6:30 p.m. ET: Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles (-1, 51)
The Chiefs (16-3) have won seven straight games and just edged the Bengals 23-20 in the AFC Championship game, covering as 2-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Eagles (16-3) have won three straight and just took down the 49ers 31-7 in the NFC Championship game, covering as 3-point home favorites.
This line opened at roughly a pick'em, with some shops opening Kansas City a slight 1-point neutral site favorite. Circa opened the Chiefs at -2.5. The immediate move as soon as the line opened was toward Philadelphia, steaming the Eagles to a 2.5-point favorite. Over the past week, we've seen steady and gradual buyback on Kansas City, dropping the line down to Eagles -1.5. Some shops are down to Eagles -1. Currently 66% of bets and 69% of money are backing Philadelphia.
Both teams offer value in different ways, making the Super Bowl a difficult handicap. The Chiefs are the contrarian play, receiving only 34% of bets in the most heavily bet sporting event of the year. Kansas City is also receiving late buyback and Patrick Mahomes is 7-1-1 ATS in his career as an underdog.
On the flip side, the Eagles match several profitable betting systems. Teams receiving line movement in their favor (from open to close) are 11-4 ATS (73%) since 2005. Short Super Bowl favorites of -2.5 or less are 3-1 ATS since 2008.
Much of the Super Bowl handle comes in on gameday, which means bettors should play close attention to how this line moves on Sunday leading up to kickoff. If you see the line creep back up to Eagles -2 or more, that will be a sign that pros are breaking Philadelphia's way. If we see the line fall closer to a pick'em, that will be evidence of wiseguys hitting Kansas City.
We've also seen the total get steamed up from 49 to 51, signaling respected money banking on a higher scoring game. Currently 57% of bets and 58% of money is on the over. However, we've seen high totals go under quite a bit in recent big game history. Since 2008, when the total is 48 or more the under is 7-2. Once again, keep an eye on late game-day movement with the total. If it falls back toward 50, that will be a good sign for the under. If it rises to 51.5 or more, that will be further evidence of over action. The Eagles are 5-1 to the under in their last six games. The Chiefs are 4-1 to the under their last five games.