One of the biggest choices that gamblers will make isn’t whether or not they prefer Seattle or Denver, it’s whether or not to take the points or bet the moneyline at Super Bowl 48. At its fundamental core, the spread is a handicap that outlines how much better one team is than another. Denver opened as a -2.0 favorite for the mega matchup at Metlife and have already shaded up to -2.5 in the first few days. According to the oddsmakers, this is supposed to be a tight game.
Don’t tell that to the general public. A financial avalanche has cascaded down on Denver’s side of the line. Nearly three-quarters of all the action we’ve seen so far is backing the Denver Broncos. Normally lines don’t move that much in either direction; we usually see a 3.0 point shift at most during the regular season.
But the Super Bowl is different because there’s a lot more action involved since it’s the largest, single betting event of the year. So if you’re going to bet the moneyline at Super Bowl 48, and you agree with the public that the Broncos will win, then now is the best time to grab the odds.
Super Bowl 48 Money Line
Seattle Seahawks +120
Denver Broncos -140
Why should you bet the moneyline at Super Bowl 48?
Simple. It eliminates risk. You don’t have to worry about how much Denver beats Seattle by, and it keeps your rooting interest pointed in one direction. Some times the spread is so large that the moneyline is a tough pill to swallow, but with the odds being what they are right now, you’re actually getting a very good value. The oddsmakers are opening the flood gates for every type of gambler, from the risk averse to the daring dare devils, to get in on the action.
For the past ten years, only one team has been favored by double-digits in the Super Bowl and that was the previously undefeated New England Patriots who opened with a -14.0 point handicap that closed at -12.0 (see more historical Super Bowl betting trends here). As you probably remember, they lost the 2007 championship to the New York Football Giants. In fact, the underdog is a cagey 7-3 ATS in the last 10 Super Bowl matchups.
The problem with giving that trend any significant weight is multi-faceted, but hinges on two data points from the history of the Super Bowl. This is the smallest spread we’ve seen on the big game in the last decade, and is currently tied with the Super Bowl line we saw two years ago in the Giants-Patriots rematch which favored New England at -2.5 at closing. The favorite has gone on to win 6 of the last 10 Super Bowls.
Beyond that, the Super Bowl favorite has also gone 33-14 in the 47 games. Odds are that the team that the oddsmakers prefer is going to win out in the final game of the year. To make matters even more complicated, the favorite is just 3-3 ATS in their last 6 victories at the Super Bowl so those of you wondering if you should bet the moneyline at Super Bowl 48 need to remember that more often than not, it’s the safer play.
From a value standpoint, you’re only risking slightly more to get the same payout if you side with Denver. At standard pricing, Denver would be a -110 bet to cover the -2.5 point spread so laying down a little more at -140 isn’t too much to ask for and you eliminate all the guess work. Moneyline betting just makes things easier, and it’s not hard to do with these kinds of odds. Frankly, if you prefer the Broncos (and most people do) in this game then you should bet the moneyline at Super Bowl 48 simply from a cost-to-risk ratio standpoint.
Of course, if you prefer Seattle, chances are you can afford to wait to see if you can get better than a +120 payout. Considering how this line might evolve over the next week and a half, those that would rather take the Seahawks as a bet need to gauge the value of having a point cushion versus taking a swing for the fences. Right now the moneyline for the underdogs isn’t worth taking if you’re going to side with Russell Wilson.
Those that are going to take Denver, however, should bet the moneyline at Super Bowl 48 and avoid the catastrophe of a backdoor cover.