Super Bowl Quarters Betting
by Trevor Whenham - 01/29/2008
In a normal NFL game you can't bet on the third and fourth quarter until halftime. Nothing else about the Super Bowl is normal, though, so why should this be any different? At 5Dimes there are odds set for each of the four quarters. Because this isn't common, we really need to think about just how, or even if, we can use these bets to our advantage. Here are five ways that the bets could be used effectively to maximize the profit from your particular view of the outcome of the game.
Before we get to that, let's briefly look at what is offered. Not surprisingly, the Patriots are favored in all four quarters. You can choose either three or 3.5 points in the first quarter, four points for the second quarter, and three points for each of the last two quarters.
Maximize return on a strong New England start - There is a reasonably popular opinion out there that the Patriots will be able to get out to a good start. They have been here before and know what to expect, while the Giants are almost all new to the spectacle and drama of the big game. Bill Belichick has had two weeks to plan and conspire, and they have the more explosive passing offense, so it isn't hard to imagine that New England can get the early lead. If you buy into that line of thought then the first quarter line could be very attractive. You could take the cushion of the three point spread, but you can be rewarded handsomely if you are willing to take on just half a point more. You're giving up the push on a field goal margin, but the difference in price is striking - for three points it is -110, but at 3.5 points you can get +145.
Profit from strong Giants' start - If you only listened to the Giants' players talk this week, you would believe that they are being disrespected to an almost criminal extent. They believe that they can win this game. That believe could fire them up for a strong early start. We know that it's very possible for this team to get a good start against New England - they won the first quarter by four points just a month ago. If you think that history is likely to repeat itself, you could look at the first quarter bet as a good place to start. You could take advantage of the three-point cushion at -110, or if you are really feeling confident you could look to the +210 first quarter money line as a way to pad your bankroll early on in the game.
Play the money line - Each quarter has a money line available, and it could be an excellent way for people who have faith in the Giants to profit in a big way. The lines range from +165 to +250 for the Giants. Last time out the Giants won the first and second quarters and pushed the third, so betting the money line would have been wildly profitable. You could bet the money line by itself if you were feeling aggressive, or you could use it along with a hedge of the point spread to decrease your risk a bit.
Take advantage of Pats' second half strength - Over the course of the season, the Patriots exerted their dominance consistently in the second half of games. They have played 18 third quarters and 18 more fourth quarters. They won 21 of those 36 quarters, and they tied nine more. That means that they only lost one of every six third or fourth quarters they played. It only seems reasonable that the Patriots will be more motivated than ever this weekend. Therefore, if you are a believer in the team, you almost have to believe that they will do well in the second half. Given that, the fact that both quarters are available at even money could appear to be a good deal. You may also want to take a look at the money line - though they are both high, they are a better price than the first two quarters, and they aren't unreasonable at all given the strength of the team late in games.
Hedge your full game view - Let's say you like the Giants. If you bet your money on them to cover and they don't you are out your whole investment. Instead, you could bet a quarter of your money on them to cover each quarter. The net result would be about the same - you would have a total of 13 points in your pocket instead of the 12.5 of the full spread. If you are a cautious bettor, though, then the advantage would be that you could win some of the individual quarters even if you were wrong on the whole game. It would be hard for you to make as much as you would if you bet the spread for the whole game and were correct because the Giants would have to win all four quarters. On the other hand, though, meek bettors will appreciate that it would be just as hard to lose all of your money this way because the Giants would have to lose all four quarters for that to happen. With a little bit of math and maybe a spreadsheet to keep it all straight you could even combine spread bets for the quarters with the money lines for those quarters and end up with a more attractive bet than the whole game spread at much less risk than a whole game money line.