The Super Bowl is by far the most watched televised event in the United States, attracting over a hundred million viewers each year. In fact, of the most viewed televised sports broadcasts in the US, the Super Bowl occupies 19 of the top 20 spots. A staggering figure with over a third of the US population tuning in to watch the event.
The inaugural edition of the Super Bowl took place in 1967 with the Green Bay Packers hoisting the trophy the first two times. Since then, there have been 19 different winners, the Pittsburgh Steelers crowned champions most often with a total of six different times.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and it also boasts an impressive array of betting options; from prop bets to over/under, there are plenty of different ways to get in on the action. Let’s take a look at the best sites and the different options for this year’s edition.
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2018 Super Bowl/Super Bowl LII
While we are still months away from the 52nd edition of the Super Bowl, there are already odds for this year’s champion. The current favorites are Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, also the defending champions after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in a dramatic fourth quarter comeback last year. Belichick’s team pay-out is at +325, meaning that for every $100 you bet, you would get $425 back, meaning a $325 profit.
With the Patriots’ dominance in the last two decades, all five of their Super Bowl wins coming during this era along with four losses, it’s hard to bet against them. Of course, the odds aren’t great, especially considering how unpredictable the NFL season and especially the playoffs can be, but the Patriots have to be considered the heavy favorites with Tom Brady at the helm and with the new arrival of Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints.
The other top contenders include the Green Bay Packers (+800), the Oakland Raiders (+1000), and the Seahawks, Steelers, and Falcons (all at +1200). All five teams have some great rosters and the talent to take home the Lombardi trophy, and for those who don’t believe in another Patriots triumph, these are the teams you should probably be targeting.
Green Bay is led by an impressive offensive core of Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Ty Montgomery, and they’ve made a statement in past years. Their defense isn’t shabby either. They’ve been able to hold opponents to low-scoring games – evidenced in their 17-9 win over the Seahawks in Week 1. Combine their offensive and defensive prowess, along with a little luck along the way, and you’ve got yourself a championship caliber team.
Oakland had an impressive season last year, but experts and fans alike are wondering whether they’ll be able to replicate that success. They started off the season well with a win against the Titans, and with new arrival/return Marshawn Lynch showing some great vision and Amari Cooper only getting better, there’s no reason why they can’t be just as successful. Paired with one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, the Raiders certainly have what it takes.
The Worst Of The Worst
All the way at the bottom are the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Cleveland Browns, all boasting some great odds at +30000. These odds sound incredible, but the true chances of these teams claiming the trophy are almost zero, and it’s likely you’ll just be throwing money away on these teams. But who knows? Everyone thought the same about Leicester City and the Premier League, and it was very costly for the bookmakers.
They’ve also all lost their first game of the year. Who would have guessed?
If you forced me to pick from one of those three teams, I’d have to go with the Browns. They played relatively well against the Steelers, and they have a couple of dangerous weapons in Isaiah Crowell, Kenny Britt, and rookie DeShone Kizer. But most importantly, they can’t possibly be this bad for another year, right?
The regular season is already underway, and we’ve gotten a sneak peek at all of the teams. With that in mind, let me try and make some predictions.
- If we’re looking at a sort of dark horse to take it home, my money would be on the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite their extremely poor record in the playoffs, they consistently dominate during the regular season, and they have the talent and the management needed to make a deep run into the playoffs. They also posted an impressive performance against Tom Brady’s Patriots. If they can just get over the hump and progress past the divisional playoffs, they are completely capable of matching any other team in the NFL. With odds at +2800, they are a sneaky pick that could make you a lot of money.
- The Patriots will not win the Super Bowl. There, I said it. Tom Brady doesn’t look like his usual self, and the loss of Julian Edelman will certainly be an issue. But if there’s anyone who could prove me wrong, it would be them.
- This will be a weird year. I don’t think we’ll see any of the regulars in the Super Bowl. There’s no clear favorite after Week 1, and I fully expect to see at least one new face up in Minneapolis.
But at the end of the day, it’s your pick. Your opinion is just as good as mine or any expert’s Whether you want to bet on your favorite team or you have your own dark horse, take into account that this is the NFL. The only thing that matters is the playoffs, and they can be wildly unpredictable. That’s what makes the Super Bowl so special.
Types of Super Bowl Bets
If you’re looking for betting options, look no further than the Super Bowl. The billion-dollar event is full of glitz, glamor, and plenty of different bets that you can take. Even if you are just watching for the commercials or the outrageously overdone and elaborate halftime show, there are still bets for you.
With hundreds of different bets at your disposal, you can bet on whatever you want, from the length of the national anthem to the number of picks that are thrown. Here are just some of the many options available to you.
- Future Winner
As explained in the previous section, betting sites have already posted odds for this year’s Super Bowl champion. While there’s still much to learn about all the teams, and we’ll only get a true look when the regular season starts, this is the perfect opportunity to trust your gut and place a bet. The odds are considerably higher prior to the start of the regular season, and if you can guess correctly, you’ll wind up with a much bigger pay day than if you were to bet halfway through the season.
This is your normal bet. When the Super Bowl teams have already been decided, you’ll be able to bet on who you think will win. Keep in mind that there is often a point spread. This means that if the favorite doesn’t win by more than the point spread, bets on the loser will be considered winners. Put simply, the spread is subtracted from the favorite’s total or added to the underdog’s score, and the winner will be decided based on that, regardless of who actually won the game.
- Other Futures
While these aren’t necessarily tied to the Super Bowl, you can also bet on other outcomes in advance. Whether it’s the MVP for the regular season, the divisional winner, or even the conference leader, you can bet on pretty much everything months before the outcome is revealed. If you’re someone who likes to watch your bets unfold throughout the whole of the year, this is a viable option.
- Prop Bets
These are mainly for those who prefer to watch the commercials/half time show as opposed to the actual game. There are hundreds of prop bets, most focusing on some trivial details like the length of the national anthem or the color of the confetti during the half time show. Prop bets aren’t the greatest way to make money as the odds aren’t really known.
- Live Bets
These are probably the most exciting options out of all of them. Live betting is a relatively new addition, allowing bettors to bet while the game is still taking place. This requires much more analysis, and the odds will constantly fluctuate with each and every play. You could bet on the winner, the outcome of the next play (TFL, sack, TD, etc.), and even what play will be called. It can make for a very exciting experience, and you might just strike it rich. Just imagine if you had bet on the Patriots’ dramatic fourth quarter comeback last year.
Notable Super Bowl Upsets
Every sport has its fair share of upsets, and football is no different, especially in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Here are some of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history:
Super Bowl III – Baltimore Colts vs New York Jets
In just the third edition of the NFL’s premier competition, the Jets defeated a stacked Colts roster en route to their first Super Bowl victory. The Colts were huge favorites, projected to win by 18 points. The bookies had gotten it wrong.
Heading into the game, Joe Namath, hall of fame quarterback famously declared that he would lead the Jets to victory against a dominant Colts side. He made good on his promise, leading the Jets to their first ring in a low scoring 16-7 victory. It’s arguably the biggest upset in Super Bowl history, and it was the first one in its history.
Super Bowl XXXVI – New England Patriots vs St. Louis Rams
Ahh, the beginning of the Brady era. Who would have thought that a sixth round draft pick would go on to captain his team to five Super Bowls? The St. Louis Rams had garnered a 14-2 record under the leadership of Kurt Warner during the regular season, and it was their second Super Bowl appearance in just three years. The Patriots, on the other hand, came into the match with a 11-5 record and a rookie quarterback at the helm.
Despite all the signs pointing against them, the Patriots did not falter. In “The Greatest Show on Turf”, Tom Brady captained his team to a 20-17 win. After a 17-3 lead, the game looked done and dusted, but the Rams were able to tie it up with 90 seconds remaining after two Warner touchdowns. Brady led his team down the field, allowing star kicker Adam Vinatieri to hit the game winner as time expired.
Super Bowl XLVII – Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers
The battle of the Harbaugh brothers saw John come out on top, leading his Baltimore Ravens to victory over Jim’s San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers’ explosive offense was on full display throughout the whole of the regular season, led by none other than Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers were looking for their record-tying sixth Super Bowl title, and they came into the game undefeated in Super Bowl appearances. It would be the first time in NFL history that had two brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl and the first time that two teams headed into the matchup undefeated in previous Super Bowl showings.
Behind Ray Lewis’ fiery leadership (it would also be his final game), the Ravens completely shut down the 49ers offense, outscoring them 28-6 by the third quarter. The 49ers wouldn’t go down without a fight. The 49ers managed to score 17 unanswered points and even cut the deficit down to just two points, but it was not enough.
The Ravens capped off their victory with an intentional safety, running out the clock, and handing them just their second Super Bowl victory and an emotional farewell to legendary linebacker, Ray Lewis.
Super Bowl XLII – New England Patriots vs New York Giants
The Patriots headed into this match looking to become just the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to end a season undefeated and the first to do it on a 16-game regular season schedule. The Giants boasted a much less impressive 10-6 record, and they had a tough road to get here, having to fight their way all the way from a wild card spot.
New England had won their previous meeting during the regular season 38-35, and while it was certainly a close result, experts and fans alike all agreed that Brady’s Patriots were simply too good for the Giants to handle. It would be a low-scoring affair contrary to their first meeting, and it would be the Giants to score first, hitting a field goal in the first quarter.
The score went back and forth as the teams battled for the lead, and the Giants found themselves down 14-10 with just 2 minutes and 39 seconds left in the game. Through a dramatic game-winning drive by Eli Manning, known more famously because of Tyree’s “Helmet Catch”, Plaxico Burress capped off an 83-yard push down the field, earning the Giants their third Super Bowl victory and dashing the hopes of the Patriots’ regular season.
Just four years later, these two teams would meet again, and in almost equally dramatic fashion, the Giants would end up on top again, this time lifting the trophy by a score line of 21-7. The 2008 edition would go down as one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports as the Giants defied all the odds (the Patriots were favored to win by 12.5 points) and claimed a shocking victory.
Super Bowl LI – New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons
Last year’s Super Bowl was probably the most dramatic of all time. While the Patriots were certainly favored, the Falcons weren’t far off, and their offense had impressed many over the course of the regular season, sporting a resurgent Matt Ryan and a stellar running back in Devonta Freeman.
Tom Brady and the Patriots were looking for their fifth Super Bowl ring, and it wasn’t looking good for them at the start. The first quarter went by without any scores, but the Falcons began to turn it on in the second quarter, scoring three unanswered touchdowns before Gostkowski converted a field goal at the end of the second quarter.
After another touchdown by the Falcons early in the third quarter, it was looking even more grim for the Patriots. With just over two minutes left in the third quarter, the Patriots would have to overcome a 28-3 deficit to hoist the Lombardi trophy.
The outcome was almost decided, and the chances of victory were almost nonexistent, the odds of the Patriots winning dwindling to as low as .3% at one point. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick weren’t willing to accept the loss.
In a dramatic third and fourth quarter comeback, Tom Brady led his team down the pitch no less than four times, scoring 25 unanswered points to tie the game up. The Patriots would be able to force the game into overtime, and Brady captained his team down the field one last time, allowing James White to prance into the end zone for the win.
It may not have been the biggest upset in Super Bowl history, but if you account for the situation in which the Patriots had found themselves, the feat Brady and Belichick accomplished is nothing short of impossible. The Patriots overcame all the odds to claim their fifth Super Bowl in 15 years, making history on the way there.
The Super Bowl is always a great way to bet, and it offers plenty of opportunities, even to those who aren’t the average bettor. If you’re an expert on the national anthem length, then go ahead and bet on that. Lip syncing or not? There’s an option for that too.
But beyond the betting portion of things, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events in America. It’s a time when friends and families get together, turn on the big game, cheer for their favorite players and teams, and rank the commercials.
We might be a long ways away from that fateful night, but it’s never too early to start researching and betting on America’s favorite sporting/commercial show.