2016 Super Bowl Betting for Dummies and Novice Bettors
by Trevor Whenham - 1/26/2016
Each year, many people make their first ever bet on the Super Bowl. A lot of other people only bet once per year - on this one game. Sports betting ultimately isn't particularly complicated - not at a basic level, anyway - but if you are new to it then there are all sorts of mistakes that are just waiting for you to make. If you are one of those new or inexperienced bettors then here is the guide for you. Think of it as Super Bowl betting for dummies and novice bettors. Just keep these nine things in mind:
What do you think is going to happen?: This should be the painfully obvious starting point, but many miss that. They are the hunt for the sure thing or the best bet or some other insider path to easy money. There is no such thing. To handicap this game you simply need to start with what you think will happen. Saying you like the Broncos because you like horses and their mascot is a horse isn't good enough, though. You need to have a good reason for your opinion. Once you have that opinion you can look around for types of bets that will allow you to make money if that opinion is correct.
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Do you understand the bet you are making?: Most of my friends are not serious sports bettors. They will throw down a bet or two at Super Bowl time or during the Stanley Cup, but that's it. I am consistently shocked at how often they will make a bet that they don't actually understand. Most commonly, it is important to know that when you are betting on a point spread you don't necessarily care who wins the game. It's all about the spread. More than once I have been able to laugh because someone has been celebrating a 'win' without realizing that they bet on a favorite that didn't win by enough to cover the spread. Know what the bet means or don't make it.
Legal is good: There are many different ways to make a bet. Some are legal. Many are not. Seek out the legal ones, or at the very least be fully aware of the situation and the risks involved in your bet.
Don't be an idiot: idiot bettors are those who try to be heroes. Instead of making logical bets that are worth the risk involved they splash their cash around on crazy parlays or dead-end props. If they win they will never shut up about their score and the genius that was behind it. What they don't realize, though, is that they have almost no chance of winning, and the sportsbook was thrilled to take their money. Sucker bets are for suckers. Don't make them for you.
Shop around for the best price: Different sportsbooks offer different prices for the same bet. The point spread might be a half point or even a full point different from book to book. That can make the difference between winning and losing. Even if the spread is the same, the amount of juice (commission) books want you to pay can differ. This is especially important during the Super Bowl if you are betting props because the price can vary widely from book to book. Using the effort to find the best price out there, or at least to compare a couple of books to see which is better for the bets you are interested in, is time well spent.
Quality over quantity: There is no prize for making the most bets on the Super Bowl. All you are looking for is bets that offer value - that have a reasonable expectation of returning a profit. If you find only one then the correct number of bets to make is one. There is nothing worse than being right about your main opinion on the game but still losing money because you chased a bunch of money-sucking prop bets.
Get help if you need it: If you don't know what you are doing and you aren't interested in doing the work to figure it out then there are lots of people out there who can give you the advice and direction that you need.
Don't bet on the coin flip: This is my personal pet peeve. Betting on whether the coin flip will be heads or tails, or on which team will win the toss, is a very popular prop bet. That's insane. A coin flip is a 50/50 proposition. You make less than even money when you bet on it. Over the long term, then, you are guaranteed to lose money. And it is very easy to figure that out. Why in the world would you make a bet you are sure to lose?
Have fun: Don't get worked up about what you are doing. Ultimately, it's just a football game. If you aren't having fun with your bets, and if they aren't helping you enjoy the game more, then you probably shouldn't be making them.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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