Let’s look at what happened and make a NFL pick for next year’s Super Bowl LI banking on the thought Denver’s D will again be dominating, and what can come in the future.
Favorite or Dog? Over or Under? Black Uniforms or White Uniforms? Paper or Plastic?
The underdog Denver Broncos (+5½ close, at Pinnacle) covered ATS as did the Under (43½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), and both did so quite easily. If you had Denver +6 points, you covered the betting number by 20 points and if you had the Under at 44, you covered by 10 points. And neither bet was in doubt, nor was Denver on the Money Line as the Broncos—who won 24-10—led and were covering the Point Spread all the way and Denver won every Quarter (1Q: 10-0, 3Q: 3-0, 4Q: 8-3) but the 2nd (CAR 7-3). And “Home” team Denver, 0-4 lifetime in their Orange uniforms, and General Manager John Elway opted to go with the Broncos White jerseys and White was the only color they won their last Super Bowl in (1-1 heading in). So like in the Westerns, the 39-year-old gunslinging cowboy Manning and his Good Guy teammates wore White and Cam Newton and his “visiting“ teammates wore the Black and the rest is history. Denver will want to wear White in future Super Bowl appearances while Carolina (12/1 to win Super Bowl LI, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook) probably won’t care what color uniforms it has to wear just as long as it isn’t playing this Broncos Defense again. And Denver opted not to have the Orange on their bodies at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California during Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, but (heavy and sugary chalk) Orange Gatorade (+125, Bovada) was the color dumped on Denver first-year Head Coach Gary Kubiak after his team did away with the NFC champions to become the new NFL champions on Sunday. And they deserved it.
What Were Point Spread, Totals Closing Numbers and What Were Their Ranges?
After opening around (Panthers minus) 4—although momentary 3½’s were out there late two Sundays ago in the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook quick initial send out (before the opening line) and at a few other places like Treasure Island (aka TI) and Irish operator Paddy Power which -3½ (-110 both ways) for several hours—the Point Spread quickly, almost mechanically went to 4½ and then to 5 and then to 5½ in the majority of places with some even going to 6. And that was the first week. Then the second (past) week saw a buyback with Denver money, knocking all those 6’s, 5½’s and 5’s back down. At bigger sportsbooks on closing Sunday, the number went to 4½ (Pinnacle) and 5 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and even 5½ (SIA) and 6 (Bovada, kept at all 2 weeks). Treasure Island (here in Las Vegas) had the consistent lowest number to be found on the NFL Odds Screens, with a (Carolina minus) 3½ at Open and up 12½ hours from Jan. 24 to 25 (11:00 pm to 12:32 am) and no dangerous 7’s (or 3’s) were seen, and a 6½ at an Offshore place called AceSport (Ace Sportsbook) was seen early on.
And the big surge to of closing money came (predictably) on the Broncos—as well as the Under to a certain degree with it closing at 43½ in some places—on Sunday with Offshore operator 5Dimes moving its number from 5 to 4½ at 2:55 p.m. EST, The Greek (Jamaica) making the same move at 4:46 p.m. EST and Bookmaker doing the same thing (Panthers -5 down to -4½) at 3:42 p.m. EST while Pinnacle went from -5 (+100) to -4½ at 3:30 p.m. So, loads of late money was bet on Denver. They all (smartly) waited for the best number knowing the market was tilted heavily the Carolina-Square way, and they didn’t need even one of those points. As often happens in the Super Bowl, the team that wins usually covers the Point Spread.
Were the Sportsbooks Hurt?
The sportsbooks never seem to get hurt—they are protected by Math and our Stupidity and Greed—and the two-way action on the Super Bowl and fact the Broncos won in the Futures market were both very good things for the books. and the game going Under probably was also. Many sportsbooks knew before the game they would probably have trouble losing in this game with a Carolina and Over outcome the worst scenario. Even though there was a late influx of Denver money almost everywhere and that the biggest bets and bettors were rumored to be on stud LB Von Miller (25/1 to be Super Bowl MVP, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and the Broncos, the fact the line opened where it did and closed where it did is a good thing for the sportsbooks and had not all this late (Week 2 of betting) Denver money come in, sportsbooks here in Sin City, Offshore, in the UK and Online would be ending the season with a massive bang. When most of the really early action (up to 90% reportedly) in a big game is all on one side, quite often that’s the wrong side as many only remember what they see last, value Offense over Defense, bet with their Hearts (emotions) and/or like doing what everyone else is doing. Everyone who got on Carolina early and wagered it up those 2 points or so were on a road to nowhere. Including yours truly.
Did a Sharps vs. Squares Scenario Evolve Over the Two Weeks?
Yes. To a degree at least. There had to be a considerable amount of perceived Sharp money on the Point Spread and Money Line rides up the week after the NFL Conference Finals were played, but last week—right around the 6-point mark—there began to be a serious wave of buyback on the underdog Broncos (20/1 to win Super Bowl LI, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) from early in the week on all the way up until kickoff on Sunday afternoon. This Super Bowl 50 Point Spread market behaved like a true market with strong reaction by players at the opening numbers of low (3½ for a few) of (Carolina favored by) 4 and the high-end of the range at 6 (and 6½ in that rarest of aforementioned cases). The first week, Carolina players pounded the line and then the second week, it was all that Denver buyback movement. Online operator Bovada actually opened and kept its number at 6 all two weeks, but then again it always has some extreme funky line on the Super Bowl to draw attention and try to get new customers. Anyway, in the end, there really did seem to be a Sharp vs. Square scenario develop over the (busy) two weeks and we can see why the Sharps deserve their name again.
No Middles For You
Peyton Manning and the underdog Denver Broncos winning wiped out the chance for and Middles with theoretical Carolina 4-, 5- or maybe even 5-points Wins and even those who bet the AFC or NFC conferences to win the Super Bowl in the Point Spread markets even with all of the fluctuation this Regular Season with both conference actually being favored at one time, lost. It was simple: If you took the AFC + or - points and/or Denver, you won and are happy this morning. If you took the NFC and + or - points and/or Carolina, you lost and are sad this morning. If you tried to Middle this very, very Middle-able Super Bowl, you failed and the sportsbooks prevailed once again. And there are no more professional football games to try to Middle until August unless you are seriously into the CFL (Canadian Football League). It’s hard to Middle a game and a bettor usually needs many Outs and just popping in on the Super Bowl and Middling it, even with the 4, 5 and 6 out there is so random, but Wise if you’re working with numbers on the extreme ends (3½,4 and 5½, 6) of this small spectrum which has the rarest of rare advantages of having two weeks to be bet into and two weeks to be talked (and hyped) about. And, any attempt at a Middle of the Total on a possible 45-point game wasn’t even close with just 34 points being scored, and the game slogging along with football rolling all over the place all game long. Carolina wasn’t ready for Denver’s jelly and the Broncos eventually turned Newton’s perpetual Smile into a Frown and all his demonstrativeness wasn’t worth half as much as the Speed of the #1-ranked Broncos Defense.
Did This Historic Super Bowl End Up Breaking the Nevada State Record Handle?
It always takes the Nevada State Gaming Control Board a couple of hours to release the exact final gambling figures from the Super Bowl here in the Silver State, but everyone from members of the Board to legendary South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro to all the smart people of Sports Gambling radio and websites believe a new record will be set. The record legal handle for a Super Bowl—the American Gaming Association estimated last week that an estimated $4.2 billion would be bet on Sunday’s game illegally—set the year before (2014) when $119.4 million ($119,400,822) was wagered on Super Bowl XVIII (Seattle-Denver) here in Nevada. It’s hard not to see between $120 and $126 million being wagered on this particular game with the advent of In-Game wagering and Mobile Apps and the popularity of Props Bets, the growth and popularity of Sports Betting in general and the fact this was the first year in the Silver State where casino could offer up the Super Bowl MVP Props—and all those Cam Newton backers have losing tickets today and the sportsbooks directors are smiling and having another raspberry-jelly filled donut this morning. The action was heavy immediately after the Opening Line was released, and although there were a couple lulls over the two weeks, this Super Bowl 50 received the steadiest stream of money to date although the jury is still out if the big bettors really came in hard late this weekend and if a new record was indeed set. If it wasn’t, it has to be really close and more than last year’s near $116 million.
Nevada Sportsbook Super Bowl Bottom Line Results Last 10 Years
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$3,261,066 (2.8%)
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$19,673,960 (16.5%)
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$7,206,460 (7.3%)
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$5,2064,470 (5.4%)
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$724,176 (0.8%)
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$6,857,101 (8.3%)
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$6,678,044 (8.2%)
W/L: Sportsbooks lost +$2,573,103 (-2.8%)
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$12,930,175 (13.9%)
W/L: Sportsbooks won +$8,828,431 (9.3%)
Super Bowl 50 Odds and Ends
The Coin Toss ended up Tails and was won by Carolina who deferred to the 2nd Half ... Even though solid odds favorites and winners of 23-of-25 games, the Panthers were never leading nor ever covering on Sunday ... Denver was the only team to enter the NFL Playoffs with a negative (-4) TO Differential ... The Broncos had an estimated 4% of all Future Book tickets and around 7% of all Futures Book money, according to William Hill earlier this season ... Despite several long, dramatic pauses and drawn-out lyrics, the National Anthem as sung by the beautiful Lady Gaga lasted 2:09 and went Under the posted Total of 2 minutes and 20 seconds (Bovada) ... Denver had 3 Total Fumbles but just 1 Lost while Carolina had 4 Fumbles and Lost 3 of them ... The Panthers were #1 in Turnover Differential in the NFL (+20) ... Both teams had one Interception ... Manning (56.6 QBR) was sacked 5 times for 37 lost yards while Newton (55.4 QBR) was sacked 6 times for lost 64 yards ... There was a gaudy total of 15 punts for 682 yards in Sunday’s Super Bowl with just one Touchback ... Carolina still hasn’t won an NFL championship (0-2, 0-1 in Black and 0-1 in White uniforms) while Denver is now 3-5 in Super Bowls (0-4 in Orange, 1-0 in Dark Blue, 2-1 in White) ... the Underdog is now 8-2-1 ATS in the L11 Super Bowls...the AFC has W2 straight Super Bowls ... Denver is now 2-0 in Levi’s Stadium after recording a shutout Win over the San Francisco 49ers in the 2-year-old Santa Clara stadium’s debut game last Preseason ... There still has never been an Overtime in 50 Super Bowls ... There were 18 Penalties in this game which deserved to be called an ugly game and may have actually peaked with Lady Gaga’s memorable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner ... There were a approximately a zillion commercials ... Both starting QBs were SEC (Southeastern Conference) products with Manning attending the University of Tennessee and Heisman Trophy winner Newton attending the University of Auburn ... That was possibly 39-year-old QB legend and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning’s last game in the NFL. Let's look at the future NFL pick for next season.
SUPER BOWL LI FUTURES REPEAT VALUE PICK: Denver Broncos 20/1