NFL Picks: Super Bowl Picks on Total

Jason Lake

Monday, January 28, 2013 7:29 PM GMT

The people who conjure up the NFL odds know what they’re doing. The football betting market is almost perfectly balanced for Sunday’s Super Bowl extravaganza – at least, as far as the total is concerned.

Jason’s record on his final weekly NFL picks for the 2012 postseason (including Pro Bowl):

6-5 ATS (+1.31 units)

8-3 Totals (+4.81 units)

Profit: +6.11 units

I feel so silly now after watching the Pro Bowl sail OVER the posted total of (gulp) 79.5 points. And I thought they were going to, you know, play a competitive game and save the Pro Bowl from extinction. I’m no fortune-teller, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Commissioner/Mouthpiece Roger Goodell pulls the plug on the NFL’s All-Star festivities. We shall see.

Meanwhile, there’s a Super Bowl to be played. This is the last chance to bet on the total this season, and the playoffs have been highly profitable on that front for Yours Truly. Let’s take it home.

[gameodds]16/218947/43/us[/gameodds]

Irresistible vs. Immovable

Let’s see… Super Bowl betting trends… I seem to recall something about the UNDER going 6-2 during the last eight Super Bowls. This could be explained by the influx of more casual NFL betting fans into the market for the Big Game, and their tendency to overbet the OVER and inflate the total. In particular, we’ve seen publicly adored AFC powerhouses like the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts held sufficiently in check by gritty NFC defenses.

Sunday’s championship game (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS) has some of that flavor, although the conferences will be switching roles. For the AFC, you have one of the best defensive teams in the league (when healthy) in the Baltimore Ravens (OVER 13-10). For the NFC, you have breakout superstar QB Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers (OVER 13-8-1). The Niners are the presumptive public favorites in this case – although the Ravens have been drawing the early sharp action.

Points on a Curve

As for the total itself, we’ve got a 47.5 up there on the NFL odds board. That’s down from 48.5 points at the open, thanks to an early rush on the UNDER. Our consensus reports from this past Sunday night showed the market balancing out quite nicely since the adjustment; 51 percent of bettors had placed their NFL picks on the UNDER as we went to press.

The over/under isn’t the 50 points that was first being tweeted out of Las Vegas last week, but at least 47.5 points isn’t on the low end of the scoring spectrum. It’s pretty close to dead center, actually. But that’s the scoring spectrum for all NFL games; the 49ers have only seen one total this big all season, and that was when the New Orleans Saints visited Candlestick Park in Week 12. The highest total the Ravens have seen all year was in their 28-13 AFC title game victory against the Patriots (UNDER 49.5).

What are our thoughst and predictions for the Super Bowl Odds & Line Movement?

Don’t Call Me Shirley

So what do we do about the fact that the OVER is 6-0 in San Francisco’s last six games, and 9-1 since Kaepernick first supplanted QB Alex Smith in Week 10? I’ve been riding that train ever since it left the station – what Kaepernick does with his arms and his legs is so much more valuable than what Smith provided, and the market was slow to adjust. The total for Kaepernick’s first start in Week 11, against the Chicago Bears, was 34.5 points. San Fran won 32-7. That kind of performance won’t produce an UNDER at the Super Bowl.

We’ve also seen the San Francisco Kaepernicks go OVER twice in games where the final combined score was 40. And there were two high-scoring shootout victories, against the Patriots and in the Divisional round against the Green Bay Packers. The Ravens are a different team, altogether.

The Ravens are a different team.

Thank you kindly. Now go check out my final NFL picks on the Super Bowl's pointspread. And thank you again for your patronage.

My Pick: Take UNDER 48