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College Basketball Betting Free Play: Vanderbilt Commodores at Texas A&M Aggies

01.31.2015     08:53 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Andrew Lange

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Vanderbilt at Texas A&M -5 O/U 127.5 
Recommendation: Texas A&M


Despite winning five straight and covering four of five, there appears to still be a bit of value on Texas A&M as it plays host to Vanderbilt this afternoon. The Aggies are a veteran squad that is on the upswing after a not-so-impressive showing during non-conference play. Wins at LSU and Tennessee really grabbed my attention and last time out, they completely controlled the game in a 10-point win at Auburn. “I knew we were mentally prepared as a team because our approach was different,” said junior guard Danuel House. “Every player was locked in and was in tune to the game and there wasn’t a lot of chatter. We got a taste of winning and we like the taste of success. The scary thing is we worked so hard to get here, let’s not get too complacent and just let it slip from under our feet. Winning on the road just boosts the crowd for when you get home.” Vanderbilt is a very young team and has competed well in most of its SEC games. But you can see the tough losses (six straight) and mid-season fatigue are starting to wear on this squad. You try to find advantages that the Commodores may have and the only one I see -- something A&M is well aware of -- is their ability to shot from the outside. A&M should control the glass and does a good job at not settling for low percentage shots. They'll be able to get into the teeth of the Vandy defense and get plenty of easy looks. A focused effort from the home side cashes the respectable price tag.

Tags: College Basketball Vanderbilt Commodore Texas A&M Aggies SEC Andrew Lange



Nevada sportsbooks crushed in 2014

01.30.2015     01:56 PM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Nevada sports books enjoyed their biggest year ever thanks to an all-time high of betting volumue.


"[Sports] betting volumes have set records in five consecutive years and win totals have set records in two consecutive years." Lawton said. "This year without a doubt, sports betting was the growth story."



Tags: Las Vegas



College Basketball Betting Free Play: Oregon State Beavers at Arizona Wildcats

01.30.2015     11:41 AM     ICC     Printer Friendly

Submitted by ICC

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Oregon State at Arizona -18 O/U 120 
Recommendation: Arizona


There are absolutely no bargains to support the absolute best teams in college basketball at this stage of the season so when I consider putting my money on an elite team like the Arizona Wildcats, I want to make sure it is in a spot where we can expect a ‘pedal to the metal, max intensity’ effort. I expect we will get one from Arizona tonight in revenge mode as they face Oregon State -- the only team to have beaten them in PAC-12 conference play. The Wildcats have played phenomenal defensively on this court against PAC-12 foes holding the quartet of Arizona State, Colorado, Utah and Oregon to 49, 54, 51 and 56 points and 39% shooting. Although their defense gets much of the accolades, Arizona can score as well and they are ranked 7th in the nation shooting 49.8% from the field this season. Arizona scored just 56 points and shot 38% in the 56-54 loss to Oregon State earlier this month but I trust Wildcats head coach Sean Miller and his team to make adjustments on the offensive end of the court. Oregon State has lost three of four games on the road in PAC-12 play. The lone PAC-12 road win came against Washington State -- the same Cougars squad which lost at home to struggling Cal last night and all three road losses in PAC-12 play for Oregon State have come by double-digits. The home favorite rolls in this one.  


Tags: College Basketball Oregon State Beavers Arizona Wildcats PAC-12 Ian Cameron



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling Podcast with Sportsmemo Handicappers Teddy Covers and Ein Rynning

01.30.2015     11:33 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Friday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicappers Teddy Covers and Erin Rynning. Both guests offered their thoughts and opinions on Super Bowl XLIX.

Today's segments 
Full Show

Teddy Covers - Super Bowl XLIX

Erin Rynning - Super Bowl XLIX and NBA

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: NFL NBA Super Bowl XLIX Teddy Covers Erin Rynning



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling: More animals making picks

01.30.2015     08:07 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
With Princess the handicapping camel currently on the shelf (she died) we turn to another member of the animal kingdom for our Super Bowl lock.  Salty, the 1,500-pound saltwater crocodile, is reportedly L-A-R-G-E on the Seattle Seahawks. Get down before the line moves, bettors.

Tags: NFL Super Bowl XLIX



NBA Handicapping: Chicago Bulls' defensive struggles return

01.30.2015     07:56 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Not a week removed from experiencing a short termed defensive renaissance, the Chicago Bulls' struggles have returned. Last night, they allowed 47% shooting and 18 offensive rebounds in a 123-118 OT loss to the Lakers. Tough spot tonight as Chicago travels to Phoenix in a back-to-back spot. The Suns have won 15 of 21 and rank 7th in the NBA in offensive efficiency. 


"We're not guarding anybody right now," Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler said. "That's what you think when you think Chicago -- is how great we are on defense. We haven't been that team, maybe three, four, five, six times this year tops. We can score the ball, so sometimes we outscore teams, but we haven't been playing any defense lately."



Tags: NBA Chicago Bulls Phoenix Suns



Nevada's Black Book adds another name

01.30.2015     07:24 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
The Nevada Gaming Commission recently added another name to its famed Black Book running the total up to 33. According to the rules, the only way to have one's name removed from said book is death. 

Tags: Las Vegas



Sportsmemo Handicapper Teddy Covers talks Super Bowl XLIX

01.30.2015     07:09 AM     Printer Friendly

Sportsmemo handicapper Teddy Covers on the PBS News Hour taking Super Bowl XLIX.

Tags: NFL Super Bowl XLIX Teddy Covers



Sports betting ring taken down in New York

01.29.2015     02:05 PM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Geesh. We're still four days away from Super Bowl XLIX and they're already taking down gambling rings. Notice these things rarely take place during the summer, when 92% of the betting community has already quit on baseball and is gearing up for football.


The indictments “send a clear signal that when it comes to illegal gambling in Queens County, all bets are off,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.



Tags: NFL Super Bowl XLIX Teddy Covers



Sports Betting Podcast 1-29-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicappers Ian Cameron and Erin Rynning

01.29.2015     12:38 PM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Thursday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicappers Ian Cameron and Erin Rynning. Ian and host Andrew Lange broke down tonight's college basketball TV games while ER talked NBA.

Today's segments 
Full Show

Ian Cameron - College Basketball

Erin Rynning - NBA Every Game on the Board

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: College Basketball NBA Ian Cameron Erin Rynning



College Basketball Betting Free Play: Colorado Buffaloes at USC Trojans

01.29.2015     10:32 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Colorado at USC +2.5 O/U 132.5 
Recommendation: USC


Colorado’s strong start and lofty preseason expectations (this team was picked to finish as high as third in the PAC-12 in the preseason polls) have fallen by the wayside with a barrage of injuries and attrition over the last few weeks.  Even after a confidence boosting blowout over Washington State last weekend, the Buffaloes have still lost six of their last nine ballgames.  Even more importantly for the purposes of this matchup, Tad Boyle’s squad is 0-fer the season on the highway, losing all six of their previous road games.  That includes losses as road favorites at Hawaii and at Wyoming in non-conference play. 
  
Buffs third leading scorer Xavier Johnson is a big question mark tonight, suffering from a sprained ankle and some off court issues.  Second leading scorer, leading rebounder and leading shot blocker Josh Scott has been suffering from back spasms, downgraded to ‘out’ for tonight’s contest.  The loss of that experienced duo has an enormous impact (particularly on the highway) for a team that lacks quality depth without them. 
  
This quote from head coach Tad Boyle isn’t exactly brimming with confidence when it comes to their short term success.  “The injury situation that we're dealing with is a negative thing in the short run. But in the long run it can be positive because hopefully Jaron (Hopkins) and others will be more confident when Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson come back." 
  
The Trojans are clearly getting better; coming off tight, spread covering losses at Oregon and Oregon State last week on the heels of a two point loss to Stanford the previous week  Head coach Andy Enfield has been urging his team to push the pace, which is not standard operating procedure in the PAC-12 these days; a fairly unique style of play.   USC played one of their worst games of the season in Boulder three weeks ago, but I’m expecting the rematch to be far more competitive! 

Tags: College Basketball Colorado Buffaloes USC Trojans PAC-12 Teddy Covers



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling: Prop bets offer lots of opportunities

01.29.2015     08:48 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Betting Super Bowl props can be one of the most profitable times of year for bettors. With so many options, sportsbooks have varying liability and we see a lot more "opinion" from one shop to the next. Take this simple Marshawn Lynch Total Rushing Yards prop. We spent all of 10 minutes checking out where a few different shops stood with Lynch's yardage. Here is what we found.

Sportsbook A - O/U 92.5ov-140 
Sportsbook B - O/U 82.5ov-143 
Sportsbook C - O/U 83.5ov-140 
Sportsbook D - O/U 83.5ov-150 
Sportsbook E - O/U 82.5ov-160 
Sportsbook F - O/U 85.5ov-118


Crazy, huh? Sportsbook A is obviously in a position where it needs/wants action on the under. The same can be said to a lesser degree for Sportsbook F. And remember, this is a very popular and straightforward prop, meaning, for those willing to do a bit of digging, there are a ton of great betting options where the savvy bettor can almost guarantee at worst a small profit.

Tags: NFL Super Bowl XLIX



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling: Betting public loads up on safety prop

01.29.2015     08:03 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Two of the most popular Super Bowl prop bets from the betting public have been "yes" on will there be a safety or overtime. Amazingly, the last three Super Bowls have featured a safety -- each time a big kick in the nuts to sportsbooks. According to Las Vegas' MGM, 70 of the first 71 bets on the safety prop were on "yes."


"This is a sign that people will bet anything," Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports operations at the SuperBook, said with a laugh. "We've got one ticket on Seattle scoring exactly four points at 9,999-to-1."



Tags: NFL Super Bowl XLIX



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling: Las Vegas sportsbooks promote "Big Game" parties

01.28.2015     11:34 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Add the NFL to the list of things that suck. The other day we linked to a list of all of the Las Vegas sportsbooks hosting Super Bowl parties. There's one common theme: the sportsbooks aren't allowed to promote their party using the term "Super Bowl." Geesh. "Big Game" seems to be the most commonly used alternative. The NFL dropped the hammer on this over a decade ago but still feels the need to pop it's head in every year for a passive aggressive reminder to never mess with the machine.

Tags: NFL Las Vegas Super Bowl XLIX



Virginia apparently not messing when it comes to illegal poker

01.28.2015     11:20 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Man, Virginia sucks. Check out this story about a high stakes poker game raided by a guns blazing SWAT team. Because there were parties taking a cut from the buy-ins, local police deemed it a "criminal enterprise." Coupled with Virginia's harsh penalties on speeders, it doesn't sound like a very friendly place to live.


“They were all yelling, ‘Does anybody have a weapon?’ and ‘please don’t move’” at the seated players, the player said. “One pointed his assault rifle at me and said, ‘Hands up.’ And I can’t believe this is happening.”

There were no guns at the table, and no resistance, the player said. “They could’ve sent a retired detective with a clipboard and gotten the same result,” he added.



Tags: NFL Las Vegas Super Bowl XLIX



College Basketball Betting Free Play: Elon Phoenix at UNC-Wilmington Seahawks

01.28.2015     08:57 AM     Rob Veno     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Rob Veno

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Elon at UNC-Wilmington 
Recommendation: UNC-Wilmington


Very quietly, UNC-Wilmington has crept up on the Colonial Athletic Association field and planted themselves as a legitimate contender for the league crown. Road wins over conference upper echelon foes Northeastern and Hofstra combined with a near miss at William & Mary indicate UNCW may even be the best team in the CAA. The conference schedule played by Elon through eight games is a stark contrast as they’re opponents’ strength number are the league’s worst. Elon has not played a top four CAA team away from home yet and among their three road games are losses to 5-14 Drexel and 9-12 Towson. Tonight’s game figures to be one of quicker pace as these are the CAA’s top two offensive tempo teams (Elon #19 in the nation). Interesting to note that UNC-Wilmington owns slight statistical edges over Elon in numerous categories despite having played a much tougher conference schedule. The Seahawks upper-class trio of 6’4” seniors Freddie Jackson and Addison Spruill plus 6’1” junior PG Craig Ponder all average double digits in scoring while combining for nearly 16 rebounds per game. Elon meanwhile is led by 6’4” 225 lb. freshman PG Elijah Bryant who has taken over the team reins since star PG Luke Eddy went down with a season ending knee injury 11 games ago. Bryant’s dominance of the offense is exhibited by the fact that he is #1 in the nation in Ken Pomeroy’s % of Possessions Used statistic (40.2%) and #4 in % of shots taken (37.4%). Given the choice, I’ll side with the complimentary experienced home trio over the talented novice on the road. Power Ratings show this game at UNCW at -7.5 which expresses some value for the host and there are enough other fundamental reasons to back them tonight at this price.

Tags: College Basketball Elon Phoenix UNC-Wilmington Seahawks Rob Veno



College Basketball Gambling: Contrasting styles highlight Indiana vs. Purdue

01.28.2015     07:43 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Very intriguing handicap with Indiana's up-tempo, small ball attack headed to West Lafayette to take on recently defensive-minded Purdue. The Hoosiers are essentially play five perimeter players while the Boilermakers have the ability to put two 7-footers on the floor. Purdue has seen some play in the betting markets; up to as high as -4 after opening -2.5.


"This is probably the biggest extreme we will have, and the biggest extreme they will have in Big Ten play," Purdue's Painter said. "I think we'll both have to adjust."

"They don't have a lot of size, but with that being said, they're very quick to the ball," Painter said. "A lot of times that's more important than size — being quick to the basketball at both ends and being able to break you down. Their ability to break you down off the dribble just causes so many problems.



Tags: College Basketball Indiana Hoosiers Purdue Boilermakers



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling: New England Patriots remain hottest bet in Las Vegas

01.28.2015     06:59 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
It's been well documented that the early money for Super Bowl XLXI has come in on the New England Patriots. But exactly how much you ask? According to Las Vegas' Westgate, the ratio is a startling 3.5-to-1. That said, less than 20% of projected handle is currently in play.


"It hasn't slowed people down as far as liking the Patriots -- they don't care," head oddsmaker Ed Salmons said. "That outside noise, trying to predict how it's going to affect a team, is impossible. Unless you're inside that locker room, you don't know."



Tags: NFL New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX Las Vegas



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling: Patriots likes to go off as less than field goal favorites

01.28.2015     06:47 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Oddsmakers aren't projecting enough money to push the New England Patriots to a 3-point favorite for Super Bowl XLIX. We've seen as high as -1.5 but nearly all of Las Vegas is currently offering -1 while pick 'em remains the most common offshore price.

Tags: NFL New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling: The history of the Will There Be Three Straight Scores prop bet

01.27.2015     02:02 PM     Printer Friendly

One of many prop bets that always draws interest from bettors is Will There Be Three Straight Scores? We went back on got the results of every Super Bowl and found that three straight scores occurred 34 times (70.8%). There was a 22-year stretch where it occurred 20 times. It has also hit five out of the last six years. Most sportsbooks offer anywhere from -180 to -200 on the "yes" and +150 to +160 on the "no."

 
Super Bowl Betting Results - Three Straight Scores? 1967-2014
Year
Winner
Loser
Three Straight Scores?
2014
Seattle (+2) 48
Denver 6
Yes
2013
Baltimore (+4) 34
San Francisco 31
Yes
2012
NY Giants (+3) 21
New England 17
Yes
2011
Green Bay (-3) 31
Pittsburgh 25
No
2010
New Orleans (+4.5) 31
Indianapolis 17
Yes
2009
Pittsburgh 27
Arizona (+6.5) 23
Yes
2008
NY Giants (+12.5) 17
New England 14
No
2007
Indianapolis (-7) 29
Chicago 17
Yes
2006
Pittsburgh (-4) 21
Seattle 10
No
2005
New England 24
Philadelphia (+7) 21
No
2004
New England 32
Carolina (+7) 29
No
2003
Tampa Bay (+4) 48
Oakland 21
Yes
2002
New England (+14) 20
St. Louis 17
Yes
2001
Baltimore (-3) 34
NY Giants 7
Yes
2000
St. Louis (-7) 23
Tennessee 16
Yes
1999
Denver (-7.5) 34
Atlanta 19
Yes
1998
Denver (+11) 31
Green Bay 24
Yes
1997
Green Bay (-14) 35
New England 21
Yes
1996
Dallas 27
Pittsburgh (+13.5) 17
Yes
1995
San Francisco (-18) 49
San Diego 26
No
1994
Dallas (-10.5) 30
Buffalo 13
Yes
1993
Dallas (-6.5) 52
Buffalo 17
Yes
1992
Washington (-7) 37
Buffalo 24
Yes
1991
NY Giants (+7) 20
Buffalo 19
Yes
1990
San Francisco (-12) 55
Denver 10
Yes
1989
San Francisco 20
Cincinnati (+7) 16
No
1988
Washington (+3) 42
Denver 10
Yes
1987
NY Giants (-9.5) 39
Denver 20
Yes
1986
Chicago (-10) 46
New England 10
Yes
1985
San Francisco (-3.5) 38
Miami 16
Yes
1984
LA Raiders (+3) 38
Washington 9
Yes
1983
Washington (+3) 27
Miami 17
Yes
1982
San Francisco (PK) 26
Cincinnati 21
Yes
1981
Oakland (+3) 27
Philadelphia 10
No
1980
Pittsburgh (-10.5) 31
Los Angeles 19
No
1979
Pittsburgh (-3.5) 35
Dallas 31
No
1978
Dallas (-6) 27
Denver 10
Yes
1977
Oakland (-4) 32
Minnesota 14
Yes
1976
Pittsburgh 21
Dallas (+7) 17
Yes
1975
Pittsburgh (-3) 16
Minnesota 6
No
1974
Miami (-6.5) 24
Minnesota 7
Yes
1973
Miami (+1.5) 14
Washington 7
No
1972
Dallas (-6) 24
Miami 3
No
1971
Baltimore (+2.5) 16
Dallas 13
No
1970
Kansas City (+12) 23
Minnesota 7
Yes
1969
NY Jets (+18) 16
Baltimore 7
Yes
1968
Green Bay (-13.5) 33
Oakland 14
Yes
1967
Green Bay (-14) 35
Kansas City 10
Yes


Tags: NFL Super Bowl XLIX



Super Bowl XLIX Gambling: Offshore still rules the roost when it comes to prop bets

01.27.2015     01:47 PM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
If you're looking to bet some of the crazy props associated with the Super Bowl, you'll have to do so offshore. Las Vegas is still limited in what they can allow; basically anything not associated with the box score is a no-no with the exception of the coin flip. Meanwhile, most offshore/offscreen sportsbooks offers the likes of Bill Belichick's hoodie color as well as the Nielsen TV Rating.

Tags: NFL Super Bowl XLIX Las Vegas



College Basketball Gambling: Bettors remain confident Florida will turn things around

01.27.2015     06:15 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
After opening SEC play 3-0, the Florida Gators have dropped three straight heading into tonight's game at Alabama. Head coach Billy Donovan isn't panicking but it's very clear this is a flawed club. Don't tell that to the betting markets however as the Gators continue to see heavy support.

at Georgia 
CRIS Opener: Florida pk 
CRIS Current: Florida -2

vs. LSU 
CRIS Opener: Florida -10 
CRIS Closer: Florida -11

at Ole Miss 
CRIS Opener: Florida +3.5 
CRIS Closer: Florida -1 (-115)

at Alabama 
CRIS Opener: Florida +2 
CRIS Current: Florida -1

Tags: College Basketball Florida Gators Alabama Crimson Tide SEC



College Basketball Betting Podcast 1-27-2015 with Sportsmemo Handicapper Rob Veno

01.27.2015     10:02 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Tuesday's Sportsmemo Podcast featured Sportsmemo Handicapper Rob Veno. Rob and host Andrew Lange broke down tonight's college basketball card.

Today's segments 
Rob Veno - College Basketball

To listen to past shows, be sure to visit our Sportsmemo Podcast Homepage.

ITunes users can subscribe to the show by searching "Sportsmemo" in the podcast directory.

Tags: College Basketball Rob Veno Andrew Lange



College Basketball Betting Free Play: Pittsburgh Panthers at Virginia Tech Hokies

01.27.2015     06:57 AM     Andrew Lange     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Andrew Lange

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech +4.5 
Recommendation: Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech has endured a brutal scheduling stretch with Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Virginia over the span of the last two weeks. They were handled rather easily in three of the four but showed some fight last time out with a three-point home loss to rival Virginia. Tonight, Pitt comes to town, and it marks a huge step down in class. The Panthers are still living on reputation because the product on the floor is very flawed. Long noted for being a top-tier defense, Pitt currently ranks 15th in the ACC in defensive efficiency vs. league foes. They also struggle to shoot from the outside (26.7% 3-point) and will almost assuredly see some form of zone from the Hokies. Nearly half of VT's games have been decided by three points or less meaning they are capable of competing but because of their youth have had a difficult time getting over the hump. This marks the best opportunity for an ACC win to-date and the bonus is we're catching +4.5. Take the home underdog.

 


Tags: College Basketball Pittsburgh Panthers Virginia Tech Hokies ACC Andrew Lange



Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wiseguy Report: Bettors ready for Super Bowl XLIX

01.26.2015     10:49 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
It’s Super Bowl time again.  I use this line every year because it’s true – this IS the moral equivalent of Christmas Day for many sports bettors.  Yet, much like last year, many of the professional full time bettors that I know are rather disappointed with the proposition betting opportunities for Super Bowl XLIX – there’s simply not much low hanging fruit.  The biggest and best sportsbooks (market leaders both here in Vegas and offshore) have learned from previous mistakes.  Weak numbers do NOT abound in 2015.

Let me start with the game itself.  The Super Bowl itself has been an underdog bettor’s paradise in recent years.   The Seahawks were underdogs at kickoff last year in their blowout win over the Broncos. The Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2013, as the underdog, beating the favored 49ers.  The Giants won the year before as an underdog; knocking off the Patriots.  In 2010, the Saints won straight up as a dog over Peyton Manning and the Colts.  In 2009, the Cardinals covered the spread in a tight loss to the Steelers.  In 2008, the Gia nts beat the favored 18-0 Patriots outright.  The only favorite to win and cover in the last seven Super Bowls was the Packers when they beat the Steelers in 2011.

The underdog trend in the Super Bowl goes back even further than that, with four consecutive dog covers from 2002 through 2005 (the Patriots beating the Rams in ’02, the Bucs destroying the Raiders in ’03 and spread covering losses from the Panthers and Eagles against the Patriots in ’04 and ’05).  Laying points with the favorite in this game has resulted in a 3-10 ATS mark in the last 13 Super Bowls.

In general, the VERY early money has been worth following in recent Super Bowls, although that was not the case last year.  Here’s the opening line from my Pre-Super Bowl Wiseguy Report from two years ago: “It’s no secret where the early money has come on the Super Bowl.  At the opening number, San Francisco was as high as a 5.5 point favorite offshore, with mostly -5’s here in Las Vegas.  But we’ve seen steady Baltimore money pour in since that time, driving the line down to the -3.5 or -4 range at every sportsbook in town.”  Obviously, that Ravens money came in on what turned out to be a ‘no sweat’ right side.

The very first bets being ‘spot-on’ is not unique to the 49ers-Ravens Super Bowl.  Three years ago, the underdog Giants took money off the opener, and then proceeded to knock off New England.  Four years ago, the Packers got bet heavily off the opener; then proceeded to become the only favorite to win and cover in the last seven years.  So last year, when the betting markets took Denver money hand-over-fist when the lines opened, it was the exception, rather than the rule.

Here’s exactly what happened when the Super Bowl lines were posted this year.   Several key books, both here in Las Vegas and offshore, had betting lines available during the two Conference Championship games.  After Seattle escaped with their win over Green Bay, the prevailing pointspread had the NFC favored by three points over the AFC, although there were a handful of -2.5’s available.

As New England pulled away from Indianapolis in the second half of the AFC Championship Game, the sharp money started pouring in on the Patriots.  In a matter of about twenty minutes of real time – as the Pats were going up 31-7, then 38-7 over Indy – the Super Bowl line dropped like a rock.  The +3’s got taken out in an instant and the Patriots money didn’t stop flowing until New England was a one point favorite here in Las Vegas, with pick ‘em’s as the prevailing number at many of the bigger offshore books. 

I’ve written about this subject before, but it’s worth discussing briefly again here – the concept of the ‘opening number.’  Sportsbetting has evolved fairly dramatically from the days when legendary Vegas oddsmaker Bob Martin hung the opening lines for the world; an era that ended about 30 years ago.  For a time, the Stardust Race and Sportsbook became the ‘line originators’, but that era, too, has come and gone.

For the better part of the last decade, the global markets are setting the line far more than any individual sportsbook or oddsmaker.  I’ve been using the 9 AM Monday morning ‘consensus’ line as my ‘opener’.   That’s why I wouldn’t argue if anyone called the opener for Super Bowl XLIX a pick ‘em even though that is technically not correct. 

Remember, those opening numbers on Sunday Night are designed to ‘whip the line into shape’ for the influx of money that comes in over the two full weeks of Super Bowl betting action.  Yes, the books took some limit bets on the Patriots as underdogs, but that liability is dwarfed by the liability they would have if their number remained vulnerable leading up to the big game.  The vast majority of the action that the books will write for this game comes in the final 48 hours before kickoff.  In this instance, by the time this line was widely available for bettors around the globe, Seattle was clearly no longer the favorite.

The Super Bowl total opened between 48.5 and 49.5 both here in Vegas and offshore, right in the same range as the Seahawks – Broncos total last year.  The early money has trickled in on the Under, with most books at 48 or 47.5 as Super Bowl week begins.

Of course, the pointspread itself is just one piece of the betting equation for the biggest NFL game of the year.  The other major piece of the equation is the plethora of proposition (“prop”) bets.   As Jay Kornegay opened his ‘market leading’ prop numbers at the Westgate Superbook at 7 PM last Thursday Night, there was a line at the prop betting window for hours.  Over the course of the evening, hundreds of bettors came in to take their shot at the virgin numbers.  And this wasn’t a testosterone filled mad rush to beat the Westgate.  Bettors were largely polite and festive, at least in part because there were so many props to choose from that it kept everybody busy!

There was plenty of ‘arbitrage’ betting; taking advantage of different posted numbers at different sportsbooks.  For example, the Westgate took money on ‘Russell Wilson Over 35.5 rushing yards’ largely because other books had posted a number on the other side of 40.  And, even without much ‘low hanging fruit’, there was no shortage of ‘opinion’ betting either, as those opening numbers got pounded into shape within the global betting marketplace.

I’ll give the Westgate props (pun intended) for being creative once again, and not just in the ‘James Harden points -110 vs. Shane Vereen rushing yards’ kind of way.  Even after all these years as market leaders; the Westgate is still putting up new and interesting props.  For example, they posted a ‘total yardage of all touchdowns combined’ prop.  The opener of 76.5 yards was quickly bet higher.  There was also a new ‘total yardage of all made field goals’ prop, which opened at 111.5.  And instead of the standard fare ‘will either team score three consecutive times’ Kornegay upped the ante with a ‘will either team score four consecutive times’ prop.  Anytime I see a sportsbook working hard to offer us new and interesting betting opportunities, it’s worthy of both mention and kudos!

Find me on Twitter @teddy_covers

Tags: NFL Super Bowl XLIX Teddy Covers Las Vegas






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