NFL’s Chiefs-Ravens Clash Was ‘Monster-Bet Game’

Posted on: September 29, 2020, 08:30h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 09:26h.

Monday night’s NFL showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, not surprisingly, was a huge hit at sportsbooks.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes reacts after throwing a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to help clinch a resounding victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. (Image: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports)

“It was the second-highest bet game of the year,” said Ed Salmons, the vice president of risk management and oddsmaking at Westgate SuperBook, to “The highest one for us was the Saints-Raiders game, and that was probably more because of the local team. It was by far the second-highest bet game of the year.”

The matchup featured Kansas City, which won last year’s Super Bowl and is quarterbacked by 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes, and Baltimore, which had last year’s best regular-season record and is quarterbacked by 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson. The game was rather ho-hum, though, as the Chiefs won easily, 34-20.

Good and Bad at Sportsbooks

The good news for sportsbooks was the number of tickets taken on the game. The bad news was most of the money came on the Chiefs, both on the spread (they were 3-point underdogs) and the moneyline.

It was a monster-bet game,” said Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at William Hill, to “We lost pretty good because the public had the Chiefs, sort of like the public had the Packers the night before [against the New Orleans Saints].

“It stayed under in miraculous fashion. If it had went Chiefs on the moneyline and over, we’d have gotten barbecued. We got beat up a little bit, but not too bad, just because it stayed under somehow.”

The saving grace was the 54-point total. At most sportsbooks, the over/under was at least 54.5 – it was 55.5 at SuperBook. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, who beat the Los Angeles Chargers the week before with a 58-yard field goal, missed an extra point and a 42-yard field goal to take four points off the board.

It was huge that it stayed under,” Salmons said. “We needed the under. It didn’t matter who won, we just needed the under. We were writing so much over money and so many parlays – over, over, over. Our only way we couldn’t lose money on that game was under, and it sure looked bad at halftime [when the Chiefs led 27-10].”

New Favorite

The Chiefs opened the season as the Super Bowl favorites. But the Ravens had moved to the top of the board after a pair of impressive victories to start the season. Now, the Chiefs are back in command.

At William Hill, the Chiefs are +400 to win the Super Bowl, followed by the Ravens at +650, Seattle Seahawks at +1,000, the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at +1,200, New Orleans Saints at +1,500, and the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills at +1,600.

The Chiefs, wow, they looked incredibly organized and efficient on offense, and their defense, from not stopping the Chargers at all, to slowing down a really good Ravens offense,” Bogdanovich said. “I don’t know what they drank or ate this past week, but I’d sure like to sign up for it.”

The Super Bowl swing was even more dramatic at SuperBook. The Chiefs are now heavy favorites at +250. They’re followed by the Ravens and Seahawks at +700, Packers at +900, Buccaneers at +1,400, and the 49ers, Saints and Steelers are at +1,600.