There is a general rule-of-thumb that governs most American football betting. If a high-powered offensive team is favored, the Over/Under line tends to go up. If the O/U line begins to go down, that means a lot of gamblers are predicting a low-scoring result with good chances for the underdog.
It hasn’t quite worked out that way for Super Bowl LIII.
Wagering on Sunday’s battle in Atlanta began with Sean McVay’s L.A. Rams a very slight moneyline favorite. Since then, heavy action on the New England Patriots to win and to cover has moved the point spread close to a field goal (-2.5) in New England’s favor.
But that’s where it gets truly interesting. Even though the betting public is prone to bet the “Over” a few too many times over the course of normal NFL action, the Over/Under total for Super Bowl LIII is dropping. The point total opened at (59) points and has fallen to as low as (55.5) at some sportsbooks.
It must be said that (59) points is a high O/U total for any NFL contest. Ordinary NFL totals can be found in the 40s-range and occasionally as low as 36 or 37. While the presence of Tom Brady behind center for the Patriots and the Rams’ rushing duo of Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson are no doubt capable of putting up points on Sunday, perhaps the casual gambler reacted to the sky-high opening total just as a shark would.
However, there could be more than meets the eye in the upcoming Super Bowl’s line movement. Mark Gallant of The Action Network believes that “sharp money,” or confident bets placed by high-rollers with inside information, is being placed on the low side of the O/U market.
Different groups of gamblers are betting on the Super Bowl in starkly-different ways. It seems that even those who believe strongly in L.A.’s defense are loathe to wager on the Rams ATS…they’re just knocking-down the point total while point-spread bettors are all-in on New England.
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