IGT’s Head of Trading Tony DiTommaso has seen enough Super Bowls to know exactly what bettors are looking for and how that has changed over the years. He has worked in sports and racing for over 30 years, which means he has seen the complete transformation of sports betting from a thing exclusive to a counter in a Vegas casino to a nationwide industry largely transpiring online.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have witnessed the growth of mobile wagering here in Nevada. When mobile wagering was introduced in late 2011, the platform was initially received with open arms by the sophisticated sports bettor. It was a means of wagering on sporting events without the inconvenience of walking into a sportsbook or waiting in lines to get to the writer terminal to make a wager,” DiTommaso recalled.
“Fast forward ten years and most Nevada sports bettors, with its mature sports betting history, have embraced mobile wagering. I would guess that in some sportsbooks in Nevada, the mobile handle is 70% of their business. The retail business has become, for the most part, left for the tourist, novice, and the local sports bettor who still wants the experience of visiting the sportsbook and feeling the energy and excitement of the book.”
Bettors were backing AFC all season, but Eagles now favored
This week is a huge week for DiTommaso and his team, but like all US books, IGT sportsbooks have been offering Super Bowl wagers all year, including a wager on whether the AFC or the NFC team will win the title.
“We’ve been offering the AFC vs NFC all year. The points spread in the futures style matchup had the AFC as a 3.5/4-point favorite. Towards the end of the year, the AFC settled in as a 2.5/3-point favorite, which is essentially where the game opened,” he said.
While most of the season bettors were favoring the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles are the current favorite for Sunday after IGT and others opened the line with the Kansas City Chiefs as the favorite.
“On Sunday night, after witnessing the two Conference Championship games, the Super Bowl opened anywhere from Kansas City -2.5 to KC-1.5. Within one minute the game went to pick-em. After 15 minutes the game had switched favorites and the Eagles were -2.5. The point spread remained the same until Monday morning when the Eagles dropped to -2 and on Tuesday morning the Super Bowl point spread settled in at Philly -1.5, which is where it is now,” DiTommaso said.
Betting trends for Super Bowl 2023
With two evenly matched teams, the assumption might be that drives more action, but DiTommaso said that isn’t actually the case.
While the game in theory figures to be closer, it’s a more exciting game when the two teams are more evenly matched, yet from the trading aspect you may lose a bit of handle on the moneyline,” he explained. “People love to bet the underdog in the Super Bowl on the moneyline.”
“In this year’s game with the point spread at Eagles -1.5 the money line on the Chiefs is +105 (for every 100 wagered the player wins 105). People don’t see a lot of value in that. In last year’s Super Bowl, the Rams were a 4.5-point favorite against the Bengals with a money line of Bengals +180 (for every 100 wagered the player wins 180). People want a greater return if their team wins the game,” he added.
People also love to bet props and this year is no exception.
“While props have been such a major source of handle for the Super Bowl, the basic props continue to handle a large amount of the volume. The casual bettor almost always makes a wager on who will score the first touchdown and who will win the MVP. Oh, and please don’t forget the coin toss. People love the instant gratification of winning a bet before the game starts.”
Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are both dynamic passers with great mobility, so there is even more interest in quarterback-related props than usual.
The AGA predicts this will be the biggest year for Super Bowl betting yet. With what many expect to be a tight game with lots of big-name players to place prop wagers on, even if there isn’t great value on the moneyline, bettors can surely find something they are excited to root for.