Super Bowl 54 Betting For Dummies
If you’ve seen odds for the Super Bowl and you have no idea what they mean, you’re in luck because we’ll break down Super Bowl 54 betting for dummies. So many times you’ll be watching a sports network or listening to sports radio and they start to rattle off some numbers about the game that seem to make no sense. But, with a quick lesson on Super Bowl 54 odds, you’ll be in great shape to stay in the know during those segments and to bet on the game yourself if you choose to do so. If you’re an experienced sports bettor some of this info may sound familiar, but it’s still good to get a refresher of Super Bowl 54 betting for dummies.
We’ll break down how to read the odds no matter in which format they are presented, the differences between certain bet types, and give real-life examples of betting lines you might see for Super Bowl 54. Most importantly we’ll break down the difference between odds and probability. It’s your money, and you don’t want to waste it on betting opportunities that you don’t understand. The more you learn the more profitable of a sports bettor you can be and it’s that very reason that professional sports bettors foam at the mouth when the Super Bowl comes around.
Super Bowl Betting 101
Super Bowl betting 101 begins with explaining what a bet is at its core. Whenever you are trying to make a bet you are essentially risking a certain amount of your money for the chance to win your money back as well as more money on top of that initial bet. Although, you’re not the only one who wants to bet on the Super Bowl. There will be plenty of people who have the opposite prediction that you do. Now, if you’re just betting amongst friends, you could say “I’ll put 50 dollars on team A” and your friend could say “I put 50 dollars on team B” and then you both give your 50 dollars to a third friend who will hold on to the money. After the game is done, the person with the winning bet would go back to that third friend and pick up their money.
Betting on the Super Bowl with a sportsbook is similar to that scenario except that the third friend is the sportsbook and they dictate the terms of the bet. The sportsbook will set the odds in a way that makes it so that half of the people will want to bet one way, while the other half will bet the other way. The loser’s money is used to pay the winner, but unlike that third friend, the sportsbook will want to keep a small portion of the transaction for themselves. This is how they get paid for the service they provide.
How To Read Super Bowl Betting Odds
The way in which Super Bowl odds are presented largely depends on where you live and/or your preference. The three main types are the American format, fractional odds, or decimal odds. The important aspect to remember here is that each of them represents a ratio on how much you stand to win vs how much you bet. Be sure to pay close attention in these next few segments so you can figure out your preferred method in reading Super Bowl odds.
American odds are oftentimes confused, but what’s important to understand is that not they are not indicative of the amount of money you have to spend, but rather a ratio based on 100 dollars. For example, let’s say you see odds listed for a certain team and the odds are +110. That means if you bet 100 dollars on that team and they win, you will not only get your 100 dollars back but also 110 dollars on top of that. You would then take home 210 dollars. Let’s say you see those same odds but you only felt like betting 10 dollars and that team wins. Then you would get back your 10 bucks as well as 11 bucks on top of that. You would then go home with 21 dollars.
Rolling off that example, let’s say you see odds for a team that are -125. That means you would have to bet 125 dollars just to win 100 dollars. When a team has a minus sign it means they are the favorite to win the game and when they have a plus sign it means they are the underdog. When you bet on the favorite you have to risk more than you can win because that is how the sportsbook ensures that there are people on both sides of the line. Let’s say you want to bet on the favorite in this scenario and you only want to bet 10 dollars on those -125 odds. If that team wins then you would win your 10 dollars as well as 8 extra dollars netting you a total of 18 dollars. Most online sportsbooks will have a Betslip calculator to help you compute your picks as well.
These are oftentimes referred to as U.K. odds because of their popularity in the U.K. region. The best way to explain this format is to go right into a real-life example. Let’s say the Packers and the Patriots meet up in the Super Bowl. In this scenario, the Patriots are favored at 1/2 and the Packers are set as underdogs at 2/1. This means if you bet on the Patriots to win, you would have to risk two dollars just to win one dollar. Alternatively, if you bet on the Packers to win the Super Bowl, you only have to bet one dollar in order to win two dollars. Remember, this is a ratio. So if you bet 100 dollars on the Packers and they win, and they do, you would get your 100 dollars back plus an extra 100 so you would get 200 bucks from the sportsbook.
Reading decimal odds for Super Bowl 54 would simply require a basic arithmetic equation to figure out how much you stand to make depending on your bet. For example, let's say that one team in the Super Bowl is favored to win at 1.50 while the other team is set as the underdog at 2.25. If you bet 100 dollars on the team with 1.50 odds and they win the game, the sportsbook will give you 150 dollars. It’s the amount you wager multiplied by the odds. The 150 you would get back includes the 100 you originally wagered. The same equation would be used for the team with 2.25 odds. If you bet 100 on them to win and they do then the sportsbook would give you back 225 dollars. That means you would get you 100 dollars back plus an extra 125 dollars. These odds never fall beneath 1 otherwise you won’t get your money back.
Odds Are Not Probability
This is the key thing you will have to keep in mind when looking to bet on Super Bowl 54 is that a team's odds don’t reflect the probability of them winning. Remember, a sportsbook’s purpose is to get an equal amount of bettors on both sides of the line they set so that they can use the losers' money to pay the winners and then take a small cut on top of the transaction to pay themselves. So for example, if a team is initially set as a 3-point favorite to win the Super Bowl that doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to win by three points or that they are probably going to win by three points. In that scenario, if the sportsbook starts to see that most bettors are putting their money on that three-point favorite, they may raise the point spread even higher. They could then change the line to say that the same team is a 7-point favorite. Bettors that see that line may be hesitant on betting on the favorite and will instead bet on the underdog to cover the spread. The next time you look at odds for the Super Bowl, remember that the sportsbook is trying to find a sweet spot to get bettors on both sides, they are not giving you the probability of a team winning.
Types Of Bets Available For Super Bowl 54
When it comes to the types of bets for Super Bowl 54 there are seven kinds that you will have to keep an eye on. Each of them comes with their own stipulations and your choice on which one of them you will put your money largely depend on how you feel about the game. Certain bet types are easier to understand than others, but there is guaranteed to be bet type that you like, even if you’re not a huge football fan.
This bet type is often referred to as a “straight-up bet” as you are simply picking who you think will win the game with no dependence on the score. For Super Bowl 54, the moneyline would look something like this:
- Kansas City Chiefs (-125) vs. San Francisco 49ers (+115)
In this example, the Chiefs are favored, indicated by their negative odds mark. At -125, a bettor would need to risk $125 in order to profit $100. For the Niners, it works the opposite. A bettor would be able to win $115 in profit off of a $100 wager. This type of wager gives the bettor a benefit for taking the underdog just as they require more of a risk on the favorite. Keep in mind that this is just a ratio, as you can bet as little or as much as your sportsbook allows.
With this bet type, you are deciding on of two things. You are either deciding that the favorite to win the Super Bowl will do so by more than the points the sportsbook assigned them, or that the underdog will wither win the game or lose by fewer points than the sportsbook assigned them. For example:
- Tennessee Titans (+4.5) vs. Green Bay Packers (-4.5)
In this example, the Packers are favored (indicated by their negative points spread) by 4.5 points. If a bettor believes the Packers can cover the spread (win by five or more), they will take the Packers on the spread. If they believe the Titans can cover the spread (lose by four or less or win the game outright), they would wager on the Titans. These spreads generally come with odds of -110 – the standard amount.
With totals bets, you are picking whether you think the combined point total of both teams at the end of the game will go over or under the number of points the sportsbook assigned before the game started. This is why this bet type is often referred to as an “over/under” bet. For example:
- San Francisco 49ers vs. Tennessee Titans – O/U 44.5 points.
In this example, the sportsbooks estimate that 44 or 45 points will be scored in the contest. The only requirement for a bettor is to pick the over if they think it will be 45 points or more. Likewise, a bettor would pick the under if they think the total score will remain under 45 points. These odds also come at the standard rate of -110, but bettors can find alternate lines that change the point total as well as the odds.
These are bets that are dependent upon certain scenarios that may or may not happen in the game. Prop bets are certain situations that relate to the game but can cover any topic at all. Some can be silly like will a player pick his nose on camera but the majority will focus on the gameplay itself. For example:
- How many yards will Patrick Mahomes throw for? Over/Under 285.5 yards
In this player prop betting example, bettors are given an over-under on the number of passing yards Mahomes will throw for. Oddsmakers will generally never offer whole numbered prop bets in order to have every bettor graded as a winner or loser. Just like the over-under example, a bettor would choose which way they think Mahomes’ total passing yards at the end of the game will fall.
Team props are displayed in a similar manner but are more focused on a group of players rather than an individual one. These prop bets generally come with increased odds, as the number of selections can be higher, thus making it harder to correctly guess. However, picking the winner can be very rewarding. For example:
- How many sacks will both teams record? 0-2 (+250), 3-6 (+125), 7-10 (+400), 11+ (+800)
In this example, bettors are given a margin for the number of total sacks by both teams. Notice that as the number of sacks increases, the odds for that selection get higher and higher. However, the commonality of 3-6 offers the shortest odds, as this is the most likely to happen. Finding discrepancies in team prop bets and their odds can be very rewarding for those with a keen eye.
This is one of the most common bet types for the Super Bowl. You’re essentially putting your money down on a scenario you think will happen in the future. The odds to win the Super Bowl are set for each team before the season even begins. These odds change the closer you get to the Super Bowl depending on how the season plays out. For example:
- Who will win Super Bowl 55? Chiefs (+650), Saints (+750), Bears (+3100)
When betting a futures wager, timing is everything. Often times, the earlier you start betting Super Bowl odds, the bigger payout you stand to make. However, if a team has a major injury or begins to struggle, their odds may increase giving the faithful bettors an opportunity to cash in. Take Super Bowl 54, where the Chiefs’ odds to win the Super Bowl jumped from +500 to +1300 after Patrick Mahomes was injured.
These are the types of bets that the Super Bowl is famous for. Odds can be set for the (* length of the national anthem, *) the coin toss, the halftime show, and even the commercial breaks that play throughout the game. There can even be odds set for events that are happening at the same time as the Super Bowl. For example:
- How many times will President Donal Trump tweet during Super Bowl 54? O/U 5.5 times
In this example, the odds were presented as over/under bets but they can also simply be displayed in a way that has bettors choosing yes or no. These odds aren’t released until the Super bowl contenders have been named so you’ll have to make a decision within the two weeks leading up to the game.
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