Betfred placed a big bet for its launch in Ohio, and now the sports betting operator appears to be doubling down.
On Wednesday, the British-based company announced that it would pay out all Super Bowl futures bets on the Cincinnati Bengals. That’s despite the Bengals still needing one more win to even get to the game.
The NFL team, Betfred’s partner in Ohio, plays the Chiefs Sunday in Kansas City in the AFC Championship. If the Bengals win, they would face either the Philadelphia Eagles or the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 12 in the big game.
I’m so proud to be a sponsor. I’m so pleased and so confident that I’ve decided to pay out on the Bengals to win the Pro Football Championship,” Betfred Founder Fred Done said. “Yeah, you heard it right.”
Betfred paid out on all Bengals Super Bowl-winning bets placed by 10 a.m. Wednesday.
The sportsbook will still take bets on the Super Bowl. It also has boosted the Bengals odds to +300 from +250 before Sunday’s game, with payouts capped at $10,000 on the boosted odds. Betfred has the Eagles as the favorites at +240, the Chiefs are +275, and the 49ers are available at +325.
While the company is better known in its native Great Britain, Betfred is growing its presence in the US. Besides Ohio, it’s currently operating in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington. It’s also seeking a sports betting license in Nevada.
Bengals Bettors Blitzing Ohio Books
Sports betting launched in Ohio on Jan. 1, and that coincided with the Bengals becoming one of the hottest teams in the NFL. The defending AFC Champions won their final eight regular season games and have since won their first two playoff games.
That naturally led to the Bengals becoming a popular pick. Not just at Betfred, but at some of the other sportsbooks licensed in Ohio as well.
Leading up to last Sunday’s divisional playoff game at Buffalo, Hard Rock Sportsbook saw most of its action go with the Bengals. Jon Chapper, a senior director of communications for Hard Rock Digital, told Casino.org 88% of the pre-game moneyline bets on playoff game were on the Bengals, who were an underdog to the Bills. On pre-game spread bets, 79% took the Bengals, who were getting as many as 5.5 points before the contest.
Those figures included wagers made on Hard Rock’s app and its retail sportsbook at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.
The numbers were similar at Betfred for the Bengals-Bills game, and Bryan Bennett, Betfred’s COO, told Casino.org that they “definitely took a beating on that market.” However, given the relationship between Betfred and the team, it also gives them another week of high exposure for the brand.
Betfred Looking Long-Term in Ohio
Betfred is looking to leverage its relationship with the Bengals, a team that had struggled in recent years and for most of its history, but made the Super Bowl last year for the first time in 33 years. With Ohio one of the largest states to offer online sports betting, Betfred is focusing on being the leader in the Cincinnati market.
They hope moves like the one they made Wednesday will help them retain their current customers in Ohio and attract new ones.
“We’re good with the Bengals to keep winning,” Bennett told Casino.org on Tuesday night. “Can’t buy the publicity that comes with being able to promote our relationship with them for two weeks leading up to a Super Bowl.”
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