Early Super Bowl Pointspread: Which Conference Has the Advantage?
by George Monroy - 1/14/2015
The NFL is down to its final four teams with only two games remaining before the Super Bowl. Most bettors are probably focused on handicapping the matchups at hand and will turn their attention to the big game once Sunday's results are known. Sportsbook.ag, however, already has a Super Bowl line posted on its site, and it installed the NFC as a three-point favorite over the AFC.
That number might seem line a standard line for the oddsmakers to set, but if we project a little, there are a few scenarios where that Super Bowl spread could be much higher. So, in order to squeeze value out of every wager on the board, let's take a closer look at the potential Super Bowl matchups, predict the spreads and figure out if taking the early number of three has value.
Possible Super Bowl Matchups
Seattle Seahawks versus New England Patriots
Potential Spread : Seahawks pickem to -1.5
All things being equal, Seattle should probably open as a two- to three-point favorite over the Patriots, similar to last year when the team opened as a 1.5- to two-point favorite over the Broncos. Public action quickly made Denver the favorite, which could happen again during this potential matchup since New England is one of the most public betting teams in the NFL.
Even if Seattle is given a bit more respect by the oddsmakers this season and opens near the minus three mark, expect public action on the Patriots to move that line down. If you believe Seattle and New England will face off in the Super Bowl 49, taking the AFC plus the three points right now is the best play.
Seattle Seahawks versus Indianapolis Colts
Potential Spread : Seahawks -7 to -10
Indianapolis opened as a seven-point underdog to Denver last week, and that number eventual ballooned up to 10 and 10.5 at various sportsbooks. The Colts can be a wildly inconsistent team from week to week, so expect the spread to open at a touchdown and probably move in Seattle's favor. If you believe that Indianapolis can pull off the upset this Sunday but will not win the Super Bowl, betting on the NFC minus the points is the smart play.
Green Bay Packers versus New England Patriots
Potential Spread : Packers pickem to -1.5
Green Bay was installed as a three-point home favorite when these two teams met earlier in the season, which is a standard spread for two seemingly equally teams. A Packers versus Patriots Super Bowl would probably shatter every television ratings record and be the biggest matchup the NFL can produce. The line itself will probably open as a pick'em or with Green Bay being a slight favorite. There is very little chance that the Packers would ever be more than a three-point favorite, so if you believe this is the potential Super Bowl matchup and want New England, now is the time to take the points.
Green Bay Packers versus Indianapolis Colts
Potential Spread : Packers -7 to -10
The line on this matchup would probably open and move the exact same way that a Seahawks versus Colts matchup would. Indianapolis is the least-respected team in the eyes of both the oddsmakers and casual bettor, so expect this potential game to have a huge spread. Again, if you believe this is game will be the eventual Super Bowl 49 matchup, then there is no reason to take the AFC now because you will get a much better number by waiting a week. But taking the NFC has value, because you will shave off four to six points if this game ends up being the final matchup.
Conclusion : looking at all the scenarios for every potential Super Bowl matchup, there is really no reason to take the AFC plus the three points. If you want to bet on the AFC winning the Super Bowl, you will probably get 1.5 points anyway and could potentialy get up to seven or 10, so there is no reason to limit yourself now.
However, if you believe the NFC will win the Super Bowl no matter which team represents the conference, giving up the three points now could net you a huge discount on the line if the Colts end up in the big game. And if for some reason they don't, you are taking a similar spread at minus three to what the line will end up being anyway-minus one or two. If you want to wager on the AFC in the Super Bowl, waiting is the best idea. If you want the NFC, consider taking the minus three now.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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