Irish Bolts

Every year I say the same thing to myself: “don’t get involved in the ante-post Super Bowl market before week 1″. And every year I can’t resist. It’s the darned NFL media. They hype teams up to the max and talk about sleeper teams like they’re the second coming. Before you know it I’ve backed the Philadelphia Eagles at 20/1.

Everything we know points to the 20s about the Eagles perhaps having some value – but that’s exactly my point! Can you really see them hoisting the Lombardi after Super Bowl 50?

It’s possible, but we’ve seen them collapse too many times before.

The attraction of the odds is a great one, but why get involved – especially this early – just because the price looks reasonable? There are so many things that need to go right for even the mid-top-tier teams to make the playoffs, let alone have a run deep into January (which is where they might need to be before you can lay them off for a decent profit).

I remember four or five years ago backing the Cowboys early doors. This was classic sucker bet stuff. Hyped as usual, but with Dez Bryant now on offense and coming off a playoff victory the season before? 10/1 was too good to resist. They went 1-7 to start the season and Wade Phillips was shown the road.

Had I waited even a fortnight into the season their price would have at least doubled.

I’ve learned from experience‚Ķ

The wait-and-see approach is the best one. Believe me! Sure, the likes of Philadelphia could race into a 4-0 start and the price would drop, but if they manage to go 0-4 the price movement in the opposite direction would be much more significant.

The same approach holds true for the market leaders. Seattle at 5s is too short to touch this early, and Green Bay at 7s makes little appeal in September considering their offense is just one more injury away from being in big diffs.

Last season, both New England and Seattle traded at prices above 14/1mid-season as they struggled in the early weeks. They contested the Super Bowl. That obviously isn’t the norm, but opportunities will arise throughout the season.

Be ready to react to the over-reactions. More bang for your buck.

If you want a pre-regular season bet in the Super Bowl market…

I eventually realised it best to take a flyer on some of the longer shots. I’m thinking the 30s+ bracket. We’ve seen teams like Indianapolis and Arizona make playoff runs from that position in recent seasons, and they would have made you a tidy profit in January, if trading off.

This year, the Pittsburgh Steelers appeal at 30/1 and Minnesota Vikings at 50s could give you a decent run for your money, even at small stakes. Hell, even the Chargers at 50s might be worth a few pence. But following them as a fan is painful enough for me without adding money to the mix.

Anyway, I’m going to dispense with the ante-post market and not get more seriously involved in Super Bowl betting, until I’ve seen some football, watched injuries occur and taken note of general form.

It’s something to keep an eye on as the season continues, and I’ll try and make a post whenever a decent price catches my eye.

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