Super Bowl Betting Advice: Mistakes to Avoid
by Trevor Whenham - 1/22/2014
The Super Bowl is a very, very tough football game to handicap successfully. Given the neutral field, the intense scrutiny, the tremendous pressure both teams face, the enhanced public betting action, and so much more, this is far from the best betting opportunity of the year. It’s the Super Bowl, though, so any self-respecting bettor needs to have some action on the game. Most years, the most important key to betting success in this game has nothing to do with how you break it down. It’s just all about avoiding the biggest mistakes that are looming out there just waiting for you to make them.
If you can avoid these five Super Bowl betting mistakes then you improve your chances of success significantly:
Believing the hype: The Super Bowl is a media circus like no other. There will be thousands and thousands of media members circling around looking for stories. That’s always the case, but it will be especially true this year with the game in New York. The appetite for stories to tell far outweighs the number of meaningful stories that exist — it’s just one football game, after all. That means that the media is forced to focus on some storylines and beat the life out of them. It is crucial that bettors don’t get sucked into believing that a story is important just because we have heard about it endlessly. Bettors need to have the discipline to decide for themselves what matters and what doesn’t and what impact things will have on the outcome of the game. The more you let the media guide your thinking and opinions heading into this game, the more likely you are to head down a bad path. When you are betting, that means that you are going to lose money, and we don’t want to do that.
Letting emotion rule you: The Super Bowl is a big deal. It’s the biggest football game on the planet. From a betting perspective, though, you have to view it as just another game. Because the game is bet so heavily and value is so tough to find, you have to make your best possible analytical decisions — not emotional ones. If you are going to be swayed by the fact that your favorite team is in the game, or the team you hate most of all is playing, then you should not be betting on the game in a real way. If there are storylines that are going to impact your decision-making then you need to ignore them or pass on the game. Emotion has no place in handicapping this game. That’s true in any game, of course, but especially in this one when there are so many emotional storylines out there that could capture you.
Over committing to the props: There are so many prop bets offered — more and more every year — that they are incredibly tempting. So many are so creative and interesting that you can’t help yourself but bet on a pile of them. The biggest problem, though, is that a lot of prop bets are just sucker bets. The most obvious example is the coin toss. If you think that it’s even remotely a good idea to pay -110 or even worse to bet on a proven 50/50 outcome then you don’t deserve to call yourself a bettor. There are some very attractive, value-packed props out there, but they are the exception. By betting on too many props — especially bad ones — you are minimizing your chances of making a profit of the game and limiting the funds you have available to make the worthwhile bets.
Being in a hurry: There are two weeks between the championship games and the Super Bowl. A whole lot can happen in that time. There is really no need to rush your bets and make them early on unless you really suspect dramatic line movement — and that’s almost certainly not going to be the case this year barring a major development. You are much better served to sit back, see how the lead up to the game plays out, how teams prepare, and what the public is thinking before you make your decision. This year you also could be well served to wait until closer to the game to get a more accurate sense of what the weather could be like and what that could mean for the game.
Blowing your bankroll: The Super Bowl is such a big deal culturally that it can be easy to attach too much significance to it and to bet too much on it as a result. It’s just another game for bettors. Not just that, but it’s really a game that is harder to handicap than any other game on the schedule all year. There is no point in throwing away a profit you took all year to build on this one game. If there is real value to be found and you think the spot makes sense then a big bet could make sense. If not, though, then restraint is crucial. It will be much more satisfying betting big on a game in September in which you have a big edge and winning than it will be to bet big on the Super Bowl with no edge and lose.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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