Super Bowl Odds Explained

Super Bowl odds explained

What makes Super Bowl Sunday the busiest day of the year at Bodog Sportsbook? Volume, volume, volume. No other game gives you as many different ways to bet as the Big Game. Super Bowl odds are already on the board at Bodog as you read this, with hundreds more bets coming your way as we get closer to February 12 in Glendale.


Having all of these betting options at your fingertips is amazing – but which Super Bowl bets are right for you? In Super Bowl Odds Explained, we’ll look at five different NFL betting markets and what makes them so popular, starting with the most famous bet type of them all.

The Point Spread

Spread betting went viral way before the internet showed up. The point spread was a smash hit when it was unveiled in the 1940s, and soon became part of the larger football conversation, thanks to newspapers and television.

The New York Jets helped, too. They were 18-point underdogs (some books had them as high as +19.5) when they took on the Baltimore Colts at Super Bowl III, and the Jets turned the football world upside-down when they won 16-7.

That was way back in 1969. Thanks to the march of technology, and the loosening of restrictions on sports betting, the point spread is everywhere these days. Al Michaels doesn’t even have to reference it obliquely – the spread is right there on the sports ticker across the bottom of your screen while you watch football.

The best thing about the point spread is how simple it makes betting on the NFL for both the bettor and the sportsbook. By making each wager fairly close to a 50/50 outcome, paying out even money (minus the vigorish) on either side, the spread brings clarity to the betting table. Fans can wrap their heads around a game more easily, and the sportsbook can move the spread up and down to balance the action and reduce their risk of exposure.

The Moneyline

While the point spread remains the King of Sports Betting, the old-school moneyline is still a very important part of the big game, and in terms of having the Super Bowl odds explained, it is certainly the easiest. In one sense, it’s even easier than the spread: Just pick which team will win straight-up. Our NFL betting lines article explains all.

The math does get a bit trickier, though. If you see “Los Angeles Rams –4.5 (-110)” on the NFL odds board, you know that the Rams are favoured by 4.5 points and pay $100 on a $110 bet. But what if you see “Los Angeles –210” instead?

Not a problem. There’s an easy way to read moneylines when you’re navigating the football odds: If you see a minus sign like this example with the favoured Rams from Super Bowl LVI, you’re betting the given odds number ($210 in this case) to win $100. You can make smaller or larger bets, of course, but this is a good way to quickly assess the risk-reward balance for your wager.


NFL Moneylines are even easier to read for the underdog, like the Cincinnati Bengals at +185 for Super Bowl LVI. When you see that positive sign, that means you’re betting $100 to win the given amount ($185 in this case). Reading moneylines like this is an important skill to have; it applies to the vigorish for other bet types, including the spread, so make sure to get this down pat if you’re serious about betting on sports.

The Total

Totals have become very popular indeed in recent years. They made their debut at Super Bowl II, and in many ways, they’re the easiest of the three “straight” or “single” bets – spreads and moneylines being the other two.

Also known as the over/under, the total lets you bet on whether the two teams will combine to score Over or Under a certain number of points. For example, Super Bowl II had a total of 43 points, and the Over cashed in when the Green Bay Packers beat the Oakland Raiders 33-14.

Totals work much the same as point spreads; it’s close to a 50/50 outcome, paying out even money on either side minus the vig. They’re also used for other bets, like whether a given quarterback will throw for Over or Under a certain number of touchdowns at the Super Bowl. Speaking of which…

Super Bowl Props

This is the fastest growing category of all these bet types – and the oldest. Prop bets (short for “proposition” bets) go back to ancient times, when people started betting on whether they could accomplish a certain feat – maybe lifting a large rock, or chugging an entire flagon of mead.

Prop bets are a bit more civilized these days. But things do get pretty wild when it comes to Super Bowl props. Betting on player props like the above Passing Touchdowns example isn’t too far removed from placing a standard straight bet; Super Bowl props let you bet on things completely unrelated to the game itself, like how long it will take to sing The Star-Spangled Banner, and what colour sports drink will get dumped over the head of the winning coach.

Super Bowl Odds Explained: Futures

There are several other bet types to consider for the Super Bowl, including parlays, teasers and Round Robins, but for now, let’s wrap up with Super Bowl futures – which you can bet on right now at Bodog Sportsbook. No matter what time of year it is, you can always bet on who will win the next Super Bowl. As teams get eliminated from the chase, their names are taken off the board, until only two remain.

Time is running out to place your futures bets for Super Bowl LVII, but don’t worry: Odds for Super Bowl LVIII will be on the board before you know it. You can find out more about all of these bet types by consulting our FAQ and Help guides here at Bodog, so take a moment to brush up your betting knowledge, and you’ll be fully prepped to enjoy everything the Big Game has to offer. Now with our Super Bowl odds explained, we’ll see you over there.