Proven virtually every year, the early bird gets the worm and maximum dollars deciding upon a Super Bowl winner
A long time ago somebody coined the phrase "Black Friday" to begin the Xmas shopping season. That was more recently followed-up by "Cyber Monday" designating our new culture shopping online. The next day "Giving Tuesday" is supposed to reflect an opportunity to donate during the holiday season. I believe it means starting the week by forfeiting football game winnings compiled over the long Thanksgiving sports betting weekend.
Therefore, I want to be first taking credit for the expression "Super Bowl Future Friday" Date: the first Friday after the Thanksgiving weekend. Definition: when serious, smart sports bettors reach the first deadline to input their wagers for the team or team(s) they believe will win the upcoming NFL Super Bowl.
Last year offered the ultimate example as early (or late) as December 1st to obtain a very attractive price investing on the Philadelphia Eagles. No, not the 40-1 you could have received back in September 2017, but quite a rewarding 10-1 on the Birds, while the Patriots were still considered a 9-5 Super Bowl lock, the Steelers a potential next opportunity at 5-1, with the Packers a 6-1 maybe.
This year commands even more attention with more teams in the picture and potential more value hooking the early winner. As a mantra, we always stress to comparison shop the list of preferred sportsbooks to obtain the best possible odds for your selected team. Especially in this case, when booking an investment over two months ahead.
No doubt the odds will change as teams succeed or fail into the final six weeks of the NFL regular season. But now is the ultimate time to buy in exchange for maximum potential value. As an example, the following is a current list of Super Bowl future book odds from preferred book Bovada:
SUPER BOWL 53 - Odds to Win (courtesy of Bovada)
New Orleans Saints +300
Los Angeles Rams +320
Kansas City Chiefs +600
New England Patriots +600
Pittsburgh Steelers +1000
Chicago Bears +1400
Los Angeles Chargers +1400
Houston Texans +1800
Minnesota Vikings +2000
Dallas Cowboys +3300
Indianapolis Colts +3300
Philadelphia Eagles +4000
Seattle Seahawks +4000
Baltimore Ravens +5000
Carolina Panthers +6600
Denver Broncos +8000
Green Bay Packers +10000
Tennessee Titans +12500
Washington Redskins +12500
Cincinnati Bengals +15000
Cleveland Browns +15000
Atlanta Falcons +25000
Detroit Lions +25000
Miami Dolphins +30000
Jacksonville Jaguars +40000
New York Giants +50000
Buffalo Bills +75000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +75000
New York Jets +100000
Arizona Cardinals +300000
Oakland Raiders +300000
San Francisco 49ers +300000
If there is anything we’ve learned over the years, the top online sportsbooks are undoubtedly the best predictors of who NOT to wager upon in terms of capturing the pot of gold at this relatively late-stage juncture. Therefore, it’s safe to forget about 19 of the 32 teams immediately. Or by odds order, any team listed at 50-1 (+5000) or higher. It is interesting though, that the Green Bay Packers are currently 100-1 despite having Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers healthy. Combining their 4-6-1 record and the strong rumor of losing long-time head coach Mike McCarthy at season end is not supplying any wagering confidence whatsoever.
Buyer beware for a few teams on the bubble who need absolutely everything to go right for them to dream about a Super Bowl. That would include any repeat for the Philadelphia Eagles at +4000 or the Seattle Seahawks also at +4000. The Indianapolis Colts only get very, very minor consideration due to their great QB Andrew Luck and their building potential for next year. But for this February hardly an advisable option.
The Fantasy Five
About five teams on the list are juicy prospects to win it all this year at very enticing odds. Compared to last season, there seems to be no intimidating standout selections as were the Patriots and Steelers. Unlike baseball, hockey or basketball, the NFL playoff single game elimination format, key injuries to one significant player and the deciding game on a neutral site are all factors to consider.
Potential teams to evaluate at very reasonable odds include the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Chargers (+1400), the Houston Texans (+1800) plus the Minnesota Vikings (+2000). The Dallas Cowboys at +3300 are rather iffy, because it is not certain they will even win their NFC East division yet, and doubtfully will qualify as an NFC Wild Card team.
The Fab Five
That brings us to the five favorites, which could change over the next few weeks. A couple are likely to drop in odds or potentially a few of the “fantasy five” might enter the favorite list.
The reason the Pittsburgh Steelers are +1000 (10-1) is due to their inconsistent play and more confidence behind the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots capturing the AFC championship. They might have to beat one or possibly both in the playoffs. Speaking of the Patriots (+600), they could be the best value on the list due to their somewhat erratic play on defense and a general feeling they are not the overwhelming Brady-led force they used to be. This is a perfect December 1st example. If you like the Pats, now is absolutely the optimum time to buy.
The KC Chiefs are also a decent play at +600, if you believe the Steelers and Patriots are going to fall off. Had they beat the Rams in that memorable Monday Night Football game, they might be sitting on top of the entire list now at +300.
That brings us to the LA Rams and New Orleans Saints. Despite their close loss to the Cowboys, the line is still singing "What Have You Done for Me Lately". That’s why the Saints are current glamour favorites at +300 riding their hot streak and making headlines. The question here is value. Whether you believe either the Rams or Saints are going to win the Super Bowl (and they very well can), is +300 a good enough price for you to accept at this juncture.
Like wagering on the Breeders’ Cup Classic, it’s not such a bad idea to have two horses in the big race. Because this field is competitive, it would be wise to portion a percentage of your budget on one of the major favorites (ex: Rams, Saints or Chiefs) plus one of the longshots (ex: Chargers, Vikings, Bears).
By working out the math correctly and win with a favorite, you will at least break even or potentially make a small profit. Getting lucky and scoring with your longshot selection will earn a very handsome return.
Again, the key to success is following two very simple steps:
Shop the list of preferred sportsbooks to obtain the best possible odds for your Super Bowl choices.
Don’t Wait!! Get it done this weekend. Or as I have first named it: Super Bowl Future Friday.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, including previews and picks from Glenn, click here.