Super Bowl Sunday has arrived, and bettors across the nation are revved up and ready to go. Covers checks in on the action and odds moves, with insights from Scott Shelton, sportsbook manager at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Open: -1; Move: -1.5
Kansas City carries an eight-game winning streak into this 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff in Miami, going a near-perfect 7-0-1 ATS in that stretch. In the AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs (14-4 SU, 12-5-1 ATS) trailed Tennessee 17-7 in the second quarter, then piled up the next 28 points in a 35-24 victory laying 7.5 points at home.
San Francisco is on a four-game run heading into the 2019-20 season finale, cashing in its last three outings. That includes a pair of 17-point playoff victories, with the 49ers (15-3 SU, 11-6-1 ATS) building a 27-0 lead against Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game en route to a 37-20 victory as 8-point home favorites.
“The ticket count on the pointspread is just under 2/1 in favor of the Chiefs. The money is about 2.5/1 in favor of the Chiefs,” Shelton said of action at The Mirage and other MGM books, noting sharp play on both sides. “Right now, if the Chiefs win by 2 or more, it’s a 7-figure loss on the pointspread, but we pick up that much and then some off of 49ers moneyline betting.”
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale put $1 million on 49ers moneyline +120 Wednesday evening, the largest reported bet on this year’s game so far in the legal U.S. market. On Saturday, another large player put $350,000 on Niners moneyline +105, and there was a $275,000 49ers moneyline play at +105 Friday night.
In fact, MGM books have been flooded with high-dollar bets to both sides. On Saturday afternoon, one bettor plopped $1 million on Kansas City across two bets: $750,000 on Chiefs -1.5, and $250,000 on Chiefs first-half moneyline -120. There was also a $550,000 bet on Chiefs -1 earlier in the week at MGM books.
“If the Chiefs win by 1, we’d cut down the nets. It’s over. We win everything,” Shelton said. “If the 49ers win, we lose on the moneyline, but pick up seven figures on the Chiefs -1.5. What we pick up in the futures market is pretty close on both teams. We’re in really good shape, but the Chiefs are the better of the two.”
The total bounced around more than the spread over the past two weeks. MGM opened at 53.5, reached 54.5 on Jan. 26 and stuck there until Friday, when the number ticked down to 54.
“It started off all Over money, but we’ve taken a ton of Under money now,” Shelton said. “Exactly 54 is not good for us, Over 54 is a low-six-figure loser, Under 54, we pick up a low-six-figure win.”
One better put $450,000 on the alternate total of Over 42.5, at -450, to win $100,000. That led to Shelton putting forth MGM books’ most ideal scenario when the clock hits zero Sunday night.
“We’re dreaming of Under 42.5,” he said. “Our dream scenario is Chiefs 21-20. That would probably be the best Super Bowl we’ve ever had.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.