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Super Bowl XLVIII action report: Books test bettors with 2.5, admit to inflated total

Odds for Super Bowl XLVIII have been up since Richard Sherman went bananas in Erin Andrews’ postgame interview, and the early betting action has been just as intense as the Seahawks’ shutdown corner.

We talk with Michael Stewart, an oddsmaker for CarbonSports.ag, about the early money on the Big Game and how books are adjusting with still nearly two weeks before the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos kickoff at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos – Open: Pick, Move: -3, Move: -2.5

According to Stewart, the opening line of a pick’em lasted all but five minutes at his book. Action flooded in on the Broncos and books quickly went to -1 and -1.5. That didn’t slow down Denver backers, who quickly pushed the spread to -2.5.

Oddsmakers did their best to stay under the key number of the field goal, bouncing the juice on the Broncos before finally giving in to the market swing, and tagging the Seahawks as field-goal underdogs in the Super Bowl. Money on Seattle has started to show at that spread.

“I've been doing this for 15 years, I've never seen a surge of money come in on one side like that before,” Stewart tells Covers. “We went from pick'em and, within 35 minutes, we were dealing -3 on this game. At Seahawks +3 (-115) /Broncos -3 (-105), we started seeing money come in on the dog and again, we were able to shutdown the flood of Bronco money at that number.”

While the early bettors have voiced their opinion on the Broncos, with 75 percent of the total handle on the Broncos, Stewart and his crew aren’t sold on Denver as a field-goal favorite against the top defense in the NFL, possibly playing in some nasty winter weather on February 2.

“We made this game a pick for a reason and my crew and I believe this game is a complete toss up, so giving the Seahawks three points was just too many in our opinions,” he says.

Stewart tested that theory by dropping the spread to Denver -2.5 (-120), and only 62.5 percent of the bets made after that adjustment were on the Broncos. He says they’re comfortable at that spread because his team is high on Seattle and the fact that Broncos bettors have to lay 20 cents on the dollar to bet the favorite.

“I do believe the enthusiasm on these Broncos will dwindle as we get closer to game time,” says Stewart. “Once pundits and experts bring up Manning's sub-par performances in cold weather, I do believe we'll start to see more Seahawks money. If there's severe weather in this game, I wouldn't be surprised if the Seahawks close the favorite. But, we've got two weeks to deal with this game and this line.”

As for the total for Super Bowl XLVIII, it’s been relatively uneventful when compared to the action on the spread. Most books opened around 48 points and early action has leaned toward the Under, trimming some numbers as low as 47.5. However, Stewart says this number will likely move again – more than likely upwards – by kickoff on Feb. 2.

“This is the Super Bowl and like every other Super Bowl, we're going to need it Under because the public is going to bet this game Over as we get closer to game time,” says Stewart. “The public loves betting Over and they love betting the Super Bowl, so every book in the world is going to need this game Under and we're all dealing a bit of an inflated total at this point.”

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Posted by choiOi
11 months ago

I think if it gets to +3...hawks backers going to bite bite bite.
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Posted by habs420
11 months ago

Offense, defense. Manning, Wilson. Hot, cold. Pass, run. Rigged. Peyton's earned another ring while Wilson hasn't put in enough time yet.
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Posted by reraiser
11 months ago

No quarterback with negative rushing yards in the regular season has won a Super Bowl, just a crazy stat. Peyton Manning has -31 yards rushing during regular season if my stats are correct. Turnover ratio favors Seattle, experience favors Denver however. Do "they" want Payton to win??
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Posted by betipickem
11 months ago

This Superbowl reminds me of Ray Lewis first Superbowl ring against the high powered offense of the giants. Baltimore had the best D and a average offense/ or slightly under avg. However ravens defense dominated the giants. Seahawks defense should do the same here Broncos 16 Hawks- 27
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Posted by budwiser
11 months ago

Great analysis but the excellent article says a lot depends on the weather. Because it does. Peyton Manning, who I think is the best qb by FAR in the NFL, and for the last 10 years, is NOT a cold/rain/snow/wind qb. Plus, Peyton's arm strength is not what it used to be, if he has to throw into the wind. We all know with Lynch the Seahawks can run the ball. IMO it's best to wait for the weather report. Without the weather report, you're playing with fire. Good luck fellas.
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Posted by rickyn
11 months ago

manning better get rid of the ball in a hurry cuz the seattle d line is gonna be comin hard and we all know that manning is about as mobile a turtle with polio history says take the better defense in the super bowl and theres no doubt whose got the better defense in this game LOB son
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Posted by rickyn
11 months ago

uh oh more really bad news for the broncos percy harvin will play in the super bowl percy harvin if healthy will be the best big play maker- offensively- than anyone else in the game- trust me on this one if he is at full strength look for at least one game breaking play from him dudes got game write that down and remember it
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Posted by kram2292
11 months ago

Harvin's health will be a factor. One big hit, legal or not, and he is on the bench again!!
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Posted by nguyen69
11 months ago

The odds are a bit stacked against the Seahawks. 1) they aren't a very good road team and the record shows. 2) When peyton manning is on the field...he has about 5 receivers plus Moreno/Ball. Seattle's defense is great no doubt, but the starting defense. But against the Broncos they are going to need to go to a nickel...and the other CB are my worries. Peyton will find those weaker defenders and stay away from Thurmond, and Sherman. As we saw..when it isn't those two...the defense can be had. 3) Denver's defense isn't good...but neither is seattle's offense. 4) If the Bronco's can manage 2-3 TD's and play decent D...seattle is gonna be in trouble.
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Posted by rickyn
11 months ago

sorry but the AFC is pathetic the best defenses in the nfl are all in the nfc seattle san fran carolina and phoenix denver hasnt faced a defense like seattles all russell wilson has to do is avoid turning the ball over make a few plays and hand the ball off to marshawn lynch the defense will do the rest and if the weather is bad denvers chances drop big time manning is very immobile that alone does not bode well for denver- remember what im sayin and hit me up after the game
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Posted by rickyn
11 months ago

you better take a closer look at mannings record in big games- now throw in the fact that he will be facing one of the best defenses of the past 20 years who will have two weeks to prepare- if russell wilson can avoid turnovers - get a few rushing yards himself then unleash marshawn lynch on denvers weak defense its gonna be a long day for peyton manning who will be like a sitting duck for the seahawks ruthless pass rush- this is a mismatch hawks roll to a lopsided victory
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Posted by choiOi
11 months ago

Seattle will never win a SB..they just don't know how to win on the road like they do at home. End of story.
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Posted by rickyn
11 months ago

thats funny because they have the exact same win lose record as denver so your argument is baseless- the nfc has the best teams in the NFL BY FAR san fran carolina phoenix and seattle have the four best defenses in all of football the AFC is pathetic and that FACT will bare out on super bowl sunday-- take that to the bank
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Posted by CaptainT
11 months ago

Excellent write up johnny jet. Plus, they had a lot of lucky breaks against San Fran. Plus, I think this year is truly Peyton's year. It's his destiny to win this one against the top defense of the year where he broke every passing record . Denver -2 and go to bed. Cement your legacy as one of the G.O.A.T QB's Peyton, you deserve it.
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Posted by JohnnyJet0023
11 months ago

Lets take a closer look at Seattle on the road shall we Week 1 they played Cam Newton and held him in check sneaking away with a 5 pt victory Week 4 they gave up 151 on the ground and 325 in the air to Houston...thats right On The Clock Houston where they snuck away with a come from behind victory by 3 Week 5 Luck rang them up for 230 and 2 TDs where they lost Week 7 Carson Palmer got 258 on them in the Seattle win Week 8 they had the daunting task of playing Kellen Clemens in his first game as starter and escaped with a goal line stand to win Week 10 no issues, their best road performance vs injured Atlanta Week 14 loss to San Fran Week 15 they dominated the Giants who were already packed for the off season. I think we got used to seeing this team at home and forgot how different they are on the road. If the weather is reasonable (a big if) I am of the opinion you can take any prop that has Denver winning by more then a touchdown and feel confident that they roll here.
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Top Response

Posted by choiOi
11 months ago

"Seattle will never win a SB..they just don't know how to win on the road like they do at home. End of story. "