Super Bowl Round-Up: Sharps Favor the Niners Ahead of Record-Setting Event

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
NFL News


  • 76% of states will have legal sports betting during the Super Bowl
  • The three largest reported bets all back the 49ers on the moneylines
  • Experts worry that sports betting’s popularity will lead to an increase in gambling addiction

What’s on the menu this Super Bowl season? Sports betting.

The American Gaming Association estimated that roughly one in four American adults will wager a combined $23.1 billion on the NFL’s championship showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. With those lofty expectations, it’s important to understand the rules and trends of Super Bowl betting.

Here’s everything you need to know for Super Bowl Sunday.

Who can bet on the Super Bowl? 

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a law known as PAPSA, opening the door for states to legalize local sports betting markets. 38 of 50 states and Washington D.C. have since adopted legislation and are homes for legal sportsbooks. 

Anyone who wants to be on the Super Bowl must meet the legal gambling age (21 in most states) and may not be on any type of self-excluded list. They also need to create an account with a mobile sportsbook or visit a retail location before they submit their bet.

More information on Super Bowl betting can be found here.

Where can I bet on the Super Bowl? 

Four states legalized sports betting since the last Super Bowl in Feb. 2023: Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont. 

Not every state that offers sports betting services allows bettors to frequent online sportsbooks. Those that do not require customers to visit verified retail locations at casinos, gambling centers, and other similar venues.

Although only 24% of states still do not allow sports betting, two of those states are home to the two Super Bowl participants: Missouri and California.

Sharps bring the heat 

The sharps might not always win, but they’re known to pack a punch.

As of Wednesday evening, the three largest Super Bowl LVIII bets reported by major sportsbooks supported the 49ers (2-2.5-point favorites at most books).

The largest of the three was a $1 million wager to win $833,333.33 at Caesars sportsbook. Caesars and DraftKings also reported $500,000 wagers on the Niners’ moneyline at -125 odds, which would win $400,000.

Despite the big-money bets supporting the favorites, the underdog Chiefs accounted for 66% of bets and 63% of the handle on the spread, along with 78% of bets and 67% of the moneyline handle according to VSiN’s betting splits.

FanDuel sportsbook shared a similar story, showing that 69% of spread bets and 76% of spread money is on the Chiefs to cover.

Taylor Swift’s influence  

One of the largest stories coming out of the NFL this season is country megastar Taylor Swift’s relationship with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. 

As a result, Kelce is at the center of many bettors’ minds ahead of kick-off. He beat his receiving yardage prop line (over/under 70.5 yards) in his last 12 playoff games and also scored 18 touchdowns in 17 postseason appearances with Patrick Mahomes.

Several betting sites also have a bevy of exotic betting lines pertaining to Kelce, such as if he will propose to his girlfriend after the game. However, those types of exotic props are almost exclusively available at offshore sportsbooks.

DraftKings took a unique approach to merging pop culture with sports betting by creating a special “For the Swifties” betting menu. Props listed here are named after songs made by Swift or items related to her, such as:

  • 22: Any quarter to have 22+ total points scored
  • Deja Vu: Chiefs win by exactly 11 points
  • Friendship bracelets: Kelce or Kyle Juszcyk to score the first touchdown
  • I Knew You Were Trouble: Christian McCaffrey 150+ rushing+receiving yards
  • Love Story: Chiefs win, Mahomes and Kelce score all Chiefs TDs
  • And more… 

Problem gambling concerns 

While the Super Bowl is one of the most exciting times of the year for sports fans, experts are concerned about the potential for problem gambling.

Therapists, psychologists, and researchers have expressed concern that the increasing prevalence and accessibility of sports betting will lead to an increase in addictive behaviors, particularly among young men. 

“We've seen a big increase in people reaching out for help with sports betting," said Nicasa certified gambling counselor Elizabeth Thielen. "Now we're upwards of 40% of our practice is sports bettors.” 

The possibility of problem gambling is one of the main concerns often expressed by anti-gambling lawmakers in states without sports betting markets.

Anyone who is dealing with or knows someone affected by a gambling addiction is encouraged to call 1-800-662-4357.