The Super Bowl is almost here. It is the biggest game of the year in every way – for fans, the media, the athletes, and bettors. Correctly picking a Super Bowl winner and making a few bucks (or more than a few) is enough to carry you through the longs months until football starts again. To give yourself the best chances of attaining that glory, though, you have to avoid simple, costly mistakes. Here are five big mistakes that Super Bowl bettors make:
Betting with emotion – Chances are that you have a strong feeling about the Super Bowl game. Most people do. The game is so important in this country and the league gets so much coverage that you can’t help but like one team more than the other. There’s obviously nothing wrong with that – that’s what makes the game so much fun. Where you can get into problems, though, is if you make serious betting decisions based on those emotional feelings. You would never make a decision during the regular football season based purely on emotion, yet in this game people will regularly throw down the biggest bet of the year based on what their gut tells them. The only way you should be betting on your emotional favorite – if you are serious about being a successful bettor – is if you take the time to research your pick and confirm that you are on the right side.
Betting too soon – People often get really excited after the conference championship games and place their Super Bowl bet soon afterwards. The only real reason to bet that early in this game is if you expect a big line movement and that movement is going to have a huge impact on your bottom line. Beyond that, there is a lot of incentive to wait until closer to the game before committing to a side or a total. The longer you wait the more sense you can have about the health of the teams and their ability to handle the pressure of the situation. You can also get a better sense of the sentiment of the public, and the impact that is having on the lines. You also have more time to analyze everything about this game. In short, betting too soon on the Super Bowl just isn’t worth it for most casual bettors.
Overplaying prop bets – There are a ridiculous number of prop bets offered for the Super Bowl, and the number grows every year. Some of those props offer a chance at real value and are definitely worth the attention of bettors. More, though, are just sucker bets designed to rob stupid people of their cash. For example, you can bet on the outcome of the coin toss – heads or tails – and a lot of books offer both side at -115. If you think betting -115 on the outcome of flipping a coin – the ultimate 50/50 proposition – is a good idea then you might as well stop reading this because you are beyond help. It’s very important when you are playing this game to only bet prop bets that make mathematical sense. You also want to be sure that you aren’t betting too many props, or that you aren’t betting on props that can’t all win. There is no better way to feel stupid than to have successfully picked and bet on the winning side, but lose money overall because they have lost too much on props.
Over-committing to media hype – There is certainly more media coverage of this game than any other game in any sport all year. There is probably more media coverage of this than any event at all. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone will want to share that opinion with you. When there is so much coverage hype is inevitable. Hype builds on itself, and quite often what people talk about sound good but doesn’t have a lot of basis in fact. Smart football handicappers will focus on real news during the two weeks leading up to these games – injuries and roster moves, for example – and they are best served by blocking out all the rest of the noise.
Betting too much of the bankroll – This football game is a massive spectacle, but at the heart of it is really just another football game. It’s harder to handicap for a lot of reasons than most regular season games. It wouldn’t make sense to bet significantly more on a tougher game than you would bet on an easier game, but people regularly bet dramatically more on this game than on any other. Betting too much here can turn a winning season into a losing one, and it puts way too much focus on one game. It’s crucial that football handicappers make their bet sizing decisions intelligently here.