49ers open as slight Super Bowl favorites against Chiefs Line

49ers open as slight Super Bowl favorites against Chiefs; Line Breaks – ESPN

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    David Purdum, ESPN Staff Writer January 28, 2024, 11:08 p.m. ET


    • Joined ESPN in 2014
    • Journalist who has been covering the gambling industry since 2008

The San Francisco 49ers were considered small Super Bowl favorites over the Kansas City Chiefs, but on Sunday the point spread dropped quickly at sportsbooks across the country.

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

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

The Chiefs went 10-1 and made the playoffs and won the Super Bowl, their best chance of the season. But Mahomes led another postseason run, pulling off upsets over the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens, sending the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

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The 49ers, the top seed in the NFC, were the one-time Super Bowl favorites at the start of the playoffs. But they had to survive two consecutive surprise offers from the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.

The Niners fell behind the Lions around the clock in the first half on Sunday and were considered about 5-1 underdogs to come back and win the game. San Francisco fought through the second half behind quarterback Brock Purdy and secured a 34-31 win. It was an expensive comeback for the betting public, who had bet on the underdog Lions in droves. Detroit on the Money Line was the most popular championship game bet at BetMGM Sportsbook.

Before the conference championship games, the 49ers were listed as 3-point favorites over the Chiefs in a potential Super Bowl matchup, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

“The Niners won a couple of tough games at home and the Chiefs defense played very admirably, especially today. They just shut down the Ravens,” Adam Pullen, assistant trading director at Caesars Sportsbook, said Sunday. “That’s why we went a little deeper.”

Pullen said the 49ers also would have been a slight favorite over the Ravens, adding that he would be surprised if the line shifted enough to make the Chiefs the Super Bowl favorite.

“I can’t imagine the Chiefs coming out as favorites, 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 on ESPN BET.

The betting favorite has won 36 of 57 Super Bowls. The underdogs are 28-27-2 against the spread in Super Bowls. According to a study by ESPN Stats & Information, the first Super Bowl featured 28 unders, 27 overs and one push, with no over/under totals on file.