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Archived: Superbowl Line Opens with Chiefs a 1 point Favorite


Jan 20, 2020 EST


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There’s a strong possibility that the attractive Super Bowl 54 matchup between the Chiefs and 49ers could break the Nevada Super Bowl handle record of $158.6 million set in 2018 when the Eagles beat the Patriots.

“Yes, I do think it can set a record,” CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso said shortly after opening the Chiefs -1. “It’s a great matchup between an old school team like the 49ers against the sleek quick-strike offense of the Chiefs. I personally made the 49ers -1, but Chiefs -1 is a good starting point for us.”

William Hill’s head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich also believes it can set a record but throws caution for one reason.

“It’s a great matchup,” he said. “I would bet ‘yes’ on the record happening but not with both hands. The lack of a money-line will hurt.”

The Chiefs are -115 to -120 on the money-line and that’s not going to attract too much action either way as a +150 does for those bettors that simply bet the underdog to win outright each Super Bowl.

The good news for the books is that they don’t have a tough number to babysit for two weeks like a solid 3 or 7. It could run up to -3, but it looks like a number that will attract two-way action and have no need to cross the most important number in the NFL.

“We thought the number should have KC -2.5 after the Chiefs game assuming the 49ers would advance, but when they looked just as dominating against the Packers as they did the week before against the Vikings so we knew it had to start lower,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback who opened the Chiefs -1 and total of 53.

Stoneback likes the matchup and record potential as well.

“I really do believe this matchup will set a Super Bowl record for the state,” Stoneback said. “It’s the best matchup anyone could ask for with arguably the two best teams in the league.”

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook was the first Nevada bet shop to open the Super Bowl number (-1, 51.5) when the 49ers were up 20-0 over the Packers in the second quarter.

SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay said after nearly three hours of having their numbers posted the Chiefs (-1) had 71 percent of the tickets written and their first big bet was $110,000 on the game over 52.5 which pushed them to 53.5.

Stoneback said an hour after posting their number that they had taken great two-way action at all their strip properties with no wagers larger than $10,000.

The only time a Super Bowl closed pick ‘em was in 2015 when the Patriots beat the Seahawks and the last time a Super Bowl closed -1 was in 1982 when the 49ers (-1) beat the Bengals. It’s a pair of unique numbers for the Super Bowl.

The initial question here bettors need to be asking is how do you dare bet against a fearless Chiefs squad that has won and covered their last eight games. But at the same time when you see the Chiefs go down a combined 31-0 in the first quarter of their last two playoff games, is the 49ers defense the type that folds as the Texans and Titans did?

There’s a lot of angles to approach here, but there is no urgency to bet the game now because of the number. I’m not racing to lay that -2.5 or take +3 or -6.5 or +7. We’ve all got plenty of time to dissect what all the talking heads are chit-chatting about and no one should get burned by being late on a number.

The Super Bowl trend the last few years has seen public opinion flip-flop their opinions from what they believed immediately after the Championship Games to what they thought about after letting a week pass by. But the 49ers and Chiefs wins were convincing enough to where no one should have a strong impression one way or another based on what they saw last.

And of course, there’s a super important note to pass on as the world-famous SuperBook props will be posted Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. PT. Over 400 props expected with everything that can be found in a box score to bet on along with combining box-scores in sports like soccer, NHL, NBA, golf matched up against the Super Bowl.

As for how the books did on Championship Sunday, Let’s just call it the second-worst Sunday of the football season and certainly the worst day of 2020 thanks to both favorites and both overs cashing on parlays and teasers. There was no way out with at least one book reporting a seven-figure loss. Usually, they get some help from AFC and NFC futures posting to mask a poor day between the two games, but lots of 10/1 four-team parlays (Bet $100 to win $1,000) were cashing.

Only one book I talked with had a winning day, albeit very small. Congrats to TDT and the CG Technology crew for being that book.

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