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Home In-depth Super Bowl LVII by the data: What do the experts say

Super Bowl LVII by the data: What do the experts say

ANALYSES 09 Feb 2023
8 min. read
Super Bowl and NFL

Super Bowl LIV is understandably one of the biggest sports events in the United States and Canada, not only because of the massive fanbases behind both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, but also because this Super Bowl will pull the biggest sports betting handle ever registered in the regulated gambling market in the United States.

At least 50.4m Americans of the legal gambling age are expected to place a wager on the upcoming game on Sunday, with a total of $16bn going down on various markets. The American Gaming Association has already offered a breakdown of the numbers, expecting revenue to more than double, and for more people than ever before to wager on the outcome of a Super Bowl game, not least because of the mass legalization efforts and the launch of Massachusetts and Ohio as regulated states recently.

Yet, these are not the only factoids we have found out about the upcoming big game, with our team having the opportunity to access data from some of the most prominent specialists in the sports sector, among which Playmaker, FTN Data,, FTNFantasy and others.

FTN Data: 68% of teams in the SB who score first win

FTN Data, the leading expert on play-by-play football data, has provided meticulous insight into how the Super Bowl has turned out historically. One insight the company delivered was the fact that the teams who scored first were the winners of 68% of the events, which puts the upcoming game between the Eagles and the Chiefs in perspective.

The Chiefs, for example, have scored first 12 times, but the Eagles are ahead by three times, with 15 total. There is more data to factor in, however. For example, the Eagles have won three games against quarterbacks that were part of the Pro Bowl for 2022-23. Those included Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence, and Jared Goff.

Then again, the Chiefs seemed to perform better based on that metric, with the team winning five games against quarterbacks part of the same event. The Chiefs won against Trevor Lawrence – twice, Geno Smith, Joe Burrow, and Derek Carr. Meanwhile, FTN Data notes that the Eagles have been able to generate their pressure in 2.52 seconds on average, which is the third fastest in the sport, the company argues.

One important insight from a betting standpoint seems to be the Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, who is said to have the 22nd fastest average time to throw at 2.63 seconds. Mahomes averages 7.2 air yards per attempt, which his calculated as the 23rd deepest, and he throws 17.3% on his pass attempts outside the pockets – the sixth most in the sport.

This calculation of the quarterback’s performance is based on 33 quarterback and 200 attempts in the regular 2022 season.

Playmaker: The value of prop bets for sportsbooks and fans

Another interesting insight comes from Playmaker and the company’s Chief Revenue Officer and President, David Woodley. He is uniquely placed to read into the habits of sports bettors, owing to Playmaker’s pull with more than 18 million followers across its many company channels.

Woodley is confident that prop bets are a great tool to keep sports bettors engaged in general and that the upcoming Super Bowl game will be no different. Not only that, but the Super Bowl is the event that usually triggers the deepest prop betting markets, Woodley adds.

Casual bettors find prop bets to be a good way to spread their wagers and budget, and enjoy multiple aspects of the game. There are multiple winning scenarios that simply appeal to bettors plain and simple. According to Woodley, this type of market also helps fans develop a sense of "loyalty and awareness" about specific players, which then leads to good post-season prop betting activity.

Not least, it’s not just casual fans who are looking to place down a prop on Super Bowl markets, as sharp bettors seem to be equally aware of the potential benefits of these markets. Because of this, prop betting is simply popular across the board, Woodley remarks.

FTNFantasy Scott Spratt: Mind the Underdog

With the American public split on whom to back, as are sportsbooks more or less, writer Scott Spratt has delved into some historic data about what to expect from underdogs in the big games. According to him, underdogs typically pass more yards and run for fewer yards as their point spreads increase.

Spratt cautions that both the Eagles and the Chiefs have been showing passing and rushing efficiency that makes a final judgment on the outcome of the game a little more difficult. Nevertheless, the trend remains – "the bigger the point spread, the less the underdog has run and the more the underdog has passed," he adds.

Things have been changing since 2000, as well, Spratt continues: "But their passing yards have ballooned to 266 and 270 yards and their rushing yards have slipped to 104 and 84 yards as their spreads have increased from between 3.5 and 6.5 points to a touchdown or more."

Another remark worth noting is that teams that trail in the Super Bowl, or in any game, always resort to the same strategy – they begin to pass a lot more. Any significant disadvantage in the score changes a team’s strategy to a less safe overall game style. Benny Ricciardi: An Eagles Person

Benny Ricciardi from has been able to provide a number of his own insights into the matter, and he argues that people should probably lay the points with the Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII. He argues that the Eagles are the -1.5 point favorite to win the Sunday game, with favorites actually winning 35 out of the past 56 previous games, accounting for what happened in 2015 when the Patriots and Seahawks produced no favorite to win the game, hence the statistics.

Then again, a spread on the Eagles is not all bettors can do – a moneyline on the Chiefs in the Super Bowl LVII would make a lot of sense, Ricciardi adds:

"If you like the Kansas City Chiefs, the best way to bet them is on the moneyline. The spread on this game is below a field goal. Of the 272 regular season football games played, just 14 of them were decided by 1 point. That means 95% of games ended with a winning margin greater than the spread on this game. Statistically speaking, the chances of the Eagles winning by exactly one point is less than 3% (½ of that 5% total)."

Last but not least, Ricciardi believes that the Opening Kickoff won’t be a touchback and suggests that sports fans may find interest in betting on this as well. Only three of the last 29 Super Bowl opening kickoffs have been touchbacks, giving people a reason to explore this market as well.

WagerWire: There’s something for everyone, every bet can be an asset

WagerWire CEO Zach Doctor took a shot at Super Bowl LVII. He argued that the event has grown in significance and not least owing to the legalization of sports betting. Doctor explained that there has been a clear sustained interest in in-play and proposition markets, which have been becoming an ever-more important part of the strategy of both sportsbooks and punters.

Speaking about props, he says: "Props are engineered to have a higher degree of difficulty, but anyone out there screaming ‘trap’ is a wet blanket" but not all is bad as Doctor puts it. "There can be some interesting value opportunities if you do your homework, fantasy players are particularly attuned to individual performances," he elaborates.

WagerWire is confident that it also brings a great platform that allows every player to benefit from added value on each bet. As Doctor puts it, this turns "each bet into an asset," and bucks the trend where sports betting is seen as a zero-sum game. Not surprisingly, Doctor’s favorite type of bets are parlays, although he acknowledges that the majority of those wagers can easily go to zero.

Notwithstanding this problem, they are a thrill, he says. Doctor also thinks that people should be placing their bets early, but still have some of their bankrolls available for in-play wagers and boosting the experience, he recommended.

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09 Feb 2023
8 min. read
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