- A bet placed on the spread for Kansas City to win Super Bowl 54 has moved the line at one sportsbook.
- BetMGM accepted a $550,000 wager on the Chiefs, which is what led to the line change.
- Earlier in the week, the bulk of all bets taken by BetMGM for SB54 were for the Chiefs to win.
LAS VEGAS – Big wagers make an impact at sportsbooks like BetMGM and how their lines move for games.
The Kansas City Chiefs were originally the 1-point favorites for SB54 against the San Francisco 49ers. That all changed when one sports bettor decided to put down a $550,000 bet on KC to win it. The payout would be $500,000 if the wager covers.
The sportsbook changed the line for the Chiefs, now favoring them by a point and a half over the 49ers. According to Jeff Stoneback, the director of trading operations for MGM, such a large bet was what backed the sports betting operation into a corner when it came to shifting the line.
“That forced us to move it,” said Stoneback.
It is the business of sports bettors to choose the bet in which they believe a team will cover. But these decisions have an equal effect on the sports betting operators. Sportsbooks have to cover themselves and their businesses from taking enormous hits that occur when big wagers are paid out. This is the reason why the lines change.
It’s a preemptive measure in hopes of making any losses less significant so operators are not scrambling to recoup their losses with later lines on future matches. As it stands, Las Vegas is looking to see record breaking bets for this Super Bowl. With those records, line changes seem almost inevitable.
If MGM gets a rumored wager of $1 million on San Francisco’s moneyline (-105), that’ll help ease any impending losses, assuming Kansas City wins SB LIV. If that bet or any other bet large enough supporting the Niners hits the books, the Chiefs may return to being 1-point favorites.
However, if bets for Super Bowl 54 continue coming in for the Chiefs to win, their line may need to go to the 2-point favorite. Of all the wagers that BetMGM has received on the Super Bowl as of January 27, 80% of them were in favor of a Chiefs’ victory. The sportsbook is hopeful that by game time on Sunday, February 2, wagers will be equally distributed among both teams.
“Usually you get two-way action on the Super Bowl,” said Stoneback. “The San Francisco people just haven’t weighed in yet.”
The lines for the Super Bowl will continue to change until about the night before the game. Changes will all depend on how many 49ers fans decide to bet on their team to win it all. Super Bowl LIV begins on Sunday, February 2, at 6:30 p.m. EST.
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Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.