Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 1:00 PM
The tricky thing about reporting how sharps have been betting this Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup featuring the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagle is that they mostly HAVEN’T been betting yet! There was a long delay as everyone waited to learn about the status of Rob Gronkowski for the Pats. New finally broke Thursday afternoon that he was cleared through concussion protocol and would be playing.
Sharps didn’t bet that news.
So, at the very least, we know that sharps don’t like the Patriots at -4 or -4.5 even with Gronkowski in the lineup. That tells us a lot about their intent for the weekend. Sharps are looking to bet the Eagles, and are hoping that traditional public interest on the favorite will take the line up to +5 or more before kickoff. Wise Guys will try to anticipate and time the apex. If it turns out the public is split between the two teams rather than in love with the favorite, sharps may have to accept that +4.5 is the best they’re going to get.
Why wouldn’t squares lay this price with New England now that Gronkowski will be in the lineup?
*New England’s Super Bowl history is all close games
*New England was in trouble vs. Jacksonville even before Gronk got hurt
*Philadelphia is a fun Cinderella team to root for
*Philadelphia looked GREAT in the NFC Championship vs. Minnesota
If you’re only going off the eye test, the Eagles were much more impressive the last time out. That’s fairly uncommon for Super Bowl favorites. Often the favorite is a juggernaut that the public just cashed a ticket with. On championship Sunday, favorite bettors lost with the Pats, and then lost BIG fading the Eagles. Tough to come right back and fade the Eagles after they crushed Minnesota 38-7.
Tourists continue to arrive in Las Vegas as we speak for the big weekend. Be sure you monitor the markets to get a read on how they’re betting. It could be that the tourists will be loading up on the favorite once they’re finally in town and settled. Or, we could be dealing with a relatively surprising dynamic where the line goes DOWN because tourists want the Eagles. What if sharps have to think about taking the Patriots at a line like -3? Nobody anticipated that when the opener went up at New England -6 on Championship Sunday. Turned out that was a bad misread of betting sentiment.
I’m confident in outlining it this way:
*Sharps will bet the Eagles at +5 or better
*Sharps will bet the Patriots at -3 (though it’s unlikely to drop that far)
I don’t think the line will go that low. But, if there is a public bandwagon on the Eagles…to go along with what a few very big bettors have already invested on that team (the mainstream media has reported already on a few million dollar bets on the dog)…there’s at least a slight possibility that this scenario plays out. That would make for a very surprising Sunday here in Las Vegas.
I believe it’s most likely now that public money will be fairly split, or slightly shaded to the Patriots. That’s the trend thus far with early tourist play (many arrive Thursday to make it a long weekend). That will bring sharps in at +5 or +4.5.
What about the Over/Under? Sharps haven’t done much here either. Stores have been at 48 or 48.5 all week. I take that to mean that the Wise Guys are looking to bet Under, and are waiting to let square money hit the Over and bring 49 (or higher) into play. Note that the Gronkowski news didn’t inspire any sharp money on the Over or the team side. If quants had gradings in the area of Patriots 31, Eagles 24 with a healthy Gronk, they would have pounded Patriots and Over Thursday afternoon. Didn’t happen. Sharps are waiting for their traditional dog and Under combo, hoping square money inflates the lines for them.
Of course, if you’ve been monitoring betting chatter this week, you know there are a few hundred props up on the board across the state. Different locales have different specialties to entice visitors to come in and place bets. Impossible to do justice to this topic here in a brief recap. I can tell you that the public generally bets on “things happening” like yards being gained, touchdowns being scored, field goals being kicked. That leads to a lot of sharp money hitting the board in the hour before kickoff betting Unders at inflated lines. If you want to bet props like a sharp…think about how to find smart Under bets Sunday afternoon.
I have my mind made up about how I’m going to play the game. You can purchase my Super Bowl selections Sunday right here at the website with your credit card. I’ll be building bankroll before then with basketball. You regulars know that college basketball is my favorite sport to handicap. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. I have very affordable rates for basketball through March Madness or the NBA Championships.
Thanks for reading. Have a great time watching the game, and hopefully, winning your bets. I’ll be back next week to focus on basketball through March Madness.