Super Bowl Betting Tip: Should You Follow 49ers vs. Chiefs Line Movement?

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Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Wide receiver Tyreek Hill

  • The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will meet tonight in Super Bowl 54.
  • Super Bowl 54 odds have moved over the past two weeks as bettors have shaped the 49ers vs. Chiefs spread and over/under.
  • Using Bet Labs, we analyze whether it's smart for bettor to fade or follow Super Bowl line movement.

Super Bowl 54 odds opened as a pick’em between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. The over/under opened at 51.5, and it didn’t take long for lines to start moving.

The Chiefs are receiving the majority of spread tickets and oddsmakers have shifted the line to KC-1/-1.5. The over/under has moved, as well.

Super Bowl 54 opened with a total of 51.5. More than 70% of tickets are on the over, causing the line to increase to 53.5.

Oddsmakers move lines based on sharp action. If the pros are on the Chiefs and the over, would it be profitable to follow line movement in the Super Bowl?

To find out, we used the Bet Labs database to analyze against-the-spread (ATS) and over/under movement in past Super Bowls.

Past Super Bowl Spreads

There are 16 Super Bowls in our database and the line has moved in 14 of them. The team that has seen the line move in its direction, meaning it became a bigger favorite (-1 to -3) or a smaller underdog (+6 to +4), has gone 9-5 (64%) ATS.

That is a small sample, but it fits the larger trend we see when analyzing line movement in the other rounds of the playoffs. Since 2003, in all playoff games, the team that has seen the line move in its direction has gone 77-54-4 (58.8%) ATS.

This doesn’t mean the Chiefs will cover, but history is on Kansas City’s side.

Past Super Bowl Over/Unders

Since 2004, when the over/under increases in the Super Bowl, the over has gone 2-2. If the total decreases, the under has gone 5-6. Combined, following the line movement whether the total increases or decreases has gone 7-8 (there was no line movement in Super Bowl 40).

These results would not encourage you to follow the over/under line movement. However, if we look at the rest of the playoffs in the same time frame to get a larger sample size, the results change.

In all playoff games since 2004, following the over/under line movement has gone 87-70-4 (55.4%). That looks promising, but all of the value came from betting the under when the line decreased in the Wild Card Round (22-7). If you remove those games, following the over/under line movement has gone 65-63-4.

A majority of bettors are on the over, but the data doesn’t recommend blindly following the crowd.

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