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Before we pack up for football, a few Super Bowl lessons learned




A look back at Super Bowl 51 and some insights into betting the NFL all season.

An incredible Super Bowl made more memorable betting-wise

Not just yet. I realize football season is "officially over" but could we have learned more about the game or more specifically how to wager upon the game than witnessed last Sunday evening? Under the Total bettors I feel your pain. And Atlanta +3 will likely be ingrained in many men's minds until August.

Tough tickets to toss but this is about much, much more. Perhaps this year's Super Bowl was a template for some memorable lessons to ponder before you might bet the NFL Hall of Fame Game this Summer. And that one doesn't even count. Because IF indeed you do bet the NFL Hall of Fame Game this Summer you're doomed before the season begins. So here goes:

Super Bowl review1. Ground Control to Major Tom

Back in the 49ers glory days I had a similar rule about Joe Montana. Despite any unfavorable point spread, there was no smart way to bet against Joe Cool. Either you laid the number or IF you felt shaky or unsure you passed. It was foolish to bet against him and if you covered against the Niners you felt lucky. Every year San Francisco against the spread record was impressive and profitable. This season Tom Brady and the New England Patriots performance left them in the dust.

The Pats were a mind-boggling 16-3 ATS this season plus favored in every game except for the opener with Brady on Deflategate suspension. And they won that one and covered! As a +9 underdog with Jimmy Garappolo at QB against the Arizona Cardinals. Remember? No debate now that Tom is the greatest QB of all-time with the greatest coach on the sidelines. Simply pay the inflated Patriots price or don't go in.

2. NFL Teasers are the Ultimate Pleasers

Huge difference here is advantage toward NFL TEASERS versus College Football teasers. In the NFL, a statistical review would produce an impressive number of outcomes very close or in many cases within the 6-7-point teaser range to the traditional game line. In the pros, most lines are set no more than 7 points with less than 10% in double-digits spreads all season long. That indicates superior competitive play and therefore CLOSE games, where teasers are highly effective. Surprisingly, a very high percentage of NFL Totals with Over/Under outcomes fall similarly close or within the traditional 6-7 point betting range.

Comparatively, on college football Saturdays it is common to have several game lines with favorites over 10-14 points with many mismatches reflecting -20 to -30 or more. It's silly to reason any teaser value for teams looking to blow-out their rivals to impress pollsters. Nor guess where extra points might be necessary either way.

The true joy for major offshore sportsbooks is offering customers a choice of more than 2-teams for a teaser wager. That's when the best opportunity diminishes enticing greedy players to earn a bigger score. Last Sunday happened to be a player's delight. New England's amazing comeback was no joy for major sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline or Diamond Sports as every possible teaser combination was a winner. Whether you had the Patriots or Falcons, Over or Under, with a minimum 6-point teaser every bettor was guaranteed to cash in the Super Bowl and it's 34-28 final score.

NFL betting tips3. Don't Cash your Tickets at Halftime

Which is another way to say "don't count your Falcons +3 until their hatched". While Fox was reassuring bettors of a 99.6% Atlanta win possibility it was tough not to put a check mark on a W. Many bettors often make this mistake on Sunday afternoon, counting spread wins or losses before the first wave of "1 PM games" end, while making plans for their late game action. This is exactly why the NFL moved back most Sunday late games from 4:05PM to 4:25PM EST. They claim it was for competitive balance. BS. It was to accommodate our betting routine.

A flood of sharp bettors took advantage of the Patriots -4.5 halftime line at most top online sportsbooks. It was up to -6 (-130) at Bovada before the second half kickoff began and easily cashed. Carefully watch those halftime lines and see where the money Is going. But hurry. You don't get extended 20-minute Lady Gaga halftime shows during the regular season.

4. The Number "Tells you Something"

Don't want to a jackass and rub it in here but I will boast then retire why I made OVER in the Super Bowl my NFL playoffs Best Bet.

With an opening record 59 point total, this contest surely was not going to end 24-10. If it was going Under at a loss then maybe a total in the 50's, which again made a teaser the most appropriate option. All the Fox and ESPN commentators were proclaiming "the experts" loved the Under here. Perhaps that's why the number dropped a full point In Nevada and most offshore sportsbooks to 57.5 by kickoff with the amateur public following suit.

Watch for similar games next season where the Total is an intimidating low 37.5. Go Under. The Super Bowl told you to expect an Over shoot-out. Yes, it took a fortunate two-point Patriots conversion to get there but bettors will win many more of these types than lose them.

Overall, no doubt it's better to be lucky than good. But as a consolation to all Falcons and Under bettors, hope you gained some wisdom last Sunday night to cash-in on next season.

Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.