Super Bowl Moneyline Bets

Super Bowl moneyline bets are perfect for those fans who already have rooting interest in the game. Let's assume the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos play one another in Super Bowl 47. Then let's stipulate that the Packers have had a better regular season and an easier time through the playoffs, so they come into the game big 8 point favorites. Then imagine you're both a devoted gambler and a Cheesehead, but you think an 8 point line is too much for a team with Peyton Manning on one side of the ball and Von Miller on the other side. You're pretty sure your beloved Pack is going to win the game, but you believe it's going to be hard fought and see it more as a 4 to 7 point difference. You don't want to bet against your Packers, so you don't want a super bowl pointspread bet, but you do want to wager on the outcome of the game. A moneyline wager becomes a good alternative.

New Parlay Odds at BetOnline

Betting Favorites on the Moneyline

Betting on the moneyline is different from betting against the pointspread, because this is a straight up proposition. Instead of giving points as the odds on favorite or getting points as an underdog, you're gambling on who you think is going to win the game straight. Nothing could be better, except someone betting the moneyline on the favorite has to give up somethign important to make this bet--that's the ability to make a larger profit on the bet.

When you make a moneyline wager, those who wager on the favorites have to pay more on their bet to get back the same amount. Let's assume the Packers are such big favorites that you'd need to pay $200 to win back $100. The moneyline would read "Green Bay Packers -200", since the Packers are the favorite. The baseline of the bet is getting back $100, so all this means is you'd bet $200 for the Packers straight up. If they win, you get your $200 back plus an extra $100 (minus vigorish).

Betting Underdogs on the Moneyline

Those who bet on the underdogs see an entirely different picture. They would get the chance to make those same one hundred dollars by making a much smaller bet. Let's say the Broncos are a big enough underdog they would only have to bet half as much as they would get back in a win. Their moneyline would be written something like "Denver Broncos +190". You would risk $100 to win $190 plus your original $100.

Vigorish on Moneyline Bets

Notice that the numbers don't match up. That is, the sports book takes its own percentage to broker the bet, hold the money while the bet is in the balance, and assure payoff to the winner. This is called the "juice", "vigorish", or simply "vig". The house takes a certain small percentage of these bets, so you won't see Broncos +200 and Packers -200, but something offset where the house gets a small payoff.

Can I Bet Less on Moneyline Bets?

I've been asked before, "Do I have to bet $100?" The answer is no. The $100 standard is a simple way to figure your bets. You can bet $10 or $20 if you want, but the percentage remain the same. If you bet $20 on that original -200 moneyline, if the Packers won, you'd receive $10 in winnings and your original $20 in return. If you bet $20 on the Broncos in the same scenario, you would win $38 plus get back your original $20. So it pays to bet the underdogs, if you can find an underdog with a chance to win outright.

Moneyline Betting Tip #1

My advice to people is to avoid the longshots, though. Even though you can get paid huge when they win, there's a reason they're that big of an underdog. It's different when you talk about boxing and especially MMA, but those are whole different games. When you deal with football teams, you're talking about large collections of players. For an odds-on-favorite to lose, potentially dozens of players have to fall down on the job.

Moneyline Betting Tip #2

One other suggestion is to watch out for moneyline bets on the home team when it's an underdog. If you're a homer fan of the Dallas Cowboys, you probably assume the Cowboys are going to win every week. Jerry Jones has plenty of talent on his roster, but talent alone doesn't win ballgames. It's easy to convince yourself that taking the points on the Cowboys (or any other hometown franchise) have a chance against the other team. They "have the talent" or the "intangibles" and they're going to "pull off the upset". This is the hardest type of bias to guard against, for obvious reasons (to all but the homer).

Betting on your local team in Super Bowl 2015 is even harder to avoid. This team was good enough to get to the Super Bowl, so surely they can win one more game. Just remember that only about 1/3rd of all underdogs have won the Super Bowl outright, so just beware when it comes time to lay money on your own favorite team.