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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Sports betting has really picked up for the Super Bowl since late Friday because the public has made its presence felt! Squares don’t bet the openers…and they don’t bet much on weekdays because they’re at work. But, when the weekend arrived…the first full weekend since the Super Bowl entrants became official…sportsbooks were inundated with public traffic.

And that traffic was betting the San Francisco 49ers!

Several factors are behind that square support for the Niners. First and foremost, Las Vegas has huge fan bases for both California teams because of proximity. Even on a regular season Sunday, sportsbooks are full of San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders fans. In the years where one of those teams makes it to the big game, sportsbooks know they’re going to get one-sided public action.

Secondly, the public loves favorites. Tourists who have no connection to either team will typically lay the points. This has been known for years. They feel safer investing in the “better” team, and they don’t care how many points they have to lay. The dream scenario from a sportsbook’s perspective (beyond having the Raiders and Niners play each other!) would be to have either Oakland or San Francisco reach the big game as a underdog. That would balance the books. When it was clear San Francisco was going to be the favorite, this script was already written.

*Find a number that will put sharps on Baltimore

*Find a number that makes squares take the worst of it

*Hope for the best

That’s why you’re seeing a line over a field goal even though some prominent sportsbook operators have said publicly they think the “real” line should be closer to pick-em. Of course, those same guys were saying the same thing about 49ers/Falcons, and the game landed on four.

Also of note in Vegas betting this week were the proposition bets. Sportsbooks have made fortunes on these in recent seasons because they typically offer poor odds to unsuspecting square bettors. Various locales made certain they had their props up before this midpoint weekend because they knew traffic would be heavy. Props are no longer hard to find…or something that goes up at the last second for Super Bowl weekend traffic. Props were up early…and were actively bet.

As soon as numbers went up, it was clear that bettors were extremely attracted to anything connected to San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He was a lighting rod for action because he can run….he can pass…he can score touchdowns…and he’s going to have the ball in his hands all day. If you love the Niners, then you want to back Kaepernick in is individual player props, and in heads up props vs. other players. If you think he’s going to be in trouble vs. Baltimore’s aggressive defense, then you want to exploit that through a variety of prop bets (Unders) in addition to backing the Ravens plus the points. It’s not an exaggeration to say that more money has already been bet on Kaepernick propositions than was bet on many big college football games this season.

How should YOU handicap prop bets and the game? We’ll have our official Super Bowl stat preview up later in the week. In terms of the props, we have this guidance:

*Play the game out mentally, with a focus on the true strengths and weaknesses of each team. The oversimplified approach of just asking the guys on the team you’re backing to post good numbers rarely works as well as expected. If you’re wrong, it just magnifies your losses in horrible fashion. If your team covers, it’s often because of surprise contributors rather than your stars. Nothing’s worse than picking a game right but losing money because of your props!

*Remember that “odds to win” or “odds to score first” rarely offer any value. The moneyline prices offer a hidden vigorish that typically dictate you’re taking the worst of it whoever you bet. A receiver getting 10-1 odds to score the first touchdown might strike you as value…but he’s probably truly 20-1 or worse to cash the ticket. Don’t make bets on what “looks” good. Make bets on your best assessment of the true odds!

*Resist the urge to have a lot of action on the game because it’s the last one of the season. This is what squares do. This is what degenerates do. You don’t hear sharps saying “I don’t care if I win, let’s have some fun in the last game of the season!” You’re trying to pick winners. The Super Bowl often provides great value because dumb money creates openings. Don’t be the dumb money that loses. Be the patient, disciplined, smart money that wins!

You’ll have a lot of Super Bowl material to read at this website in the days leading up to the big game. You’ll be able to purchase JIM HURLEY’S final decisions on the side, total, and props with your credit card. In the meantime, you should be focused on BUILDING YOUR BANKROLLS with basketball! You become a much more dangerous sports bettor if you can back your strong opinions with big money.

Among the highlights this week:

SUNDAY: There’s a huge NBA doubleheader featuring teams that oddsmakers have had trouble pegging in recent weeks. Slumping Boston hosts inconsistent Miami in the first game on ABC at 1 p.m. ET, followed by Oklahoma City at the LA Lakers at 3:30 p.m. The media has devoted a lot of attention to the Lakers relative collapse this year. Very little attention has been paid to the unique pointspread dynamics that are in play for that group. Sharps will tell you this has been one of the easiest seasons in YEARS to beat the NBA because oddsmakers are out of synch with so many teams.

MONDAY: Big Monday on ESPN features Pittsburgh vs. Louisville in a Big East battle, followed by Kansas making a very dangerous trip to West Virginia. JIM HURLEY knows that Monday Night is the most important betting day of the week. He’ll have something very special planned for you here.

TUESDAY: How about Wisconsin at Ohio State?! You can count on big games every week in in the Big 10 because that conference is loaded. JIM HURLEY wins the TV games, but also looks elsewhere on the card to find hidden value.

WEDNESDAY: Both Duke and Miami of Florida have road challenges in the suddenly interesting ACC (at Wake Forest and Virginia Tech respectively). Wednesday Nights are like Saturdays because the schedules are so big. JIM HURLEY treats them that way. Do YOU!

We’ll keep you focused on handicapping information and strategies as the Road to March Madness continues on a daily basis for the next several weeks. If you have any questions about our service, you can call the office at 1-800-323-4453. We have great rates on seasonal packages. The Super Bowl experience can be added to any program for a nominal charge.  

The sharps have spoken. The squares have spoken. Don’t you dare bet the Super Bowl until you hear what JIM HURLEY has to say! And, don’t you dare waste this opportunity to BUILD YOUR BANKROLLS before the Super Bowl that ONLY JIM HURLEY CAN PROVIDE!

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