Why Betting Super Bowl 54 Early In Preseason Is A Smart Move

Monday, April 8, 2019 5:03 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 8, 2019 5:03 PM UTC

Super Bowl 54 odds are trading across sports betting platforms and with all 32 teams priced way into plus-money there is amazing value to spot.

Early Bird Gets the Worm

The 2019 NFL season is ages away from starting. Heck, the much-anticipated 2019 NFL draft is yet to get underway at the end of this month. Yet, here, we are, banging on about betting Super Bowl 54 in this post, going so far as to suggest it is the smart thing to do right now. Well in advance of all the hoopla of the draft as well as all the moving and shaking of team trades and roster changes in the lead up to week 1 of the NFL season.

What are we on about?

Vegas rolled out NFL odds for all 32 teams ages ago; on the heels of the last Super Bowl the powers-that-be in the market made up their minds about how the field should stack up in Super Bowl LIV betting markets. Obviously, the landscape is predicated on several factors – from performance (successes and failures) of the 2018 season to organisational trends, historical trends, public betting trends and much, much more.

We don’t know all the machinations behind the method to their madness. Suffice it to say, the NFL odds are what they are and as bookies see fit whether you agree with them or not.

What we do know is that all 32 teams are trading at +600 or higher, which means value is to be had everywhere you look. Even on those teams deemed viable contenders such as the defending champions Patriots, who are as high as +800 at BetOnline as of today (April 6, 2019).

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Patriots win Super Bowl LIII! pic.twitter.com/SKCagRvgpw

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) 4 de fevereiro de 2019

Every NFL bettor in-the-know knows what happens overtime in the lead up to the start of the regular season. NFL odds move constantly, and for those that are considered the real deal their NFL odds are likely to begin to shorten. So it would be rude not to bite when the veritable buffet is so tempting, right?

Well, manners are all fine and dandy, but it’s not the reason why NFL bettors should look to bank a few early NFL picks for Super Bowl 54. Fact is there is no way the NFL odds are totally accurate at this point in time, which means the prices are simply way too delicious to go begging.

How inaccurate the serving currently on offer for all 32 teams in Super Bowl 54 is difficult to determine. However, to look back at previous Super Bowl betting markets is to get a sense of some this inaccuracy.

Looking in the rear view mirror is telling

If we look in the rear view mirror and go back to preseason Super Bowl 50 NFL odds we clearly see the Seahawks were the top faves in the market at +450 to win outright. In fact, they opened around +500 in January of that year (historical odds courtesy of sports odds history).

That market outlook was a direct consequence of recent trends in the game – winning Super Bowl 48 and finishing runners-up in Super Bowl 49 – as well as public betting trends. By and large, NFL bettors were hot on Russell Wilson and the legion of doom.

As we now know (the beauty of hindsight) the Denver Broncos (who opened at +800 in January but moved up to a high of +1400 to win outright by March) were the ones to hoist the Lombardi trophy at the expense of the Carolina Panthers (priced at +3300), who finished runners-up.

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Peyton Manning after Super Bowl 50 win: \"I'm going to Disneyland tomorrow!\" #SB50 https://t.co/aMwIE4uD1w pic.twitter.com/0NCIvF0sNt

— ABC News (@ABC) 8 de fevereiro de 2016

Those that tickled Denver Broncos on their NFL picks made a pretty penny, didn’t they.

Moving on to Super Bowl 51 offering, the Denver Broncos didn’t emerge at the top of the pile for one main reason: Peyton Manning announced his retirement following the victorious end to their 2015-2016 season. It meant the Broncos were relying on backup Brock Osweiler to take over from whence Manning left off and bookies didn’t put much stock in it.

The Broncos opened as the +2000 bet in January but eventually they shortened to move inside the top ten bets (again we can review those NFL odds in a previous post of mine. However, at +1400 to win Super Bowl 51 they were hovering near the bottom of the top ten spectrum.

Evidently, the Seahawks emerged once again as the top ten bet tied with the Patriots (the pair opened in early betting at +800 before whittling down the board). Yet, it was the latter of which – Tom Brady and Company to win Super Bowl 51 at the expense of the Atlanta Falcons, who opened as high as +4000 in Super Bowl 51 betting futures to win outright.

Arguably, Super Bowl 52 served up the biggest surprise with Philadelphia Eagles lifting the trophy at the expense of the New England Patriots. Patriots had opened as the early favourites in the NFL betting futures at +600 and they very nearly did come through on this market expectation, but for Nick Foles who decided to play lights out on that momentous day.

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#LifetimeChap Nick Foles, Super Bowl Champion & Super Bowl MVP. #GoChaps pic.twitter.com/uJ1VCNtn1Q

— WestlakeNation (@Westlake_Nation) 5 de fevereiro de 2018

The Eagles went to press as the whopping +6000 bet in January 2016. That’s four-digit territory that had Philadelphia tipped as a middleweight team (that’s putting it kindly). Nowhere near contention but rather pretention. A no-hope. A quintessential longshot bet. So those that tickled the Eagles really banked big.

Super Bowl 53 fell to more or less to plan with the Patriots emerging as the winners, hoisting their sixth Lombardi in the Brady-Belichick era. Preseason offerings included the Patriots, Eagles, Rams, Vikings, Steelers, Packers and Saints amongst the top ten to win.

What does our trip down memory lane tell us?

Granted we looked at a small cross-section above, but in that short amount of time there are a few lessons to be had – chiefly, the market doesn’t always get it right. In that the team tipped to be the favourite at open doors isn’t the team that is left with the confetti raining down when all is said and done, unless – and this is the caveat here – they are the New England Patriots. Two of the last three Super Bowls were won by the Patriots and at both occasions they went to press as the top favourites to win outright. It could have been three in a row had Nick Foles not crashed the party.

If we expand on this notion of market inaccuracy by looking back further and contemplating a greater cross-section as per sports odds history (most odds listed in Super Bowl Champion column are those that went to press in January of each year) we get a better sense of the disparity between the odds and the eventual outcome. Seven on the last ten Super Bowl champions were not the top favourites and five of those were tipped in quadruple-digit obscurity.

Super Bowl No.







Patriots +500


Patriots +500



Patriots +600


Eagles +6000



Patriots +800


Patriots +800

SB 50


Seahawks +500


Broncos +800



Seahawks & Broncos +500


Patriots +700



Patriots +650

AFC Championship

Seahawks +1200



Packers +600

Divisional Round

Ravens +1400



Patriots & Packers +700

Patriots Runners up/Packers divisional round

Giants +2000



Colts & Patriots +700

Patriots Divisional Round/ Colts didn’t make playoffs

Packers +1600

If we look at 2009 champions Saints (+2000), 2008 champions Steelers (+1800) and 2007 champions Giants (+3000) that trend continues. We could expand further but you must get the gist now.

In Summary

The recent domination by the New England Patriots is hard to overlook. Yes, they’ve lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement but it’s not like they’ve not won without him either. So if you’re of the opinion the Brady-Belichick era is set to continue going strong then now is the perfect time to pull the trigger on the Patriots as their +800 price tag high with BetOnline is sure to come tumbling down soon.

For those looking to buck the trend and take a whiff of some of the other juicy odds on offer for a team other than the Patriots now is also a good time to isolate some choice morsels for your NFL picks. Just be sure to be smart about your betting choices – by that we mean do your research properly. Look at the established teams not those in rebuild mode, identify legitimate strengths of their organisations, coaching staff, roster and overall team ethos. For instance, if we look at the above table and look at each individual champion there is a common denominator from elite quarterbacks to fantastic head coaches and an overall culture that was building towards these successes. They may not have been the outright favourites when bookmakers opened house on Super Bowl betting but they certainly were legitimate contenders in some way shape or form.

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