It’s Super Bowl week and that means the media frenzy surrounding the penultimate game of the NFL season has begun. We’ve already had a slew of coverage on the fact that Cam Newton wore gold zebra Versace trousers that cost in the neighborhood of $900. There are plenty of other storylines that are sure to unfold this week as we build up to Super Bowl 50 on Sunday. Let’s get things started by taking a look at what we’ve seen so far.
Early Betting Lopsided in Favor of Carolina: The early betting, from when the participants were decided and the initial line was set, has been ridiculously lopsided. Carolina originally opened as a 3.5 point favorite but the money has poured in on the Panthers. Some of that is based on Carolina’s 15-1 regular season. Some is based on the fact that they led Seattle 31-0 before holding on and then obliterated Arizona in the NFC Championship Game. It’s safe to say that a fair number of people weren’t overly thrilled with Denver’s methodical victories over Pittsburgh and New England.
As of 7 pm on Monday, the line has jumped to Carolina being favored by 5.5 points. According to William Hill US Sportsbook, 93 percent of the money wagered against the spread so far has come in on the Panthers. In addition, 81 percent of the tickets have had Carolina listed on them. The money line, which was originally set at Carolina 8/13 and Denver 29/20, has jumped to Carolina sitting at 21/50 while Denver has settled at 2/1. On tickets based on the money line, 72 percent of the tickets are backing Denver, hoping for an upset and a quick payday, but only seven percent of the money being wagered is going the Broncos’ way.
A bettor placed a $623,142.25 wager on Panthers Money Line (-190) today @WilliamHillUS book in Vegas. Would win $327,969.60 if Carolina wins
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 26, 2016
The over/under for the contest, which was originally set at 44.5 points, has seen a slight bump up as well. At this point in time, the number has shifted to 45.5 points. When William Hill released their information Monday night, 74 percent of the tickets and 74 percent of the money being wagered on the over/under has projected the game to exceed the 45.5 point total.
There are some interesting factoids about the massive disparity of money being wagered between the two teams. The betting between the teams in the Super Bowl hasn’t been this one-sided, at least in the past dozen years. Dating back to the 2004 playoffs, no team has ever received less than 21 percent of the money wagered against the spread. Denver only received 29 percent of the spread bets in their AFC Championship win over New England, where they were a 2.5 point underdog. It’s interesting to note that the only six postseason teams that failed to generate even 30 percent of the money wagered against the spread were all home teams that were underdogs in the playoffs.
As far as teams garnering their share of the pie as far as money wagered against the spread in the Super Bowl go, there’s another trend that Denver has quickly seemed to be obliterating. In the dozen Super Bowls covering from Super Bowl XXXVIII through Super Bowl XLIX, only two teams failed to draw at least 44 percent of the money wagered against the spread. Those both came in the last two Super Bowls with Seattle: they drew 32 percent of the money in Super Bowl XLVIII and 36 percent in Super Bowl XLIX. We’re staring at Denver completely obliterating that number at this point in time.
Could the Broncos really make the sportsbooks’ day and pull off the upset win that would create a massive windfall and break the hearts of people that wagered on the Panthers? It will be an uphill battle where Denver will have to rely on their defense and hope for a vintage Peyton Manning performance. Still, the fact that Manning and his teammates are here right now, not sitting at home like Tom Brady and the Patriots, means anyone has a chance. It won’t be easy but to be fair, Denver was a dark horse candidate to even make it to this point. No one should write the Broncos off quite yet, especially on the biggest stage of them all.
We’ll have more about Super Bowl 50 as the week wears on, so make sure to check back and get all the relevant information! Our Super Bowl betting tips will be posted tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled!
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