Pennsylvanians wagered $53.6 million legally on the Super Bowl last year, and it stands to reason they’ll risk even more on the game this Sunday.
For one thing, there are more opportunities to do so, with this week bringing the launch of PointsBet’s online sportsbook and the opening of a Parx Casino sportsbook/racebook OTB parlor inside a new Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant in Chester County.
For another thing, Pennsylvania’s 14 online betting sites have a wealth of promotions for the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals that incentivize customers more than would be the case for any other sporting contest. More “risk-free” bets, odds boosts, etc., will likely be added as well in the next few days prior to kickoff, so it’s worth gaining access to multiple sportsbooks and checking their offers each day.
We’ve done the line shopping
There are literally hundreds of ways to bet on the Super Bowl, but a lot of people will fall back on the most traditional game lines, and it’s important to realize that the sportsbooks aren’t all the same when it comes to that. The Rams are favored by anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5 points, and there are plenty of variances in the moneyline for both teams.
The following are the best options on the main bets at Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks as of Thursday morning:
Rams point spread: Caesars is the only sportsbook with L.A. as just a 3.5-point favorite.
Bengals point spread: Betfred and BetMGM give Cincinnati 4.5 points, but Betfred goes one step better by reducing the vig to -105.
Rams moneyline: Caesars at -180 offers the best return.
Points total: The over/under is a consistent 48.5 across the board, but Betfred is willing to reduce the juice to -105 in either direction.
Promotions, boosts, and other offers
The homepages of various sportsbooks call attention to special Super Bowl offers like “risk-free bets,” in which a losing wager receives something like an equivalent amount for a subsequent bet on the site. In some cases, checking the site’s “promotions” tab will turn up special offers for Sunday. Most sites also advertise “odds boosts” or “super boosts” or similar enticements tied to specific bets on the game.
It’s worth scouring whatever sites you use for whatever may be beneficial, even if not all of the offers are as good as the operators may tout in their advertising. As a guide to what’s already out there as of Thursday, here are some worth considering:
FanDuel: Wagering $10 on a single-game parlay, and losing, gets you a $10 credit for a future bet.
DraftKings: It has a similar $10 credit on single-game parlays that lose. Also, a losing wager on a “first TD scorer” will earn a free bet up to $20 if that player scores later in the game instead of being first to do so.
BetMGM: Betting $10 or more on its “one game parlay” earns an automatic $30 free bet to be used for any Super Bowl wager. The site also promotes a “risk-free” wager on the first TD scorer, returning up to $25 in credit to those who lose.
Barstool: Anyone making a pre-game bet scores a $20 bonus for use afterward on the site if the game includes a safety, kick-return TD, or field goal of 57 yards or more.
FOX Bet: Everyone gets a $5 free bet on the game.
BetRivers: It also returns up to $25 as a free bet for anyone betting on its single-game parlay and losing.
Parx: Its “Blowout Bowl” offer gives anyone betting at least $10 on either team’s moneyline beforehand a $50 free bet for later use if their team wins by 10 or more.
Unibet: It has a 100% single-game parlay “boost” for a wager up to $25.
PointsBet: Aside from offering new customers a “risk-free” first bet of up to $500 for any event, the Super Bowl included, all customers making a pre-game bet of $20 or more on the Super Bowl receive a free $20 live bet for use during the game.
Photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY