Heads or tails? Super Bowl bettors split from coin toss to champion

Super Bowl LV is already unlike any of its predecessors as the world’s most-watched annual sporting event takes on a unique shape during a global pandemic.

That certainly includes the sports betting market. While retail sportsbooks are expected to take a hard hit due to COVID-19, the record number of U.S. states with legalized online sports betting is driving record numbers for regulated sportsbooks.

More than two days before kickoff, BetRivers.com reported the Super Bowl to already be the heaviest wagered-on NFL game of the season. The FanDuel Sportsbook is now available in 12 states and along with many of its competitors is offering hundreds of betting markets for Super Bowl LV.

Chiefs & Points, Or Bucs’ Moneyline?

The Kansas City Chiefs remain the 3-point favorites at most books. That includes DraftKings, where the defending champions are being backed by 69 percent of the bets. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have now split the handle – or total money – wagered on the spread line. And the Bucs’ +140 moneyline has drawn 58 percent of the bets and 51 percent of the handle.

Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Before covering against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs had failed to cover at BetRivers.com in nine consecutive games. They enter the Super Bowl 7-10-1 ATS this season. Meanwhile, the Bucs have covered in seven of their past 10 games, including each of their past two playoff victories.

The money has started to also flow toward Tampa Bay at BetRivers, where the Chiefs are still being backed by 68 percent of the spread line bets, but that’s down from 73 percent last week. Kansas City’s -162 moneyline is also being backed by 55 percent of the bets and handle at the book, up from 43 and 47 percent a week ago.

At FanDuel, Tampa Bay’s moneyline is being backed by 54 percent of the bets and are bringing in more action than the Chiefs in nine of the sportsbook’s 12 states.


Bettors Banking On Shootout

The one area where bettors aren’t split is on the Over/Under.

There was so much action on the Over at FanDuel, the total points line has moved from 56.5 to 55.5. The Chiefs have hit the Over at BetRivers.com in exactly half of their 18 games this season, with the sportsbook also seeing the total move from opening at 57.5 down to 55.5 by Thursday afternoon with the public backing the Over at 70 percent.

The Over remained at 56 at DraftKings as of Friday, with the Over being backed by 70 percent of the bets and 73 percent of the handle.

Of course, the Super Bowl spawns the widest variety of betting options on an annual basis. From squares to office pools to the seemingly endless number of prop markets being offered by online sportsbooks.

Bettors can begin the day wagering on the coin toss (52 percent backing tails at DraftKings) and end it predicting the color of the Gatorade the winning coach will be showered with. Orange has the shortest odds at +125 by FanDuel, with purple providing the +900 longshot odds.

Patrick Mahomes
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains the overwhelming favorite to win MVP honors. He’s being offered at -106 by DraftKings, where he is being backed by 35 percent of the bets and 48 percent of the handle. Behind him is counterpart Tom Brady (+210), who is being backed by 29 percent of the bets and handle.

By why go the conventional route when you can grab +30000 odds at FanDuel on Brady scoring at least three combined rushing and receiving touchdowns?

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)