Sports Marketwatch – Early Moves SUPER BOWL XL Edition
NFL Playoffs – Super Bowl XL
2/3/2006 11:15 AM EST
by Daniel Fabrizio
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Sports Marketwatch where Daniel Fabrizio, founder of SportsInsights.com gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the NFL point spread market. If you ever wanted to know what was really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have an all access pass with Sports Marketplace! Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon he speaks directly with the line managers at Pinnacle, Bowmans, 5Dimes, Carib, and Oasisabout which games the public is chasing and the Sharps are pounding. So far, the first five weeks of the season have produced a lot of surprises. Dan takes a look at what’s in store for this week in the NFL.Sports Marketwatch – Super Bowl XL
NFL Playoff Recap
All sportsbooks reported a healthy AFC/NFC playoff weekend, retaining between 4-5% of their handle. Steve Stone line manager at Oasis had this to say, “The Steelers winning hurt us but breaking up teasers and parlays fueled a profitable Sunday.” SportsInsights.com analysis shows that “Public” opinion was divided on both Conference Championship games. No team received more than 55% of the bets.
SportsInsights.com Games to Watch – Playoff Edition treaded water, going 1-1. For the season, that makes SportsInsights.com Games to Watch – Playoff Edition a mediocre 5-5, meaning the Super Bowl will make or break our Playoff Edition.
View last week’s column
The NFL Playoffs are a totally different animal than the NFL Regular season. The amount of “public” square bets skyrockets. The culmination of this trend is the Super Bowl, the most wagered sporting event. Everyone, and their mother, wagers on the Super Bowl. For value-minded sports investors, this massive influx of “public” money means opportunity. During the NFL Playoffs, odds makers heavily weigh public opinion when deciding on a game’s betting line. They’ll shade a line 2-3 pts knowing that the public will be heavily on one side. The amount of “sharp money” buying back the shaded lines is dwarfed by “public money”.
We anticipate Pittsburgh will be the Public favorite in Super Bowl XL. Visit SportsInsights.com to view live wagering statistics from six online sportsbooks.
NFL Playoff Edition – Games to Watch
Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers
View Live Stats – http://www.sportsinsights.com/top_matchups.asp
The Pittsburgh Steelers took the hard road to Super Bowl XL, winning three straight road games against the toughest teams in either conference. They’ve been a “public” team all year and this trend will continue. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have quietly been winning – and for first time in franchise history will play in the Big Game. The NFL has never seen a wild card team win three games on the road or a lower seed be favored over a #1 seed. “Regardless of who won the AFC they were going to be favored in the Super Bowl. It was a much tougher conference,” said the 5Dimes line manager.
Pinnacle was one of the first books to post a line on Super Bowl XL. They opened at Pittsburgh -3 and within 15 minutes had moved to -3.5. Simon Noble line manager at Pinnacle reports, “We opened this game with the Steelers as 3-point favorites, and the early money quickly pushed this up to -3.5 and -4 across the market. Once the number stabilized, we’ve had a staggering volume of balanced two-way action.” 5Dimes line manager commented, “The line has pretty much stayed put for 10 days. I don’t believe it will dip below -4, and I’m even starting to see some -4.5.”
I believe the sportsbooks have shaded this line towards the Steelers. It doesn’t take a genius to know the Public would be on the Steelers. It’s really a question of how much the odds makers are able to get away with…and for a Super Bowl they are able to get away with a lot. I believe the sportsbooks opened with 3 pt just see how much demand was going to be on Pittsburgh. They found out in hurry: the Public overwhelmingly sided with Pittsburgh at -3. When they quickly moved to -4 they finally saw some buy-back. The Public will continue to push this line to 5 or even 5.5 by game time.
There is a lot of value in taking Seattle. I believe there is a full 2.5pts of shade. Seattle has a seasoned QB, impressive running game, and solid defense…not that Pittsburgh doesn’t. It comes down to the “Holmgren Factor.” Coach Mike Holmgren is a noted Big Game coach and will have his team prepared to succeed on Super Bowl Sunday.
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights.com analysis for the Playoff Edition of Games to Watch.
Games to Watch – Playoff Edition (5-5)
Keep Sports Marketwatch handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com for the latest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools.
Thanks to all our readers for making this an enjoyable and profitable NFL Season. See you next August!
Enjoy the Super Bowl!