The first Super Bowl with legal sports betting in Ohio will teach the state’s resident gamblers something already realized by those in locales that legalized earlier: There are an insane number of ways to wager on the biggest sports event of the year.
The 16 mobile sportsbooks operating in Ohio are accustomed during the regular season to presenting all kinds of options beyond betting on the point spread, moneyline, and points total, but those prop bets are nowhere near what is available for Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
Just as for prior games, there are plenty of wagers possible on how many touchdown passes Patrick Mahomes will have, how many rushing yards Miles Sanders will compile, whether Travis Kelce will score the game’s first touchdown or any touchdown, and so forth.
But how about whether a field goal or extra point try will hit an upright or crossbar? Will there be overtime, a safety, a 2-point conversion, an onside kick recovery, or any other number of interesting, longshot possibilities before the game ends? The odds on all those appear on multiple sites.
Speaking of the game’s end, will the final play be a quarterback kneeling because his team has sewn up victory? That’s a bet you can make, with BetRivers offering -230 on the yes, +180 on the no.
And as a reminder of how any sports bettor is wise to shop odds at multiple sites for any wager — not just the point spread or total — Hard Rock Digital lists -250 for yes, there will be a kneel-down to end things Sunday night, and +200 for some other kind of last play. So if you’re betting against a kneel-down, you’d rather be doing it there instead of BetRivers. It would net $20 instead of $18, if successful, for every $10 wagered.
The Fridge started it
These irregular Super Bowl prop bets really took off 37 years ago back in Super Bowl XX, when the popularity of big Chicago Bears defensive tackle William “Refrigerator” Perry — occasionally used in the backfield — prompted certain Las Vegas sportsbooks to offer odds on whether he would score a touchdown. He did, costing the books a lot of money.
So now you have Perry to thank for the chance to bet on scores occurring this Sunday by those who don’t normally have the ball in their hands for such things.
FanDuel, for instance, posts an option to bet that any offensive lineman will catch a pass for a TD. The payoff is 35/1. At that site, the wager can only be placed on the “yes.” Barstool Sportsbook will pay a smaller return of 20/1 on an offensive lineman to score a TD in any manner, but you can also bet the “no” at -10000 (meaning risk a hefty $100 to win $1).
But what about a play such as the ingenious one that helped the Eagles win the Super Bowl five years ago, when quarterback Nick Foles slipped out all alone to catch the “Philly Special” 1-yard TD pass from unsung tight end Trey Burton? DraftKings offers odds of 12/1 for a bet that any quarterback will have a reception. Hard Rock Digital lists any player other than a quarterback throwing a TD pass at 22/1.
No coin toss betting, but after that …
Ohioans won’t have access to all of the same options available in every state, as the Ohio Casino Control Commission is more restrictive than some counterparts about what operators can offer. For instance, there’s no betting allowed on the outcome of the coin toss, as Ohio’s legal sports betting is oriented around athletic performance and statistics.
For those eager to see the outcome of an initial wager, however, they don’t have to wait long after the coin toss. There’s betting on whether the opening kickoff will be a touchback, with the touchback a heavy favorite, and BetRivers a better option than some others by offering it at -159. (If you’re betting on a returned kick, you’re better off at PointsBet at +140 instead of BetRivers’ +125.)
And after that kick, while every site will have all kinds of live betting available, you can lock in wagers ahead of time on what starts happening from scrimmage.
BetMGM offers a bet on the outcome of Patrick Mahomes’ first pass attempt: -250 for a completion, and +180 for an incompletion or interception. Meanwhile, FanDuel has a prop on whether the first play from scrimmage will result in a first down. It’s +330 on the yes, -450 on the no.
What’s in a number?
The more you scour the various sites, the more likely you are to spot betting options you never imagined existed – or at least that your father certainly never came across in his betting days — such as those tied to jersey numbers.
Caesars Sportsbook gives the chance to bet on the jersey number of the first touchdown scorer, with 80-99 listed with the shortest odds of +330, followed by numbers 1-5 and 11-14, both at +400. The longest odds are with numbers 31-79, at +1600. For some reference points, Travis Kelce wears No. 87, Jalen Hurts is No. 1, and A.J. Brown wears No. 11.
Or for the math geeks, Barstool sets an over/under of 173.5 on the combined jersey numbers of all touchdown scorers. If that’s too hard, SuperBook sets a line for the jersey number of the first scorer at +100 for O11.5 and -120 for U11.5.
When it comes to numbers, though, only one thing is sure: Ohioans will see a bigger number of legal betting options for Sunday’s game than they have ever seen before in their lives.
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