How to Bet on the Super Bowl
There’s a saying in gambling that goes something like “the house always wins.” Fortunately for bettors, that isn’t true when it comes to the Super Bowl.
New Jersey sportsbooks started accepting bets in 2018, and they lost money on the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2020.
Regulated sports wagering was illegal in most of the United States until 2018, but the Super Bowl still has a rich betting tradition. Fans gather every year for delicious food, an entertaining halftime show, and the thrill of making friendly wagers against each other.
Betting at Super Bowl parties is a storied pastime, but online sports wagering is the best way to get more bang for your buck.
The American Gaming Association estimated 26 million Americans bet on Super Bowl LIV in 2020. These bettors wagered approximately $6.8 billion, and that number is expected to grow in 2021 for Super Bowl LV.
Fans have no shortage of options when it comes to sportsbooks for future Super Bowls. Legal sports betting operators are doing everything they can to attract customers as they move into new markets.
Betting at a Super Bowl party or wagering with a legal sportsbook makes the big game even more exciting. You can pad your bank account from the comfort of your couch if you make the right call.
Make sure you check the reviews above to see if these options are available in your state.
Maybe you’ve never bet on the Super Bowl, or perhaps you’re devoted to your group of friends who gather every year to watch the game and bet against each other. Nevertheless, there’s a few reasons why online sportsbooks are the way to go.
The advantages of using an online sportsbook include:
- Number of betting options
- The ability to place a bet at any time, even during the game (live betting)
- Excellent promotional offers
|Sportsbook||Welcome Offer||More Information|
|DraftKings||$1000 Deposit Bonus||Learn More|
|FanDuel||$1000 Risk-Free Bet||Learn More|
|PointsBet||$1000 in Risk-Free Bets||Learn More|
You won’t find these kinds of bonuses at your local Super Bowl party.
So, what kind of Super Bowl bets can you make?
First, you have to understand the difference between the underdog and the favorite if you’re making moneyline bets or going against the spread.
The underdog is the team that oddsmakers have determined are less likely to win the Super Bowl. They are identified with a “+” symbol in their odds.
You’ll win more money than you wager if you make a successful bet on an underdog. The number beside the “+” symbol indicates how much money you’d win on a $100 wager.
The favorite is the exact opposite. Oddsmakers expect this team to win, and their odds are labeled with a “-” symbol. The number beside the “-” symbol represents how much you’d have to wager to win $100.
Now that we have that covered, let’s explore the three most popular bets made on the Super Bowl.
The Easiest Super Bowl Bets
If you bet $100 on the San Francisco 49ers at +150 odds and they win, you score $150 and walk away with a total of $250 including your returned stake.
If you bet the same amount on the Kansas City Chiefs at -150 odds, you get $50 for a KC win and a total payout of $150.
|San Francisco 49ers||+150 (underdog)||$100||$250|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-150 (favorite)||$100||$150|
The spread is similar to the moneyline, but it adds points to the underdog’s final score and subtracts points from the favored team’s total.
The point spread shifts the betting lines and changes the size of your potential payout.
For instance, the Green Bay Packers might be favored to win the Super Bowl moneyline at -150 odds. The spread would subtract points from their final score and move the line in your favor.
Subtracting a point and a half from the Packers’ final score makes it less likely your bet will win, so the odds move from -150 to -110.
The Packers would still have 29.5 points in the matchup above, while the Steelers would only have 26.5 points after factoring in the spread. The Packers covered the spread, and any wagers on them are graded a winner.
If you bet $100 on the Packers, you win $90 for successfully wagering on the spread.
The over/under, also known as the total, is simply a bet on how many points are scored by both teams during the game. You wager on whether the actual final score is over or under this number.
Check out our article on the three easiest Super Bowl bets for more information on the simplest ways to get in on the action this year.
Other Popular Bets
Let’s look at other wagers like futures, prop bets, and parlays.
Super Bowl Futures
We mentioned that online sportsbooks let you place bets at any time, but futures bets are time-sensitive.
These odds are changing all the time, and sportsbooks like DraftKings offer Super Bowl futures even before the regular season begins.
Futures can be risky, but they can also be extremely lucrative. Bet $100 on the New York Giants to win the Super Bowl at +800 odds before they qualify, and you walk away with $900 if they hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Prop bets are wagers on specific in-game events, and they cover just about anything you can imagine.
You could make a prop bet on things like:
- The color of the celebratory Gatorade bath
- The duration of the national anthem
- Who wins the coin toss at the start of the game
- If the opening kickoff ends up a touchback
- Who wins the Super Bowl MVP award
These novelty bets are fun, but you might find more value making a prop bet on who catches the first touchdown of the game. You could also bet on a player to score a touchdown at any time during the Super Bowl. For more information on Super Bowl prop bets, check out our guide on that topic.
Touchdown prop bets have some specific rules around them, and you can learn more about them by reading our comprehensive guide.
Parlay bets can be risky, but they can bring a lot of rewards. They tie multiple outcomes together in one bet, and each piece in the parlay is known as a leg.
Note that your entire stake goes to the sportsbook if just one of your legs is incorrect.
On the flip side, you get a sizeable payday if every leg of your parlay is correct.
For example, let’s say the Baltimore Ravens are playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.
Sportsbooks like FanDuel might refer to these as same game parlays. The screenshot below is a step-by-step example of how you can build this kind of parlay.
Take a look at our guide to parlay insurance if you’d like to know more.
Let’s explore a few tips that might give you an edge over the sportsbooks.
Underdog vs. Favorite
As of 2021, favored teams have a record of 36-18 in the Super Bowl, but underdogs have won 6 of the last 9 Super Bowls. Keep that in mind when you go to place your bets.
Public Attention & Betting Volume
Super Bowl odds can shift based on public sentiment, and with nearly 100 million viewers every year, this audience can have a huge impact on the lines.
Furthermore, billions of dollars exchange hands every year through bets made on the Super Bowl.
We suggest you do some detailed research on this year’s Super Bowl matchup as opposed to following what everybody else is saying. Some bettors even choose to wager on the exact opposite of public sentiment.
Other Key Factors to Consider
Some other variables you might want to look into include:
- The difficulty of the playoff schedule
- Whether or not the teams played each other during the regular season/preseason
- If the teams have any Super Bowl champions, like Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes
Momentum can shift quickly during the Super Bowl, and anything that might impact the players can have a drastic impact on the outcome of your wagers.
Superstition is rampant in sports. Whether it’s the players on the field going through a pre-game ritual, or a bettor who has a lucky pair of socks set aside for a big game, players and fans alike will do anything that gives them a perceived edge.
The Super Bowl is no time to abandon these traditions, no matter how silly they might seem.
- Lucky white jerseys – 13 of the last 16 Super Bowl winners have been wearing white
- Regular season win totals do not affect the outcome of the game
- Super Bowl favorites have a record of 9-2 when playing in Miami
- The AFC has beaten the NFC in 6 of the last 8 Super Bowls
These examples are all anecdotal, but that doesn’t mean you should disregard them entirely.
See our Super Bowl trends article for more examples of these strange stats.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to betting on the biggest sporting event of the year.