The Super Bowl betting Edge: The “public’s” affect on Lines

The Super Bowl has more non-fan, non-expert money bet on it than any other regularly scheduled sporting event.  This results in betting lines pushed passed “where they should be” to reflect the affects of one-time, ill-informed public money flooding onto one side or another (Usually, Sport Books try to balance the dollar amounts bets on both sides of a bet so that they can make their commission/juice/vig risk-free).

The Line for this year’s game between the Patriots and Falcons, as of writing, is -3.  While the Patriots are, because of their success during the “Tom Brady” era, the public’s team, this Line is not ridiculous in over-valuing them.  Analytical sites like FootballOutsiders and FiveThirtyEight see this Line either at or within a half-point of where it should be.  If late flowing public-money comes in on the Patriots to push it to over -4 or beyond, the Falcons would become a more attractive bet (Nothing is, of course, guaranteed; but a skewed betting line can create a value bet where none existed before).

For my money, the best bet this Super Bowl can be found in a betting line pushed higher by public money and breathless media reports of the excellence of the offenses of both teams — the Over/Under.  As of writing, the Over/Under is 59.5, which means if you bet the Over you are betting that the combined scores of both teams will be 60 points or higher (And Under at 59 or lower).

59.5 points is a great deal of points. It is a total that has very rarely been exceeded in a Super Bowl.  By way of comparison, the Falcons have only gone over that in eight of their 18 games this season and the Patriots have gone over only once.  Sure,  the Falcons are averaging 34.4 points this season and the Patriots are averaging 28.4 for a combined total over 59.5, but that does not take in account defenses and the fact that for one team to score that many points in a game they are usually dominating the time of possession and not simply trading scores back and forth.

If you are going to bet on this Super  Bowl with an “edge,” I see it in betting on the edge created by the Main Stream Media reports of the historic greatness of both offense.  I see it in betting on the Under 59.5.