49ers open as slight Super Bowl favorites vs. Chiefs; line dips

ByDAVID PURDUM
January 28, 2024, 11:19 PM

The San Francisco 49ers have been installed as small Super Bowl favorites over the Kansas City Chiefs, but the point spread dropped quickly Sunday at sportsbooks around the nation.

The 49ers opened as 2.5-point favorites at ESPN BET, but the line dipped to -1.5 within 20 minutes of being posted and was as low as -1 at some sportsbooks Sunday night.

If the line holds, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will be underdogs in a third straight game. Kansas City is 9-3 outright as an underdog in Mahomes' starts.

The Chiefs entered the playoffs at 10-1 to win the Super Bowl, their longest odds of the season. But Mahomes led another postseason run, pulling upsets over the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens to get the Chiefs back in the Super Bowl for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

The 49ers, the top seed in the NFC, were the consensus Super Bowl favorites when the playoffs kicked off. But they have had to survive back-to-back upset bids by the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.

The Niners fell behind the Lions 24-7 in the first half Sunday and were listed as around 5-1 underdogs to come back and win the game. San Francisco rallied behind quarterback Brock Purdy in the second half and hung on for a 34-31 win. It was an expensive comeback for the betting public, which had flocked to bet the underdog Lions. Detroit on the money line was the most popular bet of the championship games at BetMGM sportsbooks.

Ahead of the conference championship games, Caesars Sportsbook had the 49ers listed as 3-point favorites over the Chiefs in a potential Super Bowl matchup.

"The Niners won a couple of nail-biters at home, and the Chiefs' defense has played very admirably, especially today," Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, said Sunday. "They just shut down the Ravens. That's why we went a little bit lower."

Pullen said the 49ers would have been a small favorite over the Ravens, too, and added that he'd be surprised if the line moves enough to make the Chiefs the favorites in the Super Bowl.

"I can't see the Chiefs going off as a favorite, but you never know," Pullen said.

San Francisco opened at -130 on the money line, and the over/under total was set at 47.5 at ESPN BET.

The betting favorite has won 36 of 57 Super Bowls. Underdogs are 28-27-2 against the spread in Super Bowls. There have been 28 unders, 27 overs and one push, with no over/under total archived on the first Super Bowl, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

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