Super Bowl Betting: Identifying Early Sharp & Public Action

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 2:49 PM GMT

Betting for Super Bowl 50 between the NFC champion Carolina Panthers and the AFC champion Denver Broncos is underway, make your early sharp NFL picks with us!

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NFL Picks: Panthers -4½ , Over 45 & Panthers Money Line -210
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

No Surprise: Favorite Panthers, Over Getting Early Super Bowl 50 Action at Sportsbooks Worldwide
It looks very early on that sportsbooks in Las Vegas, Offshore and in Europe will all probably be pulling hard for the Denver Broncos and a low-scoring game on February 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California where those AFC champion Broncos and Peyton Manning will be dueling the NFC champion Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton (CBS, 6:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. PST) in Super Bowl 50 for all of the NFL’s marbles. as expected, the very early odds movement in the Point Spread and Total (Points) marketplaces have seen almost a steady stream of Panthers money as well as some Over action as it looks like both many Sharps are choosing to back Carolina as well as the General Public, which was to be expected with the Panthers the favorites, the last team to play on everyone’s TVs and looking so good in that 49-15 enema they administered on the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game to advance to the Super Bowl—two words so sacred some aren’t allowed to say them and a game so precious that residents in the largest US market where sports gambling is legal (Las Vegas) may not get the games on their TVs because the biggest Cable operator (Cox) is in dispute with the local CBS provider. Dios mio. Welcome to the jungle. Now climb a damn tree as there are many beasts on the jungle floor waiting to nibble at your noogies and with Coldplay and Beyoncé scheduled as the Halftime show, best keep a spare pair of those purple ear plugs on hand as well as a good Rain and Thunder soundtrack or something ‘cause I will certainly not be ready for that jelly, Monsieur. Especially if my 1st Half bets fly south for the Winter. And I shall be prepared to have to angrily get the game on the CBSSports.com stream and yell at the Computer all afternoon instead of the TV. And then curse the evil Suits and Ties afterwards. A time for everything. And truly Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas if man can go bet his paycheck on the Super Bowl but can’t watch it on his own TV because of Greed and Idiots. Let's jump on the trends before making our NFL pick:

Anyway, the couple of (Panthers minus) 3½’s -110 (vigorish) are gone from just six hours ago (Monday, 2 p.m. PST), and the lowest price one can find on a 3½ is at -116 at 888sport and Unibet. So realistically right now, the best you can do if you want to bet Carolina and lay the lumber is 4 and the best you can do if you want to take Denver and the points is 5½. But remember there has to be a bunch of Sharp money on the sidelines waiting to pounce on any 5½’s or 6’s that may evolve over the next 13 days, although the Sharps are possibly mixed on this game, possibly both on the Side as well as the Total. But as we talked about in the last assignment, this probably stays in a 4 to 6 range and slowly creeps to the high-end of that range at most sportsbooks over time. The next three days should be quiet, followed by some action, followed by another big lull next week, followed by like a homestretch odds sprint from Friday, February 5 to kick off on game-day, February 7.

The Panthers should close at 5-, 5½- or maybe even 6-point favorites when all is said and done and it’s hard to see more than 30% of the General Public backing, or wanting to back the Broncos here. The highest Point Spread right now (Monday night, 8 p.m. PST) is Carolina -5½ at Sportsbook.ag, CarbonSports Offshore and Coast Casinos here in Las Vegas, so, the movement has been real for about 24 hours since the lines went up during the 2nd Half of the NFC title tilt. Could we see a 6 by Wednesday or Thursday? Of course, If it’s at 5½ this early and the steam on the kettle is just starting to whistle... But could this number go to 7 with so much interest in sports betting and every Betty in Accounting likely to pop a $20 on The Big Game? (It’s OK Betty, I like to bet $20 amounts at times myself.) We will see, but the likely buyback at 5½, 6 and a potential 6½ would be so strong that 7 may be the number it won’t go to on the high end of the spectrum whereas 3 was the number on the low end unless there is like a billion dollars bet on Denver in the next 72 hours. (I’ll give you a minute to laugh.)

 

Total (Points) Marketplace Movement
The Total for this game is also creeping up like Jason did in Friday the 13th, with that earlier tight, 45- to 46-point range now 45 (5Dimes, The Greek) to 46½ (Coast Casinos), believe it or not. So, the genius that wants to (currently) try to Middle both the game Side (Panthers win by 5) and the Total (game falls on 46 points) can do so but he or she will need a Final Scoreline of Panthers 25½, Broncos 20½, so, good luck with that. This Total will probably continue to rise, with 47 maybe the next barrier to break and with the game played in probably what will be decent weather in the Bay Area and so much more Public money to come streaming in on the Over (guessing 70-80%), this Total could even climb to 48 (or maybe more) by gameday. Thirteen days is a lot of time and people love to bet on the Super Bowl and betting is more popular than ever so this one could theoretically be middled at 45 (if you got 44½), 46 and 47 if money keeps coming in on the Over. And expect those still on 45 to probably not be there at this time tomorrow (Tuesday). If you want a 46½ (to bet Under) it’s out there now and if you’re in the market for a 45 (to bet Over), it’s also out there right now but probably not for long. The Public will have an easier time betting the Over than the Sharps at these levels, and we may see some sharp money on the Over before (if) it gets to 46 everywhere. But at 46½—where it is at Coast Casinos here in Las Vegas tonight—and at 47, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be a bunch of Under buyback at those levels, although that money may be overshadowed by the sheer volume of Public money (and interest) in this one game. As always.

 

Money Line (Winner) Marketplace Movement
Six hours ago, Treasure Island here in Sin City offered the lowest Money Line price on the odds screens for Super Bowl 50 at (Panthers minus) -180 and now it’s up to -190, potentially a harbinger of more Cats money to come. Meow. Jimmy Vaccaro, living legend and oddsmaker over at the South Point said on the local Las Vegas radio on Monday afternoon he saw so much Carolina action he had (at that time) raised the Panthers Money Line to -200 (it’s now -210), where it currently is at many places around the globe. The lowest current (Monday evening) prices for the Panthers Money Line now are: The Greek (-180), BetBright (-187), Betfred (-187), Boylesports (-187), Totesport (-187), and that aforementioned Treasure Island (-190)—where Pirates make you walk the plank when you lose a 6-teamer by 1-team on the last bet—and Irish bookie Paddy Power (-190). And the highest Money Line prices on Carolina are at: Stan James (-225), Coral (-225), MGM Mirage (-220), Sportsbook.ag (-220), BetPhoenix (-220), DSI (-220), CarbonSports (-220) and TopBet (-220). The best takeback prices on those wanting the Broncos on the Money Line can be found at: Carbon Sports (+185), Sportsbook.ag (+185), (5Dimes +183), Heritage (+182) and the South Point (+180), where both Jimmy V. and Steak ‘n Shake reign supreme. By kickoff, it’s hard to imagine there will be any Money Line prices less than -200 still around in the marketplace.

 

Logical Conclusions: What Goes Up Doesn't Necessarily Come Down in Sports Betting
If these numbers have gone up steadily like this and the percentages we here betting on both sides are true, then we can expect more Carolina Panthers money maybe up to 6 and more Over money maybe up to 47½ or even 48. Lemmings like to follow lemmings and those who don’t know anything about sports betting and the NFL and want to get down on this game will likely be on the Favorite (Panthers) and the Over. And with 13 days left, there is plenty of Time to jump on the Bandwagon. It seems a 7 (Side) and a 49 or 50 (Total) would be way out of line for a game the Broncos would have probably been favored in at this time last year, but people like to do what other people do and be part of the in-crowd and if having to choose between Newton and the Panthers and 39-year-old rubber-armed Peyton Manning and the Broncos, the vast majority will take the team with the better overall Record (Carolina) with the better QB (Carolina) and the one which won by the most points in its Championship Game (Carolina). It’s sort of  like 4-minute, USA Today Box Score handicapping for those who want in, and maybe that simple, Squarer-than-Square approach will work for this Golden Super Bowl. It’s hard to imagine much Denver and Under money coming in from both the General Public and Sharps, who may have seen the prices they want evaporate over the past 28 hours. And again, the sportsbooks may really be hard for the Broncos by the time kickoff comes on February 7th. And if they get hammered, no one will cry.