How to Bet on the Super Bowl in 2021 — Tips, Advice, & More

Updated: December 4, 2020

The Super Bowl is the most heavily bet single event on the regular sports calendar, with billions of dollars wagered on the annual NFL championship.

That mass appeal draws plenty of new sports bettors, all wondering how to bet on the Super Bowl. We get you started with our Super Bowl betting guide.

How does Super Bowl Betting work?

Oddsmakers set the betting lines for the Super Bowl immediately following the conclusion of the AFC and NFC Championship Games, which is usually two weeks prior to the Super Bowl. 

Looking at the betting odds for Super Bowl LIV, the Kansas City Chiefs were set as 1.5-point favorites (-1.5) versus the San Francisco 49ers, who were +1.5 underdogs. 

The moneyline odds – the odds to win the game outright – had Kansas City as a -130 favorite (bet $130 to win $100) and San Francisco as a +110 underdog (bet $100 to win $110). 

The Over/Under total for Super Bowl LIV was 53 points.

Understanding Super Bowl Betting Odds

The first Super Bowl betting line oddsmakers will release is the point spread, followed by the moneyline odds and the Over/Under total. Sportsbooks will then add to the Super Bowl betting options during the two-week ramp up to Super Bowl Sunday.

Moneyline: Pick who wins the game

The moneyline is the most basic Super Bowl bet you can place: Simply pick the winner of the game.

The moneylines for Super Bowl LIV had Kansas City as a -130 favorite, which meant for every dollar you wished to win you had to wager $1.30. San Francisco was a +110 moneyline underdog which meant for every $1 risked, you could have won $1.10. Kansas City won the game outright and therefore won as a -130 moneyline favorite.

Point spread: Pick who will cover 

The point spread is the most popular way to bet on the Super Bowl. 

It’s the perceived margin of victory of the game. The favorite is indicated by a negative value (-) in front of the spread and the underdog is indicated by a positive value (+) in front of its spread. 

For the favorite to cover the spread, it must win by more than the point spread. And, for the underdog to cover, it must win outright or lose by less than the spread. 

For Super Bowl LIV, Kansas City was a -1.5 favorite and San Francisco was a +1.5 underdog. This means that K.C. had to win by two or more points to cover the spread. San Francisco could have won outright or lost by one point to cover the spread. Kansas City wounds up winning the game 31-20, easily covering the 1.5-point spread. 

Over/Under: Will the combined score go Over or Under the total? 

The Over/Under (also referred to as the total) is the projected total number of points scored by both teams. You can wager on whether the final score will go Over or Under that total. 

The Over/Under total for Super Bowl LIV was 53 points. Kansas City won the game 31-20 – a combined 51 points – so the final score played Under the total. 

Props: The fun bets! 

Super Bowl prop bets are one of the most popular and growing markets when it comes to betting on the Big Game. 

Props – also known as proposition bets – can vary in their terms and areas of focus. Props can be for specific team performance, player stats, or events throughout the game. These can be wagered on in Over/Under, Yes/No or head-to-head (involving spreads) options. 

With a game this big there are thousands of different prop options to choose from, including Super Bowl prop bets for the national anthem, coin toss, halftime show, and color of the Gatorade bath given to the winning coach. 

Live betting: In-play wagering 

Another way to bet on the Super Bowl is in-game wagering. 

Most online and mobile sportsbooks will offer live betting odds, which constantly adjust to the action and outcomes that are happening on the field. And, for an event of this magnitude, Super Bowl live betting has a massive menu of in-play odds.

 In-game lines will offer adjusted point spreads, moneylines and Over/Under totals as well as in-play prop odds, such as next team to score, next player to score a touchdown and even the outcome of the next play.

Parlays: More risk, more payout

Betting a Super Bowl parlay is a good way to score a big payday on the Big Game. But be warned: A parlay bet is one of the riskier wagers you can place.

Parlays require you to tie together two or more bets and in return offer a greater possible win if all those bets are correct. The more bets added to the parlay, the greater the potential payout (and also the greater the risk). However, if even one of the bets included in the parlay loses, the entire parlay is graded as a loss.

Super Bowl parlays can include point spreads, moneylines, Over/Under totals, and props. If you parlayed Kansas City -1.5 (-110) and Under 53 (-110) in Super Bowl LIV, a single $10 bet would have won $26.44. 

Teasers: Moving numbers in your favor 

Much like parlays, teasers require you to tie together two or more bets. However, teasers allow you to move spreads and Over/Unders up and down a set amount of points in your favor – normally six, 6.5 or seven points. 

The number of points allotted as well as the number of bets included in the teaser will adjust the possible payout. And just like parlays, all the bets included in the teaser must be correct for it to be graded as a winner. 

For example, a 6-point teaser for Super Bowl LIV on Kansas City -1.5 and Under 53 would move those odds to Kansas City +4.5 and Under 59. A single $10 bet on that teaser (-110) would have paid $9.09. 

Derivatives: First quarter, first half, and more 

Sportsbooks offer Super Bowl derivative odds on segments of the game – quarters and halves – allowing you to bet spreads, moneylines, over/under totals, and team totals designated to just those segments. 

The first-quarter derivative lines for Super Bowl LIV was Kansas City -0.5 on the spread and a total of 10.5 for the Over/Under. 

The final score after the first quarter was Kansas City 7 – San Francisco 3, which meant that Kansas City covered the first-quarter spread and the first quarter went Under the total.

Tips to make the best Super Bowl Bets

There’s no shortage of information to base your Super Bowl bets on. No game in sports is more dissected and analyzed over the two-week ramp up to Super Sunday. On top of getting to know the two teams competing for the Lombardi Trophy, make sure to use these tips to make the best Super Bowl bets.

Line movement 

The Super Bowl is unique in that it has two weeks to take action from bettors. Generally, we see the bulk of the line movement in the few hours after the odds are released and in the final 24-48 hours before kickoff — which is when the bulk of the bets are placed. If you’re looking for a certain number to bet, jump in early or look to bet late.

Create a narrative 

Depending on how you’re betting the Super Bowl spread and total, you will want to create a narrative for how the game will play out and how you’ll bet on Super Bowl props. 

When betting on the team with better defense or the Under, you may want to look to bet on the Over for the number of sacks or interceptions or the Under on the opponents’ offensive props. 

If you’re betting the Over, you should back up that prediction with bets on the Over for the number of touchdowns, passing yards, or other positive offensive props. 

Look beyond the spread and total 

The spread and total are the most popular ways to wager on the Super Bowl. However, if you don’t have a strong opinion on either, there are thousands of other ways to wager on the Big Game. Props, team totals, derivatives, and alternative lines can offer great value and provide just as much profit as the mainstream markets. Don’t limit yourself. 

Bet smart, not big 

Just because it’s the “Big Game” doesn’t mean you need to bet big. You should have a dedicated bankroll set aside for the Super Bowl and designate your wager size on the odds and props you feel most confident about. Always play within your means, regardless of whether it’s Super Sunday. 

Bet at a reputable sportsbook 

Where you bet is as important as what you bet. If the Super Bowl is your first time signing up for a sportsbook, be sure to read reviews and ratings for legal options available in your area. Consider payment methods, bonuses, and odds available, but also dig into any issues others have had with those operators and rules around withdrawing winnings.

Trusted Reviews of Betting Sites

As the sports betting landscape continues to shift and grow, Covers remains committed to providing sports bettors with the most comprehensive information and statistical analysis available.

Our experts research, review and apply the most demanding quality standards when vetting each of the betting sites.

What can we learn from past Super Bowls? 

Football bettors should treat each contest on a game-to-game basis, even a game as big as the Super Bowl. There are, however, some tips and betting trends from past NFL championships that can help point you to profits. 

Early action has been right 

When oddsmakers set the Super Bowl point spread, bettors should pay close attention to the early opinion and to which team the spread moves in favor of. 

The early line movement has predicted the ATS winner in 10 of the last 13 Super Bowls. The spread for Super Bowl LIV opened pick’em and early bets moved the spread to Kansas City -1.5. The Chiefs would win and cover in the Big Game. 

Low-scoring first quarters 

One of the most profitable Super Bowl betting trends is betting the Under in the first quarter props, team totals and derivative totals. There has been a total of just 89 points scored in the first quarter of the past 13 Super Bowls. That’s an average of only 6.8 points per first quarter. Teams are a little nervous and tight in the opening 15 minutes of the championship game, and that has led to lower-scoring opening frames. 

Take the team that scores first 

If you’re live betting the Super Bowl or have a solid read on which team will find the scoreboard first, you will want to remember that the team that scores first has won 36 of the past 54 Super Bowls, including winning seven of the last nine. 

Super Bowl ATS trends 

Breaking down the basic Super Bowl records, betting favorites are 36-17 SU and 28-23 ATS in 54 Super Bowls (two Super Bowls pushed with the closing spread and one closed as a pick’em). Underdogs have covered in 12 of the last 19 Big Games (one pick’em).

Super Bowl betting mistakes

The Super Bowl has plenty of pitfalls for bettors and with a game this big, the mistakes can get even bigger. 

Betting too big 

Perhaps the gravest error you can make when wagering on the Super Bowl is betting too big and beyond your means. Bettors should have a dedicated bankroll and stick to it, avoiding getting in over their heads when it comes to wagering. 

Contradicting bets 

Another mistake many bettors make, especially with the endless options of Super Bowl odds, is contradicting your wagers. Someone who places a bet on the Over will want to stick to that narrative and avoid betting on props that would work against the original opinion. If you like a high-scoring game, you don’t want to bet Unders on the quarterbacks’ prop markets. 

Chasing losses 

One crucial no-no that’s not reserved to the Super Bowl but can be exasperated by the Big Game hype is chasing your bets. This pertains to in-game live odds. If your pregame wagers aren’t looking so good, refraining from chasing those potential losses by betting the other side in the in-play markets or throwing cash at random props trying to make that money up. These wild live bets are often made on impulse with little thought or research.

How to place a bet on the Super Bowl

The draw of the Super Bowl has many fans betting on football for the first time. Here’s a step-by-step process for placing a bet on the Super Bowl:

1. Choose a betting site

Research legal sportsbooks in your area and read reviews and ratings, identify banking methods, as well as the available odds markets for bets you want to place. 

2. Sign up for an account

Once you find the sportsbook that fits those needs, register for an account and deposit money into your sportsbook via one of the banking methods available.

3. Browse the odds

Once your account is activated and funded, browse through the Super Bowl betting odds and find the bets you want to place. 

4. Place your bets

Add those bets to your bet card and designate the wager type and amount of money risked on each. Double-check that the bets and wager size are correct, then click submit/place a bet.

5. Review your bets

View your active bets to confirm the bets have been accepted successfully.

6. Watch your wagers play out

Grab your favorite snack and a cold drink, find a comfy seat, turn on the Super Bowl, and enjoy the excitement of betting on the Big Game.

Where can I bet on the Super Bowl legally?

You can bet on the Super Bowl legally at online sportsbooks and casinos, based on your location and local laws around sports betting. Ready to place a bet? Our team of experts has assembled a list of the best online sportsbooks for betting on the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl betting FAQs

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