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Want to bet the Super Bowl?  Here’s everything you need to know

By Sean Chaffin


The big game is here. Maybe your team lost a close one in the playoffs or lost most of the season. Either way, a little money on the Super Bowl can make the action on the field a little more interesting. This season’s event takes place in Miami, the 11th time the game has been held there. Here’s a short guide on betting the Bowl.


Point Spread

This is the most popular type of betting and many will be making these types of wagers on the Super Bowl. The point spread is the margin of victory for a game determined by the oddsmaker. Bookmakers use this to create action on both teams. The favorite will have to win by more than the margin the oddsmakers set. If the Ravens are favored by 2.5 against the 49ers, they must win by 3 points or more for a win. If they only win by 2, they didn’t cover the spread and those who bet the 49ers will win. Point spreads may be posted in the following ways:

Ravens -3.5 – This means the team is favored by 3.5 points, spotting the opposing team a 3.5-point lead. Bookmakers often use half-points to avoid a push. If the Ravens win by 4 or more, they have covered the spread.

49ers +3.5 – This means the 49ers are a 3.5-point underdog. If they lose by 3 points or less (or win), a player would cash a winning ticket on San Francisco.


Over/Under (Point Totals)

This is a bet based on the total number of points scored between two teams in one game. If the Patriots play the Seahawks, the Over/Under might be listed by the sports book as 45.If a player bets the under and the final score is 27-21, that player would lose the bet as the score went “Over” – 27+21=48.

If the game ended at 24-20,“Over”bettors would lose as the total only reached 44. If the score ended at 24-21 (45 points total), the bet would be a push and bettors get their money back.


Prop Bets

These are less traditional wagers that may or may not have something directly to do with the action on the field. One example might be an over/under on a starting quarterback’s passing yardage or the number of touchdowns scored by a certain running back. Analyzing the game as well as trends can help bettors with these types of wagers and can be rewarding for savvy bettors.

Beyond those game-based bets, the Super Bowl usually brings even more proposition wagering options. That has ranged from the coin toss to the length of the singing of the national anthem. These can be fun wagers, but are certainly based more on luck than any kind of analysis.


Parlay Betting

This is a bet in which a person selects more than one outcome that must happen. The payout will be higher based on the number of events, but if one part of the bet doesn’t come through then the entire bet is a loss. With the Super Bowl as just one game, parlay options may be limited to things like the Points Spread and Over/Under. This might also include some prop bets as well.

Moneyline – This is a bet in which a bettor simply has to pick the right team to win. However, payouts are less depending on the odds. Odds are usually posted as such:

Patriots -160 – This means you would have to wager $160 on the team to win $100.

Seahawks +160 – With this bet, you’d get back $160 for a $100 bet if the team wins.

Note that these amounts aren’t required to place a bet. Lower amounts can certainly be bet, but this an easy way for a book to display the odds on these types of wagers.


A Quick Look at Online Sports Wagering

Bettors no longer have to make a trip to the local casino to make a sports bet. Several states now offer mobile and online wagering that make betting on the Super Bowl as easy as tapping on your cell phone.

Currently, mobile wagering is available in Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oregon, Iowa, West Virginia, and Rhode Island. There are numerous operators, but what is available depends on the state. Some of those include William Hill, DraftKings, MGM, Caesars, and numerous others. What are some advantages to mobile wagering?

  • Big promotions – This can include some nice odds boosts, free bets, and deposit bonuses for a chance at some free extra winnings.
  • Easier learning curve – Those intimidated by the big wall of odds at a sportsbook may find it easier to learn with an online platform in the luxury of their own home. The limits are also low, so players don’t feel compelled to bet large when learning the ropes.
  • Convenience – With 24/7 wagering, bettors can check out the odds and place a wager any time. There are also no lines and no waiting in the sportsbook. Players can also set up an account and deposit from anywhere, but must be in the state to wager. It’s an easy betting experience.

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and senior writer for Casino Player and Strictly Slots magazines. His work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions or email him at for story assignments.


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