Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner, as we are riding the wave of tangible post-PASPA progress and the sports betting era in the United States. Our industry is collectively joining the American Super Bowl frenzy; which apparently, is not to remain that “local” for long, as more and more people worldwide are getting fascinated by the show, as well as the opportunities it offers.
Many of us from “across the pond” have been aware of and in awe of the spectacular performances of the Super Bowl halftime show; we have watched our fair share of (American) Football in movies and on YouTube; and now, professionally, we have been educating ourselves in the standards and tropes of the newly found American betting industry. But, are we really ready for the Super Bowl?
Back to Basics: Origins & History
So, what is the Super Bowl? Wikipedia tells us that it is the annual playoff championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game.
Winning teams are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the eponymous coach who won the first two Super Bowls.
Vince Lombardi is considered the greatest coach in Football history, and he is recognized as one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of all American sports: he never had a losing season as head coach in the NFL, compiling a regular-season winning percentage of 73.8% !
The day the game is played is often referred to as Super Bowl Sunday or Super Sunday.
The game was created as part of a 1966 merger agreement between the NFL and the rival American Football League (AFL) to have their best teams compete for a championship. It was originally called the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the "Super Bowl" moniker was adopted in 1969's Super Bowl III.
The person who coined the term “Super Bowl” in the mid 1960s was Lamar Hunt, the owner of the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, during the Leagues’ merger meetings. Despite the original reluctance of the Leagues’ owners to use the term, opting for the quite literal "AFL–NFL Championship Game", the Super Bowl name caught on among the press, and the media immediately began using the term.
Due to the NFL restricting use of its "Super Bowl" trademark, it is frequently referred to as the "big game" or other generic terms by non-sponsoring corporations.
[sources: Wikipedia, Super Bowl, Wikipedia, Vince Lombardi].
American Football: Rules of Sport
Back to basics, and back to the tactical board:
The object of American football is to score more points than your opponents in the allotted time. To do this they must move the ball down the pitch in phases of play before eventually getting the ball into the ‘end zone’ for a touchdown. This can be achieved by either throwing the ball to a teammate or running with the ball.
Each team gets 4 chances (downs) to move the ball 10 yards forward. Once they pass the 10 yards their downs reset and they start again for another 10 yards. After 4 downs have passed and they have failed to make it over the 10 yards required the ball will be turned over to the defensive team.
When a player scores a touchdown six points are awarded to their team. A touchdown can be scored by either carrying the ball into the end zone or receiving the ball from a pass whilst in the end zone. After a touchdown has been scored the attacking team has an opportunity to kick the ball for an extra point. The ball must pass between the upright posts for a successful kick.
A field goal can be scored from anywhere on the pitch at any time (usually on the final down) and a successful kick will result in three points. A safety is where the defensive team manages to tackle an attacking opponent in their own end zone; for this the team will receive 2 points.
Games last for four 15 minute quarters. A 2 minute break between the 1st & 2nd and 3rd & 4th quarters is had along with a 15 minute rest between 2nd and 3rd quarters (half time).
Each team has 4 downs to gain 10 or more yards. They can either throw or run the ball to make the yards. As soon as the team gains the required yards then the downs reset and the yardage resets. Failure to make the yardage after 4 downs will result in a turnover.
U.S. Sports Betting: Football Odds, Lines & Super Bowl LVI
Legal, regulated sports betting is a “young” industry in the U.S., with the States gaining freedom to legalize sports betting as they deemed fit, just after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) repeal in 2018. Up until then, PASPA, a 1992 federal law, prohibited the legalization of sports betting to all but a few States.
The repeal has been a pivotal moment in the fight against illegal gambling and for consumers’ protection.
However, unregulated gambling had been around long enough to introduce game fundamentals and terms to the American audience.
So, what kind of bets have been available to the American audience? And which are their favourites?
The number and type of markets offered by operators so far indicate that the most frequent bets are point spreads, point total and moneyline bets, while the popularity of player props has been increasing due to fantasy football.
Types of Sports Bets
Moneyline bets: When betting on a team’s moneyline, you are betting on that team to win.
Point Spread: When betting on a spread, you are betting on a team’s margin of victory rather than the final result.
A favourite is designated by a minus symbol, while a plus symbol defines an underdog.
Over/Under (Totals) : These bets are frequently referred to as an over/under because you are betting on a total to go over or under.
For a total bet, you are betting on the combined number points scored between both teams.
Parlay Bets: A parlay bet is a bet on multiple bets winning. For a parlay to win, every “leg” or bet in the parlay needs to win for your bet to cash.
Teasers: A teaser bet is similar to a parlay in the sense that it is tied to multiple bets. The difference is that it is only for point spreads and is designed to have the same payout as a single regular bet rather than an ambitiously large payout.
Prop Bets: A proposition or a prop bet is a bet that is not directly tied to the final score or result of the game. The most common type of prop bets are player props and game props. A player prop is a bet on a player’s performance, (e.g. how many passing yards a quarterback has in football or if a basketball player has a double-double).
A game prop is a bet on something to happen in a game, such as the first team to score 20 points or which team will score first.
Futures: A futures bet is a wager on the future outcome of a sporting event. This can include winning an MVP award, winning a league championship, or the total number of wins a team has.
Futures can also be player props, such as how many points a player averages per game or how many yards a quarterback will throw for in a season.
Also - Round Robin:
A round robin is
a series of smaller parlays created from a larger list of bets.
Round robin gets its name from “round robin tournaments”, where every team plays every other team in its group. The idea is the same. Instead of playing each other, the teams form parlays together.
When you select multiple games to bet, the sportsbook will give you the option to create a series of smaller parlays from your selected games.
The FSI Twist: Fantasy + Betting = Fixed-Odds Fantasy
FSI’s innovative Fixed-Odds-Fantasy Suite
provides operators the opportunity to offer fresh, engaging betting markets based on Fantasy Sports gaming, to attract all sports fans - bettors and fantasy managers alike.
Utilizing Fantasy Sports Scoring as an index of Athletes’ Performance, FSI has developed fixed odds props and prediction markets, based on Fantasy Points!
From the exclusive, one-of-its-kind “Sportsbook Manager
” that requires the creation of a Fantasy Team for a direct bet; to original Fantasy Sportsbook Markets
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Focusing on statistics and inspired by sports fans, FSI takes both Fantasy Sports and betting to the next level, bringing the Game back to the forefront of Betting, and the Sports Fans back into play.
The Big Game
Speaking of “Super Bowl viewers”, the Big Game is one of the most-watched annual sporting events in the world, with viewership overwhelmingly domestic. The only other annual event that gathers more viewers is the UEFA Champions League final.
The game tends to have high Nielsen television ratings, indicating that on average, more than 100 million people from the United States alone are tuned into the Super Bowl at any given moment!
In press releases for each year's event, the NFL typically reports that this year's Super Bowl will have a potential worldwide audience of around one billion people in over 200 countries.
For Super Bowl LVI, CNBC reports
that “Super Bowl 56 between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams could reach 117 million viewers, according to demand-intelligence company PredictHQ.
That total audience would surpass the current No. 1, the Super Bowl in 2015 between the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, which drew 114 million viewers”.
The American Gaming Association reports
that L.A. Rams are favourites, as “55 percent of bettors plan to wager on the Los Angeles Rams compared to 45 percent on the Cincinnati Bengals
The enthusiastic audience will have much to look forward to: next to the star teams’ showdown and the outcome of multiple wagers across several legal sportsbooks, there will be a star-studded halftime show, as usual.
This year, the all-star lineup features a set of hip-hop heavyweights:
Dr. Dre will be joined by Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul”, Mary J. Blige, as it was revealed by sponsor company Pepsi, with a super-rhythmic snazzy video they dropped on January 20:
As YouTube user K-Bag stated in his almost-top comment under the video:
“A whole generation of kids is about to see an entirely different side of their parents they didn't know existed. This halftime show is definitely for the 90's babies & the millennials".
It seems that with 30 States and Washington, D.C offering live, legal sports betting, and AGA’s Responsible Gaming Plan
in place, there will certainly be “no more drama”, but plenty of “game” for American sports fans during the Super Bowl LVI!