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How to bet on the Super Bowl, explained: A beginner's guide to odds, spreads, prop bets & more
30th January, 21:56It's Super Bowl week, and everyone is gearing up for the Big Game on Sunday. Thousands of fans and media members are descending on south Florida for Super Bowl 54, and office workers around the country are already beginning to craft their excuses for missing work the following Monday.
With the Supreme Court clearing the way for legal sports betting across the United States in May 2018, tens of thousands of people who have never stepped foot in Las Vegas will be looking to bet on the Super Bowl for the first time, too.
Below is a guide of what to expect given the hundreds of Super Bowl bets that are currently available.
MORE: Get the latest Super Bowl 54 odds & betting trends at Sports Insider
The most common way to bet on football is by betting on the spread. The Chiefs are a one-point favorite over the 49ers, and that means they will have to win by more than a point for a bet on Kansas City to pay off. If Kansas City wins by a single point, the result would be a push and everyone who bet on San Francisco +1 or Kansas City -1 would get their money back. Any other result would see either Kansas City or San Francisco cover the number at these betting odds.
We've seen significant action on the point total in this game, and that is generally the second-most popular bet in an NFL game. When you bet on a point total or the "over/under," you are betting on the total number of points scored in a game.
The total has been set at 54 for Super Bowl 54, and that means you are betting on the teams to combine for at least 55 points if you are betting on the over. If you are betting on the under, you are hoping that both teams combine for 53 points or less.
SUPER BOWL 54 PREDICTIONS:
Straight up | Against the spread | SN staff picks
While the game is going on, there are numerous opportunities to live bet the Super Bowl. In addition to betting on updated spreads and totals, you can bet on who will win the game with moneyline bets. Those bets are as easy as they sound. The odds will change with each play or at each commercial break, and you can simply wager on which team will hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the evening.
There are other things you can bet on during live wagering, too. You can bet on the next team to score, the next player to score, and sometimes you can bet on whether the next play will be a run or a pass. Options change throughout the game, so download your sportsbook's app to keep up to date.
MORE: How do Super Bowl squares work?
Halftime isn't just the time to grab some food and a refreshment or two and enjoy the show. At halftime, additional betting odds open at online sportsbooks, and you can wager on what will happen in the second half. There are options for betting on the first team to score in the second half, the team to win the second half, and much more.
MORE SUPER BOWL PROPS:
Commercials | Halftime | Broadcast | National anthem
If this is your first time betting on the Super Bowl, you might be blown away by the cornucopia of prop bets available. There are hundreds of prop bets to choose from, depending on the sportsbook, and you can wager on national anthem props, broadcast props, halftime show props, commercial props, and more.
The most popular Super Bowl prop bet is typically the length of the national anthem. You can wager on how long it will take Demi Lovato to finish the "Star-Spangled Banner" and not feel like a degenerate, as there are usually hundreds of thousands of dollars riding on this outcome. You can also bet on whether she will miss a word in the anthem, and how long she will hold the word 'Brave' at the end.
Halftime show props have become more popular since 'Left Shark' became a cultural phenomenon five years ago, and there are over a dozen prop bets for Shakira and Jennifer Lopez's performances on Sunday. You can bet on what the halftime show entails, and whether or not other celebrities are involved in the action, too.