In this article I’m going to preview the Superbowl. Not the relative strength and weaknesses of the Colts and the Saints, but the Superbowl as a wagering proposition. It’s common knowledge that no single annual sporting event attracts as much wagering interest as the Superbowl. Last year, Nevada sportsbooks took in $81.5 million dollars worth of action on the event. Since the amount of money wagered in Nevada is only 1% of so of the total amount bet on the event, you can do the math. This year the World Cup soccer tournament will take more action overall, but for a one shot event the Superbowl is tops.
It’s also an opportunity for professional sports handicappers to make a killing. Just check out the USA TODAY sports sections on the Friday before the game. You’ll see countless tout services emphatically suggesting that they have “inside information that will absolutely determine the outcome of the game” and so forth. If you’ve been betting on sports for more than a week, you know they’re full of hot air. Still, there’s enough “clueless newbies” out there to make such claims very profitable for the touts.
Here’s the reality of the Superbowl: For seriousfans, the Superbowl is just another game and you should treat it as such. Unfortunately, my view is decidedly a minority position. Too many sports bettors bet a lot more than they should on the Superbowl. I’m not saying this as a moralist, but as a professional sports bettor. Despite all of the hype surrounding the Superbowl and betting the game, for those of us who do this seriously it’s just another wagering opportunity.
A couple of years ago, I was told by employees of several large offshore books some specifics of Superbowl wagering that I found astonishing. They indicated that around 60 or 70% of their customer’s deposits were in play on Superbowl Sunday. In other words, the average client had a sizable majority of their bankroll in play on the Superbowl and associated prop bets.
One thing I learned quickly when I began my career as a professional sports bettor was that there was no premium to winning money on the NFL in general or the Superbowl in particular. When I went to the grocery store, a hundred bucks was a hundred bucks—it didn’t matter if I had won it on the Superbowl or on NHL totals. The simplest advice I can give you is that the Superbowl is just another game and you should treat it as such. On February 8—the day after the Superbowl–the sun will come up and there will be a couple dozen basketball and hockey games on the board. The sports gambling world will be back to its usual rhythm and the last thing you want is to be “tapped out” because you blew your bankroll on the Superbowl.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bet the Superbowl side or total or some of the countless prop bets offered whether you want to do it seriously hoping to turn a profit or just to make things more entertaining. It’s just very important to do it the right way. In the second part of this article which will be up tomorrow I’ll give you some tips on what to do—and more importantly what not to do—when betting the Superbowl. A few days before the Superbowl I’ll also have my analysis of both the side and total with wagering recommendations, and possibly some prop bets that look interesting. I can’t guarantee the outcome, but I can guarantee that my analysis will be just as good–and most likely better–than any of the guys screaming about their $50 900# on scorephones and infomercials. If you make some money on it, chip some off for earthquake relief in Haiti or some other worthy cause. That’s generally a good rule for everyone, but for those of us who bet on sports it never hurts to keep our karma positive.Tweet
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