Vegas and overseas sportsbook observers were predicting a surge of Seattle money on the Super Bowl betting line but it seems to be turning into a Denver surge instead.
As of Sunday morning, the Super Bowl point spread had climbed a half point to -2.5 for Denver over Seattle, with one sportsbook tracked by OddsShark.com at -3.
"Many in the industry were still predicting a late burst of Seattle money, because there is a lot of sharp sentiment out there that Seattle's defense will control this game," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.
“But so far, the public is coming in hard on Denver.”
In most betting circles, a Denver cover is considered a money-losing scenario for sportsbook operators. Many are cheering for a low-scoring game and a slim margin of victory for Denver.
"Not to be greedy, but a nice little 28-27 result would be optimal," said Kevin Bradley of Bovada, which had a lot of UNDER action and was surprisingly cheering for an OVER 47.5 outcome.
You have to bet $2.60 to win $1.00, but with Super Bowl savvy Peyton Manning on your side, it feels like a safe bet – Richard Sherman will not intercept a pass in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Manning will be making his third Super Bowl start when the favored Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. With how Manning’s last Super Bowl ended, you can expect him to be especially protective of the ball, especially around Sherman.
It’s one of more than 500 Super Bowl props dotting the sportsbook landscape. Many of them will not even be affected by the players, such as the coin toss, which song Bruno Mars will perform first at halftime and how many times Peyton’s brother Eli will be shown during the telecast.
In the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIV, Manning threw an interception to the New Orleans Saints’ Tracy Porter, who returned it for a touchdown and, for the most part, sealed Manning and the Indianapolis Colts’ doom.
Manning will be looking for redemption Sunday, but testing Sherman doesn’t seem to be the best way to attack Seattle’s top-ranked pass defense. Sherman has eight of Seattle’s NFL-best 28 interceptions on the season.
He picked off Eli twice in the Seahawks’ 23-0 win over the New York Giants. Surely, Eli advised his big brother to look in other directions.
Super Bowl weather’s impact
The forecast for Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t seem like it will have a giant impact on the game. There’s around a 30 percent chance of precipitation with winds of less than 10 mph expected and certainly not enough to impact any throws.
It will be chilly, though, with temperatures dipping into the 20s for the nighttime kickoff.
Almost all the players for both teams have played in much cooler temperatures, but what about some of the spectators and performers? How will the chilly conditions impact bets off the field?
There are Super Bowl props for how many times Eli and Archie Manning will be shown during the broadcast. One online sportsbook said it cut its prop bet on Manning family appearances down from 1.5 to 1, due to weather concerns.
And don’t forget about the National Anthem. Renowned international sensation Renee Fleming will be the first opera singer to perform the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
Most sportsbooks have the over/under set around 2:25. The average time of the last eight performers to sing the National Anthem was 2:18. Will the conditions urge Fleming to let go of a note a little sooner than normal?
The boring old point spread
For purists, betting on the point spread or total is the only real form of Super Bowl betting. Even there, there is variety. Some books monitored by OnlineSportsBetting.ca had the Broncos favoured by one point and others had then favoured by as many as three points.
The trends here point to the Seahawks, as the NFC is 5-1 against the spread in the past six Super Bowls. The underdog is also 5-1 ATS in those games. And beware the Seahawks as underdogs.
Since 2011, Seattle has been an underdog 21 times and boasts a bankroll-padding 17-3-1 ATS record. Clearly, they do not appreciate it when the oddsmaker declares them the underdog.