Early money bets up Super Bowl 50 line in mere days, potentially creating value for those contrarian NFL bettors that might consider going against the flow of betting.
Early Trends Point to a Bull Market on the Panthers
In plebeian speak, a bull market is a market where a majority of investors are buying causing overall stock prices to trade sharply higher, encouraging more buying. The term is common to the financial world and is used to describe market conditions, but seeing as there are many similarities between financial markets and sports betting markets we’re borrowing the phrase because it adequately describes the current conditions Super Bowl 50 betting markets are enjoying.
NFL Odds makers opened with the Panthers as the 4-point favorite over the Broncos across most sports betting platforms. It marked an adjustment from look ahead lines last week that looked at all four potential scenarios and, in turn, proposed a -3 line in the event of a Panthers-Broncos showdown in Super Bowl 50.
The respective accounts of each finalist in the Conference round of the playoffs – one of which was solid and the other a complete and utter blowout – combined with public reactions to those conspired to increase the line by a point on the sports betting floor (from the look ahead -3 to opening -4). It hasn’t stopped there though.
Since early doors on Sunday Night, the public has been piling onto the Carolina Panthers in unprecedented numbers. Indeed, in historic numbers at several sports betting outlets apparently –some sportsbooks have recorded levels of 77% of spread bets or higher on the Panthers.
According to reputable football insiders no team in the history of NFL betting has received more than 68% of spread bets. Past trends reveal Super Bowl betting typically falls within the 50% mark, plus or minus a five-ish percent either way.
A day after the market opened, we weighed in on the action and discovered fascinating trends were already prevalent at our contributing sportsbooks. /; mainly, the Panthers were receiving an average of 65% of spread bets – which means several of our contributing sportsbooks took in higher levels. What was even more interesting was the fact that those spread bets equated to almost 90% of the money (See Chart 1 from the aforementioned article included below).
Chart 1: Super Bowl 50 Spread and Money Betting Trends on Monday, January 25, 2016
As Chart 1 indicates, the action on Super Bowl 50 was utterly lopsided on Monday, less than 24 hours after markets opened for trading. At the time, the 90% of money wagered on Carolina equated to $2,686,263 with the average size of bet ranging around $875.00.
With such overwhelming action coming down on the Panthers, the line was only going to go up on this game as bookies look to attempt to balance the action. So it did. Odds makers are now hanging the Panthers on -5 at some sportsbooks while others have gone up to -6.
That move on the NFL odds board has resulted in a swell of contrarian betting which is conspicuously visible two days on. Although the market still remains lopsided with the Panthers still raking in the bulk of the betting: SBR Consensus Betting polls http://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/consensus/ from our contributing sportsbooks reveals the Panthers still have 64.99% of spread bets on average. However, the percentage of money has come down from 89% to 73.45%.
Chart 2: Super Bowl 50 Spread and Money Betting Trends On Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Clearly, with the Panthers moving to a high of -6 there are those NFL bettors or sharp bettors that are looking at the opposite side of the coin and finding appeal there. Broncos at +6 definitely offers contrarian value for those looking to go against the tide of public betting.
We talk a lot about sharp bettors, but not so much about sharp sportsbooks. It goes both ways in the marketplace. Our point being that while there are significant line moves across sports betting platforms, several sportsbooks are staying the course so far and continue hanging the game on a 4.5-point spread – such as Pinnacle and Heritage. That is telling.
In any event, it’s still very early days. We are still 12 days away from kick-off at Levi's Stadium and a lot is sure to happen from now until then in the marketplace. Of course, we’ll keep an eye out for all the comings and goings in order to help you make the best Super Bowl picks possible.