Where the action is: Sharp money shrinks Super Bowl total

Jan 29, 2013 |
The spread for Super Bowl XLVII has grabbed plenty of attention the last few days, sinking to as low as San Francisco -3. Now, the total for Sunday’s Big Game is on the move and has dipped to 47 points at some online sportsbooks after opening as high as 49.

We talk to Aron Black of online book Bet365.com and veteran oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro of William Hill Sportsbooks in Nevada about the adjustments to the Super Bowl total.

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers – Open: 49, Move: 48, Move: 47

The total for Super Bowl XLVII has been slowly declining since opening but the action has picked up in the past three days, moving the number from 47.5 to 47 at some markets.

The action on the under is going hand-in-hand with the early money on the Ravens, with bettors believing Baltimore’s best chance is to turn this into a defensive grinder, much like its 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.

"The move is more based on what sharps are betting, as many see this as more of a defensive battle, regardless of who wins,” Black told Covers. “So when you look at the total from the perspective of how many touchdowns will be needed to go over, you have to say six at least, which is a big number when you consider the defense on both sides.”

In Nevada, most sportsbooks are sticking to 47.5 points knowing that the popular play among the tourists – expected to start showing up Friday – will be the over. According to Vaccaro, there is a lean toward the under in terms of money and wager count but that won’t last long.

“We are holding (at 47.5) because of the recreational bettors’ tendency to side with the favorite and the over. It’s not a bad idea to take all the under you can,” Vaccaro told Covers. “We are a little top heavy (on the under) but that difference will be gobbled up in a matter of a few hours come Sunday.”

Online books are expecting similar betting patterns from Super Bowl bettors. Black sees the total climbing back to 47.5 or beyond as Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff draws closer. He notes that the Ravens and 49ers are averaging a combined score of more than 66 points in the postseason.

“Take a touchdown off both and it’s still over 47,” he says. “I can see more people looking at the over. And when you look at how the parlay tickets, buy/sells, teaser/parlay cards will get played, I think a lot of places will move back to at least 47.5.”

Baltimore currently owns a 10-9 over/under count this season, going 1-2 over/under in the playoffs. San Francisco is 11-6-1 over/under, including a 2-0 over/under postseason mark.

Check out all the latest Super Bowl XLVII line movement with our NFL Live Odds page.

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