Super Bowl Betting Guide
It is the greatest single-day event in American sports: the Super Bowl. While it doesn’t have the same global reach of the World Cup in soccer or the Olympics, for Americans, it is the biggest individual game on the sporting landscape: the Super Bowl. And for bettors, the Super Bowl odds and game itself are the granddaddy of them all as about 26 million Americans bet on the Super Bowl per year with the 2020 figures showing nearly $7 billion in bets placed.
The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched events in America every year. The top-rated TV programs of all times are dominated by Super Bowl games from the past. A big part of the spectacle is not just the game but the pre-game shows, the National Anthem signing, the halftime show, the Super Bowl ads, the humongous list of Super Bowl betting odds that deal with props on all sorts of wacky things and, oh yea, the game itself. That’s what makes this such a glorious event.
In this article, we’re going to go over the different ways you can bet on the Super Bowl and give you some tips on how to do it.
How Can I Bet On The Super Bowl?
When it comes to betting on the Super Bowl, there are a whole host of different options. In this section, we’re going to go over all of the different types of bets available to you.
Super Bowl Moneyline
The moneyline bet involves a straight-up question of which Super Bowl team will win the game outright. The point spread is irrelevant in a moneyline bet. Just pick the winning team, and you win.
Going back to the Super Bowl, the Chiefs were favored on the moneyline and the betting odds looked like this:
Betting on the Chiefs in the moneyline with this price means that betting $130 could win $100. For the 49ers, it would have been the other way around as a $100 bet would have paid $110. This explains the difference between a plus sign and a minus sign in front of a number as a reflection of the betting price.
If a betting price has a plus sign in front of it, you can bet $100 to win that number of dollars. So, a +110 means that betting $100 could win $110. The minus sign attached to the Chiefs means that a $130 bet can win $100.
Super Bowl Point Spread
The point spread is a margin of victory. This means the favorite Super Bowl team has to win by a certain margin or the underdog can lose within a certain margin to “cover” the spread. Let’s take a look at an example.
At the time of kickoff for Super Bowl LIV this past February in Miami, the Kansas City Chiefs were favored by 1.5 points. This is how the betting odds would have been posted relative to the point spread for the most recent Super Bowl:
49ers +1.5 -110
Chiefs -1.5 -110
The 49ers needed to either win the game or lose by only one point to cover the spread and cash in a San Francisco bet. That’s because they were +1.5, so they were receiving 1.5 points. On the other hand, the Chiefs were -1.5, which means they have to win by two or more points to cover the spread.
The Chiefs won by 11, so they covered. They would have covered if they won by two, seven or 20 as well. However, had the Chiefs won by exactly one point or had the 49ers won, San Francisco would have covered the spread.
The -110 means that betting $110 could win $100. If a betting price has a plus sign in front of it, you can bet $100 to win that number of dollars. So, a +110 means that betting $100 could win $110.
Super Bowl Totals (Over-Under)
Totals focus on the combined score of the two teams playing in the Super Bowl. In other words, you don’t think about the winner or loser of the game. All that matters is the final combined score of the two temas.
The total for Super Bowl LIV at kickoff was 54 points. This is how it would have been represented:
San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Over 54.5 (-110)
Under 54.5 (-110)
What this means is if the two teams combined to score 55 points or more, that would constitute an over. If they scored 54 points or less, that would be an under.
The game finished with 51 total points. If you felt the defenses would do well in this game, you would have bet the under, and you would have been right. You would have won. If you were expecting a shootout with a point total in the 60s or higher, you would have been wrong. You would have lost.
Super Bowl Futures
Futures pertain less to the actual game-day experience of the Super Bowl and apply more to the odds of winning a Super Bowl over the course of the NFL season. The odds of a team winning the Super Bowl will fluctuate from September to October to November and through the rest of the season. For example, you can bet on who’ll win the Super Bowl in the preseason or after a given week. The bad news is that your money is locked in for a long period of time but the good news is that your payout is generally quite large if you’re right.
Super Bowl Prop Bets
Prop bets are a type of alternate bet that isn’t necessarily focused on who’ll win or lose the game. It’s mostly focused around player or team performance. An example of a prop bet on the Super Bowl might have been this:
Jimmy Garoppolo Passing Yards In Super Bowl LIV
Over 250: -110
Under 250: -110
It should have been clear, based on the playoffs and especially the NFC Championship Game, that the 49ers were a run-based team. They preferred to move the ball by running instead of passing. They had a physical offensive line which could control the line of scrimmage. San Francisco figured to use a game plan which did not depend on Jimmy Garoppolo to throw the ball down the field a lot. Studying this prop would have led you to the conclusion that the “under” was a much smarter evaluation of how many passing yards Jimmy G would throw for.
Super Bowl Squares
Super Bowl squares involve the point totals after quarters. If the point totals after a quarter end with a given number, and you have the square which matches that number, you win. Since football has specific point totals for various kinds of scores – 7 for a touchdown, 3 for a field goal – some squares obviously offer more of a chance than others: Squares with 3, 7, 0, and 4 are the most likely ones for the first quarter. It can get more complicated in future quarters, but certain totals do stand out.
Super Bowl Live Betting
If you’re not sure to bet before the big game begins, live betting allows you to make in-game selections. That means you can watch the first quarter to see if one team is shaking off early-game nerves or pick up some patterns of play and judge which teams is ascendant. At that point, after watching some of the action, you can then make a bet.
One of the key reminders about the value of live betting is that you can hedge your bet made before the game. If you bet on the 49ers before the most recent Super Bowl, but you saw late in the third quarter that the Chiefs had a good chance to make a comeback, and you bet on the Chiefs in-game, you wiped out your losing 49ers bet. That’s what it means to hedge.
Tips For Betting On The Super Bowl
While the Super Bowl is just one game, there are many keys to handicapping it. Here are a few tips to get you off on the right track.
Bet The Super Bowl Props
If you’re not sure who’s going to win the Superbowl, you have the option of betting props. The sportsbooks will post thousands of props that focus on player performance, team performance and many wild and wacky things in the entertainment realm. If you don’t know who’ll win the game, take a look at the props and see if you can find some value with a player over-under or something else that’s not directly linked to the outcome of the game.
Use Live Betting To Your Advantage
The tricky part about handicapping the Super Bowl is that it’s just one game. On top of that, it’s one of the most evenly matched games of the year as it’s a showdown between the best team from the AFC and the best team from the NFC. If you don’t have a read on who’ll win the game, consider live betting it. That means you can watch some of the game, watch some of the action play out and then make your decision.
Shop Around For The Best Super Bowl Betting Price
This is an easy one to do if you bet online. When you look at the Super Bowl Vegas odds and the current Super Bowl odds online, you’ll often see slight discrepancies. Usually, the point spreads will be similar but a half-point can make the difference. Where you’ll see greater differences is with the props as different oddsmakers will price out the props slightly differently. Always make sure that you’re getting the best price. Opening up sportsbook accounts doesn’t cost you anything but it could save you money because you’ll be able to lock in the best line for yourself.