Super Bowl line watch: What happened to the 2.5 points?


USA Today Sports

Like Yogi Berra was purported to have said: When you come to the fork in the road, take it.

Super Bowl betting season is over, and for the first time in history of SB betting lines, there is no money line. All bettors need to do is pick the winner in this one, because oddsmakers have determined that, for now anyway, no one will get or give points when the teams kick off in Arizona in about two weeks.

The big question is what happened to 2.5 points.

Before the AFC and NFC championship games were played on Sunday, there was word that a Green Bay-New England Super Bowl would be a pick ‘em, but if the matchup was Seahawks-Patriots, then Seattle would be laying out 2.5 to New England backers.

That all apparently changed on Sunday, when the Seahawks  — who had been kicking hiney and taking names down the stretch and into the playoffs – for some reason looked very beatable for more than three periods at home against the Packers.

GB’s eventual choke which opened to the door for Seattle to get to the Super Bowl a second straight season perhaps gave oddsmakers pause. And while offshores and Vegas books were still digesting the impact of Seattle’s near-death experience in the rain in the Northwest, the Patriots further muddied the waters by putting the hammer to the Colts in also-sopping Foxboro.

The Pats were no longer the Pats who rose from the ashes against the Ravens the week before when they had to perform their own Great Escape. They were the 2007 Belichick-Brady Patriots who took no prisoners.

What were oddsmakers to do? The Seattle-is-a-bit-better narrative had been crushed in a six-hour Sunday time frame, and if a 2.5-point line had been survived NE’s 45-7 win, there would have been riots in the streets of Vegas as bettors flocked to books to grab the points.

That would have mandated a quick line adjustment as books tried to limit overexposure. Best to bite the bullet quickly, so the result was a split-the-baby line in which no one gets or gives.

Somewhere Yogi is smiling.


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