Inside Look at Super Bowl Bets From Caesars Sportsbook — ‘The Money Will Dictate’

Ahead of Super Bowl 58, PFN got exclusive insight into how Caesars Sportsbooks navigate lines and odds around the biggest NFL game.

There aren’t many sporting events in the world that see as much betting action as the Super Bowl. Certainly, no other NFL events come close. Handicapping a Super Bowl is an art unto itself, as sportsbooks look to navigate the combination of an influx of casual bettors with their usual big-money “sharps.”

In the NFL betting world, we often talk about the difference between where the tickets are compared to where the money is. For the Super Bowl, there is perhaps a bigger disparity in those two elements than at any other time, which is what presents the challenge for the sportsbooks.

Ahead of Super Bowl 58, PFN sat down with Caesars Sportsbook VP of Trading Craig Mucklow and Assistant Director of Trading Adam Pullen to get their insight on how they go about setting lines and odds for the Super Bowl.

Handicapping a Super Bowl Is About Striking the Right Balance

Coming out of the AFC and NFC Championship Games, all eyes were on the sportsbooks to see where lines would settle. The Kansas City Chiefs had just won back-to-back road games against the top two seeds in the AFC, while the San Francisco 49ers had struggled in back-to-back home games as the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

Initially, there was some surprise on social media that the 49ers were favored by as many as 2.5 points in places after those labored victories over the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. However, the sportsbooks needed to balance those two showings against the dominant performances they had seen from San Francisco during the season.

“The 49ers, they’re favorites because they are the better team, on my ratings, on Adam’s rating, and pretty much on most ratings,” stated Mucklow.

“(Patrick) Mahomes and co. they have a great record as dogs, but we don’t let that impact much. When you get to the Super Bowl, the money will dictate where we move and how we see it.”

As many expected, the early money was heavily in favor of the Chiefs. By Monday morning, the line had dropped as low as 49ers -1, and there was even some feeling we could see the game reach a pick ’em or swing in Kansas City’s favor.

“Originally, we opened the game Niners 2 and 48 (over/under line). Right after the line was opened, a flood of Chiefs money came in, which stands to reason,” said Pullen.

“The Niners, in both their playoff games, were prohibitive favorites, barely won, and could easily have lost both games. Chiefs went into Buffalo and won, went into Baltimore and won, so the Chiefs passed the eye test more.

“So we got all that Chiefs public money, and drove the line to 1, but a few days ago, we took a $1 million bet on the Niners ML at -120. So now we are sitting at Niners -2.”

In a short space of time in the middle of the week following the championship games, Caesars had taken two bets totaling $1.5 million on the 49ers’ moneyline. That caused that line to bounce back to -2 as sportsbooks looked to strike a balance between the high number of tickets on the Chiefs and the big money coming in on the 49ers.

Pullen told PFN “We need the Chiefs as of right now (Tuesday). With that million-dollar bet, we also took a half-million-dollar bet on the moneyline.”

However, that big money is creating a lot of interest for more casual bettors for Kansas City.

MORE: Biggest Super Bowl 58 Bets Made So Far

Pullen added, “The moneyline bets are 4-to-1 in terms of the number of tickets for the Chiefs.” Therefore, the public is still biting on getting the Chiefs as an underdog after they won as underdogs in each of the last two weeks.

As of the time of writing (Wednesday), we’ve seen the line dip back to 49ers -1.5 in places. If it drops any lower, it will likely quickly correct with more big money. In a similar vein, Mucklow appeared confident we won’t see the line reach 49ers -3, stating, “I think it’s pretty solid at two.”

Right up until kickoff and into the game itself, sportsbooks will attempt to strike that balance between tickets and money. If the line swings too far one way or the other they could be opening themselves up to some potentially big losses.

Knowing when to move any line in any sport is an impressive skill. Knowing how to navigate the attention and money a Super Bowl brings is an art.

Our Betting Lines page has the freshest lines and promos to get BANG for your buck. PFN’s FREE Parlay Calculator and Betting Odds Calculator are also available for your betting process! New to sports betting? Check out our guide on How to Bet on the NFL. Visit our Sports Betting Legal Tracker on how to bet legally in the U.S.

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