How High is Too High? 49ers-Chiefs Over/Under Approaching Record Levels

Sep 19, 2018 2:47 PM EDT
  • The 49ers-Chiefs over/under (56.5) is the highest total in the first four weeks of the regular season since Peyton Manning and the Broncos faced Michael Vick and the Eagles in 2013 (57.5).
  • It is the highest total for any Andy Reid-coached team, including with the Chiefs and Eagles.

The Kansas City Chiefs are averaging 40 points per game. Their starting quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, has 10 touchdown passes, and they are averaging 7.4 yards per play.

It’s safe to say the Arrowhead faithful are believers in KC and their offense through two weeks.

Bookmakers have set the 49ers-Chiefs over/under at 56.5, after it opened around 55 at the majority of sportsbooks both in Las Vegas and offshore.

The total is easily the highest of the 2018 season thus far, and nearly unprecedented for a game this early in the season.

Sportsbooks are clearly having a tough time setting the line to begin with. William Hill’s Director of Trading, Nick Bogdanovich, spoke on the early season public love for Andy Reid and the Chiefs:

“[There’s] going to be an avalanche of Chiefs money for now. It’s a lot like the bets on the Patriots and the over in their heyday or the Rams and the over back in the early 2000’s…We’ll adjust. We’ll definitely find a price point that will bring bettors on the other side back into the fold. It just may take a little while.”

Funny that Nick mentions the Rams back in 2000. Since 1990, only three games have closed with an over/under of more than 55 in the first four weeks of the regular season.

All three games totaled at least 60 points combined and went over the closing total. The three games featured some big name quarterbacks and a whole lot of offense:

Highest Over/Under in Weeks 1-4, Since 1990

  • Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles (Sept. 29, 2013)
  • Over/Under: 57.5

With four passing touchdowns and just six incompletions, Peyton Manning torched Michael Vick and the Eagles in a 52-20 road win. The Broncos scored 31 points in the second half alone, and the game went over in the first minute of the fourth quarter on a blocked punt return by Denver.

  • San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (Sept. 17, 2000)
  • Over/Under: 57

Kurt Warner and the “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams won the Super Bowl in 1999, which meant 2000 brought on some high expectations.

In 17 games, the Rams had a total of 50 or more 13 times, their lowest total all season was 46.5 and they eclipsed the over/under mark of 55 a whopping 10 times.

After the Rams’ first two games of the season combined for 77 points and 71 points, respectively, bookmakers set an over/under of 57 in Week 3. Warner threw for almost 400 yards and the over hit by eight points.

  • Atlanta Falcons at St. Louis Rams (Sept. 24, 2000)
  • Over/Under: 55.5

Just a week later, Warner and the Rams had an over/under of 55.5, a point and a half lower than it was against the 49ers a week earlier … another big mistake.

Warner had arguably the most efficient game of his career with four touchdowns on only 12 completions against Atlanta. The total eclipsed the mark of 55.5 in the first minute of the fourth quarter when Warner hit Torry Holt for an 85-yard TD pass.

Credit:

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (third from left) and the Chiefs offensive linemen

Follow Evan Abrams on Twitter
@EvanHAbrams

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