Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs love rollercoaster rides through the postseason each year, so it’s only appropriate the Super Bowl betting market would have a similarly chaotic ride.
Minutes after the Chiefs clinched a return trip to the Super Bowl with a win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship, bettors began pounding the Chiefs, a 3.5-point favorite, on BetMGM.com. In the first 36 hours of betting, the Chiefs had a 76-percent share of spread tickets and an 80-percent share of spread handle. Over the next 10 days, the Bucs dominated online sports betting.
By Monday, six days before kickoff in Tampa, the Bucs had 51 percent of the handle, partially aided by a $2.3-million wager, at the time the largest Super Bowl bet at any sportsbook.
“The public loves Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs but sharp bettors have not wagered on either team,” Jason Scott, vice president of BetMGM trading said on Monday. “The book is currently balanced but come Sunday, BetMGM will likely need Tom Brady and the Buccaneers to cover. Of course, that could change as more big bets are placed leading up to kickoff.”
More big bets were placed leading up to kickoff, including a $345,000 wager on the Bucs (+3.5), and entering the weekend (as of Friday), the Bucs owned a 52 percent share of the total handle and are now a 3-point favorite (as they had been a week earlier before returning to 3.5).
“Super Bowl odds have been up for nearly two weeks but 90 percent of all bets on the big game will be placed this weekend,” Scott said on Friday. “That being said, BetMGM currently needs the Chiefs to cover as we have moved the Buccaneers from +3.5 to +3.”
A day later, as some of that 90 percent comes in, the Chiefs are back on top, owning a 52 percent share of the handle (and 60 percent of tickets). The point total shares remain more one-sided. Also as of Saturday, the Over has earned 66 percent of tickets and 62 percent of the handle.
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Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of High Motor by BetMGM, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else. He has written for Sports Illustrated, HERO Sports, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DoughtyBetMGM.