Granted, the early financial push two Sundays ago showed for the defending world champions — from Chiefs +2 down to Chiefs +1 — but it was the resistance over the ensuing 36 hours that settled the betting market.
Professionals blasted the San Francisco 49ers.
The buyback started at Niners -1, followed by a nearly simultaneous push on Niners -1.5 and Niners moneyline at -125. A very respected betting group, Right Angle Sports (RAS), was right in the middle of the action.
San Francisco is currently back to -2 basically everywhere, with the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas on the high side of the market at -2.5.
If you believe in the Niners and haven’t fired yet, go moneyline.
“A two-point NFL favorite should warrant a higher moneyline than what’s being listed,” professional bettor Adam Chernoff told FOX Sports. “The moneyline price on the favorite is short because people betting Kansas City are taking the moneyline, while San Francisco bettors are laying -2 (-110).
“This results in a deflated moneyline price on the favorite.”
One of the biggest challenges for Chernoff and crews like RAS is balancing season-long numbers and recent performances. San Francisco was the highest power-rated team throughout the NFL regular season, but the Niners were lucky to survive against Green Bay and Detroit in their last two games.
Yet they’re still alive, and the sharps still believe.
“That balancing act you’re talking about is what we discussed the most by far,” Chernoff explained. “It’s tough to balance the calculus.
“Since Christmas Day, the Niners’ offense actually improved in our power ratings and the Chiefs’ offense rose from 11th-best to 4th-best. But the Niners’ defense fell from 10th-best to what would be worse than 32nd.
“We don’t believe the Niners’ defense with all that big-name talent will continue to play down to that level with extra time to prepare. Our belief is that San Francisco’s defense will bounce back and play closer to average before the Chiefs put together another perfect game on both sides.”
As for player props, which are always insanely popular for Super Bowl Sunday, Chernoff made a compelling point about his lack of an edge on offensive stars like Travis Kelce, Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel.
He hasn’t made a bet on any of the heavy hitters yet.
“This is the most difficult Super Bowl prop sheet in a long time because the Chiefs played in so many primetime and standalone games all season,” he said.
“There were ample opportunities for the books to get the numbers right. And there are no surprises because they’ve been extending offers for 20 weeks on Chiefs playmakers. The Niners weren’t as popular, but it’s similar.
“If the Ravens or Lions were in the game, we would’ve had three or four guys that weren’t really offered all season. But we ended up with a Chiefs team that’s been offered more than any other, not to mention a well-known Niners team.”
That’s not to say Chernoff and his betting peers won’t have any tricks up their sleeves as we get closer to kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET this Sunday.
“I’ll be looking to short Kelce’s yards on Super Bowl Sunday,” he admitted. “Kelce will be the most bet ‘Over’ guy in the game. We’re eyeing that matchup against [Dre] Greenlaw and [Fred] Warner at inflated prices.”
Kelce’s current market is between O/U 70.5 and 71.5 receiving yards and there’s a real possibility that number sniffs the high 70s by the weekend. Karma is a fade of 87 on the weekend.
Anything else that’s actionable?
“I love [linebacker] Nick Bolton ‘Over’ 2.5 assists at -140 or ‘Over’ 3.5 assists around even money, which you can primarily find at Kambi books like DraftKings and Bet365,” Chernoff explained.
“The Niners allow tackles to opposing corners and safeties at the lowest rate in the league. They’re a run-everything-to-the-middle-of-the-field offense and Bolton is that guy for Kansas City in the middle. He’ll be all over the place.
“I think a Chris Jones anytime sack at plus money is good, too. There’s some +120 out there. [Steve] Spagnuolo is going to utilize Jones on the right side of the Niners’ line away from Trent Williams, and I think he gets at least one.”
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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