NFL line watch: Which way will the Super Bowl odds move?

Jan 20, 2014 |
Winter weather in the Super Bowl could present good value on Seattle and the Under.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Winter weather in the Super Bowl could present good value on Seattle and the Under.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Things might settle down as bettors who favor blue-chip teams may determine that all things being equal, throwing money down on the best quarterback in the Super Bowl only makes sense.

Or, those in the know might check the long-range New Jersey weather forecast, see that it calls for temperatures in single-digits and winds gusting up to 40 mph and decide that Peyton Manning’s record in the cold isn’t so hot, and that it’s prudent to bet on Seattle’s defense.

All we know right now about the Denver-Seattle Super Bowl is what we don’t know, and right now those that don’t know include the oddsmakers and sportsbooks.

Some Las Vegas books opened with the game as a pick ‘em, while others had made the Broncos 1.5-point favorites. At offshore sites, which can and do move the Vegas boards, there were similar hour-to-hour adjustments. By early Monday morning the offshore lines ran from Denver -3 to Denver +2.

Denver’s passing game is dependent on decent weather, and Seahawks fans can take some comfort in the extended forecast (which isn’t worth much at this point).

AccuWeather for Feb. 2 in Northern New Jersey is calling for a high of 35 and low of 19 degrees, with a mix of snow and rain. Rain at those temps often translates into ice. And in that type of weather, Manning has often played like a wildebeest with a sprained ankle.

So expect the line to move, at least in the next few days, as early money settles in on one team or another. And that will create shopping opportunities for those with access to Vegas books or those of us with multiple offshore accounts.

Numbers folks have set the total for 47.5, which is close to the average number of points scored in an NFL game – figuring that they might as well split the difference between a terrific offensive team with weapons everywhere, and perhaps the best defensive team to make it to the Super Bowl since 2006, when the James Harrison/Troy Polamalu Steelers took down the Seahawks.

The Super Bowl brings out tons of square money, and squares love the Over. But Denver games have gone Under five straight times, and Under players have cashed on the Seahawks seven consecutive games. If the wind is blowing in the swampland of Northern New Jersey on Feb. 2, the smart money will be on yet another Under.
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