Call it the Super Betting Bowl.
It’s not just the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers who will have plenty at stake when the two teams face off in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday in Miami.
A record of about 26 million Americans, 3 million more than last year, are expected to place bets on the big game, according to the American Gaming Association. Taking into account casino sports wagers, informal bets and dollars collected in office pools, bettors will wager about $6.8 billion, 13% more than in 2019 when $6 billion was waged.
Nearly 5 million in the U.S. are expected to place Super Bowl bets via a mobile app or online site, up 19% from last year, suggests a survey of 2,200 adults conducted last week for the gaming association by Morning Consult. About 4 million in the U.S. are expected to place bets in person at a casino or sportsbook, an increase of 25%.
Contributing to the betting bonanza: It’s easier to place legal bets than in the past. More states have made it legal to bet on sports since the 2018 Supreme Court decision overturning the federal ban on sports gambling. Fourteen states now have legal sports betting with the most recent, New Hampshire, approving it earlier this month.
“I think a lot of that (increase in betting) can be attributed to the spread and expansion of legal betting,” said Dave Forman, the association’s senior director of research.
In states where it is legal to bet on sports – originally only allowed in Nevada – you can place bets at sportsbooks and on apps such as DraftKings and FanDuel, favorite fantasy sports sites that have expanded into sports betting.
Place mobile bets on Super Bowl LIV
You can use DraftKings and FanDuel websites to place bets. But you do everything with your smartphone anyway, so why not use an app to make mobile bets on the Super Bowl.
Once you boot up the app, you will have to enter some personal information and set up an account. (Note: You can download the apps and look at the possible bets in states where sports betting is not allowed, but you cannot place bets.)
Looking through the DraftKings app, for instance, you can place one of 400 different bets on the Super Bowl. You can choose from traditional bets such as choosing a team with the point spread (Chiefs are favored by 1.5), whether the total score will be over or under 54.5 points and which team will win the coin toss (and will it be heads or tails). You can also bet on whether certain plays such as a flea flicker (quarterback throws a forward pass after a lateral) will happen, and what color of Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach (yellow/green is the favorite).
For what it’s worth: About 52% of bettors say they are siding with the Kansas City Chiefs, while 48% pick the San Francisco 49ers, the AGA survey found.
Set up or join a Super Bowl office pool
If you can’t place a legal bet – or standard betting just isn’t your thing – you could consider organizing a fun Super Bowl betting game with your coworkers.
One of the most popular is Super Bowl Squares, where participants can win money based on the score of the game.
Here’s how it works: players pick squares from an unlabeled 10-by-10, 100-square grid. Once participants have chosen their squares, the organizer randomly places numbers between 0 and 9 horizontally and vertically along the grid.
If you’re organizing a squares pool, you can create your own grid or download one online. Click here to download a printable form.
For example, let’s say the 49ers represent the horizontal portion of the grid and the Chiefs are the vertical portion. The square you’ve chosen aligns with 49ers and the number 4 and the Chiefs and the number 7. To win, the score at the end of the quarter (or game) must match the numbers you’ve drawn. In this case, if the Chiefs are up 17-14, you win, or if the Niners are winning 24-17.
Winners can be awarded prizes by quarter, with a bigger bounty going to the participant who matches the game’s final score.
Make a good old-fashioned wager
If you or a friend want to just choose a team to bet on you can wager cash or something symbolic of the teams participating in the game.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat representing Kansas City, is wagering some Kansas City barbecue against bets of Ghirardelli Chocolate, See’s Candies and other snacks from fellow Democrats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, and Rep. Ro Khanna, whose district includes Silicon Valley.
You don’t have to live in Kansas City or San Francisco to get in on the action. Kansas City barbecue joints that ship across the U.S. include Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Cue and Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue while San Francisco-based Alioto-Lazio Fish Co. will ship local Dungeness crabs. Prefer betting dessert? Ghirardelli and See’s both ship chocolate and other goodies nationwide, as does Kansas City-based Russell Stover.