Super Bowl betting: Early action siding with Chiefs over Bucs, including 3 massive bets

Sam Cooper
·3 min read

Early money is pouring in on the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of their Super Bowl LV showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Chiefs opened as 3.5-point favorites. The line briefly ticked down to Chiefs -3, but is back at -3.5 as of early Tuesday afternoon. And in the two days since the Chiefs vs. Bucs matchup was confirmed, BetMGM has already taken three six-figure bets on Kansas City.

One was a $180,000 moneyline bet on the Chiefs at -180 that would pay out $100,000. The other two were on the point spread: $115,000 to win $100,000 on the Chiefs -3.5 (-115) and $110,000 to win $100,000 on Chiefs -3.5 (-110).

On the whole, the bets have swung massively in Kansas City’s favor with 76% of the bets and 80% of the money coming in on the side of the Chiefs.

“If early betting is any indication, the public and some of our larger betting customers love the Chiefs. From the early looks of it, the book will likely need the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl,” said Jason Scott, BetMGM’s VP of Trading.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates at the end of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won 38-24. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates at the end of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won 38-24. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

Despite a 14-2 regular season record and two more postseason wins, the defending Super Bowl champions have really struggled against the spread this season.

Before finally covering the spread in Sunday’s AFC championship game win over the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs hadn’t covered the spread since Nov. 1 when they beat the New York Jets as 20-point favorites. In the nine games since, the Chiefs were 0-8-1 ATS and 8-1 straight-up. Now those marks are 1-8-1 and 9-1 after Sunday’s 38-24 victory (the Chiefs were favored by 3.5).

By comparison, the Bucs were 9-6-1 ATS during the regular season and have covered in two of their three postseason games. The Bucs failed to cover in the wild card against the Washington Football Team, winning 31-23 as 10-point favorites.

The Bucs were underdogs in their last two games: +2.5 vs. the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round and +3.5 vs. the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game. They won both outright. Can Tom Brady and company do it again against the mighty Chiefs?

Bettors picking the over

In addition to siding with the Chiefs, bettors have been all over the one side of the total so far.

The total opened at 57.5 before dropping to 56.5 at BetMGM. The over has been a very popular play with 79% of the bets and 82% of the money coming in on that side.

The over is 1-1 in Chiefs playoff games and 2-1 in Bucs playoff games this season.

BetMGM’s Super Bowl liabilities

Once Brady signed with Tampa Bay, the Bucs became a very popular Super Bowl bet. Earlier this month, MGM reported that 7.93% of the Super Bowl bets and 11.48% of the money was on the Bucs, who opened at +1600 to win it all.

“They signed Tom Brady in the summer and everybody piled on. We wrote the most tickets on the Buccaneers, so there’s a big liability,” Jeff Stoneback, the director of trading for BetMGM, told Yahoo Sports last week.

The Chiefs, coming off last year’s title, were another popular Super Bowl futures bet, receiving 12% of the tickets and 34% of the handle at BetMGM.

BetMGM said Tuesday it has “twice as much” liability on the Bucs compared to the Chiefs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with Donovan Smith after winning the NFC championship NFL football game in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with Donovan Smith after winning the NFC championship NFL football game in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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