Betting on NFL Conference Championships and Super Bowl

superbowl-betting-2014The NFL playoffs are down to 4 teams in the hunt for the 2014 Super Bowl. In the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers travel to the hostile Seattle Seahawks home field, where fans generated an earthquake that was measured on the richter scale when Marshawn Lynch run a TD. In the AFC, it’s a classic matchup between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots.

The conference championship games are scheduled for next Sunday, January 19th. However, the Super Bowl itself is still another 3 weeks away and will be played on February 2nd in Met Life Stadium in New Jersey.

These three remaining games left on the NFL schedule are some of the most heavily bet on sporting events of the year. For those of you who are looking to bet on Superbowl wagers, there are a couple of things that you will need to know.

Since the Super Bowl receives the most volume of wagers, you will want to follow the betting lines pretty closely if you are simply going to bet on the spread, the money line, or the total. There are two weeks of lead up to the Super Bowl following the championship games. The betting lines usually open during the first week before the media week at the site of the big game. This gives the sportsbooks a lot of time to move these lines up and down.

What does the line movement mean?

When the lines open, any gambler can place a bet on one side of the line or another. The person who bets early will lock in their bet at these early odds; they are not affected by the line’s movement afterwards. The sportsbooks that are accepting wagers have the job to make the wagering even on both sides. They do this because they will make money off of the juice that is charged for making a wager. The juice is usually a 5% or 10% advantage for the house.

The percentage of people who are betting on one side or another will not necessarily move the line. The amount of money that is wagered on that side is the important figure. A couple of large bets on the underdog can counteract many smaller wagers on the favorite. Therefore, the line won’t move very much.

Let’s say that the Seattle Seahawks play the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks will be favored in this matchup. The line may open with Seattle as a 2.5 point favorite. You may see the line go either way depending on the last impression that each team left during the Championship weekend. If Denver destroys New England, then people would start betting on the underdog. This could move the line so much that the game becomes a pickem without a favorite.

On the other hand, if Seattle rolls and Denver struggles to win at home, you may see a lot of early bets on Seattle. You probably won’t see the line move much in that direction. I would be surprised if Seattle was more than a 3.5 point favorite. The old rule for betting on the spread and money line is to bet the favorite early and the underdog late. The idea is that the line is most favorable for the favorite when the line opens and most favorable for the underdog when the favorite has been bet up. This may not apply in this scenario because people have been betting up Denver all year.

Of course, either San Fran or New England can go on the road and upset these two teams. In which case, you would see an entirely different story.

Placing a Bet Today

One interesting wager that you can place right now is the Super Bowl futures at Bovada. There are several different options that you can choose.

The first wager is simply which of the 4 remaining teams you think will win the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle (+190), Denver (+200), San Francisco (+300) or New England (+450). Placing a $100 wager on a team means that you will win the (+) amount shown.

Secondly, you can place a wager on the correct matchup of the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle vs Denver (+110), Seattle vs New England (+325), San Francisco vs Denver (+275), or San Francisco vs New England (+600).

You can also place a wager on the exact outcome of this year’s Super Bowl. This has 8 different outcomes: Seattle beats Denver (12/5 odds), Seattle beats New England (9/2), Denver beats Seattle (4/1), Denver beats San Francisco (5/1), San Francisco beats Denver (15/2), San Francisco beats New England (10/1), New England beats Seattle (10/1) and New England beats San Francisco (12/1).

Of course, these bets will not be available once the conference championship games begin on Sunday.

Other Bets on the Super Bowl

The great thing about the Super Bowl is that there are literally hundreds of different proposition wagers that can be made on the game. Most of these wagers will not be available until the week of the Super Bowl. The most common prop bet on the Super Bowl that isn’t usually available with any other game is the result of the coin toss.

Other unusual props include bets on what a performer will or won’t do during the halftime show, what color Gatorade will get dumped on the coach, how many times the cameras will show a particular person in the crowd or press box, and so on. Those are just the weird prop bets that are available.

There are also props and betting lines for each quarter, which team will score first, how the first points will be scored, who will score the first TD, and so on. There are also individual props for the number of TDs or interceptions that a QB will throw, the number of receiving or rushing yards a player will have, and many more variations of these statistical bets.

With all of those options, you will be hard pressed not to get in on the action!