You don’t have to be an NFL expert to do it, either. And there are a lot of “non-football” bets that make the game far more appealing to the casual observer.
Want to bet on who wins the coin flip? You can. Want to bet on a lonely kicker missing a game-winning field goal? Let your heart of darkness shine with a small bet.
Most of the estimated $6 billion bet on the Super Bowl every year is done among friends and co-workers, but if you want to go one step further and bet actual money at a sportsbook for the first time, here’s how to do it.
If you want to jump straight to your best bets for Super Bowl 54, head to the $100 or less betting plan here:
Tip #1: Everyone Sucks at Super Bowl Betting
Throughout the run-up to the Big Game, you’ll undoubtedly hear a ton of chatter about this year’s combatants. If you remain unaware, they are the:
- Kansas City Chiefs
- San Francisco 49ers
Among the football fans in your immediate circle, you won’t have a hard time finding opinions on which team will win. Everyone’s an expert when it comes to betting on the Super Bowl. But don’t be fooled by the official oversize jersey and disarmingly loud voices.
Nobody is good at betting on football. Once the ball is kicked off, anything can happen. Big-name players make mistakes; lesser-knowns step up. Coaches make boneheaded decisions.
Officials can alter the outcome of the game with a single, terrible call. Given what’s transpired in the NFL regular season, that might be the safest bet of Super Bowl 54.
A quick quiz to prove our point:
Over the last 12 Super Bowls, how many times has the underdog been the outright winner?
Correct answer: 7 times.
Said another way, the experts paid to predict how these games will turn out got it wrong 60% of the time. They have no idea what’s going to happen. Fans know even less. But that doesn’t stop them from betting on virtually anything and everything Super Bowl. And it shouldn’t deter you either.
The most basic Super Bowl bets
Here’s how to read the current odds for the 2020 Super Bowl in three basic formats:
If you just want to pick the winner of the game, this is known as a moneyline bet. You can choose the favorite or the underdog. Here’s what those odds look like.
- San Francisco 49ers +106
- Kansas City Chiefs -122
The Chiefs are slight favorites for the game, and they have negative moneyline odds as a result. The 49ers are the underdogs, as represented by the positive odds.
The moneyline number itself represents how much you need to bet to win $100 (for “-” numbers) or how much you win for a $100 bet (for “+” numbers). So in this case you would win $100 for a $122 bet on the Chiefs (plus your bet back). You’d win $106 for a $100 bet on the 49ers.
Oddsmakers install a point spread on each NFL game. For those who bet on the games, the task is to determine if the favorite will win by more than the spread, or if the underdog will keep it close and cover the spread. Here’s what the line looks like.
- San Francisco 49ers +1.5
- Kansas City Chiefs -1.5
The Chiefs are favored by 1.5 points, so they would need to win by more than this to cover the spread. If the Chiefs win 30-28, bettors who took that side minus the points are golden. If the final score is Chiefs 28-27, those who bet on the favorite minus the points are out of luck.
For the 49ers, as long as they lose by less than 1.5 points, bets on that side are winners. If they lose by 2 or more, then it’s a loser. If the 49ers happen to win the game, then those who took them plus the points also win.
Totals are bets you can make on the total combined points scored in the game. Oddsmakers will set a benchmark number, and bettors then choose if they like the points to be ‘Over’ or ‘Under’ that number. Here’s the current totals number at most sportsbooks for Super Bowl LIV.
- Over 54
- Under 54
A high-scoring game is the preferred direction for Over bettors while a tighter contest is good for Under bettors. In other words, which do you believe in more: Mahomes’ offense or the Niners’ defense?
If you’re looking for a simple bet to place, just stick with picking the outright winner on a moneyline bet. These are the simplest bets to understand as the side you pick simply needs to win without any extra points added to the equation.
You have a 50/50 shot, and that has been readily apparent lately. Over the last four Super Bowls:
- Favorites have won twice
- Underdogs have won twice
Bet on Super Bowl MVP
This is another very simple wager to zero in on. For this bet, you’re just making an educated guess on who will be the MVP of the game. You can make this bet ahead of the game but you can also do so during the game itself.
How do you figure out who will be the best player on the field? It’s always a good idea to start with the quarterbacks, as this is the position that wins the award more often than not.
- Over the first 53 Super Bowls, QBs have won the award a whopping 29 times.
- Running backs and wide receivers are next with seven each. The remaining MVPs have gone to defensive or special team players.
- Over the last 10 Super Bowls, QBs have won the MVP seven times.
That doesn’t mean that you have to stick to the QB and call it a day. If there’s a really interesting skill-position player you’ve heard about, or a game-changing player on defense, or just a guy whose name you like (Deebo Samuel FTW), feel free to choose one of them. After all, this is another great way to gain some bragging rights if the player you chose goes out and has the game of their life.
Here’s what the odds currently look like for betting the Super Bowl 54 MVP:
|DraftKings Sportsbook||FanDuel Sportsbook|
|Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes (+115)||Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes (+110)|
|San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo (+225)||San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo (+280)|
|San Francisco RB Raheem Mostert (+900)||San Francisco RB Raheem Mostert (+750)|
|San Francisco TE George Kittle (+1600)||San Francisco TE George Kittle (+1400)|
|Kansas City TE Travis Kelce (+2000)||San Francisco DE Nick Bosa (+2100)|
|Kansas City WR Tyreek Hill (+2000)||Kansas City TE Travis Kelce (+2100)|
|Get $25 Free with a New Account!||Get up to $500 Risk Free Bet!|
Super Bowl Props
A prop bet is simply a side bet on something that could happen during the game. Prop bets are available for all NFL games but they really make headlines during the Super Bowl.
Sportsbooks go above and beyond to make the game appealing to bettors. Many of them offer hundreds of different prop bets. In general, you can break the props down into a couple of different categories:
These are geared towards the entertainment aspect of the game and a great spot for non-football fans to bet on a level playing field. Here are some non-football favorites:
- Coin Flip – Heads or Tails?
- Will the national anthem go Over or Under a certain amount of time?
- What color of Gatorade will be used for celebrating on the winning sideline?
These bets simply revolve around whether or not something will or won’t happen during the game. Examples:
- Will the defense score in the game?
- Will there be a punt or kickoff returned for a touchdown?
- Will either side record a safety?
This is another set of bets which revolve around benchmark numbers set by oddsmakers. Here’s a sampling of what you might see:
- Total points scored in first half will be Over/Under a certain amount of points.
- Will QB A throw for Over or Under a certain amount of yards?
- Will total number of touchdowns scored be Over or Under a certain number?
There will be prop bets available on the individual players and teams, as well as some in which you’ll be asked to choose from a pool of players.
- Player to score the first TD will be…
- Will any of these players score multiple TDs?
- How many total TDs will be scored by Team A?
Kickers have a tough job all the time but especially in the Super Bowl. There’s a ton of pressure on their backs each time they step on the field and they’re subjected to immediate scorn and ridicule if they mess up.
Naturally, you can bet on their hits and misses to make it all the more poignant. Examples:
- Will there be a field goal over 50 yards?
- Will an extra point kick be missed?
- Will a field goal or extra point attempt hit the crossbar or upright?
The Super Bowl is a big day for sportsbooks and they aim to ramp up as much interest as possible. You’ll see some crossover props with other sporting events taking place that day. For example
- Who will score more points – LeBron James or Patrick Mahomes?
Opportunities will vary on this front, but they make for a great way for those who may have an interest in another sport to have some additional rooting interest for the Super Bowl.
Best way to bet $100 on Super Bowl 54
If you’re new to Super Bowl betting then it’s wise to approach it with a clear game plan. Only bet an amount that you’re comfortable with, and don’t feel the need to exceed that level.
Additionally, take the amount you want to bet and spread it out a bit. This will even the risk out, and also enhance your chances of winning some cash. For example, if you decide your budget is $100, then you can divide it up like this:
- $50 on moneyline, spread, or total
- $20 on an MVP bet
- $30 for prop bets
If you want to bet less than $100, you can still split up proportionately the same. In the best of all visual forms, the pie chart, that looks like this:
Let’s walk through each of the three bets in our example and how you can place them. If you think the Chiefs will win the game outright and couldn’t care less about the spread or total, then you’ll place the $50 bet on the Chiefs moneyline.
- $50 on Chiefs moneyline to win
- Current odds: -122
- Potential return: $40.98
If you place the $50 bet and win, you’ll get back a total of $90.98 – your $50 bet plus the winnings for making the correct choice. Since you like the Chiefs to win, an MVP bet on QB Patrick Mahomes makes the most sense.
- $20 on Patrick Mahomes to win MVP
- Odds: +100
- Potential return: $20
If you’re correct, you’ll get back $40 – your $20 stake plus $20 in winnings. Now, it’s time to allocate your prop bets. Here are three you can choose.
- Coin Toss: heads. Odds -103. $10 bet for chance to win $9.71
- First TD Scorer: Travis Kelce. Odds +750. $10 bet for chance to win $75.
- Winning Margin: Kansas City Chiefs 1 to 6 points. Odds +350. $10 bet for chance to win $35.
If you turn into a soothsayer and wind up being right on all your bets in this scenario (and given current odds), you’ll wind up with a nice return:
If not, at least you can take solace in the fact that you did as well as 95% of your football-fan friends. If you’re not too into the game, or football for that matter, you can also just play some fun Super Bowl betting and drinking games.
Bonus Betting Option: Super Bowl DFS contests
Fantasy football doesn’t come to an end once the regular season comes to an end. Some pretty spectacular Daily Fantasy Sports contests run for the Super Bowl as well and they’re a nice middle ground between watching and betting to add some vested interest.
While there are several DFS options to choose from, these two operators are ahead of the pack in terms of total prizes offered and number of users:
The two platforms have some distinct differences but the concept is the same for both. You’ll build a lineup from the players playing in the game and stay under a built-in salary cap while doing so. If you build a great lineup, you have a chance to win some huge prizes. Here’s what they offer for Super Bowl Sunday.
Note: If you sign up for a new account at DraftKings and deposit $5, you’ll get a free ticket to the Super Bowl Millionaire (value $20). If you deposit $25 or more you’ll get a free Millionaire entry and another free contest ticket.
For both contests, users will select a lineup from the players scheduled to play in the game. You’ll need to stay under the salary cap while doing so. The DraftKings contest is open to 470,588 users, while FanDuel’s is open to 396,825.
In both contests, the top prize is a whopping $1 million.
Where can I bet online on the Super Bowl?
For those who are looking to set up an account to bet on the Super Bowl, here are the operators we recommend checking out. Sign up via our exclusive links to take advantage of the sign-up offers listed.