Dec 18, 2021; Inglewood, CA, USA; A general overall view of SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Super Bowl LVI unlikely to be moved from L.A.

Super Bowl LVI is highly unlikely to be moved away from SoFi Stadium in southern California, according to a report by the Sports Business Journal.

Dallas television station WFAA reported on Wednesday night that the NFL was looking into the availability of stadiums outside of California, including the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, in case a venue change is needed.

The report came in the wake of the Grammys being postponed and concerns that California might institute restrictions with the Omicron variant rapidly spreading throughout the state.

However, sources told the SBJ on Thursday that plans remain in place for a full-scale Super Bowl experience around the $2 billion SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. And if the wave of Omicron cases doesn’t peak in the coming weeks, it will likely result in smaller parties ahead of the Feb. 13 game rather than a change in venues.

Los Angeles County reported 21,790 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, marking the fourth time in five days that the county had topped 20,000 cases. That’s compared to 1,600 new cases on Dec. 5.

“We are working closely with the NFL to welcome the Super Bowl to L.A. County,” an L.A. County Public Health representative told the SBJ. “And while we cannot provide certainty for the future, we do not anticipate capacity limits at sporting events.”

WFAA reported that a Cowboys front office source told the station the team and league have had preliminary discussions about AT&T Stadium serving as an emergency site should California institute COVID-19 restrictions that would create issues with the game being held at SoFi.

At this point, it appears that remains a very remote likelihood as NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told WFAA that the league looks into backup venues every year.

“As part of our standard contingency planning process that we conduct for all regular and postseason games, we have contacted several clubs to inquire about stadium availability in the event we cannot play the Super Bowl as scheduled due to weather-related issues or unforeseen circumstances,” McCarthy told the station.

“Our planning process for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles is ahead of schedule and we look forward to hosting the Super Bowl there to culminate another fantastic NFL season for our fans and clubs.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates with wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) after a touchdown in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Packers take over as Super Bowl LVI favorites

Green Bay has taken over as the new Super Bowl favorite after the Packers clinched the top seed in the NFC with a week remaining in the regular season.

The Packers (13-3) are now the +400 favorites to win Super Bowl LVI by both BetMGM and DraftKings. That is ahead of Kansas City (+500) at both sportsbooks after the Chiefs lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17.

Green Bay has even shorter odds at +380 by FanDuel.

The Chiefs’ loss opened the door for Tennessee to claim the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win over the 4-12 Houston Texans this weekend. The Titans and Chiefs are both 11-5, but Tennessee owns the tiebreaker even if Kansas City beats the Denver Broncos on Saturday.

The Packers opened the season at +900 at BetMGM but their odds have steadily shortened as they have gone 9-2 in the conference. The Chiefs opened at +600, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have moved from +1200 to +700 at the sportsbook while clinching the NFC South at 12-4 despite injuries to several key playmakers.

Tampa Bay has been backed by the highest ticket percentage at BetMGM at 10.2 percent along with the most money bet on an individual team at 12.5 percent. The Bucs are +900 at DraftKings, behind the Packers, Chiefs, Buffalo Bills (+750) and Los Angeles Rams (+850).

The Bills are +800 at BetMGM while the Rams are +900. The Arizona Cardinals (11-5) are the sportsbook’s biggest liability (+1800) in the Super Bowl market according to data released Tuesday, followed by the Bucs and Packers.

The New England Patriots, whose odds shortened to +700 in mid-December, have slipped to +1800. They enter the final week of the regular season tied atop the AFC East at 10-6, but the Bills own the tiebreaker with a 4-1 record within the division.

Meanwhile, Tennessee’s odds have shortened from +2000 in mid-December to +1200. An even bigger move has been made during that stretch by the Cincinnati Bengals, who have gone from +5000 longshots to +2000 while wrapping up the AFC North.

Super Bowl Odds (BetMGM)
Green Bay Packers: +400
Kansas City Chiefs: +500
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +700
Buffalo Bills: +800
Los Angeles Rams: +900
Dallas Cowboys: +1200
Tennessee Titans: +1200
Arizona Cardinals: +1800
New England Patriots: +1800
Cincinnati Bengals: +2000
Indianapolis Colts: +2000
Los Angeles Chargers: +4000
San Francisco 49ers: +4000
Philadelphia Eagles: +6600
New Orleans Saints: +10000
Las Vegas Raiders: +15000
Baltimore Ravens: +25000
Pittsburgh Steelers: +30000

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass in the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs, Chiefs back atop Super Bowl title odds

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs have experienced some turbulence through the first 14 weeks of the NFL season but are back where they were in September — atop the list of favorites to win the Super Bowl.

Tampa Bay has won four consecutive games to reach 10-3 — tied with the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals for the best mark in the NFC. The Bucs are being offered at +425 by BetMGM to win the Super Bowl, slightly shorter than the +600 odds they had at the sportsbook through the first three weeks of the season.

Kansas City is riding a six-game winning streak, pulling even with the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans at 9-4 in the race for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Chiefs, who were also being offered at +600 in mid-September, are now listed at +550 by BetMGM.

Kansas City has pulled ahead of Tampa Bay at MaximBet, where the Chiefs are +500 and the Bucs are +600.

“We took a lot of sharp action on the Chiefs when they were struggling at the start of the season and had odds as high as 13-1,” said Lenny Estrin, head of MaximBet trading. “The Chiefs are our largest liability at this point, and they’re absolutely humming with the defense showing signs of life, so they are at the top of our futures board, for now.”

Both the Packers and Patriots are at +700 at both sportsbooks, while the Cardinals are +900 at BetMGM and +750 at MaximBet. Arizona lost on Monday night to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams opened the season at +2000 at BetMGM but were +800 after reeling off three consecutive victories to open the season. They are now being offered at +1000 as they sit a game behind the Cardinals in the NFC West.

The NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys are being offered at +1200 after opening the season at +2500. Going in the opposite direction are the Buffalo Bills, who were +900 in mid-September but have now slid to +1600 after consecutive losses.

Super Bowl Odds (BetMGM)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +425
Kansas City Chiefs: +550
Green Bay Packers: +700
New England Patriots: +700
Arizona Cardinals: +900
Los Angeles Rams: +1000
Dallas Cowboys: +1200
Buffalo Bills: +1600
Tennessee Titans: +2000
Los Angeles Chargers: +2500
Baltimore Ravens: +3000
San Francisco 49ers: +3000
Indianapolis Colts: +3500
Cleveland Browns: +4000
Cincinnati Bengals: +5000
Minnesota Vikings: +1000
Philadelphia Eagles: +10000
Denver Broncos: +15000

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; A general overall view as Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) throws the ball against the Washington Football Team  in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Las Vegas will host 2024 Super Bowl

The United States’ biggest sporting event reportedly is heading to one of the nation’s biggest tourist destinations.

The 2024 Super Bowl will be held in Las Vegas, according to multiple media reports Monday. The venue selection for the Feb. 11, 2024, game reportedly will be approved by NFL owners on Wednesday.

Super Bowl LVIII had been slated for New Orleans, but a conflict with Mardi Gras forced the NFL to look elsewhere for a site.

The Raiders are completing their second season of action in Las Vegas after relocating from Oakland. Once an NFL team moved to Sin City, it was expected that a Super Bowl would be slated for Las Vegas sooner rather than later.

Allegiant Stadium, the new $2 billion home of the Raiders, normally has just 65,000 seats, below the NFL’s required minimum of 70,000, according to ESPN. However, ESPN added that the league could either expand the stadium’s capacity or waive the seating requirement.

Moving Super Bowl LVIII from Louisiana to Nevada would put three consecutive NFL title games in the Southwest. Super Bowl LVI is set for Feb. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif., and Super Bowl LVII will be held Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. New Orleans will host Super Bowl LIX on Feb. 9, 2025.

–Field Level Media

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg perform on the Coachella Stage during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in April 2012 in Indio. The rappers surprised the crowd when they performed with a hologram of Tupac Shakur, who died in 1996.

Coachella 2012 2

Super Bowl halftime: Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar

The first Super Bowl to be played in the Los Angeles area in 30 years will feature a cast of hip-hop and R&B icons performing at halftime.

The NFL announced Thursday that Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will perform in the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar hail from the Los Angeles-area city of Compton, and Snoop Dogg is from nearby Long Beach.

“The opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime show, and to do it in my own backyard, will be one of the biggest thrills of my career,” Dr. Dre said in a statement. “I’m grateful to JAY-Z, Roc Nation, the NFL, and Pepsi as well as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar for joining me in what will be an unforgettable cultural moment.”

Five artists will collaborate for the halftime show one year after The Weeknd was the solo act.

–Field Level Media

June 5, 2018; Stanton, DE, USA; At 1:30 p.m. today Tuesday, June 5, 2018, Delaware launches the country's first full-scale sports betting operation outside of Nevada as people roll into the Casino at Delaware Park in Stanton, Del. to wager their bets. Mandatory Credit: Suchat Pederson/The News Journal via USA TODAY NETWORK

Record 45.2M Americans expected to bet on NFL in 2021

A record 45.2 million Americans are expected to wager during this upcoming NFL season, a 36 percent increase year-over-year, the American Gaming Association (AGA) announced Tuesday.

The increase is largely due to eight more states where fans can legally bet compared to 2020. Americans can wager in 26 states versus 18 one year ago.

Further, three more states (Arizona, South Dakota, Washington) are expected to come online by Thursday’s regular season kickoff and two more by the end of the season.

“Importantly, when the 2021 NFL season begins, more than 111m American adults will be able to wager safely with regulated sportsbooks in their home states rather than with the predatory illegal market,” AGA president and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement.

Based on its research, AGA projects that five million Americans will place a bet online (up 73 percent YOY) while seven million will bet with a bookie (up just 13 percent).

The Kansas City Chiefs are the most popular Super Bowl bet among Americans, followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys.

–Field Level Media

Sep 14, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; A Denver Broncos helmet on the ground before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos’ Super Bowl odds shorten with Teddy Bridgewater, Patrick Surtain

Oddmakers took favorably to the Denver Broncos’ moves after the first day of the NFL draft, shortening the team’s odds to win Super Bowl LVI in February.

Draft Kings adjusted the Broncos’ odds to +1600 — they were +6000 on Tuesday — after Denver’s acquisition of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from the Carolina Panthers and selection of Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II with the No. 9 overall pick in the opening round of the draft on Thursday night.

The Broncos join the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers at +1600 — the seventh-shortest odds in the league.

The Chiefs (+500) remained the favorites with DraftKings, followed by the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who dropped to +700 from +750 in the latest odds, then the Baltimore Ravens (+1300), and the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, all at +1400.

The 49ers opened the week at +1600 and saw their odds shortened after their selection of North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick.

Green Bay’s odds got longer on Friday, moving from +1100 on Tuesday, after reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers reportedly said he no longer wants to play for the Packers.

The odds also got longer for the Arizona Cardinals, who moved from +3300 to +4000, and Panthers (+6000 to +6600). Despite taking quarterback Zach Wilson of BYU with the No. 2 overall pick, the New York Jets saw their odds of winning the Super Bowl lengthen from +8000 to +10000 — the same as the Cincinnati Bengals.

The embattled Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions remained the longest shots in the field at +15000.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Bruce Arians shows off Super Bowl tattoo

Coach Bruce Arians is the latest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl victory with a tattoo.

Arians, in fact, took to social media on Tuesday to show that he made good on his promise.

“I’m a man of my word- ‘when we win the Super Bowl, I will get a tattoo’ well I got mine and I love it!! #SBLV #superbowlLVchamps,” the 68-year-old Arians posted on Twitter.

The tattoo on Arians’ upper back features the Super Bowl LV logo with the Lombardi trophy. That rests atop the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ logo, with the numbers 31 and 9 featured. The Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs by that final score on Feb. 7.

Arians claims he told tight ends coach Rick Christophel that he would get the ink should the Buccaneers win the title.

Arians is not alone about receiving some ink following the title win.

Rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and wide receiver Mike Evans reportedly also commemorated the Super Bowl win with tattoos.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) taunts Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bucs’ Antoine Winfield Jr. fined for SB taunting

The NFL has fined Tampa Bay defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. $7,815 for taunting Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill during Super Bowl LV last week, according to NFL Network.

Winfield held up two fingers in a peace sign directed at Hill with the Buccaneers comfortably ahead late in the game. It mimics the signature gesture Hill frequently uses against defenders that he left in his rearview mirror.

That includes a Week 12 meeting between the teams when Hill racked up 269 yards and three touchdowns. Hill flashed the peace sign at Winfield as he ran past him in that game and also embarrassed the Buccaneers by back-flipping into the end zone on one of his touchdowns.

That game apparently stuck with Winfield.

“He back-flipped in front of my face, gave me the peace sign. So it was only right that I gave the peace sign right back to him,” Winfield said after the Bucs’ 31-9 win last Sunday.

“It felt amazing to be able to do that, not even gonna lie.”

–Field Level Media