The 2015 Super Bowl is just around the corner, and the gambling line appears to be settling in for the game. As soon as the conference championship games wrapped two weeks ago, the Seattle Seahawks opened as a two-point favorites for Super Bowl 49. However, money quickly started coming in on the New England Patriots, and they have now emerged as the favorite heading into the game. The line has since moved to as much two points, depending on your sportsbook of choice.
This line change developed due to significant money wagered on the Patriots. Through the bye week, as much as 70 percent of money wagered was going on the Patriots. SB Nation spoke with Bovada.lv sportsbook manager Kevin Bradley to get his thoughts on why the money was so heavy for New England:
The instant Pats money early last week I think is a direct relation to the fact that the Pats smashed the Colts and was fresh in people's minds and given Seattle's struggles against Green Bay, I was not surprised to see the public all over them early.
Sportsbooks set the line based on how they anticipate money coming in from gamblers. The number is set based on how both public and "sharp" money is coming in. A sharp is someone who is a professional gambler. They are expected to have a better handle on sports matchups from a gambling perspective, and thus can have greater influence on the line. At the same time, sportsbooks want to have an even amount of money coming in from both sides of the line. We asked Kevin if sharp money might be different from the public:
Given we are +2 on Seattle, we are seeing some sharp money on them. However, overall still 2/3 of money is on New England and we are comfortable holding that line right now. We will need the Hawks, who are also a great result for us from a futures perspective.
The heavy money on New England means sportsbooks are going to need a Seattle win to make back their money. Additionally, a Seahawks win would help in paying off futures bets. The Seahawks were an early favorite to win the Super Bowl following their win over Denver. That meant that a lot of Seahawks futures bets were not going to have crazy odds that would cost the sportsbook. The Seahawks Super Bowl odds got worse during their early struggles, but a lot of Seahawks money was coming in when they were among the heavy favorites. New England was not far behind Seattle, but sportsbooks would be paying out more for many of those wagers.