Super Bowl 54 Wrap Up – Where Did the Money Go?

Written by Miikka Paakkinen in the ScoreMetrics Lab

The football season is officially over. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl on Sunday after coming back from being down 20-10 heading in to the fourth quarter. 

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes led two touchdown drives and the San Francisco 49ers fans were left shocked, with the final score 31-20 for KC. Bill Simmons called it one of “the all-time we blew it Super Bowl losses” on his podcast. (big fans of Bill Simmons here in the ScoreMetrics Lab)

Mahomes, 24, had a difficult night before the last quarter, but his clutch performance made sure that he’s going to be talked about as the next big quarterback star in the league for the foreseeable future. Andy Reid isn’t the winningest coach in the game without a ring anymore. Chiefs fans got to celebrate their first Super Bowl for 50 years.

To wrap up the football season, the ScoreMetrics labs takes a look at where the public put their money on in this year’s Super Bowl and who made the best investments. Let’s go!

Investment report

Right before the game, the Chiefs were favored to win with a -1.5 line and the Over/Under was at 53.5. Bookmakers were giving the Chiefs a -125 moneyline while the 49ers were at +105. 

Kansas City were an investors’s friend with a 13-5 ATS record during the season. They had won eight consecutive games with an average margin of 16 before the Super Bowl. San Francisco’s ATS record for the season was 11-6-1.

Pre-game, analysts were divided between the two teams. The ones backing the 49ers to win argued that San Francisco had the better complete team, while others believed in the Chiefs because they thought that it would be impossible to stop Patrick Mahomes. Obviously, the latter storyline won.

According to a report by, most sportsbooks saw the majority of the money of casual gamblers flowing in for the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. Before the Super Bowl weekend, 72% of the money wagered at William Hill was on the Chiefs. FanDuel had similar numbers for their sportsbook with 73% of tickets and 62% of cash going to Kansas City. So, presumably there were a lot of happy faces cashing in on their Chiefs bets after the game.

Also according to the same report, the people were pounding the over for the game. MGM had 88% of the O/U money coming in for the Over and other operators reported similar figures. At 51, the game went Under. 

Prop bets are popular for the Super Bowl. Westgate reported on January the 25th that their “Will Mahomes throw 2 or more TD passes in one quarter” prop was their most popular. At +425, the people investing in that must have been elated on how the fourth quarter played out. 

In-game opportunities

When the Niners had the ball back with the score at 20-10, the Chiefs’ in-game moneyline was at around +165. 

If you had invested in San Francisco before the game, this would’ve been a great spot to hedge against that investment going south. In other words, you could have protected your investment against a Chiefs comeback (which is exactly what happened) while still securing a profit. 

Here’s an example of how that could have been achieved:

Let’s say that you invested $1500 in the 49ers win just before the game at +105. At that 20-10 mark you were probably happy about your decision, looking at more than doubling your money and getting a 105% ROI. Of course, we now know that you would’ve completely lost your investment.

To protect that investment, you could have made an in-game hedge of $1000 on Kansas City at +165. Your total investment would now be at $2500. San Francisco’s win would have still returned $3075, while Kansas City’s would have returned $2650. As you can see, there’s a profit there in either case – 38% or 15% ROI depending on the eventual winner.

Securing your investments and being content with lower profit margins often makes more sense than swinging for the fences. 

The Super Bowl as an investment

Last week we concluded that it’s hard to find a good investment case that fits the ScoreMetrics criteria for the Super Bowl.

But it can still be fun to uncover recent trends and do an analysis of the teams to find some value while creating a diversified portfolio of small investments in the game. 

The Super Bowl is the main gambling event of the year, though, and that means that the bookmakers want to make sure the odds are in their favor. In reality, the biggest winners of Super Bowl Sunday were the sportsbooks. MGM and Caesars reportedly made multimillion-dollar profits in Vegas. “I know for a fact that it’s our best Super Bowl since at least 2008,” said Mirage sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback. 

So, that’s it for the football season. We’ll be taking a look at the early odds for the next Super Bowl soon though, so stay tuned for that and for plenty of other quality sports investment content! 

Also, don’t forget to check out John Todora’s new book, “Zero Correlation Investing – The Score Metrics Secret”, which is on sale for a limited time now. Get yours while you can!

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