One of the confusing aspects about the “official” starting point concerning the NFL odds for the Super Bowl is there is nothing official about it. Even more seasoned bettors can be bewildered what they see.
Let’s attack this issue straight on to understand to have a better understanding how this massive matchup came to be a Pick and if there was any real line movement on the NFL odds.
In Las Vegas, the Westgate Super Book (formerly the Hilton) has been known and prided itself for some time in coming out with an early line. Last Sunday morning, before either NFL championship game had been played, Westgate speculated the NFC championship game winner would be a three- point favorite over their AFC counterpart. They were anticipating both the top seeds were going to advance and I have it on good authority if Green Bay would have won, New England would have opened as a Pick or maybe -1 by the sportsbooks.
As the afternoon progressed, the Patriots had built a substantial lead over Indianapolis and it been a couple hours since the Seahawks had staged their miracle comeback, and most Nevada and offshore wagering outlets had Seattle at -2 or -2.5.
As New England continued to build their lead, odds makers had to consider public sentiment and for those who had yet to release a number for NFL football handicappers and those who would be placing sports picks sooner or later, the number fell to a Pick.
Later Sunday night, I ended up reading that a few books had split early action after New England was being handed the AFC championship trophy with the Pats going to -1 while others had Seattle at -1. When it was all said and done, by Tuesday Jan. 20th, 80 percent of books checked were at Pick.
What has occurred since?
Not much, as New England briefly earlier in the week went to -1 but that lasted about as long Tom Brady’s press conference on Deflate Gate. We are however finding the Pats at over 70 percent of bets placed and given the relative lack of line movement, this would suggest the sharper money to this juncture is on Seattle.
Where there has been action by those making NFL picks is on the total. The original figure of 48.5 crept up to 49 or 49.5 just days after its release depending on the sportsbook, before cascading to its present spot of 48. Offshore sportsbooks which cater to more serious football bettors as of Friday evening were at 47.5, though 60 percent of the wagering action was on the OVER.
Digging around into some other areas of interest on the prop side of the action, we have found the coin wagers are running 50-50 to this point. (Come on, its joke)
In all seriousness, I have seen the Russell Wilson prop on passing yards rise five or six yards to 225.5 total yards level. Green Bay showed how you keep Wilson in the pocket on passing downs and expect New England to do the same. Thus bettors are anticipating more throwing yards.
Of course the actual odds of prop wagers can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, but I also found the anticipated differential between the number of rushing yards for Marshawn Lynch and LeGarrette Blount rise from 26.5 to 29.5.
Unless something drastic occurs, New England will probably go into the Super Bowl as a very slight favorite and the total will go back towards original starting point of 48.5. Many of the props wagers will see fluctuation because the amount of money needed to push the needle is tiny compared to the side and totals action.
We have the rest of the week to speculate, let’s enjoy.