Shutdown Corner

Seahawks open as favorite, then point spread flips Denver's way as early money comes in on Broncos

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

Super Bowl Sunday is a holiday, and for many, betting on the Super Bowl is the big gift under the tree.

The Seahawks opened as a small favorite over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. That didn't last long.

According to VegasInsider, Wynn casino in Las Vegas and William Hill sports books opened up the Seahawks as a one-point favorite over Denver. The MGM Mirage opened the game as Seahawks by a point-and-a-half and LVH in Las Vegas opened the game with Seattle as two-point favorites. Cantor Gaming's books have the game as a pick 'em.

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(USA TODAY Sports)

Within a half hour, the early money came in on Denver and made the Broncos a small favorite. The line moved to Denver favored by one point at most Las Vegas casinos about 45 minutes after Seattle's NFC championship game win ended.

The over/under is between 47.5 and 48.5, depending on the sports book.

[Related: Get Seattle Seahawks/Denver Broncos conference championship gear]

The last time there was a spread this low for a Super Bowl was 32 years ago, according to VegasInsider's history. The 49ers were just one-point favorites against the Bengals in Super XVI in January of 1982.

Whatever team ends up as the underdog after all the betting money comes in shouldn't feel bad. Super Bowl underdogs have done pretty well lately.

The underdog has covered five of the last six Super Bowls, and the underdog has won straight up four times. Arizona was a seven-point underdog in Super Bowl XLIII and lost by four points, the only time in that stretch that an underdog covered but didn't win. Green Bay, three seasons ago, was the only favorite to cover the spread in the last six Super Bowls. Underdogs have covered in nine of the last 12 Super Bowls.

It's a rare occurrence for an underdog to cover in the Super Bowl but not win. It has happened just six times in 47 Super Bowls, according to VegasInsider. It's really unlikely with such a small spread this year.

There haven't been any recent trends on the over/under. The over and under has alternated for six years. Last year's Ravens-49ers game had 65 combined points, going well over the total of 48.

According to VegasInsider, historically the favorites are a good bet, even though the underdogs have done better lately. The favored team has gone 26-17-2 against the spread, and 33-14 straight up. Strangely enough, the over/under has gone over 23 times and under 23 times (there was no over/under on Super Bowl I), according to VegasInsider.

The Broncos were 10-5-1 against the spread during the season, a pretty remarkable record considering they were a preseason favorite, and are 1-1 against the spread in two playoff games. Seattle, another preseason favorite, has been even better against the spread, going 11-5 during the regular season. The Seahawks didn't cover the 10-point closing line of their first playoff game against the Saints, according to Covers.com, but covered in their win against the 49ers on Sunday.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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