Public Super Bowl Betting Continues On ‘Over’ But Sharps Showing For ‘Under’

by James Murphy in NFL  / January 31, 2020

Yesterday we looked at some outlier Super Bowl betting odds scattered hither and yon but today we’re back in Nevada to update what is going on with the betting marketplace there. There’s not much change in the side numbers throughout the Southern half of the Silver State but the total remains in a very interesting dynamic. There is still plenty of tickets being written on the game to go ‘Over’ but the total itself is heading in the other direction.

A quick recap on how the total has moved so far: immediately after the Conference Championship games went final the total went up at 51.5 or 52 depending on the store. Action immediately came for the ‘Over’ throughout the sports betting ecosystem and particularly in Nevada and at North American facing offshore books. And the ‘Over’ bets kept coming fast and furious–at one point over 80% of total tickets were going that way. In the process, the total got pushed up from where it opened to as high as 55 or 55.5. The sportsbooks kept writing tickets on the ‘Over’ but at some point they knew that the ‘sharps’ would show to take the nice value position on the ‘Under’.

That’s exactly what happened earlier this week. Around midweek, plenty of money started to show up for the ‘Under’. The significant thing is that even though the majority of tickets are still on the ‘Over’ (anywhere from 65% to 70%) the total is dropping. That’s a clear indication of big wagers from respected bettors on the ‘Under’. By Thursday morning, most of the sportsbooks in the marketplace had gone to 54.5.

The total might be in the process of heading lower across the board. In the Las Vegas market, the local sportsbooks are almost evenly split between 54 and 54.5. Same story elsewhere in the US and offshore where the total looks to have crested as big bets come on the ‘Under’. My guess is that it’ll close at 54.5.

Worth noting that in the last 5 Super Bowl games with totals over 50 dating back to 2003 only one exceeded the total. The game is being played outdoors in what should be decent weather (low 60s to high 50s) but there might be some wind. The forecast is calling for strong gusts on Sunday during the day but the expectation is that it’ll calm down by kickoff time.

James Murphy

James Murphy is a preeminent authority on the international gambling industry and has made frequent appearances in the mainstream media including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNBC and NPR. He has previously worked as a radio and podcasting host where he broadcast to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy also serves as an odds making consultant for sports and ‘non-sport novelty bets’ covering the entertainment industry, politics, technology, financial markets and just about everything else.

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