Capsule look at Super Bowl



Professional bettors, casual bettors and football fans in general couldn’t have asked for a better or more exciting Super Bowl LIV matchup in the NFL’s 100th season. Both teams dominated their conferences in the regular season and rolled through the playoffs. The Chiefs are making their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years, while the 49ers are back for the first time since 2012.


San Francisco (15-3) is 11-6-1 ATS overall this season, including 6-6-1 ATS as a favorite but a perfect 5-0 ATS as a dog. The 49ers started the season an unblemished 8-0. Their only defeats came in Week 10 against Seattle, losing 27-24 as 6.5-point favorites; Week 13 at Baltimore, losing 20-17 but covering as 5.5-point dogs; and Week 15 against Atlanta, losing 29-22 as 10.5-point favorites. The 49ers won and covered both playoff games, beating Minnesota 27-10 as seven-point favorites in the divisional round and taking down Green Bay 37-20 as eight-point favorites in the NFC championship. 


Kansas City (14-4) is 12-5-1 ATS overall, including 10-4-1 ATS as a favorite and 2-1 ATS as a dog. The Chiefs enter the big game as the hottest team in football, having finished the regular season with six straight victories and then posting two more wins and covers in the playoffs. Kansas City crushed Houston 51-31 as a 10-point favorite in the divisional round and beat Tennessee 35-24 as a seven-point favorite in the AFC championship game. The Chiefs’ only losses came in Week 5 against Indianapolis, losing 19-13 as 10.5-point favorites; Week 6 against Houston, losing 31-24 as 3.5-point favorites; Week 8 against Green Bay, losing 31-24 as five-point dogs; and Week 10 at Tennessee, losing 35-32 as five-point favorites. 


The Super Bowl line opened at a pick-’em. Oddsmakers typically award three points for home-field advantage. The fact that this line opened at a pick-’em on a neutral field signals a true coin-flip game in the eyes of the sportsbooks. The public is backing Kansas City. About two-thirds of tickets have come down on the Chiefs, which pushed the line up to Kansas City -1.5. That’s when some 49ers buyback hit the market and dropped the line back to 1, where it rests now. Super Bowl teams receiving at least a half-point of line movement in their favor have gone 9-5 ATS (64.3%) since 2003. However, dogs have performed well in the Super Bowl, going 10-6 ATS (62%) since 2003 and 7-9 on the moneyline (only 44% but + 5 units due to the plus-money payouts). San Francisco also has value as a contrarian dog with an inflated line in what will be one of the most heavily bet games in Super Bowl history. 


In his career, Jimmy Garoppolo is 17-10-1 ATS (63%), including 8-8-1 ATS (50%) as a favorite, but 9-2 ATS (82%) as a dog. Patrick Mahomes is 22-11-2 ATS in his career, including 17-11-1 (61%) as a favorite and 5-0-1 ATS (100%) as a dog. 


The Over/Under opened at 51.5. The public sees two teams averaging about 30 points per game and automatically thinks shootout. More than eight of 10 bets are taking the Over, making it one of the most lopsided Super Bowl total bets in recent memory. This heavy, one-sided action has forced bookmakers to adjust the total all the way up to 55. That’s when we saw some sharp buyback hit the Under, settling the line at 54.5. When the total is 50 or more, the Under has gone 4-1 in Super Bowls since 2003.


This game will be played outdoors at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, not inside a dome or closed-roof stadium. The forecast calls for comfortable temperatures in the mid-60s but also 8-10-mph winds. Outdoor playoff Unders are 77-60 (56.2%) since 2003. Bill Vinovich, the lead referee, has historically favored the Under (58%). Both teams have been slightly profitable to the Over this season, with San Francisco 9-8-1 and Kansas City 10-8. 


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