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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Even though the Super Bowl lines have been up in Las Vegas for several days, there’s a lingering suspicion that a lot of smart money will hit the board this weekend. Sharps who prefer New England bet very early in the process, sensing that public sentiment was going to be on the Patriots. Sharps preferring Seattle have taken some early positions, but are still hoping to see something better if there’s a game day surge from squares on Tom Brady.

Remember…tourists will just start arriving in Las Vegas Friday night for the big sports weekend. If early betting is any indication (and it almost always is), the bulk of those tourists will be betting on the Patriots.

Why?

*Squares love betting on Tom Brady

*Squares REALLY love betting on Tom Brady at cheap prices

*New England played great in the AFC Championship game

*Seattle needed a miracle to win the NFC Championship game

*A lot more casual fans “hate” Seattle than “hate” New England

Frankly, there’s a lot of dislike to go around because both are teams people “love to hate” if they’re not directly involved in rooting for them. But, Seattle has an arrogant swagger that rubs more people the wrong way, while there’s some sentimental rooting for Brady because his time at the top of the sport is running out.

Why are so many sharps looking at Seattle?

*Sharps respect defense, particularly in championship games

*Sharps had Seattle as at least 2 points superior in their earlier Power Ratings

*Sharps know the public often overreacts to what happened in the last game

Probably the biggest factor is that most sharp syndicates had Seattle projected to be about -2 or -3 in the Super Bowl prior to the championship games. This deep in the season, they trust their numbers….and aren’t likely to make a dramatic change based on an off-week for the Seahawks and a great game from the Patriots. Maybe they move their line a point…but they don’t move all the way to make New England the favorite.

And, that sets up this weekend. Not all sharps, but a meaningful number of sharps think Seattle should be the favorite…and they know a large influx of New England money has just arrived in Las Vegas. After investing a bit at +1 this past week “just in case” that was the apex, they’ll wait and hope for something better by kickoff.

The Over/Under is down to 47.5 or even 47 as I write this. Last week we talked about how early money was on Under 49. I thought 48 might represent a low because the public usually bets Overs in the Super Bowl…particularly when the favorite is led by a Hall-of-Fame quarterback. That hasn’t happened yet…and doesn’t look like it’s going to for meaningful money. So, more sharp money had ventured in at 48 (a relatively common number because games can end 28-20, 27-21, 31-17, etc…) Sportsbooks have had to come down further to encourage Over money. They’re almost begging squares to bet the Over at 47.

Summarizing sharp betting so far:

*New England backers are in at +2, +1, and some at pick-em

*Seattle backers are in for a bit at +1, but are monitoring weekend action

*Totals players are in STRONG on the Under at 49 and 48.5, with more even coming in at 48.

There’s a chance that a sharp two-team teaser may come into play if New England is bet up to at least -1.5 by the public. That would put the game in the “basic strategy” window which would allow Seattle backers to move +1.5 up to +7.5 (crossing both the 3 and the 7) in a six-point move. They would pair Seattle +7.5 with the Under…particularly if the public pushes the game back up to 48. Many sharps would find that combination (Seattle +7.5 and Under 54) very attractive if it comes into play, since they have the Seahawks as the “real” favorite in their numbers because of their superior defense.

I’ll be out here all weekend in the heart of the action. And, I’ll post my personal game day selections at the widely available prices right here at the website Sunday morning. You can purchase those with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 Friday during normal business hours or this weekend before the first Saturday and Sunday games kickoff. I hope you’ll consider making it a full weekend experience by building your bankroll with Friday night and Saturday basketball.  

This will be the final football report of the season. I greatly appreciate the response in Las Vegas and around the world to my weekly analysis of sharp NFL betting. We will be focusing on college basketball exclusively beginning next week, as we start counting down the days to March Madness. Thanks very much for reading. Enjoy the Super Bowl! See you next week.

 

Be sure to follow:

Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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