Superbowl 2023 Analysis

An analysis of the availability of the top three in-play markets across five leading US sportsbooks for Superbowl LVII.

In-Play Analysis: Key Market Availability


  • Usability Digital is aware of inconsistencies in the availability of key in-play betting markets between sportsbooks
  • Usability Digital was unable to source any existing analysis in this area
  • Usability Digital also doubts any sportsbooks or data/odds suppliers have undertaken such analysis


  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of multiple sportsbooks to establish in-play patterns and strategies
  • Map play-by-play incidents to the availability of key betting markets
  • Analyse the output


  • Usability Digital recognises that this information can challenge current in-play trading strategies and be used to enhance current in-play models
  • This analysis can also be applied to any sportsbook, betting market or pricing analysis model

In-Play Analysis: Key Market Availability

Superbowl LVII: Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles

Purpose of analysis

  1. Compare availability of the three main NFL in-play markets from five of the main US sportsbook operators
  2. Get an understanding of the various strategies and risk models the major US sportsbooks apply to high profile in-play wagering
  3. The moneyline, spread and total were monitored for market suspensions and availability for wagering
  4. The analysis was conducted on Superbowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, February 12, 2023

Sportsbooks Analyzed

  1. FanDuel: US Market leader with 46.6% of the US sportsbook handle as per July 2022
  2. DraftKings: With 20.2% of the market share DK is second largest US wide sportsbook
  3. BetMGM/Borgata: is the third largest sportsbook in terms of handle in the US with a market share of 14.1%
  4. Caesars/William Hill: is the only other sportsbook with a market share above 3% at 7.5%
  5. Barstool (Kambi): The sixth largest US sportsbook in terms of handle with a market share of 2.8%

All the above sportsbooks are available in most US regulated states. BetRivers, PointsBet and WynnBet also have a nationwide presence but have failed to reach a 3% market share.

In-Play Analysis: Assumption, Definition and Caveats


  • Barstool’s web version failed to update in real time and would only update when the page was refreshed. We therefore used Unibet’s front end to record data as they use the same in-play odds-feed (Kambi). Checks were made to confirm that Unibet’s (Kambi) offering were identical to Barstool’s web front end and it’s app
  • We assume that suspension incidents are the same for both web and apps, outside of latency
  • We used New Jersey sportsbooks and the main three markets as a baseline. We also assume all sportsbooks in the comparison offer the same in-play product in all other states
  • Latency: All game incidents were recorded against UK broadcaster SKY Sports with an estimated 5-8 second lag against real time in Arizona. The 5-8 second lag time corresponds with real time data from official sources so we can assume with a high degree of certainty that this is within the margin or error. For the purpose of mapping events to in-play suspensions and odds this lag is deemed acceptable

Definition of in-play time

  • In-Play time definition: For the purpose of the analysis we defined in-play from the moment the first sportsbook transitioned into play prior to kick-off 18:32:45 We excluded the last 1 min 36 seconds of the game when it was clear the Chiefs would kneel prior to the last field goal at 22:07:47. We also decided to exclude half time from the analysis as it lasts significantly longer than a regular season game (over ½ hour)


  • All data was recorded and collected by Usability Digital Europe (UDEL) in good faith and without any preconceptions of what we would discover and without bias towards any operator or feed provider
  • All data is recorded, owned and stored by UDEL
  • We have taken every step to validate the information gathered
  • We believe the accuracy of the data is the truth as recorded but appreciate their may be other factors such as latency, rendering of data and information and other technical issues that may prevent all information to be available to UDEL
  • We appreciate there may be inconsistencies between data collected by Operators or Odds/Data Feed Providers and our findings. However, we will not always establish if these are related to issues at our end or at the Operator’s end.
  • We also welcome and appreciate any feedback from Operators and Odds/Data Feed Providers in case of errors or clarification. We will update the report accordingly if verified.
  • UDEL wholeheartedly apologise for any errors there may be and will be happy to rectify these UDEL will not accept any financial liability for the reports we have produced in good faith

Visualization: Actual Suspension Timeline

Total Number of Market Suspension Instances

Number of Market Suspension Instances - by Quarter

Average Market Suspension Duration – Q1 to Q3*

Average Market Suspension Duration by Quarter*

Total Market Suspension Time - Minutes

Total Market Suspension Time by Quarter - Minutes

Market Availability

Market Availability by Quarter

Summary of In-Play Suspension Conclusions
(Chiefs vs Eagles 12th Feb, 2023)

  • Suspension time patterns were inconsistent across all five sportsbooks
  • Different operators appear to employ a variety of strategies for in-play NFL betting. DraftKings applies a high risk/high availability approach with minimal suspensions. They appear to review plays and call decisions prior to the on-field referees and adjust their odds accordingly. Fanduel and Unibet (Barstool) take a cautious approach with many suspensions, even during ‘low risk’ plays. Caesars and BetMGM have a more inconsistent approach with occasional unexplained suspension periods. These suspensions may be caused by technical issues, liability safety limits, or manual trader overrides. MGM and Unibet also provide a cautions strategy but with fewer but longer suspensions than FanDuel
  • Whilst FanDuel have the most suspensions, they have the lowest suspension time average. Caesars had very few (second lowest) number of suspensions but with the longest average suspension times for spread and totals
  • FanDuel, BetMGM and Kambi total suspension times were significantly longer than Caesars and DraftKings with key markets suspended for between 30 and 45 minutes in total.
  • DraftKings by comparison only suspended the spread and totals for 1 min 58 seconds and the moneyline for 1 min 26 seconds DraftKings managed to keep the main three markets available for close to 99% of the time in-play. Caesars also managed this for the moneyline
  1. FanDuel’s transition to in-play took over 5 ½ minutes pre-game, preventing wagering at a critical time We have been informed these markets were available and wagers were placed during this period. However, we don’t know how many people were affected by the non-rendering of the key markets that we experienced (if any)
  2. FanDuel had more suspensions than any other sportsbooks (104 instances)
  3. FanDuel’s average suspensions time, however, is very low compared to other operators (in excess of 17 seconds)
  4. FanDuel appears to implement suspensions in five-second increments
  5. FanDuel appears to adopt precautionary 3rd and 4th down suspensions as the snap takes place. FanDuel had some post-snap suspensions on 1st and 2nd down that appear to be reactive
  1. DraftKings appear to apply an aggressive in-play strategy. They did not suspend any of the three main in-play markets from transitioning to in-play up until late in the 4th Quarter, apart from an inexplicable 21 second suspension in the 3rd quarter
  2. DraftKings only suspended key markets for just under 2 minutes in total for the whole game with 99% availability
  3. DraftKings transitioned to in-play about 10 seconds after kick-off when the ML was suspended with Spread and Total suspending 15 seconds later. In-play did not appear until about 25 seconds after the first snap of the game
  1. Caesars in-play strategy appears inconsistent compared to Fanduel and Barstool (Unibet/Kambi) with relatively few suspensions (26 for Spread down to 8 for ML), however, suspension durations were above average (up to 42 seconds)
  2. Caesars, opposed to FanDuel, MGM and Barstool (Kambi), appear to suspend the spread and total more frequently whilst leaving the moneyline unsuspended (98.9% – same as DraftKings)
  3. Caesars had several inexplicable and relatively long suspension periods for the spread and total (not simultaneously). These were possibly linked to technical issues or liability limits being breached in the second half
  4. Caesars alongside Barstool (Kambi) were the only sportsbooks with a seamless transition to in-play. No suspensions of key markets were noted
  1. BetMGM took nearly 9 minutes to transition into in-play with the 3 key markets unavailable for wagering. This occurred pre-game, however, markets were available 1½ minute before kick-off. The result would be significant loss of pre-game handle. This transition delay was significantly longer than that observed during the Eagles vs 49ers Conference championship game in January (22 seconds)
  2. BetMGM recorded the lowest total availability of all sportsbooks spread (77%) and ML (83%)
  3. BetMGM took the longest to unsuspend/update prices following big plays/complex combinations of on field events (e.g. Eagles TD that was reversed in 1st quarter)
  4. There were also a number of long inexplicable suspensions throughout the game
  1. Barstool, Unibet and Kambi appear to adopt a similar low risk in-play strategy to that of Fanduel, with frequent suspensions for 3rd down and plays when a flag was thrown
  2. Barstool, Unibet and Kambi appear to suspend markets earlier than Fanduel or any of the other Sportsbooks – typically by 5-6 seconds. This could be due to the in-play model/trader reacting to the live feed earlier or that they adopt a more precautionary approach to each snap rather than being reactionary
  3. Barstool, Unibet and Kambi had the lowest availability of totals (75%) among the five Sportsbooks analyzed and the longest duration of suspension (totalling nearly 45 minutes)

Summary of In-Play Suspension Triggers (Superbowl LVII)

What are the triggers for Sportsbook suspension of the Spread, Total and Moneyline?

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