Just like fans in the stands and you on your couch, the sportsbooks cheer for and against certain teams. Their allegiance isn’t exclusive to one squad, but to whatever team is going to bring in the most money to the book.
With the NFL postseason rapidly approaching, the Super Bowl XLVII futures market is heating up and books are cheering against a handful of teams that could do serious damage to their bankroll if they win the Big Game.
Here are four teams books don’t want to see hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 3:
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners have drawn steady action ever since the Super Bowl XLVII odds were posted. San Francisco entered the season as the favorite at most books and has remained among the top teams with an 8-2-1 record heading into Week 13.
Jimmy Vaccaro, a veteran Las Vegas oddsmaker and spokesperson for William Hill sportsbooks in Nevada, says a lot of money has come in on the 49ers in the northern part of the state, which draws more tourists from the Bay Area. About 90 percent of the wagers on San Francisco have come from William Hill’s northern properties.
“We won’t do well with the Niners,” Vaccaro tells Covers. “We took money on them way back when. They opened around 12-1 or 15-1 and we took money on them early because people saw they had a very good team last year.”
The Ravens (9-2 SU, 5-5-1 ATS) have quietly put together a strong season behind a free-wheeling offense and a bend-but-don’t-break defense. Baltimore, which is currently priced as high as +1,100, was as big as +2,000 when the season started.
The injury to star LB Ray Lewis also yo-yo’d the Ravens’ futures, moving them from +800 to +1,800 then back down again heading into Week 13.
“They’ve been betting (Baltimore) steady all season,” Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager of the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, tell Covers. “So far, they’re No. 5 in terms of tickets written for NFL futures.”
Among the online markets, bettors have been drawn to the Texans’ Super Bowl chances. Houston (10-1 SU, 7-4 ATS) was available as high as +1,000 heading into the season, dropping to +800 where the majority on big-money plays came in.
Aron Black of bet365.com says Houston, along with San Francisco and New England pose a threat to the futures book, but isn’t too worried with the playoffs around the bend.
“Obviously it’s not great seeing the top of the market with strong current faves as bad runners, however, only one can win,” he says.
Who’da thunk the Colts would be contending for a playoff spot after going just 2-14 last year and turning the keys over to a rookie quarterback? Not bookmakers, that’s for sure.
Indianapolis (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS) could be a golden goose to some frivolous futures bettors who are holding a ticket on the Colts at 200-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. As an example of how much damage a Colts title would do, some books are dealing Indy 40-1 heading into Week 13.
“We took a lot of action on them between 200-1 and 100-1,” says Stoneback. “We even wrote quite a few tickets on (the Colts) at 60-1. But ever since we dropped to 40-1, it’s slowed down.”