The Cincinnati Bengals will be playing the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI Sunday, Feb. 13 and the bad news for Ohio sports betting is that wagering in the state won’t be ready to capitalize on the massive interest in the game. The good news is that Cincinnati is only about 20 minutes from Indiana.
That’s good news for Indiana.
Had the legislature worked more quickly — but who could have anticipated the Bengals in the Super Bowl — Cincinnati would have become the first NFL team to play in a state with legalized sports betting.
Now Ohioans better hope for a dynasty. Or the Browns making a run next season. Or Ohio State going for a national championship. Last year, in Super Bowl LV, the Tampa Bay Bucaneers and Kansas City Chiefs both hailed from states without legalized sports betting.
And this year, Californians wanting to support their Rams will have to cross state lines into Nevada, Arizona or Oregon to place a legal wager, and Ohioans will have the option to cross into Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania or New York, depending on the easiest drive from one’s place in the state.
Ohio sports betting is required by law to start before Jan. 1, 2023. Will it be in time to bet on the 2022 NFL regular season? That remains to be seen, but an updated timeline was recently released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
For Ohioans who don’t want to leave their couches and support their Bengals, there is one way to wager legally.
It’s a site called BettorEdge and it’s a social betting marketplace where users can bet against each other, not the house. The platform does not take any fees on betting activity, and it is set up as a social media platform where users can interact with each other and comment on bets others place, along with making their own bets.
BettorEdge is legal in 45 states, including Ohio and California, presenting the opportunity for Bengals fans in Cincinnati and Rams fans in L.A. to trash talk each other on the platform ahead of their teams' Super Bowl matchup. Fans from each state could then potentially take each side of a certain bet on the big game.
Nearby States are Options
For those Ohioans willing to take a drive, however, the number of bets on the Super Bowl will be off the charts. From the coin toss to who’s going to score the first touchdown — Cooper Kupp is a little less than 4-to-1 (+390), but Bengals QB Joe Burrow is a hefty 30-to-1 (+3000) and he could certainly run in for a score.
Kupp is -185 to score a TD at any time in the game, meaning the oddsmakers think a Kupp TD is more likely than not. Kupp is only 12-to-1 (+1200) to score three touchdowns in the game. The Bengal most likely to score two or more TDs, per oddsmakers is JaMarr Chase at +470. Joe Mixon is +525.
There will be bets on passing attempts, passing completions and passing yardage. You can wager on the number of receptions of an individual receiver, the longest reception, or total rushing yards. Kickers also get into the act with total points, extra points, and field goals. Will there be overtime? Yes will pay +750, no -1200. The odds are only slightly higher on whether there will be a safety. Yes will pay +800, no -1400. It’s fair to say that with all the sportsbooks taking action on this game, a creative bettor will be able to wager on almost anything.
What Ohio is Missing Out On
And in Ohio alone, Super Bowl betting numbers could have been staggering if sports betting were legal in the state. Sports betting industry consultant Adam Bjorn told Cleveland.com that Super Bowl betting in Ohio could have topped $100 million.
More importantly, said Bjorn, Ohio sportsbooks would have been able to sign up hundreds of thousands of new bettors without “actually needing to give away the house on the bonus side just because people are going to want to bet,” Bjorn said. “People who don’t normally bet probably want to bet $5 or $10 on the Bengals.”
Well, except in Cleveland, where they’ll probably bet against the Bengals.