Los Angeles, CA
Five days until the Super Bowl. The betting markets are currently tranquil. Smooth waters. This is is calm before the storm before the gambling winds pick up and the betting world gets torn to shreds during a betting hurricane Whichever way the wind blows, right? That's what Bob Dylan was talking about in his song... gauging the public's perception of the Big Game, their group-think betting behaviors, and how the wiseguys manipulate that intel to wrangle the best possible numbers before the masses overrun the sports books in the 48 hours leading up to kickoff.
Depending on where you think the market is going, now might be the time to lock in a number. Let's take a quick look at the opening numbers and the current numbers (as of Tuesday 4:20 PM PT)...
OPENING LINES - TOTALS:
Las Vegas Hilton: 49 (now 47.5)
Mirage: 50.5 (now 47.5)
Atlantis: 50 (now 48)
Pinnacle: 49 (now 47)
Bovada: 48 (now 47.5)
Local Bookie: 50 (now 48.5)
The early birds pushed the number down before most people woke up on Monday morning to see the spread in their daily newspaper. The first wave of money indicated the market had an appetite for the UNDER. We were able to lock up UNDER 49 on Sunday night.
The influx of public money is going to push the total back toward 49. The public generally waddles towards the over. It's the bovine part of the brain that is addicted to over-consumption. We want more and more and more and that mentality applies to wishful thinking about high scoring in the Super Bowl. Touchdowns and more touchdowns and more touchdowns. The public will bet the OVER because they have a short-term memory and cannot stop thinking about how Joey Flacco is hot hot hot and how Kaepernick tore Green Bay apart. If you like the OVER, better jump on it now at 47.5 before the bovine stampede. If you think it's going to be a low scoring game, you can wait until Saturday or even Sunday morning to grab a better number than the consensus 47.5
Las Vegas Hilton: SF -4.5 (now SF -3.5)
Mirage: SF -4.5 (now SF -3.5)
Atlantis: SF -5 (now SF -4)
Pinnacle: -SF 3.5 (now SF -3.5)
Bovada: SF -4 (now SF -4)
Local Bookie: SF -5 (now SF -5.5)
According to Sportsbookspy.com, 60% of the tickets written in Vegas were on Baltimore. Bottom line: a lot of smaller bets on Baltimore, yet bigger-sized bets on San Francisco.
We got SF -3.5 with some serious reduced juice at Heritage (only -101). In Vegas, it's pretty much -3.5 for now but ready to start heading back over to -4 and higher when the tourists start arriving on Thursday and Friday. Things will get a little crazy with tons of San Francisco money driving up the prices and flooding the books. Meanwhile, the contrarian wiseguys and other syndicates are waiting to pounce in at any moment and grab Baltimore getting as many points as they can. When will the line hit -5 in Vegas or offshore? The weekend warriors betting online at Bovada and Sportsbook.ag will probably be looking at -5 on Saturday's and maybe even high by Sunday morning. If you like Baltimore, you can probably wait until later in the week. If you like San Francisco, better grab it now at -3.5 before it goes higher.
The local markets in California are lopsided with San Francisco money. NoCal bookies have been laying off for over a week, but Niners' fans are taking -5.5 or -5 with lots of extra juice. The inflated lines have not discouraged locals from jumping on a bad number, which I assume might go even higher by kickoff. How could it not be -6 in the Bay Area by the time Sunday rolls around? They're hoping they can get some out of town money to help them out, otherwise a Niners' blowout could put a few local bookies out of business. Even in SoCal, the local bookies are offering -5 or if you're lucky you can find -4.5 with added juice. Those inflated numbers are still not deterring bandwagon action. This weekend it will get even crazier.
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Keep an eye on the lines over at PreGame.com's LIVE ODDS page which includes up to the minute updates at Las Vegas Hilton and several major offshore shops.
For some stellar writing about being a Niners' fan, check out Joe Speaker's Generations and read about his Magic Baby.
Also, to read a betting recap of the AFC and NFC Championships, check out San Francisco's Hook, Baltimore's Second Half Shutout, and Tom Brady's Donut.
Do you want to see what the point spread was for previous Super Bowls? Check out my previous post... Super Bowl History: Betting Lines and Results.