Super Bowl Handicapping
Posted by Jimmy Boyd
Regular season handicapping and Super Bowl handicapping are not two peas in the same pod. The Super Bowl is the main event on the betting calendar and has its own exclusive set of betting guidelines.
Know the Odds
First of all, one must know how Super Bowl lines are set. While oddsmakers tend to set their regular season lines with wiseguys in mind, they set their Super Bowl odds in terms of the public perspective. This is because so many people who take action on the Super Bowl aren’t betting week in and week out throughout the regular season.
Oddsmakers will set the line for the Super Bowl favoring the team that the public would favor if it were setting lines. Research also shows that the public is a sucker for taking the ‘over’ on Super Bowl Sunday. Because oddsmakers know that the public worships the chalk and the ‘over’ they will over shoot how much they feel the better team should be favored by to give their side some insurance points.
Beware of the Hook
A large percentage of NFL games are won by 3, 4, and 7 points. A standardized scoring system works for standardized loss margins most of the time. Because of this, be careful about laying the points on numbers like -3.5 or taking the points when the line is +6.5. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that these numbers show less value that -3 or +7. So if you like a side with one of the halves, you may want to think about buying it up or down (also known as “buying the hook”).
Remember the Spread
Another common error that novices make when betting on the Super Bowl is picking their point spread winner based on who they think will win the game instead of based on the number. Don’t automatically conclude that the favorite will cover. This doesn’t mean the favorite never covers. I’m just trying to get you thinking about not automatically falling in love with it. But if you do like the underdog, you may want to consider waiting until the last minute to make your wager as public action on the favorite will almost always move the line in your favor.
Also, some squares like to really load up on the Super Bowl, but we feel you should stick to the same money management system you have been following all season long. Because the Super Bowl is the only game on board and oddsmakers have had plenty of time to look at it, the lines set for it are often very tight.
The best advice is not to lay it all on the line when betting the Super Bowl. It shouldn’t be a chance to win big or lose big. If you’re up on the season, try to win a little more, and if you’re down, try to stop the bleeding, but don’t risk it all.
One way you can really cash in on Super Bowl Sunday is to get involved in the various propositional bets. Because there are so many of these, oddsmakers aren’t able to set lines as tightly. Don’t get caught by the ones that are basically coined flips, try to wager on props where you see an actual edge.