The Super Bowl matchup is set and, for two weeks, fans will be inundated with story lines that will have little impact on the game. (How many conversations are necessary about how Pete Carroll was replaced by Bill Belichick in New England?)
However, two weeks is a good amount of time to be studious and make educated bets on the big game. How you go about learning may very well determine whether you win cash. We have seven warnings you should heed before making your wagers.
A lot of people love prop bets come Super Sunday. The first five Super Bowl betting warnings center on the risks of props.
Warning #1: by betting props, you are wagering on elements of the game that you normally do not. Because of that, it is important you fully understand the parameters of the bet and research what you are wagering on.
Warning #2: frequently, sportsbooks change the juice on props. This may not seem like a big deal, but small changes in the juice can result in you needing to win 60% of your bets in order to make a profit instead of 54%. That’s a big difference.
Warning #3: don’t bet on too many of them because you’re unlikely to have an advantage in, say, ten different categories. Sportsbooks are good at what they do. You are better off playing more cash on the one or two props you legitimately really like.
Warning #4: do not waste any time or money on random props. There is no logic or reason to bet on the coin toss, what color hair Katy Perry has at halftime, or how many times Jerry Jones will be shown during the television broadcast (unless you’re really good friends with the producer).
Warning #5: beware of “experts”. Sure, you watched Ray Lewis play in the NFL for the better part of two decades, and once upon a time you enjoyed Chris Berman’s swami shtick, and it’s nice that random celebrities are excited for the game, but that doesn’t mean you have to – or should – listen to them.
People are on television, or writing articles, because they seek ratings and page views. That doesn’t mean they know anything or even believe what they’re saying. Whatever sources you normally trust, and however you usually go about researching bets, stick to that formula if it’s been working for you.
Extra information is not necessarily good information. But extra information that will actually impact the game (such as injury news) can be invaluable. And that leads us to our next warning.
Warning #6: don’t hurry your bets. Unless you jumped on an initially flawed line, the spread/moneyline isn’t going to change dramatically after the first 24 hours, unless a major injury or suspension takes place. If that happens, it’s a complete toss-up whether it will be in your favor or not. The better move is to wait until more information is available, and then analyze and bet.
Two key Seahawks – Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas – exited the NFC Championship Game and their status for the Super Bowl remains unknown. Both Sherman and Thomas are huge difference makers. It is virtually impossible to make any sort of bet on the game, and particularly anything that pertains to New England’s passing game, the possible number of turnovers in the contest, and how many points will be scored, before finding out those players’ statuses.
Warning #7: don’t overrate certain elements of the game. Belichick is a genius, but players’ execution wins or loses the game. Brady is a Hall of Famer, but he has lost his last two Super Bowls. Phoenix is closer to Seattle, but most of the people attending are corporate types who don’t cheer. (In other words, there won’t be any 12th Man.)
Just like any other football game, the battle in the trenches, success on third down, and turnovers will all be huge factors in the Super Bowl. Spend your time determining who will win those key categories, and then sit back and enjoy.
(Photo credit: Anthony Quintano (Flickr: Super Bowl XLVIII (48) New York New Jersey) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)