The moment has arrived once again. February 5th is the Super Bowl time. This year marks the 51st Super Bowl, with the AFC Champion New England Patriots heading to Houston, Texas to face the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.
Super Bowl 51: Atlanta vs New England
New England made their way to this season's Super Bowl finishing 1st in the American Football Conference at the end of the regular season. After defeating the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional round, the Patriots soundly defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game 36-17, to book their ticket for Super Bowl 51.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons are on their way to the Super Bowl for only the second time in the team's history. Having finished 2nd in the National Football Conference at the end of the regular season, the Falcons made easy work of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional round, before going on to win the NFC Championship by thumping the Green Bay Packers 44-21.
What You Will Find In Our Super Bowl Betting Guide
- Super Bowl Betting: An Introduction
- Who Will Win The Super Bowl?
- Super Bowl Betting Advice
- Super Bowl Betting Markets
- Super Bowl Prop Bets
Super Bowl Betting: A to Z
Super Bowl betting is big business. In fact there are few sporting events in the world that attract as much betting interest as the Super Bowl. In this guide we will show you how to bet on the Super Bowl, how to analyse the competing teams, give you our Super Bowl prediction, introduce you to the world of Super Bowl props and even tell you how to bet on Super Bowl commercials.
How much is bet on the Super Bowl?
Last season was a record year Super Bowl betting in Nevada, with just over $132million bet on the game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. Quite a sum on its own.
However when you consider that some industry experts estimate that Nevada draws only 2-3% of all Super Bowl betting, then we can see just how popular betting on the great American event is.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates a touch down against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass
History Of Super Bowl Betting Lines
Super Bowl betting began with Super Bowl 1 (of course) where the then NFL Green Bay Packers were 14 point favourites against the then AFL Kansas City Chiefs. As the Super Bowl increased in popularity so did betting on the Super Bowl. Click the tab below to see a detailed history of Super Bowl odds.
History Of Super Bowl Odds
Who Will Win Super Bowl 51?
Minutes after the conference championship games were completed and Super Bowl odds were being framed and listed across the betting industry, bettors and pundits everywhere began to breakdown the chances of each team.
New England vs Atlanta: Super Bowl Betting Analysis
Here we offer you our analysis, giving you an insight into how each team, the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, may perform in Super Bowl 51.
What are the key factors when analysing NFL teams heading into the Super Bowl?
- Multi-Dimensional Teams Are Better Equipped for Diverse Challenges
- Strength of Schedule From the Regular Season Matters
- Defence Still Wins Championships
- Third Down Conversion Percentage
Let’s walk through each category and attempt to find an answer to the question – who will win this Super Bowl?
Atlanta were ranked first in the NFL for yards per play this season, averaging 6.7 yards per play during the regular season. On defence however, the Falcons were ranked 22nd for yards per play allowed, giving up an average of 5.6 yards per play. Atlanta also averaged 33.8 points per game on offence during the regular season, the highest average across the league, while conceding 25.4 points to opponents, ranking them 27th across the league.
New England meanwhile were ranked sixth in the league for yards per play, averaging 5.9 yards per play during the regular season. While being ranked seventh in offensive yards per play, the Patriots were also ranked tenth in yards per play allowed, with an average of 5.2 yards. In terms of points allowed per game, New England were a league best conceding just 15.6 points per game through the regular season, while the offence led by Tom Brady scored 27.6 points per game, ranking the Patriots third.
While Atlanta's offence has been superb throughout the regular season and into the playoffs, New England have clearly the greater balance when we it comes to both sides of the ball.
Regular Season Strength Of Schedule
While Jeff Sagarin had New England rated the best team in the league in 2016 and Atlanta at number two, both teams enjoyed relatively easy schedules with New England (according to Sagarin) breezing through the regular season with the league's easiest schedule (ranked 32nd), while Atlanta's schedule was ranked 18th.
New England have more or less beat up on opponents in a poor division and a less than challenging non-division schedule. While Atlanta's strength of schedule is considered by analysts such as Sagarin to be easier than average, it has been, to be fair, a much more demanding schedule than what the Patriots enjoyed.
Defence Wins Championships
As previously discussed, while Atlanta's offence has carried them to the Super Bowl, their defence is vulnerable. Atlanta's pass defence conceded an average of 6.5 yards per pass during the regular season ranking them 11th in the league, while their rush defence was ranked 26th in the league giving up 4.5 yards per rush.
The Patriots defence meanwhile was ranked third at the completion of the regular season for points conceded per game, they were ranked eighth for rushing yards per attempt at 3.9 yards and seventh for passing yards per attempt at 6.4 yards.
New England clearly has the better defence of the two teams. With the Patriots defence going up against the Falcons offence, it promises to be a fascinating battle.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jeff Janis (83) is interfered with by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23)
Third Down Conversion
Both offences have the ability to move the ball. The Patriots were ranked fourth during the regular season converting on third down, earning a first down just under 46% of the time. Atlanta was ranked 11th converting thirds downs just over 42% of the time.
On the defensive side of the ball, New England were ranked eighth in the league for third down percentage allowed, with opponents earning a first down on third down just under 37% of the time. Meanwhile Atlanta's defence was ranked 26th, conceding a first down on third down just under 42% of the time.
Again, New England appears to have the advantage.
Who Will Win The Super Bowl?
The Patriots have had a steely focus about them the entire season. Angered by Tom Brady's suspension early in the season, the Pats seem hell bent on revenge and sticking it in the face of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
While the Falcons plan will be as it has been most of this season, to outscore their opponents in a shootout, the Patriots have the greater balance between offence and defence and it will be the Falcons imbalance and vulnerability on defence that New England head coach Bill Belichik and quarter back Tom Brady will exploit to their advantage.
Prediction: New England 31, Atlanta 27
Super Bowl Betting Advice
So now you're wondering, how to bet on the Super Bowl? Betting on the Super Bowl is the same as betting on any event. The fundamentals of successful betting remain the same.
Here is our five point plan for giving yourself the best chance of making money betting on the Super Bowl this year.
- Stay away from prop bets
- Only bet what you can afford to lose
- Bet with value in mind, not fun
- Don't drink and bet in-play
- Take advantage of bookmaker offers
Stay away from prop bets
We will discuss prop bets in more detail shortly. While we recognise that prop bets are a lot of fun and can enhance your enjoyment of Super Bowl Sunday, if you are serious about making money betting on the Super Bowl, prop bets is a terrible idea. This is because most bookmakers do not offer close to fair odds on prop bets making them terrible value.
Only bet what you can afford to lose
While this is fairly standard betting advice, it's all the more relevant for an event such as the Super Bowl, when our excitement can get the best of us. Sure it's fine to wager a little more than you normally might on a regular season NFL game. But keep yourself in check and only bet an amount you would be happy to lose.
Bet with value in mind, not fun
Many of you reading this article will be more inclined towards betting for fun on Super Bowl Sunday. And again, that's cool if that's what interests you. But some of you will be keen to make money and if this is your mindset, always bet with value. Keep your bets selective and wager on markets with low bookmaker commission, such as match winner, the betting line and over under point totals. If you do your research and stick to more traditional markets, you'll give yourself a great chance of making money betting on this year's Super Bowl.
Don't drink and bet in-play
It's easy to get carried away on Super Bowl Sunday, you're with friends, having a few drinks, placing a few bets, having a few more drinks and then a few more bets, and then a few more drinks. Next thing you know you wake up on Monday morning and you've blown a few hundred pounds on ridiculous in-play bets that seemed like fun at the time, but now leave you full of regret. If you plan to bet in-play on the Super Bowl, either limit yourself to a few modest drinks during the game or leave the drinking until the game has concluded.
Take advantage of bookmaker offers
This is a sure way for you to make some money during the Super Bowl (well, almost sure way). As one of the biggest sporting events in the world, bookmakers love to attract new customers will all types of Super Bowl promotional offers and free bets. These offers can include enhanced odds (price boosts) on various Super Bowl markets as well as risk free bets. To see which Super Bowl offers are available this year, please check the bettingexpert Free Bets page in the lead up to the event.
Where can you bet on the Super Bowl and take advantage of bookmaker offers?
Every bookmaker on the planet will be offering odds on the Super Bowl. For Super Bowl 51 we recommend the following bookmakers. Click the logo to learn about their current bonus offer and current promotions.
Detailed Bookmaker Reviews
To find the best bookmakers for your Super Bowl betting, please refer to our list of detailed bookmaker reviews.
Super Bowl Betting Markets
If you're wondering how to bet on the Super Bowl, there are a number of ways to place a bet. The biggest bookmakers in the industry are currently offering literally dozens of markets for you to bet on. From the more traditional to the more obscure to the downright crazy (see prop bets), bookmakers across the world have numerous Super Bowl 51 betting markets available for you to bet on.
In this section we will focus on traditional Super Bowl markets:
- Super Bowl Moneylines
- Super Bowl Point Spreads
- Super Bowl Over Under Betting
- Super Bowl MVP Betting
Super Bowl Moneyline Bets
A Super Bowl moneyline bet is the simplest form of Super Bowl bet available. A moneyline bet is essentially a head to head bet on who will win this Super Bowl. All that is required to win a money line bet is to select the team that wins the game (including overtime). That's it.
Below we can see the Super Bowl moneyline odds with odds posted at bet365 immediately after the completion of the Conference Championship games. As we can see New England are listed as favourites at odds of 1.68 while Atlanta are at odds of 2.25. .
As an example, let's say we bet £100 on New England to win at odds of 1.68. If New England win the game (including overtime), you would receive a return of £168 for a profit of £68.
Meanwhile if you bet £100 on Atlanta at odds of 2.25 and they win, you would receive a return of £225, for a profit of £125. As you can see, moneyline betting is about as simple as it gets. However, if you're interested, you can learn more about NFL moneylines here.
Super Bowl Point Spread
While moneylines may be the simplest way of betting on the Super Bowl, the point spread is by far the most popular way to bet on the Super Bowl.
How does Super Bowl point spread betting work? Let's look at this year's Super Bowl as an example. Below is the Super Bowl 51 point spread with odds listed at Ladbrokes immediately at the conclusion of the Conference Championship games. We can see that New England are -3 at odds of 1.96, while Atlanta are +3 at odds of 1.87.:
So what does this all mean? Let's consider each scenario:
If you bet on New England -3
- New England wins by 4 or more points - Your bet wins
- New England wins by 2 or fewer or Atlanta wins - Your bet loses
- New England wins by exactly 3 points - Your stake is refunded
If you bet on Atlanta +3
- Atlanta wins the game or loses by no more than 2 points - Your bet wins
- Atlanta loses the game by 4 or more points - Your bet loses
- Atlanta loses by exactly 3 points - Your stake is refunded
You can find out more about NFL spread betting here.
Super Bowl Over Under Betting Line
Super Bowl over under betting is almost as popular as betting on the point spread. How does Super Bowl over under betting work?
It's easy. Let's look at the Over Under line for Super Bowl 51. Below we can see the Over Under market with odds listed at William Hill immediately following the conclusion of the Conference Championship games. We can see that the Over Under line is 58.5 points.
So what does this mean? It's rather simple. Let's consider both scenarios.
If you bet on Over 58.5 points
- If the game ends with a combined score of 59 points or more - Your bet wins
- If the game ends with a combined score of 58 points or less - Your bet loses
If you bet on Under 58.5 points
- If the game ends with a combined score of 58 points or less - Your bet wins
- If the game ends with a combined score of 59 points or more - Your bet loses
You can learn more about NFL Over Under betting here.
Super Bowl MVP Bets
While you can bet on the NFL MVP during the regular season, the Super Bowl gives bettors the opportunity to bet on who will be the most valuable player for a single game. As a result, Super Bowl MVP betting is incredibly popular.
Below we can see the odds for the MVP of Super Bowl 51, with odds listed at Paddy Power following the Conference Championship games.
As we can see, the two quarterbacks - Tom Brady and Matt Ryan - are the favourites be to named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl 51. Quarterbacks have often been named Super Bowl MVP, but in terms of betting value, it's often best to look at other skill position players, in this case, players such as Atlanta's Julio Jones and New England's Julian Edelman.
Super Bowl Prop Bets
Now we come to the subject of Super Bowl props. If you're new to betting on the Super Bowl, you may be wondering – what is a prop bet?
The term 'prop' is an abbreviation of the word 'proposition'. A prop bet is therefore a proposition bet, meaning a bookmaker presents a proposition, for example - how many touchdowns will be scored in the Super Bowl? - and you can bet on the total number of touchdowns scored.
What Was The First Super Bowl Prop Bet?
Super Bowl prop bets have been around for over 30 years now, with Super Bowl 20 between the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots widely considered the Super Bowl where prop bets were born. One Las Vegas casino decided to list a market on whether or not Chicago defensive linesman (and pop culture sensation) William 'The Refrigerator' Perry would score a touchdown during the game. This 'proposition' is considered by Super Bowl betting historians to be the original Super Bowl prop bet.
Oh and in case you're wondering, The Fridge did indeed score a touchdown.
Just over thirty years later and Super Bowl prop bets have become a traditional part of the event. Bookmakers now offer odds on an incredible (actually, ridiculous is a better word) range of propositions. From the coin toss, to the length/duration of the pre-game national anthem to whether or not a certain celebrity will be seen in the stands not to mention a wonderfully deep menu of statistical markets, prop bets are now very much a part of Super Bowl Sunday.
So if placing a bet on Super Bowl winner or other more traditional markets isn't your thing, then let us introduce you to the wild world of Super Bowl props.
Best Super Bowl Prop Bet
With hundreds of Super Bowl prop bets to choose from, which are the most popular? Which is the strangest? And which Super Bowl props should you bet on?
As discussed earlier in our Super Bowl 51 betting guide, we would not recommend betting on Super Bowl props if you are primarily interested in making money. The only exception we would make however, is betting on statistical props. For example, props such as:
- Which quarterback will have the most passing yards?
- Which running back will have the most rushing yards?
- How many touchdowns will be scored in the game?
- How many turnovers will there be?
- How long will the longest touchdown be?
Etc etc. We recommend these props over others because firstly, you can apply sound research and analysis and secondly, bookmakers offer reasonable odds on statistical props such as these.
Then there are Super Bowl props that are primarily for entertainment purposes. These include the following, now almost traditional Super Bowl props:
- What will the length/duration of the pre-game national anthem be?
- What will be the colour of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach? (Last season: Orange)
- Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first? (Last season: Team)
- What will the first song of the halftime entertainment be?
- Will the coin toss be heads or tails?
How To Bet On Super Bowl Commercials
An increasingly popular subject for Super Bowl prop bets are the always widely discussed, analysed and anticipated Super Bowl commercials. Companies pay huge money to advertise during the Super Bowl and spend as much money focusing and producing their commercials. In 1967 a Super Bowl commercial cost advertisers $42,000 for a 30 second spot. Last season, CBS charged advertisers $5,000,000 for a 30 second spot.
With such interest in Super Bowl commercials, bookmakers are of course looking to attract entertainment bettors. How to bet on Super Bowl commercials? And which Super Bowl commercial prop bets will be available this season? Check with your preferred bookmaker in the lead up to the game. As a taster, here are some of last season's Super Bowl commercial prop bets:
- First commercial the air following the coin toss
- Best Super Bowl commercial (as rated by USA Today)
- Will a player playing in the Super Bowl also feature in a commercial?
- What advertiser will have the most shared hash-tag on social media during Super Bowl?