Many Super bowl betting enthusiasts look primarily at regular season records when handicapping the Super Bowl odds, but this focus can be quite misleading. Super Bowl betting can be more successful when one simply focuses on a team’s performances throughout the playoffs and in the final regular season games.
Super bowl odds are frequently analyzed with attention paid to each team’s regular season record because this record is often perceived as defining each team’s skill level. Simply put, better teams tend to have better records. A team’s regular season record offers a broad assessment of the team’s ability to beat a variety of opponents throughout the year. Also, it is a very simple factor to consider when assessing the Super Bowl odds because one can check a team’s record in a matter of seconds. However, a team’s regular season record offers relatively little indication of the team’s ability to cover the Super Bowl odds.
Any team that reaches the Super Bowl is undoubtedly very talented and boasts a good record, so differentiating between teams based on wins and losses experienced several months ago offers little value. In fact, any bettor who has wagered on the Super Bowl odds recently knows that wild card teams actually win the Super Bowl and cover the Super Bowl odds with surprising frequency. For example, the wild card Steelers won the 2006 Super Bowl with an 11-5 regular season record and the wild card Giants won the 2008 Super Bowl with a 10-6 record.
Rather than looking at a team’s regular season record or regular season performances when handicapping the Super Bowl odds, one is usually better off focusing specifically on a team’s most recent performances. The teams that win the Super Bowl and cover the Super Bowl odds are the teams that hit their stride in January, not October. Therefore, one must assess the teams featured in the Super Bowl odds based on their previous playoff performances. If a team seems to be playing like a Super Bowl champion in the playoffs despite only qualifying for the postseason with a wild card, then the team will quite possibly offer good Super Bowl betting value.
As one evaluates the Super Bowl odds one may also want to consider a team’s performances in the final weeks of the regular season, but these games are obviously only relevant for teams that have not rested their starters in the final week or two after already qualifying for the postseason.
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