LAS VEGAS – The Kansas City Chiefs are now 1-point Super Bowl favorites over the San Francisco 49ers after the Westgate SuperBook opened the line at pick ‘em before halftime of the NFC Championship Game early Sunday night.
The Super Bowl line usually doesn’t get posted until the fourth quarter of the NFL Championship Sunday nightcap (or during the third quarter of blowouts), but with the 49ers taking a 27-0 lead over the Packers with 45 second left in the second quarter, the SuperBook staff decided there was no reason to wait. The Westgate’s advance line for the potential KC-San Fran matchup was Chiefs -1, but the SuperBook opted for pick ‘em with the 49ers’ impressive showing being the last thing the public was seeing. The Westgate opened the Over/Under at 51.5 points, though it was bet up to 52 in just over five minutes.
“We started discussing it pretty early on,” said Westgate SuperBook sports book director John Murray of the Super Bowl point spread. “There wasn't a ton of discussion about what to make it as we had already talked a lot about this match up during the week.”
The Caesars networks of books opened with the Chiefs favored by 1.5 but were quickly bet down to -1. Other Vegas books like Circa Sports and the South Point also went with pick ‘em.
“It’s tough for me to separate these two,” South Point sports book director Chris Andrews said, “I figured I’d open pick and see where the action takes me.”
In New Jersey, FanDuel opened Chiefs -1.5 while PointsBet opened the highest this reporter saw at Chiefs -2.5.
Jay Kornegay, Westgate’s VP of race & sports, Tweeted out: “In the first 15 minutes of #SBLIV betting, 68% of the tickets are on the Chiefs.”
Murray said the Westgate took an early $8,000 bet on the 49ers but most of the betting continued to come in on the Chiefs. At about 6:18 p.m. PT, the Westgate moved to Chiefs -1 as well as increasing the Over/Under to 52.5.
Caesars also moved back to Chiefs -1.5 and was joined in Vegas by Circa and the William Hill network. As the 49ers-Packers game to a close, these and the rest of the Vegas books posting Super Bowl odds also had the Over/Under at 52.5.
Probably not knowing that they had already been made Super Bowl underdogs by the betting public, the 49ers finished off their 37-20 win over the Packers, covering as 8-point home favorites. The game flew Over the betting total of 47 points. Earlier, the Chiefs had secured their Super Bowl berth by beating the Titans 35-24, covering as 7-point home faves. Their game also went Over 51.5.
As the first evening of Super Bowl betting was coming to a close at 9 p.m. PT (midnight ET), the 49ers 1.5 lines were all gone in Vegas as the Chiefs appeared to settle in as 1-point favorites. The Over/Under also continued to move as a $100,000 bet on Over 52.5 at the Westgate moved the total to 53.5. B the end of Sunday night, that was the total at nearly all the Vegas sportsbooks except Circa and CG Technology both holding the line (at least temporarily) at 53.
Speculation has already started that this Chiefs-49ers matchup could break all Super Bowl wagering records, especially with the attractive proposition wagers (highlighted by Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' explosive offense) that will be posted at 7 p.m. PT Thursday at the Westgate.
Check here for updated odds as the Super Bowl side and total get bet into shape over the next two weeks.