There are no guarantees, sure things, or stone-cold mortal locks when you bet on sports.
In an industry driven by the unpredictable results of games, certainties of any kind are a commodity. However, European bookmaker Kambi recently released a report that reveals some interesting truths.
Kambi’s NFL 2019/2020 Season Report is full of data which highlights new facts in the post-PAPSA world of sports betting. According to the report, the most popular sport to bet on in the United States in 2019 was football.
For first-time bettors, it is the preferred sport with two out of every five newcomers placing a bet on football.
Across the board, bettors’ interest is not just contained to the NFL. A whopping 58% placed bets across college football, pro and college basketball, MLB, and the NHL. Only 3% of bettors limited their action only on the NFL.
A Pennsylvania-based team made headlines in the report. Of all 32 NFL teams, the Philadelphia Eagles had the fifth largest handle. In last year’s report, the Eagles were the top team so it does represent a small drop for the Birds.
Kambi supplies odds including for five sportsbooks in PA:
Philadelphia Eagles second highest handle for Super Bowl futures
Data compiled from Feb. 2 – Sept. 5 2019 tracked which teams earned bettors’ favor to win the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots went into their season looking to defend their Super Bowl title and with the highest handle of futures bets to win the championship.
The Philadelphia Eagles were the second-most popular team in terms of handle on bets placed to win the Super Bowl. The Pittsburgh Steelers rounded out the top ten. Eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs garnered the fourth highest handle.
During the preseason Super Bowl betting market from February to September, the local teams in jurisdictions with legalized sports betting earned the highest percentage of the handle.
In Pennsylvania, 37% of the preseason handle on Super Bowl futures were for the Eagles. The Steelers accounted for 17%.
The Chicago Bears earned 62% of the handle in Indiana and the Chiefs got 55% in Iowa.
Eagles popular all season with bettors
The Nov. 24 game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks was the top game by live handle.
Top game by overall handle, bet volume, pregame handle, and bet volume pregame was the NFC Championship game on Jan. 19 in which the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-20.
During the NFL season, the top teams by handle were:
- New England Patriots
- Seattle Seahawks
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Green Bay Packers
- Philadelphia Eagles
Top players by handle:
- Patrick Mahomes
- Ezekial Elliot
- Aaron Jones
- Lamar Jackson
- Russell Wilson
Favorite types of bets
Kambi reported that use of the cash out option increased 300% over the course of the season.
The cash out option in sports wagering gives bettors the chance to get partially paid before the event is complete. The amount of money you get back depends on the timing of your cash out. The decision to cash out, or buy out, is usually made for two reasons:
- If the wager starts out looking like a winner but doesn’t seem it will end that way, a bettor can cash out for partial winnings.
- On the flip side, if the wager seems like a losing one from the start, a bettor can cash out early so they don’t lose the entire amount of the wager.
Other key findings included the types of bets placed before and during NFL games.
Favorite types of pregame bets:
- Total points
- Moneyline and points parlay
- Alternative spread and points
- Total rushing yards by player
Favorite types of in-game bets:
- Total points
- Result of drive
- Next scoring play
Halftime is no time for a break (anymore). Twenty-five percent of NFL turnover came from bets placed at halftime. The NFL’s halftime is a much more robust period for betting than halftime for the NBA (14%) and the Premier League (10%).
As more states legalize sports betting, Gerard Starkey, Marketing and Communications Director at Kambi, offered this insight into future reports:
“As the most popular league in the country, we fully expect the NFL will continue to be the major customer acquisition driver. With regards what will change due to more states legalizing, we expect a greater spread of action on teams due to a trend for bettors to wager on their local teams. And although not linked to new states, we think a maturing bettor will increasingly gravitate towards a high-quality in-game offering, although not at the cost of pre-game action, which will continue to provide the bulk of the betting handle for a while yet.”
Although online betting dominates in Pennsylvania – with eight PA online betting apps available – and New Jersey, some states do not offer the option. However, an alternative gives Kambi operators a competitive advantage.
Kambi reported a high level of engagement with Bring Your Own Device technology. It allows users to build their bets on their phone and then scan a generated QR code at the on-property sportsbook.
Starkey told PlayPennsylvania:
“When we looked at the data, we saw almost 25% of wagers placed with a teller were completed using this feature, rising to as high as 40% at one book, helping drive traffic to the casino and reducing waiting times during busy periods. Bettors have really taken to this unique product, particularly in states where there is no regulated mobile wagering available.”