The Seattle Seahawks opened as a two-point favorite in Super Bowl 49, but that line quickly changed. The line swung within a day to see the New England Patriots sitting as one-point favorites. The line has since moved to as much two-points, depending on your sportsbook of choice. If the line holds, it will mark the third time Seattle has been a Super Bowl underdog.
This line change came due to some heavy money on the Patriots. We spoke with Bovada.lv Sportsbook manager Kevin Bradley, to get his thoughts on why that happened:
The instant Pats money early last week I think is a direct relation to the fact that the Pats smashed the Colts and was fresh in people's minds and given Seattle's struggles against Green Bay, I was not surprised to see the public all over them early.
The line is set based on how sportsbooks anticipate money coming in. They will consider both the public money and "sharp" money in making adjustments. A sharp is someone seen as a professional, and likely having a better understanding of a sports matchup from a gambling perspective. We asked Kevin if sharp money might be different from the public:
Given we are +2 on Seattle, we are seeing some sharp money on them. However, overall still 2/3 of money is on New England and we are comfortable holding that line right now. We will need the Hawks, who are also a great result for us from a futures perspective.
While America could very well end up split on who they want to win on Sunday, sportsbooks will be rooting for the Seahawks for two reasons. First, a majority of money is coming in on New England. Ideally the sportsbook gets an even split, but with 2/3 of the money on the Patriots, a New England win would cost them. Second, the Seahawks were an early favorite to win the Super Bowl following their win over Denver. That means a lot of Seahawks futures bets were not going to have crazy odds that would cost the sportsbook. New England was not far behind Seattle, but sportsbooks would be paying out more for many of those wagers.