The last time the point spread in a Super Bowl was less than three, the year was 1983 and “Maneater” by Hall and Oates was the No. 1 song in the country.
In that game, the Redskins rolled the Dolphins as a two-point underdog. Vegas is expecting to be rooting for a similar result 27 years later. The Packers, favored by 2½ points, are garnering the majority of attention so far.
“Everyone that is going to back Green Bay is going to believe that the game is going to be high-scoring, so laying three isn’t going to be an issue for them,” said Jay Rood, director of the MGM sports book in Las Vegas.
The line could have been even smaller. According to Rood, the ankle injury suffered by Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey in the AFC Championship Game was a big factor in setting the line.
“I think the injury to Pouncey is what dictated a little bit of the number coming this way,” Rood said. “And the fact that the Steelers played not-so-hot in the second half against the Jets.”
If you like the Steelers, you’ll be searching for a three-point spread. Then if the Packers kick a field goal to win the game, you’ll earn a push. However, bookmakers are notorious for avoiding moving a line to that magic number.
Since so many games are decided by a field goal, they don’t want to lose bets on both sides.
“If it becomes a tidal wave of Green Bay money, at some point were going to have to go to three. But I’m in a spot right now where I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that whatsoever,” Rood said. “That would be last resort for me, going to three.”
There’s a history from 2009
These two teams met in Pittsburgh during Week 15 of the 2009 season.
The Steelers were a 2½- point favorite in that one. The Packers covered even though they lost, 37-36.
The over/under is set at a reasonable 44½ for the Super Bowl, mostly because of improved defense. The Steelers and Packers ranked first and second, respectively, in scoring defense this season.
» The underdog has covered the point spread in six of the last nine Super Bowls.
» The Steelers have covered both of their playoff games this season and six of their last seven overall.
» The Steelers are 9-1 against the spread in their last 10 playoff games.
» The Packers have covered five of their last six games against teams with a winning record.
» The Packers have covered all three of their playoff games this season and five of their last six overall.
» The Packers are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games as a favorite.
Fun with propositions
Odds the MVP will thank God first
Other choices include teammates at 2-1 and coach at 9-1. But “does not thank anyone” at 3-1 is an intriguing play.
Odds the Gatorade dump will be blue
Blue is the longshot as the radical, new flavor. We still like yellow as the crispest choice, even though it’s the favorite at -120.
Over/under Brett Favre name drops
With the controversy between Aaron Rodgers and Favre still a story, the over here looks like a lock.
Three of the more commonly bet props:
1 Player to score the first TD — Heath Miller is our pick for value at 12-1.
2 Number of punts in the game — Started at 7½, and it’s up to 8½ now.
3 Will any points be scored in the first 6 1/2 minutes — If the Steelers get the ball first, no is a strong bet.?