Make it two weeks in a row that the bookmakers have started out liking the Kansas City Chiefs a little too much and the Philadelphia Eagles not quite enough.
The matchup for Super Bowl LVII is set, and the NFC champion Eagles are a small favorite at all sportsbooks. But that wasn’t the case for the first few minutes after Harrison Butker drilled a 45-yard game-winning field goal Sunday to secure the Chiefs’ spot as AFC champs.
The regulated sportsbooks across America were all over the map with their opening lines on the Super Bowl. FanDuel favored the Chiefs by 1.5 points. PointsBet and Circa had the Chiefs -2.5. Caesars and SuperBook both made the game a pick ‘em. DraftKings favored the Eagles by 1.
Over the next 20 minutes or so, Eagles bettors made noise with their wallets and the lines moved — nowhere more dramatically than at Circa:
Super Bowl opener at @CircaSports was Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 with a total of 51. The market disagreed and said our opener was garbage. It will be interesting to see where this number goes in the next two weeks! #SuperBowlLVII pic.twitter.com/61TEytQQf0
— Jeffrey Benson (@JeffreyBenson12) January 30, 2023
As of Monday morning, the Eagles were favored over the Chiefs by spreads varying from -1.5 to -2.5 at all major books, and the point total at most books had settled at 49.5 points.
“So far, most of the action has been on the Eagles,” said Caesars Sportsbook Assistant Director of Trading Adam Pullen in a press release issued Sunday evening. At Caesars, the line moved 2 points toward Philadelphia in the first hour after the conference championship games ended.
There have been 24 spread or moneyline bets of at least $10,000 placed already at @CaesarsSports for Super Bowl LVII.
The spread opened at pick and it’s now at Eagles -2.
— Max Meyer (@TheMaxMeyer) January 30, 2023
Remarkable Chiefs streak in jeopardy
Something similar happened with the lines for the AFC and NFC Championship Games a week earlier.
The Chiefs opened as small favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals, but the line flipped overnight due to wagers on the Bengals and worries over Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury — only to reverse course mid-week when Mahomes was seen moving reasonably well in practice.
Philadelphia’s line against the San Francisco 49ers saw less dramatic movement, but the bookmakers did apparently underestimate Eagles enthusiasm, favoring the NFC’s No. 1 seed by 1.5 or 2 points at first before closing at 2.5 at all books — most of them ending up with heavy juice on the Eagles -2.5.
The Chiefs have been favored in their last 15 consecutive playoff games, a historic streak that remained intact after they closed as favorites against Cincinnati. But that run will end if the odds don’t flip in their favor over the next two weeks.
On the moneyline, the best price available as of 10 a.m. Monday on the Eagles was -125 at BetMGM (with prices elsewhere ranging to -133), while the Chiefs could be had for a high price of +112 at BetRivers, Unibet, and other books using Kambi’s odds.
A pair of sports betting firsts
Win or lose on Feb. 12, the Eagles have already made sports wagering industry history.
The fifth Super Bowl since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA will be the first featuring a team based in a state with regulated sports betting.
Local fans of the Eagles can legally bet on (or against) their team from the comfort of their living room couches between now and Super Bowl Sunday. The team’s home state of Pennsylvania launched retail sports betting in 2018 and mobile sportsbooks in 2019.
With the game located in Glendale, Arizona, this will also be the first Super Bowl held in a state that offers regulated betting.
Previous post-PASPA Super Bowls have been held in Georgia, Florida, and California — all states that don’t allow sports wagering but have flirted with legalizing the activity. Legal wagering began in Arizona late in 2021.
Up through Super Bowl LII in 2018 — won by the Eagles — Nevada was the only state in which sports betting was offered. The subsequent four Super Bowls featured Patriots (Massachusetts) vs. Rams (California); Chiefs (Missouri) vs. 49ers (California); Buccaneers (Florida) vs. Chiefs; and Rams vs. Bengals (Ohio). Ohio wasn’t a legal betting state a year ago but is now, while the Patriots’ home state is set to launch retail wagering this Tuesday.
Photo: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY