If you look at the eight online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania, you will nowhere find a chance to bet on any such thing as a “Super Bowl” taking place Sunday.
Don’t be alarmed. It’s a trademark thing.
There are hundreds of opportunities with every sportsbook to bet on The Big Game, as they are most likely to refer to it. The NFL expects commercial enterprises to pay a hefty sum for use of the term Super Bowl, so naturally, gambling entities don’t.
But they are willing to take your money on the game every which way — winning team, point spread, points scored, MVP, coin toss, passing yards, trick plays, special teams scores, even whether a kick will hit the upright or crossbar.
The basics are a good place to start
While you can get as exotic as you want placing a legal Super Bowl bet for the first time via computer or smartphone, don’t forget the tried-and-true basics of football betting: point spread, moneyline, and points total.
With one exception, Pennsylvania’s online operators settled by Friday morning on the Kansas City Chiefs as a 1.5-point favorite over the San Francisco 49ers. The outlier is FOX Bet, where the Chiefs were favored by 2, making it the place to go if you’re a 49ers backer.
That’s not to say the other sites are identical for bettors, however. While most sites have that 1.5-line set at -110 vig either way, FanDuel has it at -115 for the Chiefs and -105 for the 49ers, so the other sites are better for bets on the Chiefs.
On the moneyline, there’s a still wider range, with DraftKings offering the best Chiefs juice at -122 and others going as high as -128. FanDuel offered the best 49ers price to win outright: +112, with others as low as +104.
Most of the sites had the over/under set at 54, with standard 10% vig either way.
The exceptions were FanDuel and BetAmerica, using 54.5. So those would be the best places for those who like the “under,” with FanDuel offering slightly better terms, -115 vs. -116 for BetAmerica.
Touchbacks and uprights and trick plays, oh my
Everyone offers scads of prop bets that you wouldn’t see for an ordinary NFL contest (the “small” games, in other words). They’re options on team or player performance that don’t necessarily relate to the outcome of the game.
Many are similar from site to site, but they may have different odds, so it’s worth line-shopping for comparisons if there’s one in particular you know you want to bet.
Here’s just a random selection of what you can find on the different sites:
FanDuel: Will the opening kickoff be a touchback? (Yes -170, No +135)
DraftKings: Will an extra point or field goal hit an upright or crossbar? (Yes +400, No -670)
FOX Bet: Will over 23.5 points be scored in the first quarter? (Yes +2200, no option for “no”)
Unibet: Will there be a successful 2-point conversion? (Yes +240, No -335)
BetAmerica: Will Patrick Mahomes throw an interception? (Yes +115, No -150)
Parx: Will the 49ers’ Nick Bosa force a fumble? (Yes +600, no “no” option)
BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse: Will either Mahomes or Jimmy Garoppolo catch a TD pass? (Yes +2000, no “no” option)
Look to get a boost, you might like it
In addition to the wide prop bets menu, most sites offer specific choices that they tout as having beneficial odds from what might be standard. These go by different names depending on the site, whether “Bet Boosts” or “Super Odds” or “Super X Bets” or “Big Game LIV Specials.” They typically are listed under their own tab and are worth a look.
For instance, FanDuel’s “Odds Boost” options include a Chiefs win combined with Mahomes passing for at least 350 yards, listed at a +450 price when it was formerly +370.
FOX Bet is offering the chance to bet on the Chiefs winning in every quarter, at odds of +1100 instead of +900.
BetAmerica’s list includes a bet on both teams having the lead at some point in the first half, at +140 instead of +120.
The sites are being updated each day, as operators know it’s customary for far more Super Bowl bets to be placed on the weekend than in the two weeks leading up to it. They’re all worth checking again Sunday, even if you scour them Friday or Saturday.
The incentives just keep coming
And as happens during the regular season, the PA sportsbooks offer various rewards hoping to draw you to their sites, regardless of any particular bet you may choose.
DraftKings, for instance, allows everyone to enter a free block pool drawing where a total of $54,000 is to be shared among those randomly picking a block that matches the game score. It’s also rewarding $50 prop bets with $10 free bets, as well as entering those who make $10 prop bets in a $200,000 drawing.
FanDuel has its regular Same Game Parlay benefit, letting you get your money back up to $25 if you miss just one leg of a parlay of three legs or more. In addition, if you wager $25 on a player to score a touchdown, you receive $1 in site credit for each point his team scores, regardless of whether he’s responsible.
BetAmerica has its “Big Game Challenge” worth $1 mm open to anyone for free. All you have to do is make 24 perfect picks on the choices it offers related to the game and to team and player performance.
Good luck with that. The good news is, unlike most of the options listed here, you can’t lose. Hard to beat that, whether for The Big Game or any game.
Image credit: © Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports