Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:55 PM
Super Bowl 54 Betting Update
The VegasInsider.com Super Bowl 54 Betting Update will provide daily posts over the next 13 days from Micah Roberts in Las Vegas and other legal sportsbooks in the United States for this year's NFL finale between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, which takes place on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.
Expect to be informed of all the key line moves, large wagers and adjustments that the oddsmakers will make up until kickoff. Plus, we'll focus on the Prop Sheets that are expected to be released on Thursday Jan. 23. For up to the minute Super Bowl 54 betting releases, be sure to follow both @TwitVI and @MicahRoberts7 on Twitter.
Roberts is a former Las Vegas sports book director that has been covering the sports betting industry for the last 15 years.
Super Bowl Props - Best Bets | Super Bowl Betting History
Variance is the theme as "Big Game" approaches
Update - Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 - 2:30 p.m. ET
With four hours until Super Bowl 54 kicks off, just about every Nevada sportsbook has a different story on what their best outcome on the game would be with the exception of most needing the total staying under. It’s been an evenly bet game.
“I don’t know yet. It’s that close,” said William Hill’s Nick Bogdanovich when asked what side they need. “The under would be very helpful.”
The spread has stayed -1 and -1.5 during the two weeks of action which is very telling of the type of two-way action the books have been seeing. It’s an easy number to move off but they haven’t had to.
Most books opened the total at 51.5 and it got to as high as 55. But the total is dropping to as low as 53.5. And while the majority of the books have risk tied to the over, the Golden Nugget is the only book I talked with that will be rooting for the over.
Up north in 49ers country at the Atlantis Reno, director Marc Nelson says they need Chiefs and under. CG Technology’s Tony DiTommaso also needs Chiefs and under. Station Casinos needs the under the most and Chiefs. Chris Andrews said his South Point book needs the 49ers and the total doesn’t really matter right now.
Matt Metcalf’s Circa sportsbook needs 49ers and under as does Jay Kornegay’s Westgate Superbook.
It’s a bizarre mix of action that I’ve never seen in the Super Bowl. Usually, one team gets the early action one-way and then it stays that way or it flips to everyone needing the other side. These last two weeks have been steady and it doesn’t appear as if there’s a heavily weighted side that could do some serious damage to the house. It should end up being a grind win for the books with the props and futures showing the most win.
Bookmakers ready for SB54 Weekend Rush
Update - Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 - 2:30 p.m. ET
With just two nights of betting remaining until Super Bowl 54 kicks off, Nevada sportsbooks have seen very little movement on the side with most dealing -1 or -1.5 while the total may have seen its ceiling hit at 55.
Friday night is when the real fun starts for the bookmakers because its when thousands of guests roll into Las Vegas and Reno loaded with cash and opinions.
“We were only a few thousand apart yesterday afternoon between both teams on the point-line and money-line combined, but starting last night and into today we’re starting to see more Chiefs action,” said South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews.
The public is still betting over with their smaller wagers that add up large and the majority of the side-to-total parlays with either side are paired up to the over. But larger money has jumped in at the under with a buy at 55 and 54.5.
“We took a $40,000 wager on under 55 that forced us to 54.5 and since then we’ve had more (larger bets) under play,” Andrews said.
The last 55 in Nevada was downtown at the Golden Nugget.
“We got blasted early on with the over forcing us to 55, but we took enough straight bets to the under after a week that we dropped down to 54.5,” said Nugget book director Tony Miller.
CG Technology books took a $100,000 wager on the under 54.5 Thursday night and dropped it to 54. William Hill and Station Casinos have also seen under action to get them off of 55.
NEEDS AS OF FRIDAY
“Our need right now is 49ers and under,” Miller said. “And we also do double with the 49ers on Futures compared to what we’ll do with the Chiefs.”
CG Technology books are in the same boat.
“We’re in a good spot right now with a decent decision needing the 49ers and then we also do well to both sides of the futures,” said CG Technology book director Tony DiTommaso. “But all it takes is a few large wagers to completely change who we’ll need.”
DiTommaso says 75 percent of their overall expected Super Bowl action has yet to wager.
Miller isn’t so sure Nevada will set a Super Bowl handle record eclipsing the $158.5 million set in 2018.
“I think we’re going to miss all that East Coast money that is betting legally closer to their home,” Miller said. “Sure we have all the glamour and glitz that makes Las Vegas like nowhere else, but I do think we’ll start to see effects of sports betting elsewhere eventually hurt state handle.”
I’m not sure I agree with Tony on the East Coast effect, but I like to think the decreases in handle might be felt significantly if the bordering states of California and Arizona eventually get the acts together and legalize sports betting.
“But we have so many other options now such as the popularity of in-progress wagering and more props that we’re still going to write a lot,” Miller said. “We’ve never had so much action on props. We’re at a 60-40 split on our overall Super Bowl handle and we’ve never been above 50-50 before.”
The Chiefs and 49ers figure to be fun teams to bet on during in-progress.
SOUTH POINT 10 CENT LINE
“We posted a 10-cent split on the money-line yesterday and within a few minutes immediately had a guy bet $50,000 on the 49ers at +107,” said South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews. “We’re getting lots of play on both sides.”
Most books in town are using a traditional 20-cent split on the money-line with the exception of Circa using an 18-cent split. South Point owner Michael Gaughan has offered the public something of value for his guests on every Super Bowl. In this case, both sides of their money-line are the best numbers in Nevada. Why bet it anywhere else?
For years offshore books have been posting unique things on the Super Bowl that Nevada regulations don’t allow, but in this new era of states getting approved for betting there are also new regulations that allow them to be more competitive with props such as ‘What color of Gatorade will be poured on winning coach’ which William Hill books are offering at the Tropicana Evansville in Indiana. Red is the 3-to-2 favorite followed by Clear (5/1), Orange (11/2), Blue (8/1), Purple (10/1), Yellow or Green (4/1) or None (18/1).
It’s sure to get some action, but the reason Nevada doesn’t allow for something like that is someone already knows the outcome before it happens. Nevada never wants to be embarrassed by any scandal and puts rules in place to protect its reputation. If the waterboy for each team had already determined Blue was going to be the color and they bet it prior, that’s an integrity issue Nevada doesn’t want to deal with. Indiana obviously has a much more relaxed set of regulations and will have to learn the hard way why Nevada has such strict regulations prohibiting props like Gatorade color. Having said all that, it will be a popular prop with the public and William Hill also gives a decent theoretic hold on the prop.
FREE SEMINAR WITH MUSBURGER
The South Point and VSiN will host the second annual “Betting & Beers with Brent,” a Super Bowl betting preview hosted by Brent Musberger and VSiN editor Matt Youmans featuring commentary from the South Point sportsbook staff led by Chris Andrews and Jimmy Vaccaro. The seminar is free and runs from 4-6 pm inside the South Point Showroom. Even for those people who think they know everything, I guarantee you come out knowing something that you didn’t know before.
The South Point also has five separate parties going on Sunday throughout the casino.
$1 Million bet on San Francisco 49ers
Update - Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 - 1:45 p.m. ET
MGM Resorts took the $1 million wager on the 49ers money-line at +120 made by Jim 'Mattress Mack' McIngvale and they did so without controversy and actually gained a few respect points for the way they handled it.
When news was swirling for a few days that Mattress Mack was looking to bet $1 million and that MGM was going to gove him the +120 he requested, there was a lot of grumblings from those who saw it as a Nevada Gaming violation because of not giving all public bettors the opportunity to get +120 as well, which was the best number in the world that no other book was offering.
But MGM books went above and beyond what was required of them and no one is complaining today.
“First off we let GCB know what we were doing and they were fine with it,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback. “We left +120 up there for 20 minutes after his agents made the wager and then dropped it to +115 where it lasted for two hours while taking no bets larger than $2,700, and then we went to +110 for 40 minutes and eventually back to +105 where we’re at now.”
It was a great preventative public relations move by MGM who went way beyond what they had to do.
MGM books went from being heavy on the Chiefs to now needing the Chiefs.
“In addition to the large wager on the 49ers, we also took $100,000 on the 49ers at +110 yesterday and took $100,000 on the 49ers this morning at +105,” Stoneback said.
Their game line has the Chiefs -1.5 and 54.5 and Stoneback says the under would be helpful, but it’s not as important to the overall decision as it was early on.
The Golden Nugget and Treasure Island are the only Las Vegas books with a total still sitting at 55.
Large SB54 Wagers starting to show up
Update - Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 - 1:45 p.m. ET
The Super Bowl action is heating at Las Vegas sportsbooks and it comes a few days before the usual final push with thousands of visitors loaded with cash arriving Friday.
MGM books have been busy the past two days with heavy action on the Chiefs and also an inquiry for a $1 million wager on the 49ers from a Houston furniture store owner.
“We had a new casino player brought in by a casino host yesterday asking how much he could get and wanted $550,000 on the Chiefs at -1 so we took it,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback Wednesday morning. “The day before we took a flat $200,000 on the Chiefs -1 and also $150,000 on the Chiefs money-line at -120.”
So that’s a quick $900,000 in two days on the Chiefs which has severely tilted the action one-way.
“We have 87 percent of all the money on the spread and money-line taking the Chiefs and 70 percent of the tickets written on the Chiefs as well,” Stoneback said. “But it’s still early. We’ve only seen about 5 percent of the action we’ll see by the time the game kicks off.”
Even with the large Chiefs wagers, Stoneback didn’t want to move off -1 just yet because he knew there was so more action to come, but he still went to -1.5 to join South Point, William Hill, and Station Casinos.
But in one proposed wager, the Chiefs risk could be minimalized and flipped to the 49ers side being a loser for the house. Jim Matress Mack McIngvale, the famous owner of the Furniture Gallery in Houston who bet a million on the Astros to win the World Series the last few years to offset a promotion wanted to make a $1 million wager on the 49ers money-line but he wants +120 (Bet $100 to win $120), not the +105 offered at all the MGM books.
This is the tricky area from a regulatory standpoint. If the +120 is not offered to the entire public, it cannot be offered to just one bettor. It’s a gray area. Stoneback is willing to take the $1 million wager, but he has to run the scenario through compliance to make sure they aren’t bending any rules.
What I suggested was keeping the +120 on the board, let Mattress Mack bet the $1 million, move it down to +115, take a few public bets over the phone which are sure to light up, drop it to +110, take a few more bets and then get back to +105 and eventually drop it to EVEN money. Everybody gets what they want, the public gets a few bonus prices, and no one can complain to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
We’ll keep you updated if this wager comes about. And how about the demand by Mattress Mack. I get he’s a businessman, but accepting a $1 million wager should have been good enough. Not many books will take that bet. And then he says he wants +120? Wow, what a pair this guy has, but as arrogant as it sounds, I like it and I like that Stoneback and MGM are eager to take the wager and accommodate him.
Stoneback says he’s already been told by the casino hosts that they have several bigger players than usual in town for this Super Bowl and they all want large wagers, so there’s no shortage of action to come even if they don’t accept the Mattress Mack bet. There’s been one prop play that stood out at MGM books.
“The same guys who bet the $550,000 on the Chiefs bet $28,000 at -140 on under 2.5 players to attempt a pass in the game,” Stoneback said.
Super Bowl 54 Action remains Slow
Update - Monday, Jan. 27, 2020 - 5:30 p.m. ET
I’m bored, like really bored. The first week of Super Bowl action has been the least thrilling of my entire life in the sportsbook business and most of it has to do with the spread which has the Chiefs -1 or -1.5 against the 49ers. There’s no urgency to get down now.
“It’s really slow for such a great match-up, “ said CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso. “The game betting has been slow and so have the props. After one week, it shouldn’t be this slow. We haven’t even taken a single bet over $10,000.”
Because of the boring spread, we can expect 98 percent of the overall action to happen this week. Obviously, the spread is good because it hasn’t moved much with three prominent books at -1.5.
“You always want to get to the best number no matter what,” said Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Kornegay. “Early on it was all KC money on the spread, but now we’re seeing more 49ers money. So far it’s about 66 percent of the spread bets on the Chiefs and 58 percent of the money-line bets on the 49ers.”
The total has been the only fun activity of the betting action in the first week going up from 51.5 up to 55 at a few places.
“It’s shaping up to be needing the total more than the game,” DiTommaso said.
Either side parlayed and teased to the over is going to be a loss leader.
Kornegay opened his world-famous props on Thursday night at the SuperBook and they were treated the same as always.
“It was the usual scene with the props opening Thursday where for a day-and-a-half it was all sharp guys and we haven’t really seen the public get involved yet,” he said.
The SuperBook is the only sportsbook in Las Vegas that does more action to the props than the game. It’s been like that for the past eight years.
“Right now we have more action on the game itself, but when the public does start to bet more we expect to have prop wagers translating to 65 percent of the overall Super Bowl handle,” Kornegay said.
Some of the sharp bettors jumped all over a few props with multiple limit wagers.
“Some of the props that moved the most were Raheem Mostert rushing yards dropping from 80.5 to 74.5 as well as several other of his props being bet under,” Kornegay said. “We also saw lots of betting on both punters under 54.5 yards on the longest punt and Mahomes over on longest rush from 11.5 yards to 13.5.”
Kornegay’s final score that he sent to a few publications was 49ers 28-24, which would be ideal in keeping the game under the total. Just about every book in Las Vegas would take that result. Up north in Reno, which is 49ers country, that score might not be welcomed despite winning with the total.
Regardless of the slow start, I do believe a Nevada record can still happen. I think the final push this weekend with such an attractive match-up will be huge and I think in-progress wagering will get this game over the top.
Chiefs as high as -1.5 favorites
Update - Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 - 5:45 p.m. ET
Station Casinos chain of sportsbooks located in all areas off the Las Vegas strip made a move on the Super Bowl point-spread Thursday, hiking the Chiefs up to -1.5. Most books still remain at -1, but Stations should have more company soon.
“I want to get away from -1 and get to -1.5 to avoid the push, but we’re not quite ready yet,” said Wynn sportsbook director Doug Castaneda. “Our big business is coming next week and don’t have any large wagers yet. Last year we got some early high volume action because of the number.”
The Patriots closed at -2.5 last season against the Rams, but the number had some importance because being close to the most key number (-3) in the NFL. There was urgency, unlike the first five days of betting this year’s Super Bowl. However, the two popular teams are still generating a buzz with bettors.
“We have more tickets written on the game so far this year at the same juncture than we did last year, albeit the dollar amount per ticket written being much lower,” Castaneda said.
The one area all bettors seemed unified with so far at all Nevada books is the total.
“The total stands out as the story so far,” Castaneda said. “It’s lopsided on the over and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this getting as high as 56 which should present a lot of value for some taking the under.”
Those sharp bettors out there looking to bet the under can keep watching the screens and see all the books forced to move higher because of so much one-sided volume. The Golden Nugget went to 55 on Thursday. The Wynn and most other Las Vegas books are at 54.5.
The Wynn has been posting a few new props daily and so far their biggest risk has come on the MVP index.
“We took a couple of good size bets on Jimmy Garoppolo to win MVP at 10-to-1 odds and also Raheem Mostert at 10-to-1,” said Castaneda. “We had all players other than Patrick Mahomes listed at 10-to-1 or higher. My emphasis is getting more action on the 49ers players with the prop because I know the Chiefs players are going to have most of the action."
The Wynn currently has Garoppolo at 4-to-1 odds and Mostert at 8-to-1. They’re also offering 49ers star tight end George Kittle at an attractive 20-to-1 price.
If looking for a Super Bowl party to watch the game at, Wynn’s sister property next door, Encore, is a place to put on the list of many possibilities with a notation of the price next to it.
“We have a free access party at the Encore Theater which has betting stations drink specials and also has proved to have less wait time in line for betting,” Castaneda said.
Free is becoming an uncommon term on the Las Vegas strip so take advantage of it when offered.
Props, Get Your Props Here!
Update - Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 - 6:00 p.m. ET
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has slowly been posting a few Super Bowl 54 props making up about seven pages before the massive drop tonight at 7:00 p.m. PT. The final sheets that are paper clipped into a binder will be out for release on Friday, but the props will be open on the board for bettors and scalpers alike to take their shot at finding the mistakes.
What they have posted already are two of my favorites: Will there be a safety and will there be overtime? No on the safety is -900 and Yes is +600 while No on overtime is -1400 and Yes is +800.
A safety has been more common over the past decade which includes a safety being the first score of the game in 2014 when the Seahawks beat the Broncos. In 2017, the first overtime in Super Bowl history happened when the Patriots beat the Falcons. Those two prices used to both be -800 and it was a popular limit play with a few sharp prop bettor, who played the 1/8 odds (Bet $100 to win $12.50).
The total points scored by each team is interesting because both are lower than what the teams have averaged this season. The Chiefs were posted at 27.5 points after averaging 29.8 points over 18 games and the 49ers were posted at 26.5 after averaging 30.2 points.
One of the more interesting props I’ve seen so far, or at least most unique, is what the Circa did with its player to score first touchdown prop when they listed all 90 players. I’ve never seen that before with all players listed and while I’ve never bet the smaller field version, either, I had fun going through all 90 names (plus the field 30/1, and no player scores TD option 500/1) trying to make a case for each.
Running backs Raheem Mostert and Damien Williams are both listed +550 favorites while superstar tight ends Travis Kelce and George Kittle are each listed at +900 and Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is next at +950. The longest shots of all were each team’s long snappers with the Chiefs James Winchester and the 49ers Kyle Nelson at 25,000-to-1 odds.
The players that stood out the most that I could make a logical case for were Kittle, Kendrick Bourne (+2000), Deebo Samuel (+1150), and Emanual Sanders (+1700). The 49ers have shown the ability to run-run-run almost exclusively with success the past two playoff games leading me to believe they will use that film the Chiefs have studied to do some kind of bootleg TD pass rather than run near the goal-line. Plus, the Chiefs have got off to slow starts in their last two games.
The South Point has posted dozens of Super Bowl props and will unleash much more today at 2:00 p.m. PT. One of the props they’ve already posted is the team to score first with both the Chiefs and 49ers listed at -110.
The ticket and cash counts at William Hill sportsbooks across the country are similar to what most books are dealing with after four days of action. The Chiefs (-1) have 51 percent of the tickets written on the point-spread and 68 percent of the cash. But it’s flipped completely the other way around on the money-line where the 49ers (EVEN) have had 78 percent of the tickets written and 72 percent of the cash taken in aided by a $100,000 and $40,000 bet on the 49ers to win outright. The whopper is the total where the over has 91 percent of the tickets and 95 percent of the cash.
The total has been one-sided like that everywhere. The Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas bumped its number up to a city-high of 55 on Thursday morning. Just about every other book is at 54.5 with the Nugget’s neighbor Circa still at 54.
Last year’s Super Bowl saw a Nevada decrease for the first time since 2015 handling $145.9 million after setting a record in 2018 with $158.6 million. This year’s match-up is certainly attractive enough to set a record, but early indications aren’t encouraging it will happen. The short money-line price and a spread with no urgency to bet now is keeping the action light.
Northern Nevada well-prepared for Gold Rush
Update - Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
California doesn’t have a sportsbook yet and Nevada is the beneficiary of its state legislators arguing semantics on something they know nothing about. Thank you, California and we welcome you once again to the Silver State for another big bettable sporting event.
The large Las Vegas crowds come from all over the world, but the steady flow of traffic heading east to Las Vegas on Interstate-15 is from all parts of Southern California. The Northern Californians head east on Interstate-80 to party and make wagers at the Reno books.
Although they’re all considered Californians, the two regions of the Golden State couldn’t be more different than Hawaii and Arkansas, and that includes how they bet. Down south in Las Vegas, the Hollywood crowd clubs it up and bet the games hungover in the morning with no real allegiance to any team. Up north, it’s a heavy dose of homers betting their teams and most of the time they don't care what the spreads are.
Marc Nelson spent most of his 28-year bookmaking career running sportsbooks in Las Vegas such as the Fiesta, Palms, and Aliante. For the last 2 ½ years, he’s been running the Atlantis sportsbook in Reno and has had to adjust his style a bit to accommodate the home teams in the region.
“We get a huge crowd every Sunday from the Sacramento and Bay area and they’re either betting the 49ers or Raiders and when they’re both playing at the same time there’s always a huge argument to what team get the volume on throughout the book,” Nelson said of one of the immediate differences he noticed about running a book up north.
“On an ordinary game during the regular season, we don’t do too much different booking the 49ers or Raiders, a little shading here and there, but the playoffs are another story,” Nelson said. “We did shade a little bit with the 49ers (the last two weeks), but not enough to give people a scalp.”
One of the moves Nelson made last week was shortening the 49ers price to win the Super Bowl. “We took a five-figure bet last week on the 49ers to win the Super Bowl at EVEN money when they could have taken +150 down the road less than a mile away,” Nelson said.
The favorite and over in both Championship Games beat up Nelson’s book with the 49ers covering and NFC futures paying out being the loss leaders. Despite the 49ers losses, he’s booking the Super Bowl just like most are down south in Las Vegas.
“With the Super Bowl, we know we’re going to get 49ers money and we can’t slow it down, but I do think we’ll get some Chiefs money organically so there’s no need to force anything this early,” Nelson said.
The Peppermill and Atlantis are both using Chiefs -1 up north while Baldini’s sportsbook in Sparks is starting out with the 49ers -1.
“So far we have tickets written and cash taken in both at a 10-to-1 ratio siding with the 49ers, and it’s been all over the total (54) as well,” Nelson said.
Nelson doesn’t have an opinion of the game but did offer some thoughts if a scenario happens again.
“If the Chiefs come out of the gate like they did the last two games, I’m turning the TV off,” he said. “The Chiefs aren’t coming back on the 49ers like that.”
The Chiefs were down 24-0 in the Divisional Playoff Round against the Texans and were down 10-0 in the AFC Championship Game against the Titans but ended up covering the spread in both aided by each being played at Arrowhead Stadium.
As for the sports betting future of California, it’s going to happen as soon the card rooms, race tracks and Indian casinos can get on the same page with mobile wagering. The Indian casinos want brick and mortar sports betting only which is an obvious sign that they haven’t seen the New Jersey sports betting ledgers. California revenues could beat New Jersey if they went mobile – easily!
Anyway, California, we hope it works out but we sure do love your visits. See y'all soon, and we're sorry -- not sorry -- about stealing the Raiders.
Outside of some props being slowly unleashed at Las Vegas books, it's been quiet with no movement off Chiefs -1 and the total is steady at 54 to 54.5.
Bettors pressing 'over' instead of side
Update - Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 - 4:00 p.m. ET
No one is running to the counters in Nevada sportsbooks to take +1 or lay -1 in next week’s Super Bowl because there’s no urgency. It’s not a sexy number. It’s actually kind of boring for a Super Bowl that has seen just one game ended with a margin of victory by 1 point (1991: Giants 20, Bills 19).
What has piqued the interest of bettors is the total, particularly the 'over,' which opened at 51 and is as high as 54.5 at a few books as of Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews tweeted “I’m up to 54.5 on the total and I have yet to write one single straight bet on the 'under'. Not one.”
And then Westgate Las Vegas Superbook VP of bookmaking Jeff Sherman retweeted with the message “same here...up to 54….tickets are literally 33-1 to the Over.”
The odds hadn’t even been posted for 24 hours, but bettors always resort to what they saw last and that was the 49ers winning 37-20 in the NFC Championship Game and the Chiefs winning 35-24 in the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs have now gone over the total in their last three games with Patrick Mahomes looking unstoppable.
“And no one can stop the 49ers running game,” Andrews added Tuesday afternoon to what is inspiring such a rush of 'over' action. But his 'under' bets have been piling up the last 24 hours.
“We’ve got four tickets on the 'under' now,” he said. “We’ll probably go higher but we’ll let the money push us there. Sharps are waiting for a number a little higher before they move in, I think.”
What is that number that will create some nibbles? Is it 55, 56, or dare we say 57 -- which would match the highest Super Bowl total that has been posted twice?
Whatever that number is, it's apparent that the betting public is set on a high-scoring game happening and they're willing to take the 'over' at any number.
“Our ticket counts have a 10-to-1 ratio to the 'over' and a 12-to-1 ratio on cash taken in,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback. “We opened 53 and are at 54 right now and we could move higher based on the volume, but we have a long way to go so we’re just going to wait it out.”
Stoneback said at 54 (alone) the cash has been at a 5-to-1 ratio and if it was a regular-season game they would have already moved higher.
The first big bet the Superbook took Sunday night was $110,000 'over' 52.5.
Historically over the past 20 Super Bowls, the match-ups posted with totals at 50 or higher that were expected to be shootouts ended up mostly staying 'under.' Six games were 50 or higher over that stretch and five of them stayed under with the one 'over' game being the Patriots magical comeback in 2017 after being down 28-3 to win 34-28 in the first overtime in Super Bowl history.
This season, the 49ers averaged a 30-19 score and the Chiefs averaged a 29-20 score.
The total betting story appears to be the main Super Bowl storyline during the first week, or at least until all the props get posted where some bettors go wild in finding huge yardage middles at competing books.
Point-spread Action remains slow
The spread at -1 doesn’t create any urgency to get down on a Super Bowl side, but early reports are both sides getting somewhat equal action in ticket counts.
“We don’t have many large bets right now,” Stoneback said. “We took $50,000 on the Chiefs yesterday and $125,000 on the Chiefs today, but it’s been good two-way action. I could see eventually -1.5 coming, but we’re not close to making a move yet.”
Most sportsbooks haven’t even seen 1 percent of what they’ll handle on the game.
“So far it’s been decent two-way action. I think our biggest bet has been on $8,000,” said Andrews.
Bookmakers excited for Super Bowl 54 Matchup
Hopes of setting all-time handle record
Update - Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 - 12:00 a.m. ET
There’s a strong possibility that the attractive Super Bowl 54 matchup between the Chiefs and 49ers could break the Nevada Super Bowl handle record of $158.6 million set in 2018 when the Eagles beat the Patriots.
“Yes, I do think it can set a record,” CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso said shortly after opening the Chiefs -1. “It’s a great matchup between an old school team like the 49ers against the sleek quick-strike offense of the Chiefs. I personally made the 49ers -1, but Chiefs -1 is a good starting point for us.”
William Hill’s head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich also believes it can set a record but throws caution for one reason.
“It’s a great matchup,” he said. “I would bet ‘yes’ on the record happening but not with both hands. The lack of a money-line will hurt.”
The Chiefs are -115 to -120 on the money-line and that’s not going to attract too much action either way as a +150 does for those bettors that simply bet the underdog to win outright each Super Bowl.
The good news for the books is that they don’t have a tough number to babysit for two weeks like a solid 3 or 7. It could run up to -3, but it looks like a number that will attract two-way action and have no need to cross the most important number in the NFL.
“We thought the number should have KC -2.5 after the Chiefs game assuming the 49ers would advance, but when they looked just as dominating against the Packers as they did the week before against the Vikings so we knew it had to start lower,” said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback who opened the Chiefs -1 and total of 53.
Stoneback likes the matchup and record potential as well.
“I really do believe this matchup will set a Super Bowl record for the state,” Stoneback said. “It’s the best matchup anyone could ask for with arguably the two best teams in the league.”
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook was the first Nevada bet shop to open the Super Bowl number (-1, 51.5) when the 49ers were up 20-0 over the Packers in the second quarter.
SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay said after nearly three hours of having their numbers posted the Chiefs (-1) had 71 percent of the tickets written and their first big bet was $110,000 on the game over 52.5 which pushed them to 53.5.
Stoneback said an hour after posting their number that they had taken great two-way action at all their strip properties with no wagers larger than $10,000.
The only time a Super Bowl closed pick ‘em was in 2015 when the Patriots beat the Seahawks and the last time a Super Bowl closed -1 was in 1982 when the 49ers (-1) beat the Bengals. It’s a pair of unique numbers for the Super Bowl.
The initial question here bettors need to be asking is how do you dare bet against a fearless Chiefs squad that has won and covered their last eight games. But at the same time when you see the Chiefs go down a combined 31-0 in the first quarter of their last two playoff games, is the 49ers defense the type that folds as the Texans and Titans did?
There’s a lot of angles to approach here, but there is no urgency to bet the game now because of the number. I’m not racing to lay that -2.5 or take +3 or -6.5 or +7. We’ve all got plenty of time to dissect what all the talking heads are chit-chatting about and no one should get burned by being late on a number.
The Super Bowl trend the last few years has seen public opinion flip-flop their opinions from what they believed immediately after the Championship Games to what they thought about after letting a week pass by. But the 49ers and Chiefs wins were convincing enough to where no one should have a strong impression one way or another based on what they saw last.
And of course, there’s a super important note to pass on as the world-famous SuperBook props will be posted Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. PT. Over 400 props expected with everything that can be found in a box score to bet on along with combining box-scores in sports like soccer, NHL, NBA, golf matched up against the Super Bowl.
As for how the books did on Championship Sunday, Let’s just call it the second-worst Sunday of the football season and certainly the worst day of 2020 thanks to both favorites and both overs cashing on parlays and teasers. There was no way out with at least one book reporting a seven-figure loss. Usually, they get some help from AFC and NFC futures posting to mask a poor day between the two games, but lots of 10/1 four-team parlays (Bet $100 to win $1,000) were cashing.
Only one book I talked with had a winning day, albeit very small. Congrats to TDT and the CG Technology crew for being that book.
Be sure to check back often as I’ll be detailing what’s happening at the Nevada books the next two weeks and where the Super Bowl money is landing.
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