The Super Bowl ushers in a betting bonanza like no other. The production surrounding the game is almost as large as the game itself, and the opportunity to wager on anything on your television exists for a solid five hours. There is simply no better time to be a prognosticator than during the biggest gambling event of the year.
During the course of the regular season, we are given a handful of derivative bets for each matchup that weekend, but the betting menu explodes as things head toward the playoffs. The Super Bowl is the culmination, with markets posted two weeks in advance on seemingly every event in and around the game. Game markets continue to get most of the attention, but derivative opportunities offer some of the best value bets.
A derivative is any betting line that is derived from another. The most common example is first-half odds, which are derived from the full game counterpart. Numerous other options exist spanning from first-half spreads and totals to betting by the quarter.
Bookmakers spend a significant portion of their time and resources to handicap full game lines efficiently. This helps as a proxy for derivative bets and creates opportunities for those willing to research and find discrepancies in markets that can be capitalized on. Full game markets get all of the headlines, but the money is made in places where people don’t initially look.
Nowhere is this more apparent than for the Super Bowl, as the lookahead line has had Chiefs -3 pegged for weeks. All derivative markets are grounded in this overall game structure, which makes it a valuable starting point. One worthwhile exercise is to identify the side and total that you like. Building this game narrative makes obvious price discrepancies even more worthwhile when it fits into how you expect the game to play out. Using PFF’s predictive model outlook for this game, let’s dive into some of the best derivative bets to make.