In the first 36 hours of Super Bowl betting on BetMGM, 76 percent of all spread tickets were placed on the Kansas City Chiefs, accounting for 80 percent of the total handle. Over the last six days, the public has flocked to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Chiefs were the public favorite last year and covered a 1.5-point spread against the San Francisco 49ers. They were the third Super Bowl favorite to cover in the last four years after a dominant run from underdogs in which they covered in 12 of the previous 15 Super Bowls. To continue the favorites’ best Super Bowl run since the mid-1990s, the Chiefs must, as of Monday afternoon, cover 3.5 points and defy the expectations of bettors who’ve flooded the book with Bucs (+3.5) bets over the last six days. Their shares have plummeted to 62 percent of tickets and 80 percent of the handle.
“The public loves Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs but sharp bettors have not wagered on either team. 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,” said Jason Scott, BetMGM’s Vice President of Trading.
Several six-figure spread bets were placed in the hours after betting opened, including $115,000 to win $100,000 on the Chiefs -3.5 (-115) but it wasn’t until late last week that a seven-figure ticket came in: $2.3 million to win $2 million the Bucs +3.5 (-115).
“This was a bet we were very happy to receive," Scott said. "We had previously written several other six-figure bets, all on Kansas City, and the public is certainly behind Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes."
Also of last Tuesday, 79 percent of tickets and 82 percent of the handle was placed on the Over, which opened at 56.5, moved to 57.5, and returned to 56.5. Those shares have dropped to 74 percent and 71 percent, respectively, as a disproportionate number of large Under tickets have been placed.
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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.