Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013-14, up to January 28 inclusive:
1-1 ML (+0.71 units)
Compare all of the Super Bowl Prop Betting Odds on offer.
This could be the greatest counterculture moment in America since Woodstock ‘94. Super Bowl XLVIII is just around the corner, and everything could go haywire for the NFL’s corporate overlords this year. We’ve already seen the Red Hot Chili Peppers get added to the halftime show, which is remarkable, even if they do sound more like Bruno Mars these days. And we might even get some old-school football weather: The forecast at press time calls for a 20 percent chance of rain at kick-off (6:25 p.m. ET, FOX) with temperatures around the freezing mark. All we need now is a mosh pit.
To top it all off, we’ve got Weed Bowl I between the Denver Broncos (15-3 SU, 11-6-1 ATS) and the Seattle Seahawks (15-3 SU, 12-6 ATS). It’s pretty obvious that Peyton Manning and the Broncos are wearing the white hats (ahem) in this matchup. Our expanded consensus numbers show 64 percent of bettors favoring Denver as a 2-point favorite, dishing out 68 percent of the action. But the really big bets have been coming in on Seattle the past few days. As they should.
Mutual of Omaha
If you haven’t read last week’s article about the early Super Bowl betting odds, take a gander and you’ll see the advanced stats point at the Seahawks as the slightly better team over the course of the season. There are matchup considerations, of course; Seattle has some issues on the offensive and defensive lines, while Denver’s secondary is in tatters and Percy Harvin will be active for the Seahawks. Either way, it looks like a fairly even matchup on paper.
So why is Seattle available at NFL odds of +3? Because it’s the Super Bowl, and more casual bettors will be dipping into their wallets than for any other single game on the sports betting calendar. These are people betting $10 here and $50 there, mostly for fun, and mostly on the outcomes that they want to see happen. People want to see Peyton Manning win another Super Bowl. They want to see him “cement his legacy,” whatever that means. He also needs to match baby brother Eli with two Super Bowl rings. And preferably win at least one more. It’s only right.
People also don’t want to see Richard Sherman win. After he cut his promo on Michael Crabtree following the NFC title game, Sherman was raked over the coals for his unsportsmanlike behavior. He was called a thug, and much worse. Anyone who thinks racism doesn’t play a role in NFL betting should have a look at some of those Twitter comments. They’ll look great in the Library of Congress archives.
I’ve gotten some public heat for talking about these things – not much, mind you. I’m trying to keep it relevant to NFL betting, and the fact is, there is a lot of value in taking a contrarian stance during the Super Bowl. Underdogs have cashed in five of the last six years and nine of the past 12. As more and more people have the disposable income to bet on the Super Bowl, you get more people who bet on what they want to see. For our purposes, that means it matters less and less about the X’s and O’s and which team has the better advanced stats – although it’s still Seattle in this case.
Whatever happens on Super Bowl Sunday, if you’re in the sports betting business to make money, try not to get too emotionally wrapped up in the outcome. But I’ll be cheering for Seattle anyway. A win for the Seahawks would be a win for intelligence and data over the lowest common denominator. May the prolate spheroid be with them.NFL Pick: Take the Seahawks +3 at Bovada