Americans expected to bet $6B on Super Bowl LIII, survey says

Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will be the first NFL title game since legal sportsbooks began popping up in states outside of Nevada -- and Americans will have a lot riding on it.

From friendly wagers to barroom pools to traditional betting with bookmakers -- both legal and illegal -- an estimated $6 billion will be wagered by Americans on the Super Bowl, according to survey results released Monday by the American Gaming Association, a trade group representing the casino industry.

In comparison, the Dallas Cowboys, deemed the most valuable sports franchise in the world three years in a row by Forbes, are valued at $4.8 billion. 

Nearly 10 percent of American adults plan to bet on the Super Bowl in one way or another, according to the survey, and they are divided on which team to back. Fifty-two percent of the 2,201 surveyed said they would be betting on the Rams, with the other 48 percent planning to back the Patriots.

"The interest in legal, regulated sports betting in the United States has never been higher," Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said in a release announcing the survey results. "More Americans than ever before will be able to place their bets with legal sportsbooks now operating in eight states."

Last May, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the federal statute that had restricted state-authorized sports betting to primarily Nevada. The ruling opened a path for other states to authorize sports betting. In addition to Nevada, legal sportsbooks in Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia will be taking bets on the Super Bowl.

Yet, out of the 22.7 million American adults planning to bet on Sunday's game, the survey found that 1.8 million still expect to bet with an illegal bookmaker, while millions more are likely to bet with offshore sportsbooks.

"These results, however, also point to the continued viability of the dangerous, illegal sports betting market in America," Miller added. "It is more important than ever for jurisdictions to enact sound policies that provide a safe, legal alternative with protections for the nearly 23 million Americans who will place a bet on the big game."

The survey was conducted Jan. 22 by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Gaming Association.

While the survey revealed slightly more betting support for the underdog Rams, the betting action on the Super Bowl at Las Vegas sportsbooks has primarily been on the Patriots. Just over 80 percent of the money wagered on the Super Bowl point spread at Caesars Palace books was on New England, as of Sunday afternoon.

MGM Resorts, which operates sportsbooks in Mississippi, New Jersey and Nevada, had taken 14 five-figure wagers on the Super Bowl line as of Sunday night -- all of them were on the Patriots, according to supervisor Scott Shelton.