FOX sports betting analyst
NFC championship odds betting didn’t leave much to sweat about Sunday. The game was a blowout, and that was in large part because the San Francisco 49ers suffered another quarterback injury.
Fortunately, betting on the AFC Championship odds provided a sweat similar to Ted Striker trying to land a jumbo jet in the movie. Airplane!
When all was said and done, we were left with a Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles matchup when the Super Bowl odds hit the board. You can watch the big game on FOX and the FOX Sports app.
Let’s recap the big betting weekend and start looking ahead to what we’ve all been waiting for too.
Gambling pain in the game
Ahead of the Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship game, BetMGM VP of Trading Jason Scott floated a theory. It’s an informed theory in that it knows what it’s talking about, but a theory nonetheless.
“I expect a lot of handling in the game, with people waiting to see a Patrick Mahomes drive, checking his fitness and mobility, and then getting involved,” Scott said.
As the game wore on, Cincinnati made it quite competitive, while Mahomes looked more and more hampered. This worked better than Scott would have hoped, which meant it didn’t work so well for those of us on the consumer side of the betting counter.
“We were just head over heels,” Scott said. “The longer this game is played and the more Mahomes limps, the more money we’re going to take the Bengals in the game.”
So when Kansas City clinched a 23-20 victory on a last-second field goal, BetMGM picked up a lot of that Bengals action in the game.
“We didn’t break any records today, but we had a good winning day,” Scott said.
Hail Chiefs Bets
BetMGM wasn’t the only one to get a good result from the AFC Championship game.
KC covered as a 2.5 point favorite. But WynnBet Senior Trader Chris Youn had this to say:
“The perfect result was a Chiefs win and a Bengals cover, but we came out on the positive side as the money line win was twice as big as the spread loss,” he explained.
“The book gained a lot on the Under as customers placed a decent amount of entries on parlays like Bengals/Over or Chiefs/Over and also went along with the market as the total increased over the last two days.
“Seventy percent of tickets and 67% of pregame money was from the game over the total.”
The total closed at 48.5, so KC’s 23-20 win helped players across the country. But again, the spread and moneyline were also key.
“KC was a great result for us, after the Eagles blowout,” said Zachary Lucas, director of retail sports for TwinSpires Sportsbook. “A lot of spread/money line liability went through Cincy.”
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Fly Eagles Fly
Not only did Brock Purdy get fired up in the 49ers’ opener against the Eagles with Philadelphia already up 7-0, he also suffered an elbow injury on the play. That put him out for the rest of the first half. Purdy returned in the second half, but only because substitute Josh Johnson suffered a concussion.
San Francisco managed to hang in there for a bit, even tying it at 7 midway through the second quarter.
But Philly took a 21-7 lead into the locker room and was never threatened in a 31-7 victory as a 3-point favorite. At BetMGM, this represented a solid win for punters.
Scott said before the game, “The Brock Purdy love affair is over. We’ve been inundated with money from the Eagles, both broadcast and online.”
And after the game: “What could go wrong for the Niners went wrong. The first round went to punters today.”
WynnBet’s Youn echoed those sentiments.
“All week, we didn’t really have a side that we were heavy on,” he said. “But we had a ton of Eagles bets before we hit the money line and spread, which obviously didn’t end up being a great outcome for us.”
South Point Sportsbook Director Chris Andrews bucked that trend by spending more time on Eagles -3 Friday through Sunday. That gave enough time to draw substantial 49ers +3 action.
“We had a lot of money in Philly. We went to Philly -3 a couple of times. When I went last time, I didn’t want to go back to -2.5,” Andrews said. “So I let them carry the 49ers +3 until a minute or two early [kickoff]. Once they started, he had taken so much on the 49ers that he needed the Eagles. So the first game went well for us.”
I like high stakes and I can’t lie
The biggest bets reported during the conference championship weekend came Sunday morning at BetMGM. And indeed, it was the same bet repeated twice. A customer put $600,000 on Bengals-Chiefs Under 49 (-120) and then came back a short time later with another $600,000 on Under 49 (-120).
The total was 48 at the time; the bet bought a point, so the price was -120. So the client had $1.2 million in the Under 49 and got there with the Chiefs winning 23-20, netting $1 million.
BetMGM also played $200,000 on the Bengal moneyline +105, who certainly had a chance at the end of Sunday’s game, but fell short. In addition, BetMGM bet $300,000 on a total Bengal team Over 23.5 (-120), a book winner. BetMGM also placed a $200,000 bet on Eagles -2.5 (-115), a winner for the bet.
Additionally, prior to the Chiefs’ Divisional Round win over the Jaguars, a BetMGM customer placed $100,000 on the +150 Chiefs to win the AFC. So this bettor won $150,000.
Caesars Sports took a package of big plays, including:
$290,000 49ers +3.5 (-140) vs. Eagles, buying a point (loss)
$220,000 Eagles -2.5 vs. 49ers (win)
$110,000 49ers-Eagles Under 46.5 (win)
$60,000 Eagles moneyline -150 (win)
$60,000 49ers moneyline +130 (loss)
Caesars also took a big Super Bowl futures bet from its ledger: $75,000 on 49ers + 1200. The bet won $900,000 if San Fran won the Big Game.
Over the next two weeks, Major Wagers will be flying fast and furious at the Chiefs-Eagles matchup in Arizona. It’s interesting to follow these big plays, but as I always say, keep it reasonable. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and a senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He is based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys playing golf in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.
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