Where the action is: Early Super Bowl XLVII line moves

Jan 22, 2013 |
Where the action is: Early Super Bowl XLVII line moves
Money on Baltimore outnumbers money on San Francisco at 5-to-1.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Money on Baltimore outnumbers money on San Francisco at 5-to-1.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The odds for Super Bowl XLVII are only a few days old and already books are making major adjustments to both the spread and total.

We talk with Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, and Aron Black of online sportsbook Bet365.com about the early action coming in and where the odds could end up come February 3.

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers – Open: -5, Move: -3.5

Some books opened the 49ers as big as 5-point favorites for Super Bowl XLVII after their thrilling win over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. However, the Ravens' victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC title game has won over early-bird bettors, moving the spread as low as -3.5.

According to Black, the move on the spread has a lot to do with the action coming in on Baltimore’s moneyline odds. The Ravens opened as big as +170 to win the Super Bowl but have since been bet down to as low as +145.

“Though we are pretty balanced on the spread, we are seeing a lot of money on Baltimore straight up,” Black told Covers. “Our opening moneyline was +165, but with the money being taken here, which I can imagine is same for many others, the moneyline is now +150 with the move to 3.5.”

Similar betting patterns in Las Vegas have trimmed Baltimore’s odds. Stoneback says the bet count is fairly balanced, with a very slim lean toward San Francisco (17 more bets as of Tuesday afternoon) but there is a lot more money riding on the Ravens as underdogs.

“It’s all Baltimore in terms of money right now,” Stoneback told Covers. “It’s about 5-to-1 in favor of the Ravens. We have more bets on San Francisco but the larger bets are on Baltimore.”

Stoneback says that action forced MGM to trim their opening spread from 4.5 to 3.5, but also says the book doesn’t like to risk having to refund all the wagers on the biggest betting day of the year if the game comes in on four points. MGM made a similar move last year, going from Patriots -3.5 to -2.5 to avoid the risk of a refund on Super Bowl XLVI.

As for the total, the number opened at 49 and has dropped to as low as 47.5 with early money siding with the under. Stoneback believes those betting the Ravens also see Baltimore turning Super Bowl XLVII into a defensive battle, as it is their best chance of winning – much like the AFC title game.

MGM properties have yet to open their full card of Super Bowl prop bets yet, but have posted spreads for each of the quarters. According to Stoneback, sharp money jumped all over those odds and has flipped the prices on the two teams. San Francisco opened at -0.5 (-125) for the first quarter and is now -0.5 (+115). A similar move was made for the third and fourth quarters.

“They pounded us. It was amazing,” Stoneback says of the instant sharp action on the quarter spreads. “It was just big bets – limit play, limit play, limit play at every property. Just like sharks.”

Bettors waiting to see if the spread comes down further or if it will go back to its opening numbers may be wasting their time. According to Black, outside of freak injuries or out-of-the-blue suspensions, the Super Bowl XLVII odds may have found their place for the next two weeks of wagering.

"I don’t think it will move too much more until we get closer to the game," he says. "You never know what may happen but I would say the moves have been made for now."

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