The Super Bowl line 2011 came right after the AFC title game. So far, the Super Bowl line 2011 isn’t favorable for the AFC champions, although not by that much. In this season of parity, it is almost fitting that a sixth seeded NFC champion is favored over the second seeded, six-time champions from the AFC. But of course, the Packers and Steelers are more evenly matched than their seeding. Yet although the Steelers may have looked a little better on Sunday, the odds have them as underdogs – albeit in the closest spread in decades.
For once in this postseason, the odds in Vegas played out perfectly. The Packers and Steelers were three-point favorites in their game, and they each won by close margins. Still, they could have had bigger blowout wins, but they let the Bears and Jets get close before putting them away.
Yet the Super Bowl line is more forgiving toward the Packers, as they have an early 2 ½-point advantage among Vegas oddmakers. This is the second straight time the Packers are favored, in spite of their No. 6 seed, and in spite of facing another No. 2.
It was obvious that Green Bay would be favored over Chicago, given the Packers’ last two wins and the remaining doubts over the Bears. But the Steelers stand to be a tougher foe, with their prestigious resume and their championship experience.
Nevertheless, the Super Bowl betting basically amounts to a pick-em spread. In fact, the gap from odds makers hasn’t been this close in 27 years, when the 1983-84 Redskins were 2 ½-point favorites against the Raiders. However, that doesn’t bode well for the Packers, since those Redskins were slaughtered by 29 points.
Odds ultimately have no effect on the game itself, especially recently. The Giants were much bigger underdogs against the Patriots in 2008 and still shocked the world, while the Saints surprised the Colts last year. The Steelers were the easy favorites over the Cardinals in 2009, but they couldn’t win until the last minute.
This kind of close Super Bowl line fuels expectations for a fourth straight classic game, which would be unprecedented. Most of the postseason has had close finishes, however, as even two early blowouts turned into thrillers yesterday.
Perhaps the Steelers were punished for nearly blowing a bigger lead – although the Packers nearly forfeited their lead to a third-string quarterback. Yet both teams have gone through unpredictable routes to get here, which may make the Super Bowl line less likely to see the future.
Bloomberg- “Packers Favored Over Steelers in Closest Super Bowl Spread for 27 Years”