It's not a huge deal, but some money moved in the NFL Futures market since my last post. The Patriots and Chargers are each seeing their Super Bowl payoffs drop, indicating that bettors are backing them to win it all.
At the same time, paradoxically, the early point spread for the Super Bowl itself has moved from AFC (-13.5) to as low as AFC (-12).
What's changed in the past few days? I think it has something to do with major online sportsbook CRIS releasing odds for each potential Super Bowl matchup:
SD (-3) vs. GB
SD (-6) vs. NYG
NE (-13.5) vs. GB
NE (-16) vs. NYG
For a variety of reasons, it's difficult for casual bettors to compare the Chargers with either of the remaining NFC teams. The previous futures lines indicated that San Diego would be about even money to win the Super Bowl if they advanced; they were trading at about 6.5% to win the big game and 13.0% to beat the Patriots and get there. Now that they've been established as the favorite against either NFC team, intelligent bettors can find some way to profit from this inconsistency in the odds. Evidently, they did; the Chargers' Super Bowl futures are now trading at higher than 7%.
By the way, if any of you are into arbitrage and don't mind waiting two weeks to collect your winnings, you can currently bet the "No" on New England winning the Super Bowl at +289 on Pinnacle. A variety of online books offer a price on the "Yes" that will result in some free money.