A blowout in the NFC championship game meant MGM could get a jump on establishing a line for Super Bowl LIV.
During the second half of the San Francisco 49ers’ rout, MGM determined that the opening line for the Super Bowl would be the Kansas City Chiefs favored by 1.5 points. The line quickly moved to the Chiefs as a 1-point favorite.
Because of the volume of bets taken on the Super Bowl, the line can move quickly after it is released if there’s a lot of action on one side. Given the low spread and the star power on both teams, there is expected to be a lot of betting action on this Super Bowl.
“I think the fact that both teams in the Super Bowl were big favorites in the conference championship will mean it is a very popular Super Bowl and great for betting,” said Jason Scott, vice president of trading for Roar Digital, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings. “Both quarterbacks are good stories and plenty will be written about the 49ers’ running game.”
MGM opened the over/under at 52.5 points. It moved to 53 shortly after it was released.
Chiefs, 49ers both impressive
The Chiefs advanced to the Super Bowl first on Sunday with a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans. For the second time in two weeks, the Chiefs trailed by double digits but still covered the spread in a playoff game.
The 49ers have covered the spread in both of their playoff games, too. They blew out the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round and then dominated the Green Bay Packers in Sunday’s NFC championship.
The 49ers’ dominance on Sunday affected the Super Bowl line. Scott said the consensus during the week was that if the Chiefs and 49ers advanced, the Chiefs would be 3-point favorites. Instead the line came out lower, a nod to how good the 49ers looked in beating the Packers.
Underdogs had been on a roll in Super Bowls
Not only is this the first Super Bowl in four years that doesn’t include the New England Patriots, it breaks a streak of three straight seasons in which the Patriots were the betting favorite in the Super Bowl.
The Patriots covered the spread as a favorite in two of the past three Super Bowls, including last season against the Los Angeles Rams. That broke a streak of Super Bowl underdogs having a lot of success against the spread. Starting with Super Bowl XLII, underdogs covered seven of nine Super Bowls. Then New England covered two of three as the favorite, with the loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII being the exception.
The last time Super Bowl favorites covered two straight games was Super Bowl XL and XLI. The Steelers won Super Bowl XL and the Colts won XLI, which like this year’s game was also in South Florida.
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