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Super Bowl 2019 Odds: Sportsbooks test Pats -3 as bets as money keeps pouring in on New England

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The opening line for the 2019 Super Bowl was pretty shocking, with multiple sportsbooks opening things up with the Patriots as underdogs. It had been that way for a week now: you could wager on a hypothetical matchup between the Rams and Patriots in some places, with the Rams sitting as a one-point favorite.

So naturally when the actual matchup was set, the Rams were installed as one-point favorites. That lasted all of 10 minutes. The Westgate (now known as Superbook USA and an industry standard for these things) moved from Rams -1 to Patriots -1.5. 

By Sunday night, the expectation from Superbook sports director John Murray was the Patriots would be a two-point favorite pretty quickly. By Monday, the line was Patriots -2 almost universally across the board. 

The wild swing continues and as of Tuesday morning, the line continued to move as money continued to pour in on New England as a short favorite and the Patriots were -2.5 in a lot of places and -2 everywhere else.

So much money has poured in on the Patriots that the levee finally broke and multiple sportsbooks moved the line to Patriots -3, making New England a full field goal in this matchup.

Chris Andrews of South Point’s sportsbook decided to test the waters and make the Rams +3 in the Super Bowl. It didn’t last long — within 20 minutes the South Point moved back to Patriots -2.5 because of furious action on the Rams.

“It lasted about 20 minutes. We got a lot of play on the Rams +3, mostly wiseguys on the mobile app,” Andrews said via Covers.com’s Patrick Everson. “We just wanted to test the waters.”

Per Everson, Andrews said he expects the line to get to -3 anyway by kickoff on Super Bowl Sunday, so he wanted to see how much action the Rams got as a full field goal favorite. 

Jeff Sherman of the Westgate correctly guessed on VSiN Radio Tuesday that if he moved the line to Rams +3 it “would not last more than a couple minutes.”

“I would probably say if this line hits three, it would not last more than a couple minutes with the sharps taking it back, because that is pretty far off what the power rating everyone has. I’m not expecting three, but if it does, I’ll even be involved and I’ll be on the Rams +3 at that point,” Sherman explained. “I think as we get closer to the game, the sharps are waiting to see how high this can get. I think there are some that are going to be involved on the Rams side because this number is a few points off what it should be. But you’re just talking about the overwhelming amount of money that the general public wants to get involved with on the Belichick and Brady side that has this a little bit falsified in my opinion.”

Sherman added that he made the game Patriots -1 at the outset and a lot of people in the room making the line had the game as a pick ’em, but they went with the power rankings and opened it as Rams -1. When the rush of money shot in on the Patriots, the Westgate just bypassed everything and moved it to -2.5 instead of taking money across the board as they moved it up. 

Three is a “key number” in football because of the value of a field goal, obviously. 

You can still find the Rams +3 out on the market, though. At Bovada.lv, the Patriots are -3 — if you want to bet the Rams, you have to pay a little bit of juice (-115) but you can get them for roughly market price. New England is -2.5 (-115) at Sportsbook.com, indicating the Patriots will eventually move to -3. BetOnline.ag still has New England -2.5 at the standard juice (-110).

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As of Monday on the Westgate’s mobile app, the Patriots had not yet moved to -2, but as of Tuesday afternoon the line bumped all the way to Patriots -2.5.  

By late Sunday night, after opening up the game as a pick ’em, William Hill US released numbers that were pretty staggering how heavy the action is on the Patriots. 

A whopping 83 percent of the tickets placed were on the Patriots, while an absurd 94 percent of the money wagered was on the Patriots. 

The Action Network tracks bets and it has numbers that check out as well: through Tuesday afternoon — with more than 21,000 bets tracked — 84 percent of the bets tracked are on the Pats, while 87 percent of the money is on New England. 

In other words, people watching New England play against the Chargers and Chiefs the last two weeks has everyone convinced it’s absurd to bet against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. That’s not the worst approach to take. 

Expecting the Patriots to lose football games is a terrible strategy. But they’re not actually covering machines in their storied Super Bowl history. Maybe it cools down a bit, but I would expect to see the Pats clock in around -3 by the time Super Bowl week actually rolls around. 

The over/under for this matchup is also on the move after opening at a historically high number of 58. According to P.J. Walsh of The Action Network, there was a ton of money on the under in this game as well. It creeped up to 59 quickly after the open — likely on the flood of people betting PATS AND THE OVER because that’s what gamblers do — and then immediately got pushed back down. 

A historically high over/under total will always attract action (on both sides), but 58 percent of the bets and 67 percent of the money were on the under in this case, driving it back down to 58 and even to 57.5 in some spots. This was apparently not “sharp” money but just a heavy flow of bets on the under. 

By Tuesday afternoon, the over/under had settled right in at 57.5 almost universally. 

<em>Super Bowl LIII is Sunday, Feb. 3, in Atlanta </em>and it will air on CBS and streamed here on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App for <em>free on most connected devices</em>.



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