It’s officially Super Bowl week. On Sunday February 13th, in the late afternoon, the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will lock horns in a battle for the NFL Championship. For interested sports bettors, the Rams are currently favored at -4.5 with an over/under that is holding steady at 48.5.

For the entire sports betting community, this figures to be a Super Bowl unlike any that has come before it. Why? For the first time in US sports betting history, residents in over half the states have access to some form of legal wagering. Even more importantly, 15+ states now have access to legal online sports betting. With legal mobile apps at the fingertips of so many Americans, this will be the biggest event in the history of US sports betting.

Additional States Since Super Bowl LV

In February of 2021, somewhere close to $500 million was legally wagered on Super Bowl LV. On the field, the Tampa Bay Bucs crushed the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. This game saw the largest legal sports betting handle in the history of the Super Bowl.

This year, some industry experts are expecting the number could reach as high as $1 billion. If that sounds like a lot of money on one game, well it is a lot. However, this is the Super Bowl, and 2021 and early 2022 saw some significant state launches.

The additions during the last 12 months include Arizona, Wyoming, Louisiana, and most importantly New York. In Arizona, most of the state’s professional sports teams and Indian Tribes have partnered with licensed bookmakers. In Louisiana, 14 casino operators are now licensed to offer sports betting through licensed sports betting operators.

While all of that has been a boon for US sports betting, it’s New York that is drawing the big headlines. Now that the numbers are in for the first 23 days of action in the Empire State, you can see what all the fuss was about.

A Huge Open in New York

From the very beginning, there was evidence to suggest New York would become the nation’s leading sports betting state. While retail sports betting has been legal in upstate NY for close to two years, the numbers have been disappointing. The fact is New York sports bettors have been itching to bet on sports online. That was evident by the fact New Yorkers driving to neighboring New Jersey to place mobile bets helped make New Jersey the nation’s leader in sports betting handle. On January 8, 2022, the landscape of US sports betting changed forever.

With only 3 weeks of sports betting activity in January, New York smashed the handle record for a single month. NY sportsbooks took an astonishing $1.6 billion in mobile wagers alone. That far exceeded estimates of $1.0 billion to $1.1 billion.

Only time will tell how much impact New York will have on the 2022 Super Bowl handle total. The odds are it will be huge.

Mattress Mack Attacks Super Bowl LVI

Meanwhile a little further south, Louisiana mobile betting was making its own history. Jim McIngvale, better known in sports betting circles as “Mattress Mack,” has garnered a lot of attention over the years for his huge sports wagers. As owner/operator of the Gallery Furniture retail chain, Mattress Mack has never been shy about placing big bets and disclosing them to the public.

Last year, the entrepreneur/sports bettor wagered $3.46 million at +3.5 points on the Tampa Bay Bucs to beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Mission accomplished with winnings of $2.75 million. Chicken feed! This year, he has wagered a $4.5 million bet on the Bengals on the money line. If they win the game outright, Mattress Mack takes home a prize of $7.7 million.

That’s quite a single-person contribution to the year’s Super Bowl sports betting handle. To be fair, McIngvale uses his sports wagers as leverage against refunds and discounts he offers as Super Bowl promotions to his store customers. But if this bet, placed on his mobile phone at a gas station in Louisiana, is any indicator, US sportsbooks have a very busy week ahead of them.