Super Bowl Betting: More Betting Options Than Just Point Spread, Proline

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks would have been a good alternate spread pick in Super Bowl XLVIII, beating the point spread by 37 points. (Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter / CC BY-SA)


So much of the talk you hear about the Super Bowl is the point spread, but there are tons of other ways to bet on the big game.

Here’s a breakdown of the wide variety of Super Bowl betting lines available.

(This article was written prior to the 2013 Super Bowl. Odds were taken from Bet365 on Jan. 25, 2013)

Proline

This is a very popular option for Canadian sports bettors.

With Proline, you can bet on the point spread, money line (including a tie option for a game decided by 3 points or less) and the over/under.

Proline will also almost certainly be offering many Super Bowl-related betting options on a props card.

Using Proline to bet on the Super Bowl is obviously convenient because you can just buy your ticket at the corner store, rather than having to set up an account with an online sportsbook and deposit money in it.

But you’ll be getting way worse odds through Proline Super Bowl betting, and you’ll have to parlay your Super Bowl picks (bet on a couple other games on the same ticket) instead of being able to just bet on one outcome.

Online sportsbooks

Point spread

By betting the point spread, you can either bet on the Baltimore Ravens +3.5 points (you win if Baltimore wins the game or loses by less than 3.5 points), or the San Francisco 49ers -3.5 (you win if San Fran wins the game by more than 3.5 points).

Over/under

Betting the over/under (total) means betting on the number of points that will be scored in the Super Bowl. Oddsmakers will provide a total, and you decide whether the number of points scored will be over or under that number.

Moneyline

If you bet the moneyline, you just need to pick the winner.

They don’t need to cover the spread for you to win your ticket, and there are no tie rules for a game decided by three points or less.

Live betting

Sometimes you’re not sure who’s going to win the game, or how many points will be scored, until you’ve see a few minutes of action.

This can be particularly true in the Super Bowl, when you think nerves might be a factor.

Live betting allows you this opportunity, adjusting the odds throughout the game depending on how the game is going.

Quarters

Rather than bet on the whole game, you can bet on each quarter.

Let’s say the Ravens are +0.5 underdogs in each quarter, and the 49ers are -0.5 favourites.

That means if the teams tie in a quarter, the Ravens will be graded the winner.

You can also bet on totals in each quarter. Typically, the second and fourth quarters have higher totals than the first and third.

Halves

Similar to quarters betting, you can bet on each half.

The first half betting lines for the Super Bowl are usually approximately half of the full-game line. If the point spread is 7, expect a 3.5 point spread in the first half. If the total is 48, expect 24 in the first half.

The second half betting lines will be set at halftime.

Alternate spreads

This is betting on the point spread, but with the opportunity of either playing it safe or going for a big score.

Some alternate spreads for the 2013 Super Bowl included Baltimore -3.5 at +195 odds (nearly 2:1), San Francisco +3.5 at -335 odds, San Fran -7 at +135 odds and Baltimore +10.5 at -325 odds.

If you thought the 49ers will crush the Ravens, you might have wanted to take your chances on the -7 line and get $135 on your $100 bet.

If you thought the Ravens would keep it close but were nervous about the 3.5 point line, you could bet the +10.5 points line but would have to risk $335 to win $100.

Alternate totals

Just like alternate spreads, alternate totals allow you to move the line in either direction.

Some sample alternate totals for the 2013 Super Bowl included over 40.5 and under 54.5 at -290 odds, and over 54. 5 and under 40.5 at +182 odds.

Teasers

A popular way to bet on NFL football is to use teasers, where you can get 6 free points on the point spread or total if you bet on two or more outcomes at once.

Sample Super Bowl teasers on the 2013 Super Bowl would include the Ravens at +10.5 points and the over 41.5 or under 53.5, or the 49ers as +2.5 point underdogs and the over 41.5 or under 53.5.

Parlays

A parlay bet is when you bet two or more outcomes on the same wager and need to win all of them to cash your ticket (similar to Proline).

There is much more risk involved with this, but also a bigger potential payout.

You can parlay the Super Bowl point spread or moneyline with the total if you’d like, or parlay one of the Super Bowl bets with any other game going on that day.

Props

Ahhh, props, the granddaddy of ‘em all. Who doesn’t like betting on squares or some of those other fun contests at Super Bowl parties?

Online sportsbooks offer a ton of prop bets as well, ranging from who will win the MVP trophy to how the first points will be scored, whether the game total will be an even or odd number, who will kick the longest field goal, who will make the first coaches’ challenge, who will complete the most passes and even who will win the coin toss.

Hell, if you’re a real degenerate (and good for you if you are), you can even bet on how long the national anthem will be or whether Beyonce will show cleavage during her first song of the halftime show.