We review the Super Bowl 50 odds market week by week & with eight teams still contending, let's take a look at what the sportsbooks are offering & where can we find the best betting value.
The Westgate Superbook here in Las Vegas opened their future book odds for the 2015 NFL season, back on January 18th last year – before the Pats beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
Of the eight teams still standing in the NFL Playoffs, four of them were among the favorites at the opener. Seattle opened 5/1 to win Super Bowl 50. The New England Patriots opened 6/1. Green Bay opened 7/1. And Denver opened 8/1.
The other four teams still standing in the postseason were all much longer shots when these NFL odds first came out. That being said, nary a one of them were true longshots – none of the 50/1, 100/1 or 500/1 type teams are still alive in the NFL Playoff race as we enter the Divisional Round weekend. Pittsburgh opened at 20/1 to win Super Bowl 50. Carolina, Arizona and Kansas City all opened at 30/1.
The current numbers tell a very different story; a story of competitive balance. There is no legitimate favorite to win Super Bowl 50. Arizona is currently priced at 3/1, the favorite at the Westgate, but that’s only because the Westgate is loaded with Cardinals futures $$ -- they don’t want any more liability on Arizona, and have dropped the return on investment to support them.
Pinnacle and BetCRIS both have New England as the favorite to win it all, both in the 3/1 range The Westgate’s odds are a good notch or two higher on the Pats, offering a 9/2 return. And more than one book has the the Panthers as the co-favorite right now, even though they are 4/1 at the Westgate to take the title.
This is a prime example of how much variance there is from one sportsbook to the next when it comes to futures as each book tries to limit their own liability. Line shoppers are rewarded on a daily basis in the NFL betting marketplace (ask anyone with Pittsburgh -1.5 last week or Cinci +2.5 or +3 for the most recent example), and the future book marketplace is no different in that regard.
Nobody has the #1 seed Broncos as the favorite to win it all, but they’re certainly not far behind the other favorites. Prices on Denver, both in Vegas and offshore are bouncing between 4/1 and 5/1 at most shops, with a 9/2 return-on-investment at the Westgate.
And Seattle, too, must be considered a co-favorite, despite their tough road ahead just to reach the big game. The Westgate Superbook is currently paying out 6/1 on the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl, although that number is on the high side compared to most books, who have Pete Carroll’s squad priced in the 5/1 range or even a notch or two lower.
That leaves three relative longshots, each of whom will have to win three straight road games just to reach the Super Bowl. Of course, all three of those teams notched the first of those three road wins last week.
Kansas City is a 10/1 shot to win the Super Bowl at the Westgate, with offshore prices ranging between 8/1 and 12/1. Pittsburgh is 14/1 at the Westgate, with extreme variance elsewhere – I’ve seen future book odds as low as 8/1 on Pittsburgh, and as high as 17/1. And Green Bay is the longest shot of them all still standing – those 7/1 odds from last January are now 18/1 at the Westgate, with most offshore numbers a good notch or two lower, ranging from 10/1 to 16/1.
Bettors should know that putting down a wager or two on the futures odds is the ‘lazy’ way of doing it, and it’s likely to cost you significant ROI compared to the ‘let it ride’ method. Instead of making one futures bet, savvy professionals are likely to make a series of moneyline bets on the team they’re looking to support.
Let’s say you like the Seahawks. Instead of betting Seattle at 6:1, bet Seattle on the moneyline (+120) at Carolina on Sunday. If they win, roll it over next week for the NFC Championship Game and catch another ‘plus price’ with the Seahawks as underdogs at Green Bay or Arizona next. If that wins, roll it over again into a moneyline wager on the Super Bowl.
You’ll end up with a far better return-on-investment than you would with a simple future book wager. You have the option to lock in a profit, pulling back some of your wager into your pocket without the added juice of a ‘hedge’ bet. And, you get the opportunity to shop for the best moneyline for your NFL picks each week, potentially improving your ROI even more.