Early vs. Late Betting: What’s the Best Super Bowl LII Betting Strategy?

Early vs. Late Betting: What’s the Best Super Bowl LII Betting Strategy?

Written by on January 24, 2018

The most-wagered single annual event in the world is the Super Bowl – soccer’s World Cup takes more action overall but that’s a month-long tournament that occurs once every four years – and it brings bettors out of the woodwork. Last year, Super Bowl LI brought in nearly $140 million in handle at the Nevada sportsbooks, and north of $5 billion was wagered across the United States when you factor offshore like our online sportsbook. So, should you bet early or late for Super Bowl LII (One quick aside: This could be the final Super Bowl in the USA where wagering is outlawed outside of Nevada. Many believe the U.S. Supreme Court will finally repeal the federal ban on sports betting and allow states to make their own decisions on the matter. And, believe me, most if not all states will allow it because of revenue possibilities.)

Early vs. Late Betting: What’s the Best Super Bowl LII Betting Strategy?

So my topic here is whether you should drop a bet down on the Super Bowl each year right after the line is released following the conference championship games (or that bye week) or perhaps wait until the day before the game or even the morning of. Because there are so many casual/uniformed fans betting on the biggest sporting event of the year, it’s usually the right choice to bet on whichever team the public doesn’t like. That will probably be the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

Why So?

Because the Patriots are the NFL’s most “public” team. They are the most popular and have the biggest star in Tom Brady. Many casual bettors will simply bet on the Patriots because of Brady – I know for a fact that some women will do so simply because Brady is handsome. New England has been a regular fixture in the big game — making it eight times since the 2001 campaign — while Philly hasn’t been this far since 2004, when it came up just short against the Pats in Super Bowl XXXIX. In addition, Joe Q. Public tends to bet on what they remember most. Those would be the AFC and NFC Championship Games. The Eagles blew out the favored Minnesota Vikings while the Patriots struggled at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Those results will be fresh on casual bettors’ minds for at least a week. Initially, the Eagles were believed to be a full touchdown underdog to New England on the look-ahead line, but after routing the Vikings in the NFC Championship game the Eagles got a little bit more respect.

So Should Bet Early?

Sometimes the simplest thing to remember is that early money can be a bad sign because it often comes from not the smartest or most informed bettors. The Eagles players utilized the betting lines for both the Divisional Round and NFC Championship as motivation, embracing their underdog status by donning dog masks on the field after wins. The early money so far is flowing in on Philadelphia and has moved the spread down to Patriots -5. The Eagles haven’t faced odds this long all season. They outright lost and failed to cover as 4-point dogs against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2, the only game it received more than 3 points in during the 2017 campaign and subsequent postseason. This is the largest Super Bowl spread since Super Bowl XLIII when the Pittsburgh Steelers were 7-point favorite over the Arizona Cardinals for the game in Tampa – the Steelers didn’t cover and it took a last-second touchdown for them to win. The last five Super Bowl underdogs of +3 or greater have covered the spread.

What Do Oddsmakers Say?

Oddsmakers can accurately anticipate one-sided action from public bettors, and they react by shading lines to force public bettors to take bad numbers when playing the popular side of a game. Also, keep in mind that more than 95 percent of most sportsbooks’ total handle for the game will be wagered on Super Bowl weekend.  There has been some very aggressive line movement in recent Super Bowls late so you could find a better line to your liking. Super Bowl LII in particular it could be wise to wait until next week at the earliest to drop a bet down because the Patriots’ second-most important player is Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski. He was forced out of the AFC title game with a concussion and it would be a major factor if Gronk couldn’t play vs. the Eagles. If Gronkowski is not cleared for this game due to a concussion, the betting public will react and the sportsbooks will adjust the odds accordingly.
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