The Super Bowl is, by some distance, the most popular sporting event in the United States from a spectator standpoint.
According to the NFL, over 208 million viewers watched Super Bowl LVI in 2022, with an average audience of over 112 million. It is potentially watched by an additional 50-100 million American football fans internationally.
Many people also want to know how to bet on the Super Bowl, as the gambling market for the big game is huge. An estimated $7.6 billion was wagered on the 2022 game globally. On the eve of the event, the American Gaming Association estimated that over 31 million American adults planned to wager on the Super Bowl.
Add the enormous volume of international bets, and it’s clear that bookmakers have a golden opportunity to make a profit. Not least because the game attracts a significant number of amateur bettors who form a larger percentage of the gambling market.
To combat this issue, we have created a Super Bowl betting guide. It investigates the most popular markets and highlights potential value wagers. Also, it outlines longer odds wagers and points out bad markets to steer clear of.
Our Super Bowl betting guide focuses on the available markets for the big game itself. However, there is also a thriving futures market where you can bet on the team you think will win the Vince Lombardi Trophy long before the final two teams face off. Indeed, you may find a market for the Super Bowl LVIII winner in 2024 as soon as the 2023 game ends!
In any case, Super Bowl markets feature the same options as regular season and playoff offerings. The most popular markets are:
Let’s briefly discuss each option…
The most basic Super Bowl bet is arguably the Moneyline. You pick whichever team you believe will win. Typically, the bookmaker pays out if your team wins in overtime, but it’s always a good idea to check the crypto betting site’s terms and conditions.
Here’s a quick example of Moneyline decimal odds (American odds in brackets):
The bookmakers see this as a close game, with the Chiefs installed as slight favorites. If you bet $100 on the 49ers and win, you receive $195 for a profit of $95. A successful $100 wager on the Chiefs pays $186 and a profit of $86.
The standard over/under line involves another binary choice. The bookmaker sets the points line, and you must decide whether the game will have more or fewer points. For instance, the over/under for the Buffalo Bills versus the Chicago Bears could look as follows:
In this case, if you bet on the ‘over,’ you need the two teams to score 41+ points between them. Suppose the Bills win 31-17; the game had 48 points, so your bet is a winner. However, a 24-10 score means you lose, as the total is 34 points.
A winning $100 wager on either bet equals a return of $190 and a profit of $90.
Most bookmakers will have ‘alternative points’ markets, enabling you to wager at higher or lower odds.
To ‘beat the spread,’ you must predict that the favorite will either overcome the handicap or fall short. It is a market that could provide better value than the Moneyline, as you can bet on the stronger team to win by a certain number of points at odds close to evens.
For example, let’s say the Kansas City Chiefs are 1.20 to beat the Seattle Seahawks. Rather than risking $100 for a possible $20 profit, you elect to bet on the Chiefs at a handicap of -9.5 points at odds of 1.9 (-111).
In this case, you need the Chiefs to win by 10+ points to cover the spread. Alternatively, you can back the Seahawks on the +9.5-point handicap at odds of 1.90. Your bet wins if the Chiefs fail to win by more than 9 points.
The MVP market is unique to the Super Bowl and is hugely popular. It is an award given to the game’s Most Valuable Player.
It is possible to narrow down the most likely contenders with basic research quickly. For instance, the MVP almost always comes from the winning team. In 1971, Chuck Howley of the Dallas Cowboys became the first and only player to take MVP honors despite ending up on the losing team. Happily, Howley earned a Super Bowl ring the following year as Dallas lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Also, the winning team’s quarterback has won the award almost 55% of the time, including 11 of the last 16 awards. As such, the odds of a team’s star player winning MVP could be worth checking out if they’re not the QB! For example, Cooper Kupp, who played wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams, won the award in 2022.
When learning how to bet on the Super Bowl, the “proposition bets” (props) market should feature prominently on your ‘to-do’ list. It is one area where the big game has far more options than a regular season match. Props don’t depend on the outcome of the game. For example, if you bet on a QB passing for over 269.5 yards and he manages 325, but his team loses the game, you still win the wager.
As well as being fun, certain prop bets can provide significantly better value than the main markets. After all, bookmakers scrutinize the markets outlined above and move the odds in line with their liabilities.
It is true that crypto gambling sites will probably have a bigger edge on prop markets than the main ones. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find some intriguing possibilities. The best Super Bowl prop bets include:
More detailed research is required on these wagers, but it is worthwhile if you have the time. Occasionally, bookmakers can miss something in their quest to ensure their main lines are secure.
For instance, you could discover that one team has started quickly in almost every game this season. In that scenario, betting on it to score 10+ points in the first quarter could pay dividends.
If a team has a talented but unheralded wide receiver, perhaps the odds of him scoring will be longer than expected. This is especially the case if his team includes a star receiver. While all eyes are on the big-name player, his under-the-radar teammate may become a prime target for the QB. The anytime touchdown scorer market keeps your interest alive for the entire game, while the first scorer market will likely have juicy odds.
American football games are known for momentum shifts, and the Super Bowl is no stranger to epic comebacks and near misses.
In Super Bowl LIV (2020), the San Francisco 49ers led 20-10 against the Kansas City Chiefs going into the fourth quarter. Suddenly, the Chiefs found an extra gear and scored 21 unanswered points to win 31-21.
In Super Bowl XLVII (2013), the 49ers trailed the Baltimore Colts 28-6 in the third quarter before a power outage suspended play for 34 minutes. The Niners stormed back and had a chance to win in the final minute before losing 34-29.
Super Bowl LI (2017) featured the greatest-ever comeback as the New England Patriots came from 28-3 down in the third quarter to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime. At one point in the final quarter, the odds of the Patriots winning were 17.00 (+1600)!
During the game, keep a close eye on proceedings to take advantage of one team going through the gears or having a bad spell. Points can be scored very quickly, so never assume that one team has won until it is practically impossible for a comeback to occur.
If there is a blowout, betting on ‘overs’ could be worthwhile if the team that is ahead relaxes and puts on second and third-string players. This could allow the losing team to score ‘trash’ touchdowns.
Overall, the list of in-play betting options is long and includes the following:
Team to score the next touchdown
It is also worth noting that the Moneyline, spread, over/under, and MVP markets will all change during the match. They will likely change every time possession occurs or if a team makes a big play.
Most of the ‘big’ markets focus on near-even money bets. However, you can try your luck with longer-odds bets. These include:
Your chances of success dwindle as the odds get longer. Nonetheless, such wagers, especially when you stake a small sum of money, are a fun way to increase your interest in the Super Bowl.
Avoid novelty props at all costs! These are ‘mug’ bets with no skill involved and a massive house edge. These wagers are often completely unrelated to the game itself, and bookmakers love dreaming up weird and wonderful options. Potential novelty bets include:
If you only take one thing from this guide on how to bet on the Super Bowl, ensure it is our advice to forget about these markets and focus on stats-based bets instead.
Bookmakers love the Super Bowl because they win a huge amount of money. In 2022, Las Vegas sportsbooks alone earned over $15 million in profit with an edge of almost 9%.
However, there are winners, and you can join them by taking your time when looking to place a bet on the Super Bowl. Research is everything in betting, but with this special event, you have the advantage of focusing on two teams only. This means you can dig deep into stats and find answers to relevant questions such as:
If you can’t provide definitive answers to the above and other important queries, you haven’t performed enough research! There are hundreds of markets but to have a chance of earning a profit, it is best to focus on a handful.
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