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The Super Bowl 47 Spread Trade

The first company I ever co-founded and spent 11 years working on was, a site that educates millions of people every month about investing and finance.

Fast forward a few years since my departure and I've landed at, where some of us Investopedia Ex-Pats are working to apply data and visualization principles from the financial market to sports.

My betting this Super Bowl has it's roots in stock trading, specifically the "Butterfly Spread" which Investopedia defines as:

"A neutral option strategy combining bull and bear spreads. Butterfly spreads have limited risk...your maximum return is when the price of the underlying asset remains around the middle"

Translate to Sports Betting
I've heard the pundants, done my own research and analysis, and I'm stumped.  I like the 49ers, but the Ravens and the Ray Lewis story is a bit of a wild card.  Both great defenses, formitable offensive attacks, neutral field, and weather (in a dome) is not a factor. I'm thinking it's a close game, but lean to San Fran.

The result is my "Super Bowl Spread Trade":

1) Bet $170 on the San Francisco 49ers money-line @ -170 (a win pays $100 + your bet back)

2) Bet $165 on the Baltimore Ravens +4.0 (a win pays ~$150 + your bet back)

(note: Check out the live Covers odds to see the latest odds and spreads)

The key to this bet is being prudent, the spreads opened last week at Ravens +4.5, and has been as low as +3.5 at time of writing.  If history repeats, the spreads will move between now and the game, so you need to be patient and hope for +4.0 to maximize your margin for profit.  If it's game time, and +3.5 is the best you can get, it's ok.

Here's how the payout will work:

  • First, you can't lose both bets, it's impossible. BUT you can win both bets.

  • Best Scenario: The 49ers win by a field goal or less, both bets win. Profit of $250

  • 2nd Best Scenario: The 49ers win by exactly 4.0. You win money-line and a push on the Ravens +4.0. Profit of $100 (note: ignore this if you get +3.5 instead of +4)

  • Split bet #1: 49ers win by 5 points or more.  Loss of $65 (win $100 on the 49ers money-line, lose $165 on the Ravens spread bet)

  • Split bet #2: Ravens win outright.  Loss of $20 (win $150 on Ravens spread bet, lose $170 on the 49ers money-line)

Financial geeks unite, this strategy limits your downside risk with a maximum loss of $65 and maximum profit of $250 (if the 49ers win by a field goal or less).

If you aren't fully committed on a team in Super Bowl 47, but you're like me and can't go without watching the big game and not have 'skin in the game', give the "Super Bowl Spread Trade" a shot.


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