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Super Bowl Betting: 'Over' Getting Hit Hard in Super Bowl LIV Betting

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/27/2020

There’s still plenty of time for the Kansas City Chiefs to come into Super Bowl LIV as a favorite of a field goal or more.  A lot of very sharp analysts expect to see Kansas City as a favorite of -2.5 or even higher at kickoff and I share this opinion.  As we head into the final week before the Super Bowl the betting patterns on the side have remained stuck in a very narrow range.  The same thing can’t be said for the total, however, and the one sided betting on the ‘Over’ continues.

As we talked about in our previous article, the Super Bowl side has seen minimal pointspread movement since it opened.  Many sportsbooks opened the game as a ‘pick’ but after an initial surge of Chiefs money there hasn’t been much to move the game off of the current price.  BetOnline.ag had the Chiefs as a -1.5 point favorite earlier in the week but they’re now at Kansas City -1.  That’s where they’ve been for most of the past week.  Nothing has changed elsewhere in the sports betting market internationally.  In Nevada, the odds feed shows -1 across the board.  Every book in the Silver State is at KC -1 with the exception of the South Point and Stations in Las Vegas which are both at -1.5.  The story is the same elsewhere in the nascent US sports betting market as well as at the majority of North American facing offshore books.  There are a few more -1.5 prices outside of Nevada but not a huge number.  The only exception remains Europe where for now at least it looks like -1.5 is the most common number at UK bookmakers.

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THE TOTAL TAKES A BEATING

There’s several theories about the pointspread movement in Super Bowl LIV so far but here’s no questions whatsoever about the total.  The public is all over the ‘Over’.  Most shops opened the total at 51.5 and they’ve received steady and heavy action on the ‘Over’.  At one point early in the post Conference Championship betting cycle a veteran Las Vegas bookmaker at a well known establishment noted that he’d kept moving the total up to 54.5 and as of that time he hadn’t taken a single straight bet on the ‘Under’.  In Nevada, most of the ‘outs’ in the state are still at 54.5 though a growing number have moved to 55.  The same is true for North American facing offshore books though a couple with a large ‘public’ customer base have moved to 55.5.  Once again, Europe is something of an outlier—at UK bookmakers the most commonly available price is 54 with a smattering of shops at 54.5 or 55.

The question now in the bookmaking community is ‘how high will the total go’?  There is starting to be a nominal amount of takeback on the ‘Under’ though not enough to change the overall dynamic of the marketplace.  As of late last week, the estimate in Nevada was that over 80% of the betting action on the Super Bowl total was on the ‘Over’.  That number is now down to just over 70% according to local gaming experts but that’s still a pretty lopsided number.  There could be even more action to come on the ‘Over’ as the majority of Super Bowl betting is still done within the final 48 hours before kickoff both online and at land based books.  Furthermore, the largest portion of this late betting market are recreational players who in theory at least are predisposed to go ‘Over’ the total.

So is there any interest in taking this game ‘Under’ the total?  You bet there is.  Most of the ‘sharp’ players on my Rolodex are looking ‘Under’ the total.  I’m definitely looking ‘Under’ the total.  The love for the ‘Over’ is based on a couple of things, primarily a kneejerk reaction that with a potent offense like Kansas City’s involved that the game has to be high scoring.  Ask the 2019 New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams how that worked out for them in last year’s Super Bowl. 

Based on my research and information sources, there’s a ton of ‘Under’ money out there but still on the sidelines.  Given the dynamic of the Super Bowl totals market to date there’s simply no reason for them to rush to get involved.  Why should they?  The betting continues almost unabated on the ‘Over’ meaning that the longer they wait the better price they’ll get.  That’s definitely my strategy and I’ve yet to see anything that has made me think for even a second that there’s any rush to ‘pull the trigger’ and get down.  The line movement on the Super Bowl LIV side remains a bit of a mystery but the way the total is shaping up looks very familiar relative to other games of recent vintage.

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