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NFL betting action report: ‘Everyone is happy’ at books with 49ers, Chiefs results

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The Detroit LionsSan Francisco 49ers NFC Championship Game landed in the sweet spot for sportsbooks.

The books cashed in as San Francisco won 34-31, but Detroit covered as the underdog.

John Murray, executive director of The SuperBook, said the Lions-49ers tilt couldn’t have worked out better for the books.

“We wanted that game to land in the middle, and it did,” Murray said.

Murray and a host of other bookmakers break down the NFL betting weekend that was and give us a little look ahead to Super Bowl LVIII.

Middle Ground

Generally speaking, the public betting masses didn’t have a good Sunday wagering on NFL conference championship odds. 

The book was looking for a 49ers win and a Lions cover. Several other books likewise needed that result, seeing San Fran get the bulk of point-spread action while the public went haywire betting Detroit on the moneyline. 

The Lions were in the range of +280 to pull the outright upset, meaning a $100 bet would win $280.

With Detroit rolling 24-7 at halftime, moneyline bettors were in great shape while Murray and his risk team appeared poised to give back a lot of the AFC Championship Game winnings (more on that in a moment). But the Niners outscored the Lions 27-7 in the second half.

And there you have it. San Fran wins 34-31, but the Lions cover as 7 to 7.5-point underdogs.

“Crazy game,” Murray said.

Early on in the NFC title game, with Detroit out to a 14-0 lead, TwinSpires Sportsbook director of retail sports Zachary Lucas texted:

“Lions moneyline is really bad.”

His subsequent text postgame:

“Beautiful. San Francisco by 3, and everyone is happy.”

Well, everyone in TwinSpires’ trading room anyway. Certainly not the bulk of bettors.

49ers-Chiefs will meet in Super Bowl, a rematch from four seasons ago

Hail to the Chiefs

Kansas City nabbing the outright 17-10 win at Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game also worked out for The SuperBook, on multiple fronts.

“We did very well. The game itself was just OK, but we had a great position on Chiefs AFC futures,” Murray said, noting K.C. winning the conference title was a much better result than Baltimore doing so. “And we won on first-half and second-half betting, and in-game. A very positive game for us.”

Prior to kickoff, BetMGM Nevada’s Scott Shelton said the risk room wanted a low-scoring Chiefs upset. That came through, with the final score falling well short of the 44.5 total.

“We won on Chiefs moneyline and the game going Under,” Shelton said. “It was a solid day, and we will be huge Chiefs fans for the Super Bowl.”

I Like Big Bets And I Cannot Lie

The Ravens attracted two of the larger reported bets in the NFL conference championship odds market. BetMGM took wagers of $175,000 and $100,000, both at Ravens -200 (profits of $87,500 and $50,000, respectively). Unfortunately, those both ended up in the bookmaker’s bank account.

Other notable major wagers, all on Super Bowl futures:

– $100,000 Chiefs +500 to win the Super Bowl, at Caesars Sports. That lives on, with a potential profit of $500,000, for a total payout of $600,000.

– $30,000 Chiefs +500 to win the Super Bowl, at BetMGM. Potential profit of $150,000, for a total payout of $180,000.

– $180,000 on 49ers +200, at Caesars Sports. Potential profit of $360,000, for a total payout of $540,000.

As noted a few days ago, I enjoy small bets with big returns, as well. And the one I mentioned at that time got to the finish line on Sunday. To refresh, it was a three-team futures parlay made back in May:

The Chiefs took care of that final leg, netting the bettor a whopping $112,155 on a $300 investment.

You certainly can’t argue with that return on investment (ROI). 

May all of us, at some point, win a fraction of that money on a sports bet.

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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