Super Bowl: Rooting for the bookies
It’s not a coincidence bookies drive through town in BMWs and Vegas casinos build multibillion-dollar gambling palaces. The house wins.
So maybe we should stop trying to analyze the matchups, injuries, home-field advantage and who is hot. Perhaps a more effective strategy would be to simply figure out what the bookies want to happen, and then bet on their side.
The folks at SportsInsights.com do that, tracking the number of bets that come in on each side at six independent major offshore books. Using that info, they decipher who is pushing the line and thus what those books are rooting for.
“You want to follow the sharp money, you want to follow the Warren Buffetts of our industry,” said Dan Fabrizio, the president of SportsInsights. “Not the other way around.”
Sunday’s game between the Patriots and Giants sticks out to Fabrizio, and not just because it’s the Super Bowl. As of Thursday, 61 percent of bets were coming in on the underdogs from New York.
“That’s very rare. Typically, you’ll see the favorite getting the majority of public bets,” said Fabrizio. “I would say nine times out of 10 it’s going to be on the favorite.”
Everyone and their grandmother wagers the Super Bowl, so the line appears to be getting pushed by unsophisticated, or “square” bettors. After opening at Patriots minus-3.5 in most spots, the line has gone to minus-3 and minus-2.5 in some shops.
SportsInsights is recommending a play on the Patriots at minus-2.5. No one knows if that will hit, but we do know that they will be cheering when the bookies cheer.
1. Will Kelly Clarkson’s bare belly be showing during the national anthem? You’ll get 3-1 odds, but that’s a bad bet. After Janet’s malfunction, no way we’ll get a peek.
2. How many times will Peyton Manning be shown on TV during? The over/under is 3.5, making the over a strong play. Between Eli, the neck and Peyton’s impending release, this is like free money.
3. Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first? The favorite is “teammates” at 5/4, but the value play is “Does not thank anyone” at 5/2. These guys have to look out for No. 1.
4. Who will have more points: Paul Pierce or the Patriots? The Pats are getting 3.5 and the smart money is on them. Pierce is up against defensive stopper Tony Allen.
*Courtesy of Bovada.lv and Sportsbook.ag