How can I bet on the Super Bowl? Vegas betting guide before 49ers-Chiefs

Jan 30, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Francisco 49ers and Kansas Chiefs helmets and the Vince Lombardi trophy at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Francisco 49ers and Kansas Chiefs helmets and the Vince Lombardi trophy at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whether it's Taylor Swift or just a newfound interest in the NFL, there are thousands of people ready to experience the joy of betting on the Super Bowl for the first time. A Vegas betting guide is just what you need to find out how to bet, where to wager and the gambling terms you need to enjoy the process.

If you are one of the lucky few looking to embark on this journey, welcome. This can be a very fun addition to an already great day. However, this can get addictive.

Obviously, this is something you should do responsibly. Don't waste away money you can't afford to lose. If you cannot hold yourself accountable, have a friend do so. And if you lose, don't force yourself to bet more money in order to make up what you lost. Go into every bet you make assuming you've already lost, and remember that sometimes the best bet is no bet at all.

With that out of the way, let's talk about what you need to know if you're looking to add a little bit of spice to Super Bowl LVIII.

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Where can you bet on the 2024 Super Bowl?

If you are looking to bet online, there are a multitude of sportsbooks to choose from. The most popular sportsbooks include DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and FanDuel.

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Where is sports betting legal?

Sports betting is currently legal in 27 states and Washington D.C.

  • Arizona

  • Arkansas

  • Colorado

  • Connecticut

  • Illinois

  • Indiana

  • Iowa

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • Nevada

  • New Hampshire

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • North Carolina (only in-person)

  • Ohio

  • Oregon

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • Tennessee (only online)

  • Virginia

  • Washington D.C.

  • West Virginia

  • Wyoming (only online)

Betting terms to know:

Favorite: This is the team that is expected to win the game, according to oddsmakers

Underdog: The team that is expected to lose

Spread: The spread is the amount of points that Vegas and/or other oddsmakers believe the favorite will win by. The favorite is indicated by a minus sign (-) being displayed before the spread, while the underdog is indicated with a plus sign (+). For example, if the San Francisco 49ers are expected to beat the Kansas City Chiefs by two points, the spread would be San Francisco (-2) or Kansas City (+2).

Cover the spread: Covering the spread is determined by whether or not you would have won money if you placed a wager on either team. For example, if the spread was San Francisco (-2), but the 49ers only won by one point, the 49ers would win, but they would not cover the spread. Anybody who put money on the 49ers would lose their bet. On the other side, if the Kansas City Chiefs were +2 underdogs, and lost by one, they would lose the game, but would still cover the spread.

Against the spread: Occasionally abbreviated to ATS, this is simply how many times a team covered the spread versus how many times they failed to cover the spread. For example, the Kansas City Chiefs have a record of 14-6 across the regular season and playoffs, but only covered the spread in 12 of their 20 games. They also tied the spread meaning they won or lost a game by exactly how many points they were the favorite or underdog. The Chiefs' record ATS this season is 12-7-1.

Push: A push is when neither you nor the sportsbook wins the bet so you get your money back, but nothing extra. In the example stated earlier, if you put money on San Francisco (-2), and the 49ers won by two points exactly, that would be a push. The sportsbook would reimburse you for your bet, but no other money would change hands.

Moneyline: If you don't feel comfortable betting the spread, you can bet the moneyline. The moneyline is a bet you can place on who will win the game based on the final score, regardless of margin. If the 49ers are favored by two and win by one but you bet their moneyline, you would still win, even though the 49ers failed to cover the spread. Where bets on the spread tend to pay out close to a 1:1 ratio, bets on the moneyline pay out less than 1:1 if you bet on the favorite and more if you bet on the underdog. Essentially, if you bet the underdog's moneyline, you will win more than double your initial wager. If you bet the favorite's moneyline, you will earn less than double your initial wager.

Over/Under: Think of over/under as less of a term and more of a question. "At the end of the game, do you think the total amount of points scored by both teams will be over or under a certain number?" BetMGM has the over/under for this Super Bowl set at 47.5, meaning they expect the Chiefs and 49ers to total 47.5 points between them. If the final score of the game is 24-23, the teams would have combined for 47 points, which is under the 47.5 line that BetMGM set, so the under would hit.

You can also bet the over/under on certain player stats, such as receiving yards, passing touchdowns, rushing yards, etc. For example, BetMGM lists 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey's total rushing yards at 90.5. You can place a wager on whether he will record greater or fewer rushing yards than that at the end of the game.

Parlay: A parlay is a series of wagers that must all win order to secure the payout. You can parlay as many wagers together as you like, and each wager adds another leg to the parlay. For example, a four-leg parlay would have four different wagers that all need to hit in order to win. A seven-leg parlay would have seven different wagers.

If you're asking yourself "Why would anyone do that if you need to win more bets?", it is because the payouts are much larger with parlays than they are with straight bets. While hitting three individual bets at $100 each might win you $300, you still had to risk $300. If you had parlayed those bets together, you would have only needed to risk $100, and if all three legs hit, you would have walked away with $600.

These are the riskiest types of bets. While you are not risking as much money, you need more events to happen correctly in order to win.

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Live betting: Live betting, also referred to as "In-Play" or "In-Game" betting, is a bet placed after the game has started. Sportsbooks will change the odds of games as they are happening. For example, while the Super Bowl might open with the 49ers as two-point favorites, if the Chiefs were to go up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, the sportsbook might offer new odds that reflect the current score. Perhaps something like Kansas City (-6).

If somebody placed money on the outcome prior to the start of the game, the new odds do not affect their bet. So, unfortunately, your friend who put money on San Francisco (-2) would still need the 49ers to win by more than two points in order to win.

Prop Bet: A prop (short for proposition) bet is any bet that doesn't have anything to do with the final score of the game.

Player Prop: A player prop is betting on a specific player to do something. In the over/under section a few paragraphs ago, I talked about how Christian McCaffrey rushing yard line is set at 90.5. That would be an example of a prop bet. Other prop bets include whether or not a specific player will score a touchdown at some point during the game. That is called an "Anytime TD" bet. There are also "First TD" wagers, which attempt to predict the first player to score a touchdown in the game. There are even Super Bowl MVP bets, which as you would expect, are wagers on who will be named MVP of the game. All of these are examples of player props.

Novelty/Party Prop: Novelty/party props are prop bets that have little to nothing to do with the game at all. These are arguably the most notorious Super Bowl bets. Different sites will have different novelty props, but some of the more well-known ones are "What color Gatorade will be poured on the winning head coach after the game?", "Will the opening coin toss be heads or tails?", and "Will the national anthem be shorter or longer than a predetermined amount of time?"

If you do not know football very well and are looking for something to cheer for while watching the game, these props might be the best way to go.

What are some common bets you might encounter?

We've already covered most of the different types of bets, but what bets are the most popular? The most popular bets are usually the spread. People tend to bet the spread because it usually has close to a 1-to-1 payout and it gives the underdog a little more leeway.

Some people believe that, in football, any spread less than three points is essentially just a pick 'em, meaning you just pick who you think is going to win. However, there is still that small chance that the favorite wins by fewer than three points.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2024 Super Bowl betting guide: How to bet on 49ers vs. Chiefs