Biggest Super Bowl 58 Liability: Are Sportsbooks Rooting For Chiefs Or 49ers?

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
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Sports bettors aren’t the only ones sweating out Super Bowl 58 odds. Just as your pro and recreational bettors cling to each snap with hopes of their tickets cashing, so do sportsbooks and oddsmakers. When a particular team takes a lot of action – action not balanced out by other teams – that creates a liability for sportsbooks. The upcoming Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers is no different. One side poses a heavy liability for BetMGM Sportsbook.

BetMGM trading manager Christian Cipollini spoke with Managing Editor Stephen Andress. There was no question about it: oddsmakers at BetMGM are crossing their fingers for one outcome.

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49ers Pose Biggest Super Bowl Liability For BetMGM

Before the start of NFL Championship weekend, Cipollini joined Andress on the Behind The Lines podcast. Although the Super Bowl contestants weren’t yet set, Cipollini was clear on the most significant Super Bowl liability at BetMGM a 49ers victory.

“We were probably hoping that one of the Lions or 49ers didn’t make [the Super Bowl],” Cipollini said ahead of the NFC Championship Game. “Because those were our two biggest liabilities remaining.”

Of course, both the Lions and 49ers played in the conference title, with the 49ers erasing a 17-point halftime deficit for a 34-31 victory. Cipollini explained the Lions’ result over the Buccaneers was the biggest hit BetMGM took in what would be a losing Divisional Round Sunday. The reason? Michigan is one of the book’s larger markets, and native Michiganders held no punches loading up on the Lions this year.

While Detroit was a Day-1 liability, San Francisco’s liability comes in a different form. In fact, on the digital trading side (BetMGM’s sportsbook app and site), the Niners aren’t a liability at all.

When we get to the retail [books], that’s where the 49ers have taken a lot of liability,” Cipollini explained. “A large chunk of that comes out of Nevada, too. Which is probably more – since there’s no mobile betting in Nevada – 49er fans that do end up betting, go to Las Vegas.”

Chiefs Take Early Action Over 49ers

After opening as +3 (-120) underdogs on Super Bowl 58 opening odds, the Chiefs immediately took credible action. Less than 12 hours after opening, Chiefs odds dropped to +1 at BetMGM. Although they command just 55% of the earliest bets, 84% of early money falls on the Chiefs somewhere between +3 and +1.

The Super Bowl is one of a handful of annual sporting events where public action influences lines. But it appears this early action comes from outside the public realm. While it’s unclear how many “sharp” bettors got in on the early number, it’s clear large wagers are backing Kansas City. Now at -1, perhaps more tickets come in on 49ers odds. If and when they do, it’s important to watch how traders move the line. Should it move very little (or not at all), it’ll be clearer what constitutes the “sharp” side versus the “square” (or public) side.

Of course, being on the “sharper” side only goes so far. Be sure to keep up-to-date with TheLines’ extensive coverage of Super Bowl 58 odds to help boost your handicap and confidence when betting on the Big Game.

Super Bowl 58 kicks off Sunday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. Catch the game on CBS or Paramount Plus, broadcast from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Super Bowl 58 Odds: Chiefs Vs. 49ers

Compare Super Bowl odds from the best NFL betting sites below. Click on odds anywhere to place a bet.

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