Super Bowl 2024: As most bettors back the Chiefs, there's one outcome sportsbooks really don't want to happen

Sportsbooks across the country are rooting against one specific outcome in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

The Kansas City Chiefs have remained 2-point underdogs to the San Francisco 49ers at BetMGM and other sportsbooks for nearly the entirety of the build-up to the Super Bowl. That line has held steady despite a majority of money coming in on the Chiefs. As of Friday, 68% of bets and 70% of money bet against the spread at BetMGM is on the Chiefs.

With the Chiefs staying slight underdogs, there’s a result that can lead to a worst-case scenario for sports books: a one-point 49ers win. If the 49ers win 24-23, 31-30 or by any other one-point margin, Chiefs bettors taking the points will still cash in. And books will have to pay out San Francisco futures tickets, too.

“There has been lopsided action on the Chiefs to win and cover the spread in the Super Bowl,” BetMGM senior trader Spencer Davis said. “BetMGM will be cheering for the 49ers. San Francisco winning by one point would be the worst outcome for the sportsbook, allowing Niners futures and Chiefs spread bets to all cash.”

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Both the 49ers and Chiefs opened the 2023 season as favorites to win the Super Bowl. The Chiefs opened as the favorites at +650, while the 49ers were the No. 2 favorites along with the Philadelphia Eagles at +700. Before the season, 10% of all Super Bowl winner bets were on the Chiefs while 7% were on the 49ers.

The 49ers got more and more action as the season went on, too. Entering the final week of the regular season, San Francisco was the Super Bowl favorite at +225 and nearly 17% of bets were on the Niners to win the title. The Chiefs, meanwhile, finished the regular season with just 8% of Super Bowl bets after they went 11-6. All that money on the 49ers is a big reason why a one-point win is so scary for sportsbooks.

Most bets on the over, though money is nearly split

The over/under has also held steady at 47.5 and most bets are on the over. Nearly two-thirds of bets on the total are on the over as every state but Kansas is liking a high-scoring Super Bowl. However, the money split doesn’t mirror the betting split. Sharp money is coming in on the under. Just 52% of the money is on the over.

In addition to getting most of the bets against the spread, the Chiefs are also the favorite of moneyline bettors. That makes sense; if you’re betting a team getting just two points, you might as well bet them to win straight up too. So far, Kansas City is at +110 to win straight up and is getting 79% of bets on the money line.

There are three fan favorites for MVP

Three players make up nearly 50% of the total bets on Super Bowl MVP.

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce is the most popular player to win the award. Kelce, at +1300, is getting 20.5% of MVP wagers. 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey is second with 15.2% of bets at +450, while MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes is getting 14% of bets. Mahomes is +135 to win MVP. The No. 2 favorite is San Francisco QB Brock Purdy. Purdy (+230) is getting 8% of bets. More people (9.5%) are betting on Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco to win MVP at +2800.