
What will be higher?
Russell Wilson Passing Yards -15.5
US National Average Gas Price (in cents) on Monday, February 2nd +15.5
Groundhog Day Parlay
Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow and Patriots win the Super Bowl 5/2
Punxsutawney Phil does not see shadow and Patriots win the Super Bowl 11/5
Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow and Seahawks win the Super Bowl 11/4
Punxsutawney Phil does not see shadow and Seahawks win the Super Bowl 12/5
Total Passing Yards - Tom Brady
Total Passing Yards - Russell Wilson
Total Rushing Yards - Marshawn Lynch
Receiving Yards - Rob Gronkowski
Who will have more Tackles & Assists?
Darrelle Revis +0.5
Richard Sherman -0.5