Bettors looking to grab the Buccaneers +3½ over the Chiefs on Saturday were out of luck.
Kansas City is a 3-point favorite in Sunday’s Super Bowl across the board at the valley’s sportsbooks after BetMGM and Station Casinos lowered the line Friday from 3½.
“We were one of the last 3½s out there, and we started taking quite a bit of Bucs money +3½. And sharp money, also,” MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback said. “If it kicks off right now, we need Kansas City pretty bad.”
The money against the spread is in favor of Tampa Bay by a 2-1 ratio at BetMGM because it took straight bets of $2.3 million and $345,000 on the Bucs +3½ (-115), as well as several other six-figure wagers on the underdog.
“We actually need Kansas City to cover the point spread right now because we’ve got all that Tampa Bay money,” Stoneback said.
The worst-case scenario for BetMGM would be if the Chiefs won by three. If that happens, the book would pay out all Bucs bets at +3½ and refund all bets at 3.
The best-case scenario at most books, including William Hill, Station and the Westgate, would be for Kansas City to win but not cover.
“We’re still seeing some Chiefs point spread money and Tampa money line money right now,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Right now, the best case would be the Chiefs winning by one or two and the game falling under.”
The total is at 56 at every book except the South Point, which was at 56½ on Saturday after taking a $50,000 wager on under 57.
“The sharps are all over the under,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “We originally opened it 57, and they pounded the under 57 and under 57½. But we’re going to need the under for a big amount. The masses love betting over in this game. They’ll bet this one with both hands over.
“There’s a little rain in the forecast, so we’re going to need the professionals and Mother Nature with the under.”
South Point has had the best price the past two weeks at Chiefs -3 (-110) and a 10-cent money line. The Westgate also dropped its price Saturday to Kansas City -3 (-110) and Tampa Bay +3 (Even) in a “reduce the juice” promotion and went with a 10-cent money line with Kansas City -155 and Tampa +145.
“We expect it to continue through (Sunday),” Westgate vice president Jay Kornegay said. “It attracted a few more larger wagers on both sides.”
Bogdanovich said the ticket count at William Hill was about 70 percent on the Chiefs ATS, Bucs on the money line and the over.
“We’re high on Kansas City, but I still don’t think it’s going to be a big decision,” he said. “I think there’s going to be plenty of Tampa money. I think we’ll need Tampa Bay small when the game kicks off.”
Although Las Vegas casinos are restricted to 25 percent capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic, Kornegay said there’s definitely a buzz in the air because it’s Super Bowl weekend.
“There’s still a level of electricity on the property you feel, just not to the level we had before,” he said. “In the past, being in the sportsbook during Super Bowl weekend always felt like there was a heavyweight fight about to take place.
“It feels more like a middleweight fight this year.”