HomeFootball DirtPotential Record-Breaking Super Bowl 2024 Betting on Chiefs vs 49ers

Potential Record-Breaking Super Bowl 2024 Betting on Chiefs vs 49ers

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It still seems to strain credulity that the 2024 Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco is actually taking place in Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 11, but here we are.

After all, it was only a few years ago in 2015 that the NFL forced Tony Romo to cancel a fantasy football convention simply because it was taking place in Vegas. And it was only in 2018 that the NFL was suing the state of New Jersey to keep it from getting sports betting, a case that it made it all the way to the United State Supreme Court.

Now, sports betting is legal in 38 states, the NFL has a team in Las Vegas and Tony Romo will be calling the Super Bowl for CBS. How times have changed.

Last year, Nevada sportsbooks won $5.5 million from $153.2 million wagered on the 2023 Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Eagles. The record for Nevada sportsbooks is $179.2 million for the 2022 Super Bowl between the Rams and Bengals. But with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the added interest from casual NFL fans from Kelce’s relationship with Taylor Swift, sportsbook operators are eyeing a new Super Bowl record.

“I think everyone is expecting it to be a record handle,” SuperBook Sports vice president of risk Ed Salmons told For The Win. “If we don’t set a record this year, it would be very disappointing with the traffic we expect.”

The traffic Salmons is alluding to? The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is estimating 330,000 visitors over Super Bowl week, which should help add to the handle that usually accompanies a Super Bowl in Vegas.

“We’ve had a lot of casino VIPs reach out to us and inquire about being able to bet seven figures on the game,” Lamarr Mitchell, director of trading at MGM, told For The Win. “We usually get a small smattering of seven-figure wagers, but with the game being here, I anticipate double or triple the number of [them]. Everyone loves the Chiefs or loves to hate them because they’ve been winning so much and the 49ers have a huge following, so we could approach a record handle.”

On top of the usual tourists and bettors who would ordinarily come into Sin City for a Super Bowl, multiple oddsmakers noted that Vegas (and Reno) have a large 49ers following, which should drive up betting interest.

“We’ll see a lot of business in Reno casinos and 49ers fans will travel in droves [to Vegas],” Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading at Caesars, told For The Win. “I think the handle record in Nevada will be challenged. I could see the California invasion coming, as we saw with F1. We’ll probably see some real chunky wagers. As it’s [a low spread], hopefully we write a lot of seven-figure wagers.”

Johnny Avello, a veteran Las Vegas oddsmaker now working for DraftKings (which doesn’t operate in Nevada), has observed the changing dynamics in sports betting over the years, both in Nevada and across the country.

“When I used to work at Wynn here in town, it was a little different,” Avello told For The Win over the phone. “When you first released the line on Sunday, you’d see quite a bit of action and then Monday early for people who were still in town. Then, there would be a lull for a week. DraftKings is much different, being in 26 different states, we’re going to see action each and every day. As far as the bulk of the money, that won’t come in until the final weekend.”

Regardless of how much ends up being wagered, it’s still a remarkable turnaround for a city that was used to getting the stiff arm from professional sports leagues.

“It’s night and day from the 1980s to think we’d have a professional sports team and the biggest game of the year here,” Mitchell said. “It’s something we never thought would happen, especially how sports betting was looked at in 1990s and 2000s.”

Chris Andrews, South Point sportsbook director — who has decades of experience both in Las Vegas and Reno — perhaps put it best.

“I think it’s good for the town long-term that we’re in the rotation,” Andrews told For The Win. “I don’t think it’s going to be that much different from my perspective. [The Super Bowl] has always been here.”

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