Sportsbooks win thanks to Chiefs; Huge wager on AFC Under cashes

Patrick Everson

FOX Sports Betting Analyst

Betting on NFC Championship odds didn’t leave much to sweat on Sunday. The game was a wipeout, and that was in large part due to the San Francisco 49ers suffering yet another quarterback injury. 

Thankfully, betting on AFC Championship odds provided a sweat akin to Ted Striker trying to land a jumbo jet in the movie Airplane! 

When all was said and done, we were left with a matchup of Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles as Super Bowl odds hit the board. You can catch the big game on FOX and the FOX Sports App.

Let’s recap the big betting weekend and start looking ahead to what we have all been waiting for, as well.

In-Game Wagering Pain 

Prior to the Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship Game, BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott floated a theory. It’s an informed theory, since he knows what he’s talking about but a theory nonetheless. 

“I’m expecting huge in-play handle, with people waiting to see a drive from Patrick Mahomes, checking his fitness and mobility, then becoming involved,” Scott said. 

As the game wore on, Cincinnati made it quite competitive, while Mahomes appeared more and more hindered. That worked out better than Scott would’ve expected — which meant it didn’t work out so well for those of us on the consumer side of the betting counter. 

“We were with the wounded Chiefs,” Scott said. “The longer that match played, and the more Mahomes hobbled, the more money we took on Bengals in-play.” 

So when Kansas City eked out a 23-20 victory on a final-seconds field goal, BetMGM scooped up lots of that Bengals in-game action. 

“We didn’t break any records today, but we landed with a solid winning day,” Scott said. 

Bookmakers Hail Chiefs 

BetMGM wasn’t alone in getting a good result from the AFC Championship Game. 

K.C. covered as a 2.5-point favorite. But WynnBet senior trader Chris Youn had this to say:

“The perfect outcome was a Chiefs win and a Bengals cover, but we did come out on the positive side, as the moneyline win was two times the size of the spread loss,” he explained.

“The book won big on the Under, as patrons were placing a decent amount of tickets on parlays like Bengals/Over or Chiefs/Over and also going along with the market as the total was drifting higher the past couple days. 

“Seventy percent of tickets and 67% of money pre-game was on the game going over the total.” 

The total closed at 48.5, so K.C.’s 23-20 victory aided oddsmakers across the country. But again, spread and moneyline were key, too. 

“K.C. was a big result for us, after the Eagles blowout,” TwinSpires Sportsbook director of retail sports Zachary Lucas said. “A lot of spread/moneyline liability ran through Cincy.” 

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Fly Eagles Fly 

Brock Purdy not only fumbled it away on the 49ers’ first drive against the Eagles with Philadelphia already up 7-0, but he also suffered an elbow injury on the play. That knocked him out the rest of the first half. Purdy returned in the second half but only because backup Josh Johnson suffered a concussion. 

San Francisco managed to hang around for a bit, even tying it at 7 midway through the second quarter. 

But Philly took a 21-7 lead to the locker room and was never threatened in a 31-7 victory as a 3-point favorite. At BetMGM, that represented a solid win for the bettors. 

Said Scott pregame: “The Brock Purdy love story is over. We have been inundated with Eagles money, both spread and moneyline.” 

And postgame: “What ever could go wrong for the Niners did go wrong. The first round went to the bettors today.” 

WynnBet’s Youn echoed those sentiments. 

“All week, we didn’t really have a side we were heavy on,” he said. “But we got a late rush of Eagles bets before kick on the moneyline and spread, which obviously ended up not being a great result for us.” 

South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews defied that trend by spending more time at Eagles -3 from Friday-Sunday. That gave enough time to draw substantial 49ers +3 action. 

“We had a lot of money on Philly. We went to Philly -3 a couple times. When I went the last time, I didn’t want to go back to -2.5,” Andrews said. “So I let them take the 49ers +3 all the way up to a minute or two before [kickoff]. Once they kicked off, I had taken so much on the 49ers that I needed the Eagles. So the first game worked out well for us.” 

FOX Bet Back-and-Forth

The NFC Championship Game fell in favor of FOX Bet customers, while the AFC Championship Game was a win for the book.

“It’s no surprise that we got hurt on the Birds’ game, but the Chiefs’ W was a nice result for us,” said Dylan Brossman, trading operations senior manager at FOX Bet. “We had similar results for the conference [futures odds]. We were profitable in the AFC and quite the opposite in the NFC.”

That’s due in no small part to FOX Bet’s presence in and around Philadelphia. There were plenty of Eagles bettors jumping in on Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, and throughout the season, those customers were on Philly to win the NFC title. Still, Brossman said his shop is satisfied with a Chiefs vs. Eagles clash.

“We got the ideal matchup in the Super Bowl and have seen the early money on Philly,” Brossman said, echoing what other sportsbooks saw early on. “This will likely continue until kickoff, with our customer base being mostly from the Pennsylvania/New Jersey area.”

I Like Big Bets and I Cannot Lie 

The largest reported wagers over conference championship weekend rolled in Sunday morning at BetMGM. And actually, it was the same wager repeated twice. A customer put $600,000 on Bengals-Chiefs Under 49 (-120), then came back a short time later with another $600,000 on Under 49 (-120). 

The total was 48 at that point; the bettor bought a point, which is why the price was -120. So the customer had $1.2 million on Under 49 and got there in the Chiefs’ 23-20 victory, for a tidy profit of $1 million. 

BetMGM also took a $200,000 play on Bengals moneyline +105, which certainly had a chance late in Sunday’s game but came up short. In addition, BetMGM took a $300,000 bet on Bengals team total Over 23.5 (-120) — a winner for the book. BetMGM also took a $200,000 bet on Eagles -2.5 (-115) — a winner for the bettor. 

Also, before the Chiefs’ Divisional Round win over the Jaguars, a BetMGM customer put $100,000 on Chiefs +150 to win the AFC. So that bettor netted a nifty $150,000. 

Caesars Sports took a bundle 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 got a significant Super Bowl futures wager off its ledger: $75,000 on 49ers +1200. The bettor stood to win $900,000 if San Fran won the Big Game. 

Over these next two weeks, Major Wagers will be flying fast and furious on the Chiefs-Eagles showdown 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 senior reporter for He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas. 

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