How are you enjoying Super Bowl bye week?
Early bettors have already weighed in, with the majority betting the Kansas City Chiefs from pick ‘em to one-point favorites over the San Francisco 49ers and betting the Over/Under from as low as 51 to the current consensus total of 54.5. And, of course, everyone is starting to look at the plethora of proposition wagers that are popping up in Las Vegas and elsewhere.
If you love to bet Over, a lot of the value is gone (and let the bettor beware that we were high on the Over last year and the Patriots completely shut down the Rams’ offense, 13-3). If you prefer the Under, you might wait as bookmakers say that 90% of wagers come on game day, so it’s likely that the late crowd will drive the total higher.
As for the point spread, I lean to the Chiefs but this is as much of a coin flip as the opening line indicated. It should be a close game, so the first props betting should be influenced by that:
“Yes” on “Will there be a tie after 0-0?’ (-110).
“Under” on “Largest Lead Over/Under 14.5 points?” (-110).
“Yes” on “Will there be Overtime?” (8-1).
“Tie” on “First-Half Results/Game Winner” (12-1 on Tie/Chiefs and 12-1 on Tie/49ers).
In the meantime, there’s plenty of other sports to wager on this weekend (and I’m not including the NHL or NFL all-star exhibitions as they change the rules on those so much that no one knows what’s going to happen).
Takes on college basketball
If you’ve been following college basketball at all, you know that it’s been great to bet against AP Top 25 teams against unranked teams, especially on the road. I wish I had been ahead of trend as Tulsa’s 80-40 rout of No. 20 Memphis on Wednesday night was the 66th time this season that an unranked team has upset a Top 25 team. There aren’t lines yet for these games, but consider these unranked home teams:
Saturday: Florida vs. No. 1 Baylor, Richmond vs. No. 7 Dayton, Providence vs. No. 9 Villanova, Michigan vs. No. 21 Illinois and Arizona State vs. No. 22 Arizona.
Sunday: UNLV vs. No. 4 San Diego State, Minnesota vs. No. 11 Michigan State and Indiana vs. No. 17 Michigan State.
(For early readers, Indiana is a 4-point home dog vs. No. 11 Michigan State on Thursday night.)
Takes on the NHL
I’m jumping in on NHL First Period Over/Unders after the All-Star Break as we had a lot of success with these in the second half of last season.
Monday, Jan. 27: St. Louis-Vancouver 1P Over 1.5 (Canucks are on an 11-3 1P--first period--Over run and 57.14 percent overall while Blues are at 55 percent).
Wednesday, Jan. 29: Arizona-Ducks 1P Over 1.5 (both teams hitting 1P Over at 58% with Ducks also on a 9-1 1P Over run).
Thursday, Jan. 30: Kings-Arizona 1P Over 1.5 (Kings hitting 60% 1P Overs with Coyotes at 58.82%).
Friday, Jan. 31: Carolina-Las Vegas 1P Over 1.5 (both around 59% on 1P Overs); Blues-Oilers 1P Over 1.5 (Oilers a league-best 67.35% with Blues at 55%).
Takes on MLB
If you’re looking for future bets, MLB Over/Under season win totals came out last week on BetMGM and elsewhere in the midst of the sign-stealing scandal. There are thoughts on those wagers (assuming we’ve seen the last of the suspensions/penalties, which is why we aren’t touching the Red Sox):
Houston Over 94.5 wins: A lot of people are expecting the Astros’ success to drop after the scandal and the Over/Under season win total opened 97 at Caesars but is now down to 95 there while it’s 94.5 at the Westgate SuperBook. However, there’s a lot to be said for the motivation of a talented team that feels the whole world is saying they succeeded because of cheating (see post-InflateGate New England). I’m waiting to see if it goes any lower, but either way bet the Over.
Chicago White Sox Over 84 wins: I nailed the AL Central last year with the Twins at 9-2 to win the division, but they’re overpriced now at -125. The White Sox are attracting a lot of attention so now is probably the time to go Over their win total of 84 as well as taking them at +275 to win the AL Central.
Milwaukee Over 82.5 & San Diego Over 82.5: In the National League, the East & Central races are too wide-open to call while the Dodgers are too loaded to bet against in the West, but there’s value in going Over these two teams as the Brewers get Christian Yelich back with a solid team and the Padres are an up-and-coming team that should easily finish above .500.
Dave Tuley writes for VSiN, the sports betting network.