There is a segment of Ohio football fans — specifically those who root for the Cincinnati Bengals — who might still not be ready to think about the upcoming Super Bowl.
But many of Ohio’s die-hard football fans — including some of those who are able to get over the Bengals’ stinging loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game — are looking forward to the big game.
It will be the first Super Bowl that sports fans in the Buckeye State can legally place bets on, coming just over a month after legal Ohio sports betting launched statewide.
Here’s an Ohioans guide to watching the Chiefs face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, featuring a look at where to watch the game outside of the comfort of your couch, what types of prop bets are available and a look at some participating players’ Ohio connections.
“The Kelce Bowl” is rooted in Ohio
With the Bengals and Browns not in the game, Ohio sports fans might be trying to figure out just who they should be rooting for in the Super Bowl.
Perhaps go with the team that has players with some connection to the Buckeye State?
One pair of high-profile players with deep Ohio ties isn’t going to make it much easier to decide which team deserves your rooting interest. That’s because their Ohio credentials are nearly identical and they’ll be playing on opposing teams in the Super Bowl.
It’s the kind of storyline sure to be driven into the ground by the media in the lead-up to Feb. 12: Eagles center Jason Kelce and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce are brothers who grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
It marks the first time brothers have played against each in a Super Bowl and, almost immediately after the AFC championship game, the “Kelce Bowl” headlines began to emerge. (For the record, on the Feb. 1 episode of their New Heights podcast, both brothers said they were already sick of hearing and talking about that storyline.)
Kelce brothers’ University of Cincinnati connections
Both Kelces also played college football in Ohio, for the same team. Jason played for the University of Cincinnati from 2006-2010, while Travis was the Bearcats’ tight end from 2008-2012 (minus the 2010 season, for which he was suspended after failing a drug test, testing positive for marijuana).
Both Kelces have had accomplished football careers full of distinguished honors. Travis is the more celebrated, having set several NFL records for tight ends, including most receiving yards in a season (1,416) and most seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards (7) and over 100 receptions (3).
Both brothers have been to the Pro-Bowl multiple times and both already have Super Bowl rings.
If you’re weighing “Kelce Ohio-ness” to determine whom to root for, there aren’t many differences from which to choose. But Jason was born in Greenville, North Carolina (Travis was born in Westlake, Ohio).
And Travis (deservedly?) called the mayor of Cincinnati a “Jabroni” for his misguided smack talk ahead of the Bengals/Chiefs game.
Ohio retail sportsbooks offer prime Super Bowl viewing
One of the best places to watch the Super Bowl might just be at one of Ohio’s new retail sportsbooks.
Sports betting offers its own opportunity to have a rooting interest — or even multiple rooting interests — in the game, whether it’s for a particular team, player or in-game occurrence. Watching the Super Bowl at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook provides the thrill of watching the game on multiple TVs with numerous like-mindedly passionate fans.
And you can place your bets on the game on the premises to boot.
Since Jan. 1, Ohio has seen the opening of more than a dozen retail sportsbooks across the state.
One of those spots will have an especially fresh “new retail sportsbook” smell on Super Bowl Sunday. The Barstool Sportsbook space at Hollywood Casino Columbus is officially opening the day before the game, on Feb. 11, with more than 30 betting kiosks, seven betting windows, two “jumbo TV walls” and a bar and restaurant. (While the casino was building the sportsbook, Hollywood Casino Columbus patrons were able to place bets at kiosks and in the casino’s poker area.)
Here is a list of Ohio’s licensed retail sportsbooks where you can watch and bet on the Super Bowl:
- Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Columbus
- Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway (Dayton)
- Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley (Youngstown)
- Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Toledo
- betJACK Sportsbook at JACK Cleveland Casino
- betJACK Sportsbook at JACK Thistledown Racino (North Randall)
- BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati)
- BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM Northfield Park (Northfield)
- Caesars Sportsbook at Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs (Columbus)
- Caesars Sportsbook at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland)
- FanDuel Sportsbook at Belterra Park (Cincinnati)
- Hard Rock Sportsbook at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati
- The Race & Sportsbook at Miami Valley Gaming (Lebanon)
- SuperBook Sports at Taft’s Ale House (Cincinnati)
Limits on some Super Bowl betting in Ohio
Whether at a retail sportsbook, at betting kiosk at your favorite bar or restaurant or at home on your phone using one of the 16 sportsbook apps available in Ohio, wagering on the Super Bowl is a great way to be further engaged with the game.
But Ohio does have some limits on the kinds of bets you can make on the game. Specifically, bettors in Ohio are not allowed to place certain novelty Super Bowl prop bets.
If you were in Ohio’s neighbor Indiana, you’d be able to place prop bets on offbeat things like the outcome of the opening coin toss, the color of the Gatorade with which the winning coach is doused or the length of the National Anthem.
But Ohio currently has rules against betting on such outcomes. Though the state could change the rules in the future, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, bets related to the following outcomes are currently not permitted:
- The statistical actions of coaches, officials, or referees. For example, number of timeouts called, number of yellow cards issued, etc.
- Inherently objectionable outcomes. For example, will any player suffer an injury, how much time will an injured or resting player miss, will any player be ejected from a game, or similar.
- Any actions by persons participating in entertainment surrounding the sporting event, but not the sporting event itself. For example, halftime performances, cheerleading activity, band performances, etc.
- Coin flips or other random determinations.
- Clothing, equipment characteristics (sports drinks, etc.), or any other item in which the outcome is determined prior to the performance of the athletes in the event.
Still, there are plenty of other types of prop bets available for Ohio bettors. DraftKings Sporstbook Ohio allows bettors to wager on unique things like whether any quarterback will have 1+ receiving touchdowns, whether any non-quarterback will have 1+ passing touchdowns or whether any player will score a touchdown and score the ensuing two-point conversion (that bet is dubbed “Octopus”).
Ohio might not have a team in the big game, but Ohio sports fans’ first Super Bowl experience since sports betting became legal across the state stands to be greatly enhanced by that legalization.
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