Tampa Bay may have lifted the Lombardi trophy, Brady's seventh, he is the GOAT, blablabla, but did they really win the super bowl? I don't think so. From a financial point of view, the Tampa Bay Bucs lost, and that is all thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs. While Brady and his new bunch were swashbuckling their way to a title, regular fans like me were busy dreaming of getting a few bucks off the Bowl, so we went on and put some skin in the game, only, it was against the Bucs, mostly. Everybody with an inkling of football knowledge called for the Chiefs; it was the rational choice. They have the youngest players, Mahomes has got next, and they are the superior team on paper. Over $136 million was bet on the Chiefs nationwide, and while occupancy restrictions may have limited presence in casinos and even the amount of money staked, GeoCOmply reports a steady year-to-year increase in online betting to the tune of 267%. NJ betting reported amongst the highest bets, while others like Illinois, Las Vegas, and Pennsylvania were fully active, and we were all riding the Chiefs.
Well, that did not age well, as the Bucs ran roughshod over Mahomes and the guys, and we were all left clutching at failed tickets and strands of hair in frustration. In New Jersey, an estimated $114m in bets were placed on the Super Bowl, an 116% increase from last year, but unlike the previous years, it will be the sportsbooks to cashout, winning roughly $11.3m. In Illinois, the sportsbooks made $7.7m net, while the folks out in Pennsylvania made a net of $9.4m off the bets. Sportsbooks around the nation were the big winners of the Super Bowl, and it was not even close. In a way, it mirrored the kind of year the sportsbooks have had so far, a lucrative one that has seen the rise of online gambling in particular.
Next season is already firmly in their sight, with the Kansas City Chiefs once again opening as favorites. With the offseason firmly on the way and much on the NFL table, it should be intriguing to see how it all infolds and what the teams will look like going into next season. What is certain is how much closer fans and punters will be paying attention to the teams with a reputation. A few teams showed that they were ready to step up and have a go that the lofty perches of the Chiefs and Ravens. The Buffalo Bills were the closest, and the Seahawks may have fizzled out late but cannot be counted out. Whatever the case, it is clear who won this season in the NFL, and it is neither the players nor the fans.