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Betting on the Super Bowl in Indiana

Hands down, the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the year. Countless hours are devoted to analyzing the Big Game, millions of viewers tune in to catch the action, and a ton of money is wagered on the outcome.

Estimates point to a whopping $6+ billion being bet annually on the game across the globe through both legal and illegal means. Here in Indiana, residents have a number of different options to explore for legally and safely placing bets.

Betting on the Super Bowl is much more than just picking which side is going to win. There are numerous options to dig into across several different bet types, many of which are both entertaining and potentially lucrative.

The Super Bowl is a spectacle unlike any other across the sports landscape. While incredibly fun in its own right, having a little skin in the game can ratchet up the enjoyment factor even higher.

In this guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about betting on the Big Game. We’ll begin by taking a look at the best places for you to legally and safely get your wagers in.

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Super Bowl betting odds

In the runup to the Super Bowl, there will be plenty of chatter surrounding the favorite and underdog, and, of course, the spread attached to the game. There will even be a ton of discussion on how many points might be scored.

These three conversations point us to the most popular ways to bet on the game, but there’s a whole lot more to see. In fact, you can bet on the winner of the next Super Bowl at virtually any time via the futures market.

We’ll walk through what you need to know there, and all of the other ways to bet on the Big Game shortly. For now, let’s take a look at a standard odds listing, which has three components.

  • San Francisco 49ers +130               +2.5 (-110)    O 49.5 (-110)
  • Kansas City Chiefs -110                -2.5 (-110)     U 49.5 (-110)

The first set of numbers you see to the right of both teams is the moneyline odds for the game. The Chiefs are favored, as indicated by the negative odds, while the underdog 49ers have positive odds attached.

Next, we can see that Kansas City is a 2.5-point favorite for the contest. The final number is the total, which oddsmakers have pegged at 49.5 points. Now that we understand how the basic odds work, let’s take a look at how the various Super Bowl bets work.

How to bet on the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the biggest sports betting event of the year, and options abound as a result. You have a number of different ways to get even closer to the action on the field. Let’s take a look at all of the major ways to get involved, starting with the standard options on the menu.

Moneyline

A moneyline bet is perhaps the simplest of all to understand. It makes for a great way for those new to betting to get started, but seasoned handicappers also lean on these wagers. For this bet type, all you need to do is pick which side you think will win.

Each side will have odds attached, which will be negative for favorites and positive for underdogs. The closer the range between the two sets of odds, then the more of a toss-up the game may turn out to be.

Baltimore Ravens    +125

New Orleans Saints -115

Payouts for winning bets will depend on the odds. For our example above, a winning $100 bet on the Ravens at odds of +125 returns a total of $225. A $100 correct wager on the Saints at odds of -115 would result in a total return of $187.

Point spread

The point spread is one of the most popular bet types out there, but it can be a source of confusion for those new to the game. A helpful trick is to think of the spread installed by oddsmakers as being the equivalent of an estimated margin of victory.

You can bet on the favorite minus the points or choose the underdog plus the points. In order to cover the spread, the favorite needs to win by an amount greater than the number. Underdogs cover by keeping it closer than that or by winning outright.

Buffalo Bills             +2.5 (-110)

Dallas Cowboys     -2.5 (-110)

In our example, the Cowboys are 2.5-point favorites over the Bills. If Dallas wins by a score of 30-27, they’ve covered the spread, but a 20-19 victory means they haven’t. Buffalo covers it in the latter scenario, but fails to do so in the former.

Totals

This wager type revolves around the total combined points scored in the game by the two teams. Oddsmakers will set a benchmark number, and bettors then get to decide if they think the total points scored will go over or under that number.

Over               47.5 (-110)

Under            47.5 (-110)

It’s a simple bet to make, and it’ll see plenty of action as a result. One note to keep in mind: as bets continue to pour in, it’s not uncommon to see changes to the total or odds. You can always check the prices at multiple operators to find the best offers.

All three of these wagers will see tons of action during the Super Bowl. While you can bet on one or all three and call it a day, you’d be missing out on lots of other opportunities by doing so.

Super Bowl prop betting

Prop bets are always quite popular, but the interest goes to an entirely different level for the Super Bowl. These are wagers you can place on things that may or may not happen during the course of a game.

For a regular NFL game, there are numerous prop betting opportunities to consider. When it comes to the Super Bowl, sportsbooks go all in and expand the offerings significantly. For round numbers, you’ll have hundreds of prop bets to sort through.

Naturally, you don’t have to wager on all of them. In fact, doing so could be a recipe for disaster. Instead, a solid approach is to go through the list and make note of the most appealing ones. Once you have a short list, dig in further and figure out which bets make the most sense.

Prop bets for the NFL generally fall into one of three categories: player, team, or game. Here are some examples for each category, starting with the player side.

  • Which player will score the first TD in the game?
  • Which QB will throw for more yards?
  • Who will win Super Bowl MVP?

For some prop bets, there will be only two choices to consider. These wagers will resemble what you would see for a moneyline or totals bet. Other wagers will include multiple choices with the odds for each potential choice listed in descending order.

Here are some of the team-based props you might come across.

  • How many total points will Team A score?
  • Which side will hold the halftime lead?
  • Which team will have more penalties in the game?

The final category of props are from a game-wide perspective. Here’s a sample of what you may see.

  • Will there be a defensive score in the game?
  • Will overtime be needed?
  • Game parlay – winning side for spread and total

The good news is that there’s a break between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. Sportsbooks release prop betting opportunities as soon as possible, so you’ll have plenty of time to dig in and research the ones that suit you best.

Live betting on the Super Bowl

You still have options to consider even after the ball has been kicked off for the Super Bowl. That’s thanks to an innovation known as live betting, which has seen a tremendous surge in interest to become one of the most popular offerings at online sportsbooks.

These are wagers you can place in real-time as the action plays out on the field. It’s a fast-moving market, so a mobile app is the best way to keep on top of all of the odds and opportunities that pop up.

Similar to prop betting, a strategic and selective approach can be wise. As you kick back to enjoy the game, set aside a clear budget for live betting offerings and be prepared to pounce once ones that you have a good feel for come up.

Live betting opportunities will vary based on what’s happening, but you should see a good mix of player, team, and game-specific offerings. Here’s a sample of what might pop up.

  • What will be the outcome of the next drive?
  • Over/under on RB1 rushing yards
  • Updated moneyline, spreads, and totals

This is yet another way to make your Super Bowl betting experience a memorable one. That said, remember not to get too caught up in the excitement. Always bet with your head and not over it.

Super Bowl futures

You don’t have to wait until the Super Bowl matchup is announced to make your pick on which team you think will win. The futures market hums along all year round, even in the NFL offseason.

Soon after the current Super Bowl is in the books, oddsmakers will release the odds for teams to win it all the following season. Each of the league’s 32 teams will be represented on the board.

The usual listing calls for favorites on top, longshots on the bottom, and everyone else in the middle. Here’s what the odds might look like for a handful of the favorites.

  • Kansas City Chiefs +650
  • Baltimore Ravens +700
  • San Francisco 49ers +900
  • New Orleans Saints +1200

After scrolling through the odds board, you might decide that the Ravens seem like a good bet at a fair price. If you placed a $100 bet at odds of +700 and that turned out to be correct, you’d see a total return of $800 — your initial stake plus winnings of $700.

Once Super Bowl futures odds are released to the public, bets begin coming in. It’ll remain that way throughout the regular season. Odds will fluctuate along the way based on betting action, as well as how teams perform.

The general idea is to find the teams you are interested in at the most attractive prices. For some bettors, the answer is to jump on and place bets soon after release while taking a long-term view.

Other handicappers will stay engaged throughout the year to look for appealing opportunities that may arise. As long as you find wagers you are happy with, that’s the bottom line, but cashing winning tickets at the end of the day is the ultimate goal.

Super Bowl betting tips

When it comes time to bet on the Super Bowl, normal handicapping rules apply. You’ll want to break down both teams, examine the matchup, and look for potential edges and weaknesses. If the teams happened to play during the season, spend some time studying what happened.

You can also do the same with any common opponents. News and notes surrounding the game should be a focus as well. Make sure you pay special attention to injury concerns and notable comments from coaches.

Beyond the regular routine, there are some special considerations to keep in mind. Each of them can be valuable for regular games, but the importance becomes even more pronounced when it’s time for the Big Game.

Tune out the noise and trust your instincts

You will have little trouble finding opinions on how the Super Bowl will play out. While it’s perfectly fine and reasonable to give some weight to the analysis of sources you trust, there’s also a lot to be said for trusting your own instincts. The runup to the Big Game is ripe with chatter, so do your best not to get lost in the noise and wind up with your personal opinions being swayed as a result.

Pay attention to public betting percentages

While it’s important to make your own choices, you’ll also want to have an idea of which way the winds are blowing in terms of public betting sentiment. There are a number of sites online which track the betting percentages at several operators. Watching the public money may help you to spot things you may be missing, and it can also prompt you to take a different direction.

Watch for odds and line moves

Odds and lines don’t stay still in the NFL. After the initial release each week of the season, it’s not uncommon to see shifts based on betting action and other developments. It’s the same story come Super Bowl time, but the moves can tell a bigger story. For example, if the proverbial smart money has loaded up on one side, that could be a valuable clue to use in your own handicapping process.

The Super Bowl is an event unlike any other in the sporting world. The runup to the game is filled with anticipation, but remember to use some of the time wisely to break down the contest to land on the side that you feel most comfortable with.

Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl appearances

The Colts franchise famously made the move from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984. The club made it to a pair of Super Bowls prior to the move, and another two since then.

Here’s the list of Colts Super Bowl appearances and results.

  • Super Bowl III: New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7
  • Super Bowl V: Baltimore Colts 16, Dallas Cowboys 13
  • Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 17
  • Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17

According to the current Super Bowl futures market, the Colts are in the top dozen contenders to win the next edition of the Big Game. That points to the team having a pretty good shot at making the postseason, but we’ll have to wait and see if that translates into another title run.

History of the Super Bowl

Since 1967, the Super Bowl has been an annual event that decides the very best team in professional football. The first game was designed to be a meeting of the champions of the NFL and AFL, which were rival leagues at that point.

The NFL and AFL would go on to merge in the following years, helped in no small part by a shocking upset by the upstart AFL’s New York Jets over a powerhouse Baltimore Colts squad from the NFL.

In the following decades, we were all treated to a number of memorable dynasty teams which won multiple sets of rings. For the 1970s, it was the Pittsburgh Steelers. The San Francisco 49ers picked up the mantle in the 1980s, while the Dallas Cowboys dominated the early part of the 1990s.

Since the turn of the century, the New England Patriots have held the designation of biggest factor in the Big Game. The franchise has made it to nine Super Bowls over that span, going an impressive 6-3 along the way.

The Super Bowl is the biggest television and betting event of the calendar year. On the broadcast side, it gets about 100 million viewers annually in the US alone. In other parts of the globe, tens of millions of others tune in.

From a betting perspective, estimates from the American Gaming Association peg the number at close to $7 billion through all means, both legal and illegal. As the legality of sports betting continues to be sorted out across the nation, it’s safe to say that number will continue to grow.

FAQs

How many teams have won back-to-back Super Bowls?

This has happened eight times in NFL history, but it has been awhile since the last occurrence. Back in 2003 and 2004, the New England Patriots won it all. The two titles capped off a dominant run in which the Patriots won three of four Super Bowls. No team has ever won three straight Big Games.

Which player has won the most Super Bowl MVP awards?

Tom Brady is alone atop the all-time list with four Super Bowl MVP awards. Joe Montana is next with three. Three other players have won the award twice: Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, and Eli Manning. All of the multiple award winners played quarterback for their respective teams.

What team has made it to the most Super Bowls without notching a win?

There’s actually a tie for this unfortunate distinction. The Minnesota Vikings have made it to the Super Bowl four times without winning. The team’s last appearance came in 1977. The Buffalo Bills of the early 1990s made it to the Big Game four consecutive times, but they came up short in each of them.

Can a Wild Card playoff team win the Super Bowl?

Absolutely. This has actually happened six times in NFL history. Here’s the list.

  • Oakland Raiders, 1980-81
  • Denver Broncos, 1997-98
  • Baltimore Ravens, 2000-01
  • Pittsburgh Steelers, 2005-06
  • New York Giants, 2007-08
  • Green Bay Packers, 2010-11

Four other Wild Card squads have made it to the Super Bowl and lost.

  • Dallas Cowboys, 1975-76
  • New England Patriots, 1985-86
  • Buffalo Bills, 1992-93
  • Tennessee Titans, 1999-2000

How many NFL teams have gone undefeated in the Super Bowl era?

The only team to be undefeated through the regular season and go on to win the Super Bowl is the Miami Dolphins. The team went 14-0 during the year 1972, and won another three games in the postseason to finish at a remarkable 17-0. The 2007 New England Patriots came really close, as they closed out the season at 16-0 and won two more in the playoffs before falling in the Super Bowl to finish at 18-1.