The early lines for the 2014 Super Bowl were all over the place last night. At first Seattle was favored on many sportsbooks and then the money came flooding in on Denver. Now we’re seeing the Broncos as 1.5 to 1 point favorites in most places.
In the video above, Howie Long makes a great point – that the officiating will play a big role in this game regarding how much Seattle defenders can get away with versus Denever receivers, and likewise whether Denver can run their pick plays with impunity. NFL officiating has become a disgrace, so expect plenty of controversy.
Also, we’re seeing two completely different quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is a classic drop back passer and one of the all-time greats. Russell Wilson is a mobile quarterback who makes big plays but also huge mistakes with his improvizing. Frankly, Wilson is a bit overrated – he’s riding the Seahawks bus to the Super Bowl, not driving it.
On many boards, the opening line for the Super Bowl had the San Francisco 49ers as a 5-point favorite over the Baltimore Ravens. Now we’re seeing that line tighten a bit with the 49ers as a 4-point favorite.
These teams look pretty evenly matched. The only difference seems to be the Kaepernick factor. He’s not your typical “running” quarterback as he has a gun for an arm, and against Atlanta he showed incredible touch with his passes as well. Of course he can also kill you with his feet, and it can be even worse if you’re stuck with Green Bay’s defense.
But, he’s still a young quarterback. Frankly I won’t be surprised by anything in this game.
On the other side we have Joe Flacco, who seems to have matured a bit, focusing on his team as opposed to how sportswriters feel about him.
We have two strong-armed quarterbacks, some very talented receivers and two excellent running backs. Both defenses are also strong. It should be a good game, but if I had to place some money here, I think I would take the points.
Betting the game is really more about fun. If you’re serious about odds and bets, you’ll be patient and regularly visit sites like bwin to closely study the odds in each sport. So in this evenly matched up contest, really think about it and study it, and then be honest as to whether you’re betting for fun or whether you have a real line on the game.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning (10) warms up for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on January 22, 2012. The Giants won 20-17. UPI/Terry Schmitt
As the point spread for Super Bowl XLVI continues to dance leading up to Sunday’s 6:30PM ET kickoff, one thing remains constant: The Patriots will be favored.
Depending on the sports book, the Pats opened as a 4, 3.5, or 3-point favorite over the Giants when the line was released on Championship Sunday. But the spread has dropped to 3 or 2.5 at most books as the majority of wagers continue to come in on the Giants.
According to the public betting charts available at The Spread, the majority of the early money has been placed on New York, which has forced some sports books to drop the spread to New England –2.5. The total, meanwhile, continues to drop as well, falling from 55.5 to 54.5 at most books.
It’s no surprise that bettors are backing a Giants team that upset the Patriots as a 9-point underdog back in November of last year. Eli Manning rallied New York to a 24-20 victory when he found Jake Ballard for a one-yard touchdown with just 15 seconds remaining in the game. The Giants also ruined the Patriots’ attempt at a perfect season back in 2008 when they pulled off an incredible 17-14 upset as a 12.5-point dog. Thus, bettors aren’t afraid to lay coin on the G-Men.
The Giants are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against the Patriots while the underdog is 5-1 against the number in the last six meetings between these two teams. New York is also 8-0 ATS in its last eight playoff games as an underdog and 8-1 ATS in its last nine playoff games overall. New England, meanwhile, is just 1-6 against the spread in its last seven playoff games as a favorite and 1-7 ATS in its last eight playoff games overall.
The spread will probably jump between 3 and 2.5 throughout the rest of the week, although it would be surprising to see the number jump to 3.5 or fall below 2.5. Odds makers seem comfortable with the spread dancing between 3 and 2.5.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning (10) hurries a pass as San Francisco 49ers Isaac Sopoaga thunders in on him in the first half at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on November 13, 2011. The 49ers defeated the Giants 27-20. UPI/Terry Schmitt
Ravens @ Patriots, 3:00PM ET, Sunday
The Patriots opened as a 9-point favorite when the odds were first released but the spread has dropped at all major offshore and Las Vegas sports books. Now New England is listed as a 7.5-point home favorite, while the over/under total is sitting between 49.5 and 50.5 after opening at 50.5.
The home team is 4-1-1 against the spread in the last six meetings between these two teams while the Ravens are just 1-3-2 against the number in their last six trips to New England. That said, the last time these two teams met in Foxboro, the Ravens raced out to a 24-0 first-quarter lead on their way to a 33-14 blowout in the 2009 Wildcard round.
Giants @ 49ers, 6:30PM ET, Sunday
This game opened as a pick’em at most sports books but there was an early flood of money posted on the 49ers, who are now 2.5-point favorites over the Giants. The over/under total is sitting between 41.5 and 42.5 after opening at 44.5, so clearly the consensus is that this will be a defensive battle throughout.
These two teams met in Week 10 of the regular season when the 49ers beat the Giants 27-20 as a 4-point home favorite. The favorite is 4-0 against the spread in the last five meetings between these two teams while the home squad is 5-2 against the number in the last seven overall meetings. But the Giants are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against the 49ers and 7-0 against the number in their last seven playoff road games.
2012 NFL Conference Championship Odds:
AFC Championship Game
Baltimore Ravens +7.5 (50)
New England Patriots –7.5
NFC Championship Game
New York Giants +2.5 (42)
San Francisco 49ers –2.5
Check back nest week for more odds as everyone gets ready for 2012 Super Bowl action as we gear up for the biggest sports day of the year.
Detroit Lions Chris Harris hugs Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after their game in Detroit on November 24, 2011. The Packers beat the Lions 27-15. UPI/Jeff Kowalsky
It’s been an interesting season in the NFL so far. As usual there are a bunch of surprises, and of course some of the teams that got off to a hot start have started to come back down to Earth. Yet with all the surprises, the teams with the best shot at the Super Bowl still consist of the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots.
One of the more common bar stool debates this year involves Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers. We’re seeing two great quarterbacks putting on a clinic week in and week out. This shouldn’t be a surprise as the NFL has altered the rules and become a pass-happy league. I heard Ron Jaworski this weekend and he said that he’s never seen a quarterback play the position as well as Aaron Rodgers. It’s a pretty stupid statement, and Jaworski us usually one of the best commentators out there. But he’s being a prisoner of the moment, which is a common mistake for lesser commentators, but he’s also putting aside the reality that quarterbacks today don’t get hit like they did 20 or even 10 years ago.
But putting that aside, we’re seeing two teams who are emblematic of the modern NFL – explosive offense but with a suspect defense. But there are few great defenses out there right now, and frankly few teams can stop Brady or Rodgers. If they meet in the Super Bowl we might have one of the best matchups ever with two of the best quarterbacks of this era. The ratings will be through the roof and every hard-core better in Vegas and every casual fan will be all over the Super Bowl odds.
Green Bay seems to have the easier road to the Super Bowl, while New England’s path got a little easier as the Texans lost another quarterback.