The conference championships are only days away and with only four teams remaining the end is in sight. In fact, you don’t have to look far for NFL Super Bowl betting opportunities. Most books already have generic Super Bowl odds with the AFC listed as a 2.5-point favorite over the NFC; but it doesn’t end there. 5dimes has already posted lines for every single potential Super Bowl matchup — the most likely of which would be New England (-2) against San Francisco.
At Sports Insights, we’re constantly preaching the importance of shopping for the best line. Simply picking up that extra half-point can help increase your winning percentage by two percent, but shopping for the best line isn’t limited to simply betting spreads.
For example, at Sportsbook.com New England is a -400 moneyline (ML) favorite while San Francisco is a -220 favorite. If you were to bet $100 on a two-team parlay, a win would yield an $81.82 profit. However, the odds of a New England/San Francisco Super Bowl is -120 — meaning that a bet of $100 would yield a gain of $83.33.
That means bettors could conceivably increase their potential return on investment (ROI) by 1.85% (1.51/81.82) simply by ensuring that they are taking the best line on the board.
Similarly, you can find discrepancies between betting moneylines and futures at 5Dimes as well. For those looking at NFL Super Bowl betting, the Ravens (+875) have the longest odds of any remaining playoff team. That said, perhaps betting their futures are not the best way to proceed if you think that Baltimore is undervalued. The Ravens are +325 to upset the Patriots this week, so a winning $100 moneyline bet would yield a bettor $425 (the original $100 plus the $325 winnings).
Here’s where things get tricky though: 5Dimes has already released odds for potential Super Bowl matchups and Baltimore would be a 3.5-point underdog (+155 moneyline) against San Francisco, and they would be a 1.5-point dog (+100 moneyline) against Atlanta.
Assuming the 49ers can hold off the Falcons (SF is a 4-point favorite for Sunday’s game); a bettor could take that $425 made from betting the AFC Championship and roll it over to the Super Bowl. If Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and the rest of their Ravens teammates could somehow pull off a second straight upset, bettors would turn a $658.75 profit ($425 x 1.55).
By adding that $658.75 profit to the original $425, we find that taking Baltimore as a consecutive moneyline dog would yield a total of $1.083.75. If a bettor simply took the current future lines, they would return a total of just $975 ($875 plus the original $100). That means a $100 bettor can improve their overall winnings by $108.75 if they simply roll over their bet.
Now you may be wondering what would happen if Atlanta upsets the 49ers, after all, the Ravens would have better odds against the Falcons and thus a victory would yield a smaller profit. Still, if you rolled over that original $425 and took Baltimore at +100, you would double your bet and finish with $850.
Granted that amount would be smaller than simply taking the 5Dimes future bet, but if we average the potential winnings if Baltimore knocks off San Fran ($1,083.75) with that smaller $850 figure, we get $966.87 — a number that is actually lower than the $975 from placing a single futures bet. However, that figure assumes that both Atlanta and San Francisco have an equal chance of winning their matchup this weekend, when the 49ers are in fact -220 ML favorites. According to this moneyline conversion chart, that moneyline gives San Francisco a 68.8% chance of winning Sunday’s game.
If we assume there is a 68.8% chance that San Fran wins (.688 x $1,083.75) and add the probability that Atlanta wins (.312 x $850) we find that the assumed winnings are $1,010.82 (745.62 + 265.20). Although we do not necessarily advocate taking Baltimore to win the Super Bowl, we can easily see that rolling over consecutive Ravens moneylines would be a more profitable long-term strategy than simply betting their future odds.
We will continue to monitor NFL Playoff Betting Trends throughout the week, but we always welcome your input. Can the Ravens upset the Patriots this week? Will Ray Lewis win another Super Bowl ring and say farewell in style? Please leave any thoughts or questions in the comment section below.