It’s never too early to place a bet on Super Bowl 50, even though the landmark NFL championship game is still seven months away — at least as far as Las Vegas and online sports books are concerned. But the new betting odds contain a few surprises.
Why would anyone place a bet on a game scheduled for February 7 when it’s only June? The fact is, bettors wager on football year round, and with the NFL entering its official training camps, the game is very much on the minds of the betting public.
“There’s always a lot of interest this time of year with everyone talking about (the NFL), so we’re just giving them another option to wager on it during the summer,” Golden Nugget Sportsbook official Aaron Kessler told the Sporting News. “They like being able to bet a little to win big.”
By “betting a little to win big,” Kessler was talking about the quinella option, in which bettors pick not the winner of Super Bowl 50, but simply the two teams who will appear in the game.
As of now, the favorite pairing has the Seattle Seahawks qualifying for their third consecutive Super Bowl against their third different AFC opponent. According to early bettors, the Indianapolis Colts will win the AFC Championship in 2015.
The Seahawks vs. Colts quinella combo gets a bettor 10-1 odds at the Nugget. But bettors who enjoy playing the longshot can get 1,000-1 odds if they put their money down on the Tampa Bay Bucs and Tennessee Titans squaring off in the February 7 game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
In fact, the Colts have easily surpassed the reigning Super Bowl and AFC Champion New England Patriots as odds-on favorite to represent the junior conference in Super Bowl 50.
In March, most sports books had the Patriots at 7-1 to win the Super Bowl. Perhaps as a result of the ongoing “Deflategate” imbroglio and the four-game suspension of superstar quarterback Tom Brady — or maybe due to the lackluster New England offseason when the team let both of its starting cornerbacks walk as free agents and have not replaced them with established players — the Patriots odds of winning their fifth Super Bowl have plummeted to 17-2 (stated another way, 8.5 to one).
The Colts are listed on Oddshark.com as 8-1 to win the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks remain the overall favorites, as they were in March with the same 6-1 odds still in place.
The most popular pick among bettors, however, is the Green Bay Packers, who have been named on 8 percent of the betting tickets sold so far, as tallied by William Hill Sportsbook in Nevada. But most Vegas sportsbooks will give only 7-1 odds on the Packers.
Strangely, the fourth-most popular pick among early Super Bowl 50 bettors is the Oakland Raiders, with 5 percent of all tickets sold. Vegas oddsmakers aren’t buying the hype, however, offering betting odds of only 66-1 on the Raiders.
[Image: Elsa/Getty Images]