Super Bowl lines are set. The New England Patriots are a -2 ½ favorite to win Super Bowl 53. The total is at 58. We’ve even got some moneylines to look at. The Patriots are -145 while the L.A. Rams are +115.
Because Super Bowl lines are already set, we should start thinking about our Super Bowl 53 wagers. Before doing any handicapping, we should consider the most basic question: is it better to wager on the Super Bowl early or late? The answer is it depends. Check out why.
What’s the Best Super Bowl LIII Betting Strategy?
You Should Wager on the Super Bowl Early If…
You already know who you like to win the game straight up. Over the past few Super Bowls, betting lines haven’t changed that much. If you have a real good feeling about one team over the other, just make your against the spread wager. Don’t worry about getting a better line. After all, you’re not going to change your mind on who wins the game just because the line shifts, are you?
You want to make your wager and forget about it. This doesn’t mean you don’t want to handicap the game. This just means that after a full 16 game season and at least two playoff games, you have a pretty good idea of which team has the edge against the spread and how many points the teams together are likely to score.
Plus, betting early allows you to shove away the noise. Every NFL analyst on the planet’s going to look at Super Bowl LIII 100 different ways. All that noise could put you off your initial wager. That’s not always a good thing.
You Should Wager on the Super Bowl Late If…
You’re a follow the money player. There’s nothing wrong with following the money. That’s what happened in Super Bowl 50 when early bettors dumped on the Panthers and made them a -6 ½ favorite. By kickoff, Carolina had fallen to a -3 ½ favorite.
Late money is often smart money. The smart money in 2016 was on the Denver Broncos. Following smart money makes sense if you don’t have the handicapping skills or have the skills but not the time to handicap the Super Bowl.
You’re not sure who will win straight up and want to make the value bet. If you’re not sure who will win straight up and want to make the value wager against the spread, it makes sense to wait. Case in point? Super Bowl 53 lines opened with the Rams a -1 favorite. Within two hours, the Patriots became -2 favorites. The Patriots are now -2 ½ favorites. You can wait and see if the Rams offer more value, they end up +3 or +3 ½ dogs, or if the Patriots end up -2 or -1 ½ favorites.
At that point you use your handicapping skills to see where the value lies. Then, make your wager. Even if you lose, you can take comfort in the fact you didn’t have a strong opinion to begin with and made the best value wager possible.
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