Super Bowl OT delivers big swing for bettorsWritten by I Dig Sports
LAS VEGAS -- As kickoff approached Sunday, sportsbooks were almost unanimously rooting for the favored San Francisco 49ers to win in a low-scoring Super Bowl.
Late in the fourth quarter, everything was going the books' way. Then, the game went into overtime.
The underdog Kansas City Chiefs rallied from behind in overtime to pull out a 25-22 win behind another Super Bowl MVP performance from quarterback Patrick Mahomes, resulting in a big swing in favor of the betting public.
The Chiefs covered the spread as 2-point underdogs, and the game went over the consensus closing total of 46.5. Both were good results for the betting public, as was overtime.
The odds of the game going to overtime at ESPN BET were 11-1, and multiple sportsbooks reported lopsided action on the game going into OT.
"Overtime was bad," said Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Caesars Sportsbook. "It was our biggest loser of the prop bets."
The betting public also made a big score on San Francisco running back Christian McCaffrey scoring a touchdown, but sportsbooks avoided a TD from Chiefs receiver Travis Kelce, which was an extremely popular bet this week. As of Saturday at Caesars Sportsbook, there were more bets on McCaffrey and Kelce to each score a touchdown than there were on the 49ers point spread and money line combined.
"It was a bad Super Bowl for the sportsbook," Tristan Davis, senior trader for BetMGM, said in a company release. "Many bettors had the Chiefs winning and overs on popular player props."
The over/under total had been at 47.5 or 47 for much of the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl but dropped to 46.5 on Sunday at a lot of sportsbooks. The Chiefs led 13-10 entering the fourth quarter.
Kansas City scored the winning touchdown in overtime and did not have to kick an extra point that would have pushed the game over all the early numbers.
"The Chiefs force OT and then win ... there is nothing that could've been worse," John Murray, executive director of the SuperBook in Las Vegas, told ESPN in a text message Sunday night.
Sportsbooks experienced what is expected to be record betting interest on the Super Bowl throughout the week, with at least eight million-dollar bets reported, most of them on the 49ers.
"The bet ticker really lit up with six-figure wagers about 12 o'clock [PT]," Mucklow said. "The big bets were on the 49ers, and the majority of the wagers were on the Chiefs."
Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP. He was around +135 to win the award this week at sportsbooks.
ESPN's Doug Greenberg contributed to this report.