Super Bowl Line Movement Keeps Attracting Sharp Action On Broncos

Jason Lake

Friday, January 29, 2016 2:17 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 2:17 PM UTC

If it's the Super Bowl, the sharps must be loading up on the underdogs with their football picks. The Denver Broncos are the dogs in this case, with the Carolina Panthers at –6.

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NFL Pick: Denver +6
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Of course we're recommending the Denver Broncos for your Super Bowl picks this year. This shouldn't surprise anyone who's been following this space. We've been going with the underdogs on the regular in these late-round playoff games, and the more the Super Bowl turns into a bloated public spectacle, the more reason we have to do it. Underdogs have won each of the last three games straight-up. They're 10-3 ATS since the end of the 2000 campaign. It's just the right NFL pick to make, and a tasty way to do it.

The sharps agree – although you have to parse our consensus reports very carefully to see the betting patterns. At press time, the Carolina Panthers are priced as high as –6, up from around –3.5 at the open. The public is doing its thing; 63 percent of bettors are on the Cats, supplying 83 percent of the action. Carolina's average bet size of $783 is nearly three times that of Denver's at $270. Wait: Big money is sharp money, right?

We Are the 1%
Can be. As we go to press, our surveys have the Panthers ahead 33-30 when it comes to $1,000+ wagers. If twice as many people overall are betting on Carolina, then a higher percentage of Denver bettors must be digging deep into their pockets. Okay, I'll do the math: 1.01 percent for the Broncos, 0.64 percent for the Panthers. High rollers, baby.

Just to make sure we're not reading too much into these numbers, we've sent our lovable street urchins out to gather some info, and they report the sharps have indeed been pounding the Broncos. You can see some of this for yourself by looking at the Lines History on our NFL odds; not every offshore book has had a smooth progression from Carolina –3.5 to Carolina –6. In the very early minutes after last Sunday's open, many locations had to take a step back from –4.5 to –4 after bringing in substantial amounts of Denver money. And at press time, several books have backed down from –6 to –5.5.

Strike While the Iron Is Hot
This betting pattern is consistent with the very early action on the Strip. The consensus line in Las Vegas was Panthers –4, which falls in line with the advanced stats at our usual nerd hangouts – more on that in a later article. That line moved up to –5 on Tuesday before dipping back down to –4.5, but it's been smooth sailing up to –5.5 ever since.

We're getting conflicting reports about the action at some of the big books in Vegas, but never mind. It's fairly obvious at this point that Denver is the sharp pick for Super Bowl 50. The bigger question is when to place that bet. Should it be now, or should it be closer to kick-off, hoping the public continues to pound the Cats? Based on what our urchins are telling us, Denver +6 might be as good as it gets, so we'll take it, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

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