Oddsmakers don’t see Super Bowl pointspread moving off key number

The weekend crush is just about here in Las Vegas, meaning maybe – just maybe – the line and the total on Super Bowl LI will see some movement, urged along by all that public money. Covers talks about where the action is now and where it might be headed with Johnny Avello, executive director of race and sports at Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip, and Mike Jerome, lines manager for offshore sportsbook TopBet.eu.

New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons – Open: +3; Move: +3 (even); Move: +3 (-105); Move: +3

New England (16-2 SU, 15-3 ATS) drew enough money last week to force a couple of moves on its price, but not enough to move it off the number, by any means. The Wynn adjusted the Patriots from -3 flat to -3 (-120), which took Atlanta to +3 (even money). Avello then took the price to -115 before returning to the standard -110, and there’s been no movement for a week now.

Likewise, the total opened at 58.5 on Jan. 22, ticked up to 59 within an hour and hasn’t budged since.

“It’s been a steady diet of 3 and 59. That’s it,” Avello said. “We’re still sitting at that number. It seems like every time we move the line past 3 (flat), the wiseguys take it back. Now, the wiseguy money certainly isn’t gonna overwhelm the public money, but it’s good that we have some balance there.

“The total, I could go to 59.5 very easily, but I’m still holding at 59 as of now, thinking that maybe there’ll be a push on the under. Maybe not. Maybe this thing’s going to 60.”

But could that pointspread nose up, as well, to 3.5? Not likely.

“I don’t think so,” Avello said. “There could be that big push come Saturday or even Sunday, or maybe a couple of big bets, maybe a couple of million-dollar bets come in. Possibly I want to move off of there to get some buyback, because I’m not gonna get enough that late in the game with only an hour or two to go. That’s always possible, but what I’m seeing now is 3 is the right number. That’s where the two-way action sits.”

At TopBet.eu, the line opened Pats -3 and the total at 58. Sharp over money took the total to 59 right away, where it remains, and like Avello, Jerome has moved the price but not the number on the pointspread – nor does he expect to.

“Since 69 percent of the cash and 73 percent of bets on the spread are taking the Patriots, we have moved the juice in favor of the Pats to -115,” Jerome said. “And since 3 is the most important number when it comes to NFL gambling, we don’t expect to move off it, and if anything, we will move the juice again in the Pats’ direction and use -3 (-120) come Sunday.”

Jerome said that on the current total, the over has drawn 78 percent of the cash and 84 percent of the bets, so he could see TopBet.eu going to 60 by game day.

The moneyline opened New England -155/Atlanta +135 at Wynn, and the Patriots went as high as -165 last week but have been at -150 this whole week. TopBet.eu opened -165/+145, but 77 percent of the cash and 83 percent of tickets are on the Falcons, so Jerome’s shop is now at -160/+140.

“I could see us going as low as Pats -150/+130 when the game kicks” Jerome said.

Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.


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