While the overwhelming majority of Super Bowl betting will be against the pointspread there’s always the option to take either the San Francisco 49ers or Baltimore Ravens on the money line. The current moneyline price is as follows:
BALTIMORE RAVENS +155
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -175
For those unfamiliar with moneylines, here’s the basics–moneylines are essentially a different way of expressing odds. While most of the world uses fractional or decimal odds, the moneyline is most common in the United States. Using the above moneylines as an example–the San Francisco 49ers are -175 favorites meaning that a bettor must lay $175 to win $100. A bettor who likes the Ravens will win $155 for every $100 wagered if Baltimore is victorious. From a theoretical standpoint, there’s no difference between the moneyline, fractional odds or decimal odds so:
BALTIMORE RAVENS +155 = 2.55 = 31/20
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -175 = 1.57 = 4/7
The major difference between moneyline wagers and pointspread wagers should be obvious by now–with a moneyline wager the bettor needs to win the game outright without a pointspread involved. For the underdog player that means that ‘close’ isn’t good enough–the team has to win the game. For the favorite bettor the same thing applies–he has to only win the game without worrying about the margin of victory. Both scenarios have a financial cost–for the underdog player he makes a nice profit over a straight bet. The favorite bettor has to pay a ‘premium’ to eliminate the pointspread. In the longterm everything ‘evens out’ from a theoretical standpoint but sometimes a moneyline play can be a valuable tactical weapon.
In fact, this Super Bowl could be a perfect situation for the moneyline player. There’s not much middle ground involved with the handicap of this game. Baltimore backers think their team will win outright and the +3.5 pointspread won’t be an issue. For that reason if you think that Baltimore is ‘the play’ why not bet $100 to win $155? You won’t have the coverage of losing by 3 or less but you’ll not only have less financial downside but will make a nice profit if you win. San Francisco backers won’t have to worry about the margin either–and that could be an issue with Niners’ kicker David Akers not in good form.