Lessons Learned (16 Points?) And Reinforced (Don't Fade Belichick)

Monday, February 4, 2019 3:01 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 3:01 PM UTC

Sports betting is predictably unpredictable, as proven in the low-scoring 13-3 Patriots win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Here are some things to remember as we look back ... and ahead.

Final Score Follies

Oddsmakers opened the Super Bowl LIII total at 58.5 points, the highest in title game history. Sharps helped move the number to 56 across the majority of online sportsbooks by kickoff, but few predicted the stark amount of points ultimately put up. The Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Rams proved the lowest final score in awarding the Lombardi Trophy ever.

Two of the NFL’s top four scoring offenses hit a roadblock in a very forgettable and random Super Bowl. If there is one thing to remember from the game is that sports betting is fickle, folks. The consensus odds for total points scored in Super Bowl LIII between 15-20 points was 100-to-1 (+10000). Projecting the precise outcome was even more far-fetched. Using a normalized, betting market data model, NFL stats analyst Michael Lopez simulated the game 100,000 times. The correct final score came up a scarce 19 times. The result was an absolute anomaly.

Books Win Again!

The paperwork will take a while to tally, but some books are believed to have taken in a record handle for the game. Reports across the industry are also suggesting sportsbooks came out ahead for the 27th time in the last 29 years. Low-scoring NFL games often provide a profit with the public typically “over” chasers. William Hill, for example, took 84 percent of the total tickets backing the “over.” Bookmakers report Sunday night’s results as “solid” and “good, but not great.”

Some books took a small hit on the overreaching props market, particularly on public plays. Such wagers include no touchdown in the first half (+10000), WR Julian Edelman MVP (+3000), No touchdown by a Rams player (+5000), TE Rob Gronkowski O53.5 receiving yards (-120), and more. Nearly three-quarters of ticket action and money backed the first-half under (-110) as well, with bettors keying in on the Patriots historically slow Super Bowl starts.

Super Bowl LIV Futures

“I got out-coached,” Rams head coach Sean McVay lamented after game. “I didn’t do nearly good enough for our football team.” The offensive genius, who led the Rams to 583 points through 18 games this season, was outsmarted by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick throughout. The young leader isn’t the first, nor will be the last dominated by the veteran coach. McVay believed the game "will serve as a great opportunity for us to learn from.” Bettors learned as well: never count the Patriots out until Belichick and QB Tom Brady are retired.

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Odds to Win Super Bowl LIV 2020 via @betonline_ag#Chiefs 7/1#Rams 8/1#Saints 8/1#Bears 10/1#Patriots 10/1#Chargers 14/1#Packers 16/1#Vikings 18/1#Eagles 18/1#Steelers 18/1#Colts 20/1#Cowboys 22/1#Browns 25/1#Texans 25/1

— SportsLine (@SportsLine) January 18, 2019
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Super Bowl LIV futures are up across a handful of across a handful of betting outlets with the Chiefs, Rams, and Patriots favorites depending on the shop. The NFC champion Rams are the consensus favorites at +750 odds with Kansas City and New England +800 in the second spot. The Chiefs are +600 chalk at SuperBook Vegas, while the Pats are +700 and +600 to repeat at BetOnline and William Hill. The Saints round out the fourth option at most shops.

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