The people who put their money where their mouths are have spoken: going into Wild Card Weekend, the Denver Broncos are the favorites to win Super Bowl 47.
It might be easy to dismiss betting lines as something conjured up by Vegas (or whomever), but to guarantee a win for a game, the sportsbooks need to get a 50/50 split in bets, letting the house take in the even split plus the vig. That means the odds shift as people bet, accurately reflecting popular (gambler) opinion. When it comes to the Super Bowl, the pool of gamblers is large and easily reflects popular opinion.
Futures don't shift exactly the same way (there's no 50/50), but they do shift as bets are placed and news (namely wins and injuries) happen.
At IAOFM we're of the firm belief that there are fans who are greater experts than the experts. The sports version of Auguste Gusteau's "anyone can cook" (can you tell I have kids?).
What does all this mean in the end? Looking at the lines may be fun, but they also represent popular opinion, especially for big games, and the Broncos are wearing the "should be Super Bowl 47 champs" crown. As a fan, be optimistic, but don't order your championship hat just yet.
There are many online betting sites. Any I've checked have roughly the same odds, so I picked these up from bet365 (I'm not linking or naming others due to finicky US online gambling laws, and am instead playing it safe).
For those unfamiliar with betting methods, odds listed as +300 mean someone must bet $100 to win $300. These are fairly straightforward, but I've included fractional odds to keep it as simple as possible.
At the beginning of the season, the Broncos were +1600. That was toward the top of the league, but a 13-3 record and Peyton Manning looking like, well, Peyton Manning, has swayed the bettors.
The Patriots and Packers were tied for favorites at the beginning of September at +600. That makes the Packers a more profitable bet today to win the Super Bowl than they were 17 weeks ago.
The Colts and Vikings were both +12500 as the season started.
|Broncos||3 to 1||+300|
|Patriots||7 to 2||+350|
|49ers||11 to 2||+550|
|Falcons||7 to 1||+700|
|Packers||15 to 2||+750|
|Seahawks||12 to 1||+1200|
|Texans||14 to 1||+1400|
|Ravens||20 to 1||+2000|
|Redskins||22 to 1||+2200|
|Vikings||50 to 1||+5000|
|Colts||50 to 1||+5000|
|Bengals||50 to 1||+5000|