Super Bowl Spread Betting Explained

The Super Bowl is the biggest sports betting event of the year, and with that you get a lot of people who are new to betting looking to learn the ins and outs of betting.  The great thing is that Super Bowl betting is pretty basic, and beginners can learn and understand the basics fairly quickly.

“Betting on the spread” or “Betting against the spread” are common phrases you may have heard when people are talking about betting on the Super Bowl, or football in general.  I will try and explain how the Super Bowl spread works below.

Super Bowl Spread:

New Orleans Saints +5 (-110)
vs Indianapolis Colts -5 (-110)

Super Bowl Spread Betting Explained:

Oddsmakers (people who set the odds for sporting events) come up with a number that they think the favored team will win by.  If the team is a big favorite they will probably be favored by at least 7 points (a touchdown), or if they are a smaller favorite it will usually be less than a touchdown.

For the Super Bowl the spread is currently set at the Colts favored by 5 points.  The 5 points is the number that the oddsmakers set, and will often be displayed like this “Colts -5” as you can see above.

The 5 is the set number or spread that the bettor has to bet “against”.  If you chose the Colts cover the spread, this means that the Colts must win by 6 or more (since they are favored by 5 points).  If you were to bet on the Saints on the spread, this means that the Saints could either lose by 4 or less or win the game.  If the game ended up with the Colts winning by exactly 5 points it would be a “push” which means neither outcome wins and the bets are refunded.

You will often see the Super Bowl spread set in between two numbers, for example 4.5.  If the Colts were favored by 4.5 points you could either bet on the Colts -4.5, which would mean they would have to win by 5 or more.  Or you could bet on the Saints +4.5, which would mean that they could lose by 4 or less or win the game.  The sportsbooks use the .5 to ensure that there isn’t a “push”.

Do you understand how the Super Bowl Spread works now?

Let me give you another quick example so you can double check with yourself.

If the spread was displayed like this:

New Orleans Saints +7.5
vs Indianapolis Colts -7.5

You have two options – You can bet on the Colts -7.5, which means they would have to win by 8 or more points for your bet to win.  Or you could bet on the Saints +7.5, which means they could lose by 7 or less points or win the game in order for you to win your bet.

How much does betting on the Super Bowl Spread payout?

The odds can vary, but it always sits around (-110) odds, which is 1.91 to 1.  This means that for every $10 you bet you would win about $9, or for every $100 bet you would win $90.