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The Super Bowl for dummies

| 31.01.2014

One of the biggest events in world sport takes place on Sunday night, with the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks meeting at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to decide the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII.

For the Seahawks, this is a second Super Bowl appearance and the chance for a first victory, while Denver are looking to add to previous Super Bowl successes of 1997 and 1998.

For those preparing to watch their first Super Bowl, we thought we’d give you a heads up on what you can look forward to, how you can bet on the action and a summary of the key terms you need to listen out for.

How long does it last?

The actual game lasts for one hour, broken down into two halves, which each consist of two 15-minute quarters.

Each team also gets the opportunity to use three timeouts in each half and there are plenty of other stoppages likely, including the need to check playbacks and treat injuries. These delays can result in NFL matches lasting longer than three hours in total.

Half-time entertainment also adds to the spectacle, with Bruno Mars the main star this time.

How do you score points?

The aim of the game is to have control of the ball in the ‘end zone’ of the opposition, similar to the try line in rugby.

Each team has four ‘downs’ to attempt to move forwards 10 yards, which can be done by running the ball forward or throwing a pass to a teammate. If this isn’t achieved on the third down, there is the option to punt the ball forward or risk conceding possession where the last tackle is made.

A touchdown is worth six points and a field goal is worth three points.

What are the key terms?

Down: A down is a phase of play, with a team getting four ‘downs’ to attempt to gain at least 10 yards.

Snap: A play begins with the snap, which is when the centre of the attacking team ‘snaps’ the ball between his legs to start a ‘down’.

Quarterback: Widely considered the most important team player, tasked with the job of throwing passes to his teammates.

Sack: The name given to the tackle made on a quarterback before the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage (an imaginary line across the pitch from where the ball is sacked).

Bomb: The term that describes a successful long pass.

Pocket: The area created by the blockers of the attacking team to prevent the opposition tackling the quarterback.

Zebras: The nickname given the officials because of their striped shirts.

How can I bet on the Super Bowl?

There are lots of ways to bet on the Super Bowl with Coral. The most popular markets are:

The Money Line: This is effectively match betting, with Denver 4/5 favourites and Seattle 21/20.

The Spread: The same as handicap betting. Seattle are 20/23 to win the Super Bowl if given a two-point headstart.

Total Points: As expected, this is anticipating how many points will be scored by both teams in the 60 minutes of play.

First Touchdown: Just like an First Goalscorer bet in football, pick a man who you think will score first. Marshawn Lynch is a popular choice for the Seahawks at 5/1.

MVP: Which player will be the Man of the Match? Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is the favourite at 11/10.