Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 2:53 PM
This is our final market report of the year for pro football. It’s also the easiest to write! There’s only one more game to talk about before the NFL campaign is in the books. And, sharps have made it VERY clear what they think about the side and total in the Super Bowl based on the early numbers. The only mystery left is whether or not weekend line movement will bring in sharp position-taking the other way.
THE SHARPS LIKE THE GIANTS AT +3 OR BETTER
This game opened most places at NYG +3.5, though there were some early fours in a few offshore places at small limits. Sharps POUNDED the Giants at +3.5, and then again at +3 with favorable juice. Oddsmakers and sportsbooks were caught by surprise, and took quite a whole to find a line that backed the sharps off.
Late in the week, there was serious talk of a solid move down to NYG +2.5 everywhere, though sportsbooks are very hesitant to move off the critical number of three because the game actually landing on three would be a disaster. Hardly anyone would lose. Las Vegas media even had some sharps going on the air to say that they wouldn’t be surprised if the line kept moving down to NYG +2 or maybe NYG +1.5 if the public came in on the dog over the weekend…or if Patriots receiver Rob Gronkowski was unable to come back from his high ankle sprain.
What number would bring in sharps to shoot at a middle? Or, would sharps even bother shooting at a middle figuring they had so much value at the early numbers that they should just enjoy that advantage and try to root the Giants home? That’s something to watch on game day. An early move to the Pats would suggest that the public wants the cheap favorite. An early move toward the Giants followed by a late reversal toward the Pats would suggest the public preferred the major market dog, but sharps bought back to shoot at middles.
THE SHARPS LIKE THE UNDER AT 56, 55, AND 54.5
The total opened at 56, but has been bet down to 54 (and possibly lower by the time you read this) because there hasn’t been good news about Gronskowski’s ankle. Also, there’s a perception amongst Giant bettors that the team will try to run clock against the soft New England defense to keep Tom Brady off the field. Some of the Under “support” is really Giants support in a different form.
Weather won’t be an issue here because the game is indoors in Indianapolis. Any game day movement would be from injury-related news, or maybe a tug of war between squares and sharps. The public tends to prefer Overs in general, and particularly in the Super Bowl. Should the public drive the total higher with early betting action, sharps may come back in with more Under money if they see 54.5 or more before kickoff. On the off chance the public likes the Under, a further drop may bring in middle money from sharps at Over 53 or less.
Bottom line…it’s Giants and Under from the sharps…and they were so confident of their opinions against the early numbers that they didn’t wait until the public started betting. We’ve heard early Giants action called a “feeding frenzy” by a few sources because sharps didn’t want to wait and get stuck with a worse price. Sunday will bring another “frenzy” at Vegas books because they’ll all be so crowded. Be sure you take some time to read the market as the day progresses so you can get the best remaining price for your preferred play.
That wraps up our final look at what sharps are thinking in pro football this year. Best of luck to you in Sunday’s Super Bowl!