There are a handful of sporting events that captivate an entire nation. The Super Bowl is the one at the top of the list for that select category.
Diehard NFL fans look forward to the Big Game all year round, while even the casual fans who don’t pay much attention start to perk up whenever it rolls around.
A good part of the attraction comes from betting on it. Now that it’s completely legal and safe to bet on the Super Bowl in Ontario, Super Bowl betting volume — already pegged in the billions of dollars — is poised to surge even further.
Betting on the pro football championship can be lots of fun and exciting, but that comes with a really big caveat. You still have to bet it smart.
Ways to bet on the Super Bowl
While it may be the only NFL game going on for the day, don’t mistake that for a lack of betting options. So, how do you bet on the Super Bowl? There are several different ways to bet on the Big Game, and sportsbooks tend to go all out with offerings. At the top of the list are the main bet types for football. When the Super Bowl approaches, you’ll find a listing that looks like this.
- Kansas City Chiefs -170 -3 (-110) O 54.5 (-110)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +145 +3 (-110) U 54.5 (-110)
Right next to the two team names are the odds and lines for the following: moneyline, spread, and totals. These are three of the top ways to bet on the NFL, and all will bring in tons of action for the Super Bowl. Here’s how the three-bet types work.
- Moneyline: Pick the outright winner of the game.
- Point spread: Choices the favourite minus the points or the underdog plus the spread.
- Totals: Select Over or Under on the estimated total amount of points scored.
When reading the numbers for the moneyline and spread, remember this: negative numbers point to favourites while the digits are positive for underdogs. In this example, the Chiefs are favoured on the moneyline and a 3-point favourite on the spread. For spreads and totals, you’ll see the number set by the book, plus the actual odds for the bet.
Placing one of these bets at online and mobile sportsbooks is super simple. All you need to do is click on the odds for your choice. It gets added to the betting slip from there, where you’ll add in your wager amount, verify that everything is correct, and click submit to place it. The sportsbook will display your potential return once you plug in a bet amount.
Super Bowl props and live betting
The game outcome bets will bring in tons of action for the Super Bowl, but the wagering opportunities don’t end there. Props, which are essentially side wagers, are a big part of betting on the NFL, and sportsbooks take it to a whole new level when the Super Bowl rolls around. You’ll see hundreds of different offerings to consider, including:
- Result of the coin flip – heads or tails?
- Winner of the Super Bowl MVP
- Player to score the first TD in the game
Super Bowl props range from entertaining — i.e. coin flip, etc. — to things that are specific to the game itself, such as the first TD scorer. The number of choices can seem overwhelming, but there’s lots of time to sort through the options in advance of kickoff. Once the game gets underway, you’ll have plenty of more choices to consider in live betting markets, such as:
- Result of the next drive
- Betting on quarters and halves
- New props on player performances
Live betting markets move fast with odds and offerings updating constantly. Mobile apps from the leading sportsbooks make it easy to stay on top of what’s happening. You can watch the game wherever you are and follow along on the app to scout for appealing opportunities. Between props and live betting, you’ll have plenty of ways to get involved with the Big Game.
NFL Super Bowl futures market
The futures market for the winner of the next Super Bowl stays active all year round. After the current edition of the Big Game is in the books, oddsmakers will be at the ready with odds for the winner next time around. There will be Super Bowl betting odds listed for all 32 teams, typically in descending order with the favourites on top. Here’s what the top of the odds board might look like.
- Kansas City Chiefs +500
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +950
- Buffalo Bills +1100
- Green Bay Packers +1100
The general idea behind futures betting is to find the choices you like at the best prices, naturally hoping that the call you make goes on to win it all. The board will continually update in response to betting action, so it’s a good tool to lean on to get a sense of both oddsmaker and public perception of all the teams in the league.
What to watch for with Super Bowl odds
After the matchup for the Super Bowl is official, odds will quickly be released by sportsbooks. From there, the betting public gets its chance to weigh in. Depending on which way the action flows, there may be some movement in the numbers. This will continue up to kickoff, so be sure to stay in tune with Super Bowl line moves.
As a quick example, sportsbooks may open up with one side as a 2.5-point favourite. After bets start flowing in, lots of the action heads towards the underdog. Books may respond by dropping the spread to reflect the new reality. When researching, be sure to compare prices at several books to find the most appealing numbers.
The same applies to all of the other Big Game bet types, including futures and props. The numbers won’t always be the same everywhere, so taking the time to shop around can be well worth it. On the props front, you may also find different bets available in some spots that you can’t find elsewhere.
How much should you bet on the Super Bowl?
There’s no single answer that will apply to everyone. It all comes down to your comfort level and budget. Most importantly, you should only be betting with an amount that you can afford to lose. No matter how well you research or how confident you may be in your picks, losing your bets is a very distinct possibility.
We don’t point this out to discourage, but rather to provide a reality check. Sports betting in Ontario can be lots of fun and exciting, and things can even break in your direction at times. However, it can also go the opposite way and leave you with nothing to show for your efforts. It can be helpful to think of what you would be comfortable spending on an entertainment-related expense.
That’s money you won’t see again, so many folks stick to what they can afford. It should be the same thing here. Once you have the amount you’re comfortable with, stick to it and don’t exceed that amount regardless of what your research may uncover. You can also spread the risk out, such as by following something along these lines with a $100 budget.
- $50 on your favourite outcome bets such as moneyline, spread, or totals
- $30 to spread around with the Super Bowl props you find most appealing
- $10 for a bet on Super Bowl MVP
- $10 for live betting as the Big Game plays out
By following a pattern such as the one up above, you’ve not only spread out the risk and given yourself more chances to win, but you also gain extra rooting interest for the game itself. The Super Bowl is an awesome event and should be a good time. It’ll be more likely to remain that way if you stay in your lane without betting over your head.
Favourites to win the next Super Bowl
While there’s still plenty of time remaining until we’ll know what the next Super Bowl matchup will be, that doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead to who may be in the running. The futures market gives us a real-time look at the latest odds for the winner. Let’s take a look at how the numbers currently stack up for some of the favourites at top sportsbooks in the area.
|Kansas City Chiefs||+525||+525||+500||+500|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+850||+900||+800||+950|
|Green Bay Packers||+1100||+1000||+1100||+1100|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1300||+1300||+1000||+1300|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1500||+1400||+1400||+1400|
Last year’s Super Bowl participants, the Chiefs, and Buccaneers, currently sit atop the charts. The Bills and Packers, losers of the AFC and NFC championship games respectively, are the consensus third and fourth choices for now. There’s a solid case to be made for the next four squads on the list, so the favourites in the futures market seem on the money for the time being.
Super Bowl dark horse contenders
While the eight favourites we listed up above certainly deserve to be taken seriously, there’s no guarantee that the next Super Bowl winner will come from that group. When sifting through the futures market, you should also be looking for teams that are flying slightly under the radar. Here are four that fit the bill and their current odds at the top shops.
It was a rough season for the Cowboys last time out, but the talent is there for a quick turnaround. The Titans and Seahawks are two of the better clubs in their respective conferences, so a run to glory can’t be ruled out. Last but not least, the Steelers were looking like the best team in the NFL for much of 2020 before the bottom fell out at the end.
5 tips for betting on the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is a fun time and should be treated as such, but those who are putting money at stake will naturally want to enhance their chances of winning. To have a shot at making that happen, a plan certainly helps. Beyond going through the normal tried and true handicapping methods, follow these five tips to bolster your chances at Big Game glory.
- Do your homework: If you don’t put in the work, then you shouldn’t be expecting success to follow. Take the time to review the matchup in full detail, even if it’s just relying on breakdowns from sources you trust. By having a full understanding of what the two teams bring to the table, you’ll place yourself in a position to make better choices.
- Trust your instincts: This doesn’t mean that your gut will always be right, but rather that what you uncover while reviewing the matchup should take precedence over what others are saying. For example, if your research points you in the opposite direction than the popular opinion, be sure to verify what you’ve found, but don’t be shy about going that way.
- Shop around: The Super Bowl is a massive betting event. As a result, there will be movement in the odds and lines for all bet types. However, the numbers won’t be the same everywhere. If you take the time to line shop, as in comparing the odds at multiple books, you may uncover much more appealing offerings than you anticipated.
- Stick to a budget: We touched on this earlier, but it bears reiterating. You should only be wagering with discretionary income and not any funds that you need for other purposes such as food or bills. Find your comfort level and stick to it no matter what. The Super Bowl may only come around once a year, but the pain from losing amounts you can’t afford will linger.
- Spread out the risk: After you have your budget set, don’t make the mistake of putting all of your eggs in one basket. That can be a recipe for disaster as there are simply no guarantees that you’ll make the right call. As an added benefit, spreading out the risk gives you more to root for, as well as additional chances to cash some winning tickets when the game is over.
5 things to never do when betting the Super Bowl
Ok, so you have a plan in place and are ready to go. That’s it then, right? Not exactly. There are a lot of landmines to watch out for as you prepare to bet on the Super Bowl. Even the best-laid plans can go awry, but knowing what to watch out for can steer you closer in the right direction. Here are five common mistakes that also happen to be completely avoidable.
- Do not bet over your head: We can’t stress this point enough. If you’re betting with an amount that makes you feel uncomfortable, you’re doing it wrong. There is zero justification for going overboard as there are no guarantees that you’re going to win. You can easily lose your Super Bowl bets, so stick to betting with an amount you won’t miss all that much.
- Don’t try to wing it: Sure, there is such a thing as completely lucking out on a call you make blindly, but it’s not going to happen often. Whenever you are putting money at stake in hopes of earning more, you should be making the most informed decision possible. You may lose, but it will be much easier to swallow if you put in your best effort.
- Let talking heads sway your opinion: The NFL receives tons of coverage, so you won’t be lacking opinions on how the Super Bowl may shake out. While many media personalities will offer up convincing arguments, the fact of the matter is this: they’re not soothsayers. They can be wrong just as easily as you. Focus on making your calls and treat the chatter as entertainment.
- Bet irresponsibly: If you get a budget in place and stick to it, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, there may be that friend who opens your eyes to a ‘sure thing’ or a ‘can’t lose’ moment that comes up while live betting. Unfortunately, there are no certainties in sports betting. Take a disciplined approach and pass on treating the Super Bowl like a lottery ticket.
- Treat it as life or death: When you bet so much that every bounce of the ball has you feeling uncomfortable, you’ve approached Big Game betting in the wrong way. You’ve also wagered outside of your comfort zone. The amount you wager shouldn’t be the end of the world. If you find yourself treating it as such, you need to seriously reassess your approach.
Can you make money betting on the Super Bowl?
It’s certainly possible to come out ahead when betting on the Super Bowl. As an event that consistently attracts gobs of betting action year after year, people wouldn’t continue coming back if they didn’t hit the right notes at times. If you manage to make the right calls, then you can make some nice scores with betting on the Big Game.
The futures market can be lucrative, but it’s important to remember that your funds will be tied up until the bet can be paid out. Of course, the only way to win is by making the right selection on the team that goes on to win it all. That’s easier said than done, but there are absolutely bettors who cash winning tickets each season.
Super Bowl prop bets also offer up a nice range of opportunities, from fun and entertaining types of bets to those which are more serious and tied into the action on the field. Based on the fact that there are hundreds of props available for the Big Game, it’s possible to zero in on a handful and then do your due diligence to land on some winners.
As for the game itself with spreads, moneylines, and totals, you have a shot. Someone is going to win, one side will cover, and the number of points will go Over or Under the benchmark amounts, barring any push scenarios in which the final score lands exactly on the numbers set by oddsmakers.
All that said, be sure to not view betting on the Super Bowl as some kind of instant cash machine. While you have a chance to win and turn a profit, there’s also the possibility that the game goes completely counter to what you were expecting. Be sure to always bet responsibly. The losses will be that much easier to take if you do so.
What to remember about Super Bowl betting
The Super Bowl is the biggest betting event of the year, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Seasoned handicappers and casual fans alike — as well as folks in between those two extremes – flock to the window to get in on the action. It’s an exciting time with many different ways to take your chances with wagers.
While it’s possible to make some money betting on the Super Bowl, that doesn’t translate into a guarantee. You should always approach betting responsibly and not treat it as if it’s some kind of path to instant riches. The Big Game should be tons of fun and exciting. It’ll remain that way if you stick to wagering with amounts you can afford to lose as opposed to going overboard.