NFL Spread Sheet: Super Bowl line moves 8 points
Oh, to be holding a large “AFC to win the Super Bowl” ticket right now.
Last week the NFC was favored by 4 to 5 points at major books. Today the AFC is favored by 3 to 4 points. When the league’s perceived top two teams lose on the same weekend, you get a TD-plus swing.
“Green Bay and New Orleans were the two teams we had billed for the Super Bowl from the NFC,” Todd Fuhrman, senior sports analyst for Caesars Entertainment, told Covers.com. “You’ve eliminated the two high-profile offenses from that conference.”
Now the AFC is laying 3 at Caesars, 3.5 at Cal Neva, and 4 at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook.
Cal Neva’s Chris Andrews said the line opened at pick before the season.
“It got bet up to 5, so we have a lot of money on the NFC,” he said. “As Green Bay looked to clearly be the best team, the line starting moving. Then the Packers were joined by New Orleans, which looked like the second-best team. New England’s been there all along but they’ve had a lot of question marks.
“It’s just been a steady attack on the NFC.”
New England is even money to win it all at Caesars, followed by the Giants (2/1), 49ers (11/5) and Ravens (9/2).
At 5Dimes.com, the Niners are the second favorite. The book lists the Pats at +118, the 49ers at +310, the Giants at +345 and the Ravens at +610.
BOOKS ROOTING AGAINST THE RAVENS
The Super Bowl handle will be monumental, as usual.
But books are pulling hard for New England to beat Baltimore.
“All the teams left would create a major handle except for the Ravens,” Fuhrman said. “You’ve got major media markets with the Giants and Patriots, and their Super Bowl in 2008 was tremendous. Our proximity to California would make San Francisco an attractive choice as well.”
Added Andrews: “We really want New England. It’s not the market so much as it is the Ravens’ playing style. They’re low scoring, they win mostly on defense. It’s not an attractive team to the casual fan.”
PROJECTED SUPER BOWL SPREADS
We asked Fuhrman and Andrews for their projected Super Bowl lines. They supplied these with the caveat that a lot can change between now and this Sunday night. (Injuries, how a team looks, etc.)
San Francisco vs. New England (-4.5, 51)
New York Giants vs. New England (-4, 56.5)
Baltimore vs. San Francisco (-1.5, 45)
Baltimore vs. New York Giants (-1.5, 46)
San Francisco vs. New England (-4)
New York Giants vs. New England (-2)
Baltimore vs. San Francisco (Pick or -1)
Baltimore vs. New York Giants (-3)
A total of 45 for a Harbaugh brothers rematch seems high, especially considering Baltimore won the first matchup 16-6. But that game was outdoors. The Super Bowl will be played inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I can’t envision a total in the low 40s given the fast track, public perception and the desire to bet ‘over’ in high-profile games,” Fuhrman said.
OVER TRAIN TAKES A BAD BEAT
Overs are 6-2 in the playoffs, and I’m sure many bettors feel they should be 7-1.
Baltimore led Houston 17-13 at halftime. Covers’ official total was 37, but many bettors got it at 36 or 36.5.
First, Neil Rackers hit the crossbar on his 50-yard FG try. Late in the third quarter, the Texans stuffed Ray Rice on 4th-and-goal from the 1.
The only second-half score came when Billy Cundiff nailed a 44-yard FG with three minutes left.
Of course, both teams sputtered on offense most of the day. They wouldn’t have approached the total without Houston’s early turnovers.
This game had another peculiar footnote -- one that prompted Texans moneyline bettors to howl about a conspiracy.
The Ravens were not penalized. It was the first time Baltimore finished a playoff game without getting flagged.