Welcome to Super Bowl Weekend! The two-week wait is nearly over as we are now just one day away from the Big Game.
Friday marked the second consecutive day that smart money poured in on the under. After opening at 51.5, the total shot all the way up to 55 behind more than 80% of tickets expecting a shootout and taking the over. However, sharp under buyback hit the market at under 55 on Thursday and then again at under 54.5 yesterday. The line is now down to 54 at most books, with a handful of outliers still hanging 54.5.
Sports betting is all about value and beating the closing line. If you bet the over early at 51.5, 52 or 52.5 you got great value. However, once the line reached 55, all the value turned to the inflated under.
In terms of the spread, two-thirds of bets continue to support Kansas City. Most books remains at Chiefs -1 (after opening at a pick'em), but we did see a handful of books jump back to Chiefs -1.5 on Friday. Jimmy Vaccaro reported a $75,000 bet on the Chiefs -1 (-110) at the South Point.
Ben Fawkes of ESPN reported that the largest prop bet to be placed so far was $267,000 on Damien Williams under 53.5 rushing yards (-118) at FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands in New Jersey.
Also, remember that most prop bets are providing more value to the under at this point. For more than a week the public has been pumping them up by betting the over, which has caused the odds to skyrocket similar to the total in the game. You can now bet a lot of unders with heightened inflated line value. For example, at William Hill, the Patrick Mahomes rushing yards prop has been bet up from 29.5 to 35.5. By buying low on the under, you can take advantage of six extra yards off the opener.
One interesting prop update: CEO Johnny Aitken of PointsBet told VSiN that the color of the Gatorade shower on the winning coach has taken in heavy steam on purple, moving from + 1000 to -200. "We're praying for anything but grape." Remember, wacky props like this are only available in non-Vegas markets.
For more analysis and betting updates, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 9 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. Michael and I will be coming to you live from the Moneyline Bar and Book at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Come and say hi!
Now let's shift our attention to Saturday's stacked pro and college basketball slate and discuss a few games receiving sharp action.
7 p.m. ET: Miami Heat (32-15) at Orlando Magic (21-27)
This Southeast division battle looks way too good to be true at first glance. The Heat are tied for the 3rd best record in the Eastern Conference while the Magic are below .500 and holding on tightly to the 8th seed. This line opened with Miami listed as a short 1.5-point road favorite. More than 80% of early bets are laying the points yet the line has barely budged. This signals some liability on the home dog. Miami is an incredible 21-3 at home but just 11-12 on the road. On the flip side, the Magic are 8-16 on the road but 13-11 at home. Orlando also enjoys a rest advantage, having last played on Monday compared to Miami last playing on Tuesday. Orlando has also lost four straight, providing great buy-low value. The under is also taking in sharp money, falling from 206.5 to 206. Divisional unders are 77-66 (54%) this season.
8 p.m. ET: Brooklyn Nets (21-26) at Washington Wizards (16-31)
The public takes one look at the Wizards' record and automatically wants to fade them. However, a closer look at this matchup signals pro money backing Washington in a valuable situational spot at home. The Nets are on the second night of a back-to-back while the Wizards last played on Thursday. Brooklyn is just 8-14 on the road while Washington is a respectable 10-11. This line opened with Brooklyn listed as a short 1-point road favorite. More than three-out-of-four bets are backing the Nets yet the line has flipped to Wizards -1. This signals sharp reverse line movement with pros backing the home team.
College Hoops Sharp Action
Xavier + 9 to + 8 at Seton Hall
Mississippi + 12 to + 11.5
Michigan State-Wisconsin Over 129.5 to 130.5
Providence + 8.5 to + 7.5 at Butler
TCU + 12.5 to + 11.5 at Baylor
Fresno State -7 to -8.5 vs New Mexico
Wichita State + 1 to -2 at Tulsa