Yesterday, we talked about some general Superbowl betting concepts and today we’re going to look at some specific tips on what you should do–and in some cases not do–when betting the Superbowl. If you didn’t read the first part of this article, I suggest you go do so as this will all make a lot more sense to you.
In a perfect world, the sports betting public would treat the Superbowl like just another game. That’s not going to happen, of course, as there are too many people making money by espousing the concept that it’s *not* just another wagering opportunity. Here’s a good case in point–you may be surprised to learn that I don’t come from a ‘sports betting family’ and that my mom is a real estate agent. I called her yesterday and the first thing she said is that ‘everyone in the office is talking about betting the Superbowl’. Keep in mind that these are real estate agents, not sports touts. The sports media will talk about the Superbowl nonstop for the next two weeks, sports touts will scream about unloading on the Superbowl based on their ‘inside information’, so on and so forth.
So these tips will help keep you in the right frame of mind when betting the Superbowl. Most are applicable to sports betting in general, so they’re good rules to live by:
1) Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose: That’s pretty simple advice, but based on the numbers its something that a lot of people forget on Superbowl Sunday. Sports betting is not a discipline where you can force a “quick killing”. Over time, there may be opportunities to do just that but you can’t force them—you have to let them come to you. I’m not in a position to suggest a proper amount, or percentage of bankroll—just remember that its just another game and you don’t want to risk your entire bankroll on it.
2) Don’t fixate on the favorite: For most of the Superbowl era, the game was dominated by the favorite. This was well known not only within the handicapping community but by the general public. The problem is that its not the case any more—in fact, favorites have only covered 3 of the L10 Superbowls. My guess is that this has to do with the changes in the NFL salary structure. In a league where parity has always been the hallmark, the revised salary guidelines leveled the playing field even more. Teams can no longer stockpile talent at the skill positions, so gone are the days where teams like the San Francisco 49ers can have three QBs that could (and eventually would) start for other teams. Again, I haven’t analyzed the matchup in depth yet so I’m not necessarily advocating a play on the Saints. It’s just important to look at both sides of the equation and not assume that a play on the favorite is the right way to go.
3) Don’t get hung up on history: Many handicappers have held as a truism the concept that a team that has been to the big game before has a distinct advantage over a Superbowl “virgin”. Again, this is a notion that the revamped financial structure of the game has completely invalidated. With free agency and rampant player movement from year to year, the Superbowl history of a franchise simply doesn’t matter any more. New erateams are built to win “now”, and the fact that their franchise has or hasn’t been there before means nothing.
4) Don’t pass on props: Year after year, some of the best wagering value in the Superbowl can be found in the myriad of prop bets. This is particularly true in player performance props or head to head matchup props—some basic analysis of the relevant statistics can frequently uncover excellent value in these bets. And, as always, shop around from book to book for the most favorable propositions at the best price.
5) Be a contrarian: Many prop bets are wagers on whether something will or won’t happen. For example “Will there be three unanswered scores” or “Will there be a score in the first three minutes of the game”. The general public would rather see something happen than to not happen and these props are often priced accordingly. In other words, when in doubt bet on the negative.
6) Don’t forget about value: No matter what you bet on, make sure its priced so that you’re getting value. The best example of a prop bet that is inherently a bad value is the wager on the coin toss. I’m currently looking at a book that is offering your choice of heads or tails at -110. Of course the correct price of any coin flip is +100, reflecting a 50/50 proposition. This is important in any wagering proposition, and the Superbowl is no exception. Don’t check your math skills at the door.
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. We’ll also have some other Superbowl betting discussion here in the run up to game day so stay tuned.Tweet
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