Have Sportsbooks Left Openings On Super Bowl Odds Boards?

Nikki Adams

Friday, January 23, 2015 5:55 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 5:55 PM UTC

Super Bowl XLIX odds have been trading since Sunday. Join us as we examine the NFL odds, how they are shaping up after several days of trades.

Patriots Bet Up To Faves
While their balls may be deflated, their NFL odds are certainly inflating over the course of the week. Patriots are now the faves in Super Bowl XLIX betting markets, for the time being that is.

Immediately at the close of Sunday’s round of Championship games, odds makers moved Super Bowl XLIX odds dramatically, from a reported (or widely expected according to indications ahead of the Championship games) 2.5-points to a pick ‘em. For the uninitiated NFL bettor, a pick ‘em means there is essentially no true favorite to be had. The choice lies entirely on the bettor, which team he/she feels is going to win. In other words, sportsbooks served it up as an evenly matched affair between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. Rather abruptly and suddenly after having touted the latter’s horn all season long.

The team to beat were the Seahawks in Super Bowl Futures, so said bookies since February last year when they first hoisted the Lombardy Trophy. Fast forward last Sunday, two contrasting accounts by each of the Super Bowl contenders that emerged on the day, and the powers that be in the sports betting world weren’t so sure anymore. Oh, the dilemma, dilemma. They’ve been loving on the Seahawks for the better part of a year, but after the Seahawk’s Great Escape in the NFC Championship game and the Patriots’ rout of the Colts in the AFC Championship game they couldn’t possibly justify continuing the love. To do so would just tempt bettors to jump on the Patriots and the points and that could expose sportsbooks perilously.

Shop for the Best Super Bowl Prop Betting Odds

Books are in the business of making money, not losing money. Last year’s showdown between the Seahawks and Broncos saw books cash in big, winning just under $20 million on a record legal betting loot of $119.4 million. At the time, the Seahawks opened as the favorites but quickly bet down to 2.5-point underdogs by the public. Such was the crush bettors had on Peyton Manning and the Broncos that they closed as the 2.5-point faves only to be crushed by the Seahawks 43-8 in the Super Bowl instead.

This year, books expect another serious turnout at the trading windows that will closely match last year’s record, if not surpass it altogether. They’re already enjoying a season to remember. A prosperous Super Bowl Sunday would only be a fitting extension of a banner season. A reported 68% of bettors went with Denver only to end up feeling the hurt along with Peyton Manning and the Broncos et al in the 43-8 loss. Therein lies the premise behind the indecisive Super Bowl XLIX market: let the public decide the values right out of the gates with their NFL picks.

It’s ten days yet to the highly anticipated kick off and although the giddy public has bet up the Patriots to their nominal status as the faves right now, the lines could yet move again. Perhaps even jump fence. Such is the reality of online sports betting as public money continues to trickle in and values continue to reset based on volume of bets. What’s evident by early online exchanges and trades, the public fancies Tom Brady & Co. not unlike they did Peyton Manning and the Broncos last season. Actually, 68% of public money is on the Pats as the 1-point faves and just 38% of public money is on the Seahawks as the 1-point pups after less than a week of trading. Uncannily similar to last year’s Super Bowl betting trends, isn’t it? Of course, it remains to be seen whether the outcome will be the same after all the NFL picks are logged and the books close.

Who will be smiling when all is said and done: the public or the books?

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