2023 Super Bowl Handicapping and Betting Advice
I am usually the Super Bowl Grinch.
Every year, just about everyone I know shoots me a text or an e-mail in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl with the same question: “Who is going to win?” With rare exception my answer is usually the same: “How the hell should I know? I’m not a fortuneteller! You shouldn’t be betting big on the Super Bowl anyway!”
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
In all honesty, Super Bowl handicapping is a completely different beast than handicapping during the regular season. And while I can generally find you better value on a college basketball bet on a random Tuesday in November, or in MLB on a Saturday in June, the fact is that people WANT to bet on the Super Bowl.
Who am I to deny the people what they want?
This year Kansas City will take on Philadelphia at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 at Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. The Eagles are currently a -1.5 favorite, and the total in this game is set at 51.0.
And if you are going to try to handicap the Super Bowl, I can at least give you some tips and tricks to help your Super Bowl handicapping. Here are five of the most important tips I can give anyone that is looking to lay down money on this game:
1. Make Up Your Mind Early
Super Bowl hype is ridiculous. With two weeks in between the AFC and NFC Championship Games and the Super Bowl, there is more than enough time for every asshat from Bangor to Bangkok to voice their opinion on who is going to win The Big Game. It’s critical for bettors to block out that noise.
It shouldn’t take you more than 48 hours after the conference title games to decide who you like. If you have to think about it longer than that, then it isn’t a high value situation. By this point, you should have been following these teams for months so you know who’s who and what’s what. An extra week of “research” isn’t going to change what you’ve seen and wagered on for the entire season leading up to the Super Bowl.
It is easy to get bogged down in individual matchups in the Super Bowl. Again, with two weeks leading up to one game, every bobblehead media member in the country has time to dissect and overanalyze every aspect of this game. That can be poison for a handicapper, because once you get into that headspace, it is tough to get out.
Once you’ve made up your mind, don’t change it! Don’t fall victim to second-guessing during that two-week lag in between conference title games and the championship game.
2. Momentum Over Trends
I’m not a huge believer in trends in NFL betting in general. With only 16 games in a season – and massive turnover on rosters from year-to-year – there simply aren’t enough trials for trends to be major indicators. (Compare the 17-game NFL season to an 82-game NBA or 162-game MLB season, and you get an idea what I’m talking about.)
Momentum is more important than any trends at this stage of the game. Both Philadelphia and Kansas City are playing well – I mean, they ARE in the Super Bowl! But you have to ask yourself: who is playing better? Which team has looked better throughout the playoffs? Who has been playing better over the last two months? Teams get hot and go on postseason runs all the time. That propulsion usually equals a payday.
3. Bet The Team You Think Is Going To Win
People spend way too much time worrying about the Super Bowl spread or “finding value” on the number. During the regular season, the team that wins the football game usually covers the spread around 80 percent of the time. The numbers are even more excessive in the Super Bowl.
Last year’s 23-20 win by the Rams over the Bengals marked the first Super Bowl in 12 years where the team that won the game didn’t cover the spread. Only four times in the past quarter century has a team lost the game but beat the number.
People have made a big deal about the sportsbooks moving this year’s spread from 2.5 to 1.5, And there is a lot of anticipation over whether the books will move it again this weekend. It doesn’t matter. Those points aren’t going to help or hurt you. Bet the team that you think will win the game, and the odds are that’s the way it will go.
4. Dive Into The Props
This is where players have the real advantage in Super Bowl betting. Sportsbooks release hundreds of props in this game to stimulate action, and it has absolutely worked. Roughly 40 percent of the $16 billion that’s wagered on the Super Bowl comes in on prop betting.
However, the books have left themselves a bit exposed here. The oddsmakers have to set good lines on all those hundreds of props. You only need to find one or two weak numbers, and you can hit them hard.
The bad news is that books usually have low limits on prop bets. The good news is that all the numbers are pretty close across the board, so it is easy to get down on one prop at several books.
5. Bet What You Think Is Going To Happen, Not What You Want To Happen
This might be the most important rule to follow. The public loves to bet the favorite and the ‘over’ in the Super Bowl, because that’s what they want to see happen. They want to see greatness, and they want to see points scored. The same can be said for player props. The sportsbooks shade them higher on the star players because they know that square bettors are going to overestimate the statistical abilities of the studs.
Emotion is the enemy of any gambler. You must try to be objective when you are thinking about laying out your cash. Follow the numbers.
Carpe diem. Good luck.
(This article was originally posted in 2022. It has been updated with this year’s teams.)
Get NFL picks on every single game, or if you want our very best bet premium picks by the experts, sign up for your free $60 account with a guarantee.
Most Recent Super Bowl Betting
- Point Spreads for every Super Bowl
- Super Bowl Coin Toss History and Statistics
- 2023 Super Bowl Handicapping and Betting Advice
- 2023 Super Bowl Outlook: Old vs. New as Eagles Will Use Brute Strength on Sunday
- 2023 First Touchdown Scored Super Bowl Props Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
- 2023 Super Bowl Cross Sport Props: Predictions and Analysis
- 2023 Super Bowl Teaser Bets: Picks and Predictions
- Tips for Betting Super Bowl Props 2023
- Free Super Bowl Props Predictions 2023
- 2023 Super Bowl Wide Receiver Props and Expert Betting Predictions