VSiN help desk: Answering your biggest Super Bowl LVII questions

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Just want to put a few dollars down on the Super Bowl, but don’t know where to begin? Looking to hedge a futures bet from earlier in the season?

 

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We’re asking all VSiN listeners and subscribers to submit their Super Bowl LVII betting questions hereWe’ll get them answered by one of our experts before the Big Game kicks off.

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VSiN Help Desk questions and answers

Author’s note: We’ve gotten a ton of questions about hedging, so here’s an overview on the hedging options you may want to consider for Super Bowl LVII.

I’ve played the Eagles 1st Half over 12.5 points at -130, and have found their first half total at another book at 13.  My question is : if I lay -111 on the under, don’t I have a shot at an almost risk-free series of bets? If it lands 13 I win the over and push the under … any other number and I basically push losing only a little juice?  Feels too good to be true? —Matt V

Adam Burke: I would strongly advise against taking the Under 13. You liked your initial position of Over 12.5, so playing Under 13 counterfeits your original position. Unless you decided that you don’t like Over 12.5 at this point, I think you have to just let that ride. If you don’t like it anymore, you can do what’s called “drinking the juice” and do what you’re talking about. That’s for when you want to get out of a bet and it’s usually a last resort kind of thing. This isn’t what that is.

If the best outcome is winning one and pushing one, that isn’t a good position to take. The concept you’re exploring is called creating “middles”, but this isn’t one of them. Like if you had Over 12.5 and Under 14.5, where 13 and 14 both win. Here, if you bet Under 13, you can’t win both bets. You’re basically betting into a losing wager unless it hits dead on 13 and then you would have won your original bet anyway, so it isn’t worth the risk.

Are there any Super Bowl-related betting contests in Las Vegas I can sign up for? Props, totals, sides, anything? —Robert H

Adam Burke: Westgate is doing a Big Game prop contest. Details here.

$100 entry fee and you have to pick one side on each of 30 props.

Not really a contest, per se, but Circa is doing Circa Squares. Details here.

I always bet the under in every Super Bowl. Do you think the total will move to 51.5 or above leading up to the game? If so, how much higher?  – Joe F.

Adam Burke: I think 51.5 is possible, but we’ll have to get to 51 first and then see what happens. 51 is something of a key number for totals (27-24, mostly), so I think that could also be a stopping point for the sportsbooks, who would expect sharp money at 51.5. I think you could find a 51.5 at a book that really caters to a lot of public action (i.e, DraftKings and FanDuel) because they’ll be inundated with people betting overs, but I think 50.5 or 51 are the closing numbers that we’ll see. You’ll have to keep an eye out for it because it could come and then go.

The team to score last wins the game prop has been hitting every year. Is there logic that explains this, or is it an anomaly? – John Z.

Burke: It has been 19 straight Super Bowls, if you take out Super Bowl XLVII when the Ravens took an intentional safety with four seconds left. (I can’t remember how the books graded that prop that year, to be honest)

Certainly a few of those last scores have been to win the game, so there has either been a score in the final minute to take the lead or score with limited time left. Anecdotally, I think teams panic a little more when trailing at the end of a game with the magnitude of the Super Bowl, so you get turnovers on downs or interceptions. Kansas City got into Tampa Bay territory on each of the last three possessions, including two in the red zone, but had a turnover on downs and a pick two years ago.

To some degree, I think it is a little bit of an anomaly, just for having gone on for so long. But, a lot of them have been game-winning scores, so that has played a huge part.

I hear the picks for props on the halftime show. Are these offshore or are these available in Nevada or in other states? – Joshua W.

Burke: Halftime show props are not available in Nevada. They are in other states (depending on what their gaming laws allow) and offshore. Most of the legal U.S. sportsbooks will have them, but they won’t be available in every jurisdiction.

Because this has happened before in Super Bowl history, if there are CO-MVPs, will both tickets cash? I don’t see a CO-MVP prop/odds. – Al K.

Burke: My guess is that the sportsbooks would pay out both players. It would be a PR nightmare not to. With the voting process that features 16 sportswriters/broadcasts accounting for 80% of the vote and then a fan component counting for 20% of the vote, I think it would be a real challenge to get a perfectly even vote for co-MVPs, but on the off chance it happens, I would expect wagers on both players to be paid. To my knowledge, I don’t know of any sportsbook that has House Rules that address this possibility.

How does one place a teaser bet? – Paul C.

Burke: Teaser bets are a form of parlays where you can get a better line on the side or total that you want to bet. They are available for football and basketball, but far more commonly used in football. The most basic teaser is a 6-point teaser, which allows you to add or subtract six points depending on what you want to bet. If you bet an underdog, it will add six points to their side. If you bet a favorite, it will subtract six points from their side. So for the Super Bowl, you could tease the Chiefs up from +1.5 to +7.5 or tease the Eagles from -1.5 to +4.5. You can also tease totals, which would add six points to an under and subtract six points from an over (so, for the Super Bowl, from 50.5 to 44.5 on an over or 50.5 to 56.5 on an under).

Football also has 6.5, 7 and 10 point teasers that work the same way.

Basketball teasers are not a good strategy, but follow the same theory in that you can adjust a line by 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5 or 6 points to a team (some books have more options).

Teaser bets are parlays, so you have to have at least two legs to a teaser, and all of the lines are adjusted by the same number of points based on the teaser that you pick.

Here’s an article by Jeff Fogle that explains their usage further in the NFL.

What do you think about teasing a side and a total? – Joe S.

Burke: As a general rule, teasing totals is not a profitable course of action. There are way too many high-variance outcomes with totals. Sides are a little bit more predictable because of the final scores that are available and the equity of crossing over key numbers like 3 and 7. While there are key numbers with totals, they are not nearly as significant as the numbers on the spread.

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Many bettors would say to never tease totals and I tend to agree with that logic.

I have a $100 bet on the Eagles at 22 to 1 to win the Super Bowl. I know I want to hedge with Patrick Mahomes at +125 to win the SB MVP and a smaller bet on Kelce to win the SB MVP. My question is, how much should I bet on each? – Mike L.

The truth is that I can’t tell you exactly how much to bet because it depends on the minimum you want to be in line to win and your risk profile (how aggressive you want to be). Since you got the Eagles at 22/1, you’ve been holding this for a while, so I understand wanting to maximize your equity.

While small, there is a chance that Kansas City wins, neither Mahomes nor Kelce win MVP, and you’d make no money on this strategy. It’s the worst-case scenario and has a pretty small chance of happening, but it would be hard to let a $2200 value go to waste. The simplest move is to just take a straight Kansas City moneyline bet and guarantee some decent money without getting too greedy.

For example, if you can get, say, $1000 on Kansas City at +105, that’s $1000 to win $2050. It “turns” your Eagles bet into $1100 to win $2200. So you’re roughly making $1000 regardless of who wins.

If you’re in line for somewhere around $1000 guaranteed, is it worth the risk in your mind to take Mahomes at +125 or +130 and the Chiefs win without him winning MVP? That’s the question I can’t answer for you. I would also think about Kelce to win MVP as more of an independent wager because you’re set up to make money regardless of the winner. Even Mahomes to win MVP could be viewed independently after you make sure to get something out of your 22/1 ticket.

However you play it, congratulations on the position you’re in with that Eagles wager. That’s the dream at this time of the year.

With the line at Eagles -1.5 and over/under at 50.5, where will the sharp money be on these potential bets? – Steve Y.

Burke: There is sharp money on both sides of this game and will continue to be. Sharp money can be defined a lot of ways, but the sharpest thing about sharp money is getting a target price. Sharp money is waiting on a -115 or -120 moneyline on the Eagles. Sharp money has already taken +115 or +120 on the Chiefs. Sharp money took Over 49.5 and will take Under 51 or Under 51.5 if the line goes there. Some sharp group or individual may be waiting for -1 on the Eagles. Another may be waiting for +2 on the Chiefs. They have buy points and fire when they see them.

You’ll often hear “sharps bet numbers, not teams”. Price sensitivity is their biggest thing. In the life cycle of this game, the spread, total, moneyline and prop bets all have sharp money on both sides, but sharps bet when they get the line they want, whatever it may be.

What is your opinion on parlaying props? – Jake T.

Burke: The level of risk in betting any parlay is high because you are usually going to have nothing for show for your ticket. The more props you add to a parlay, the less likely you are to win anything for it.

Think about it – the break-even percentage at the standard -110 vig is 52.38%, so you have to win effectively 53 out of every 100 bets to show a profit. As you start adding things to a parlay, the odds get longer and longer. Simplifying the math a bit to make it easier to understand, your implied probability of winning is roughly cut in half with each leg you add to a parlay. The payout odds don’t go up accordingly in light of the increased risk.

So, personally, I don’t like to parlay props and don’t like to bet a lot of parlays in general. The idea of winning five out of six bets (or something comparable) and winning zero dollars for it doesn’t sit well with me.

There have been bettors that have gotten fortunate and cashed their “lottery ticket” parlays with props. If you are betting micro stakes on these long-shot tickets every now and then, there is nothing wrong with that. If you are betting big amounts in hopes of hitting a massive jackpot, you are better off betting the props individually to try and show a profit if you win more of them than you lose.

Matt Youmans: I rarely recommend parlays, but there are times when it’s OK. If you can find two or three correlated props and are allowed to parlay those, go for it. Also, there’s nothing wrong with making some entertainment bets on this game. You don’t have to bet like a blood-thirsty professional 100 percent of the time. The Super Bowl is a time when you can make a few exceptions to the rule.

For 2-point attempt and 2-point conversion props, what are reasonable odds ?  I play these every year, but odds used to be better.  I feel the books have adjusted. – Frank C.

Burke: Admittedly, I can’t provide the math for you, but I can share some info on the rate of attempts, conversions and recent Super Bowl history.

Since the extra point was moved back for the 2015 season, there has been a 2-point conversion attempt in 4/7 Super Bowls, but there has not been a successful 2-point conversion attempt in the last five Super Bowls. (only two of them had an attempt)

2-pt conversions/attempts last five years regular season:

2022: 56/119 (47%) in 271 games
2021: 75/154 (48.7%) in 272 games
2020: 63/131 (48.1%) in 256 games
2019: 54/113 (47.8%) in 256 games
2018: 66/129 (51.2%) in 256 games

The Eagles were 2/4 this season and the Chiefs were 3/5. Both kickers were very accurate on extra points and the game is indoors. I do think both coaches understand the math of going for two at a higher level than others, which makes me think there is a slight increase in probability that they’ll try one.

Like any other prop, shop around for the best line on the side that you want.

What is the wisdom of just about every big bettor saying that you should never tease NFL totals? – Nathaniel H.

Burke: The reason most bettors say you shouldn’t tease NFL totals is because they are more volatile and higher in variance than sides. It has been proven over the years that there is equity in teasing through 3 and 7 (Wong teaser) because of how often games fall on a final score margin of 3 or 7 (along with numbers like 4 and 6, which have increased since the extra point was moved back). There are key numbers with totals, but they aren’t as reliable as spreads and don’t land as frequently.

Historically, teasing totals is not profitable. Teams also make decisions based on the score of the game, not the total number of points, so you get a little more predictability when it comes to teasing spreads and sides. Teasers aren’t foolproof regardless, but there is a higher degree of confidence betting them with spreads as opposed to totals.

Is there a quick guide to the fields in the Player Prop Analyzer?  I’m assuming when looking at last 8 games, if it says under Record “7-1 UN” that means 7 of the last 8 have gone under the total? Does the profit reflect if you bet it that way, or is the profit if you had bet the over each time? – Corey Y.

Burke: Reading left to right, let’s go over the Player Prop Analyzer from a screenshot looking at Receiving Yards:

Under “Receiving Yards”

DK = Current DraftKings line

ML = Current vig and whether or not it is shaded to the over (OV) or under (UN)

Under “Odds by DraftKings Sportsbook”

Record = Record based on the line for each individual week

Profit = Profit for betting on the more frequent outcome (so that’s betting the Under on Miles Sanders in every game; betting the Over on Dallas Goedert every game, etc.)

ROI = Return on Investment for a $100 bettor

Under “Statistics”

G = Games Played

Avg = Average yards per game

L = Lowest number of yards across the number of games played

H = Highest number of yards across the number of games played

Under “Record vs. Current DK Prop”

Record = How player would have done against current line on far left

Pct = “Win” percentage based on more frequent outcome (Sanders went Under the current DK line 57.9% of the time; Goedert went Over the current DK line 64.3% of the time)

These same things apply when looking at Last 3, Last 8, Postseason, etc.

If you ever have any questions about our other betting tools and resources, don’t hesitate to reach out.