Super Bowl LV goes down this Sunday with a simply incredible matchup between the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The NFL could not have asked for a better matchup to cap off the 2020 season, and the sports books, in turn, could not have asked for a better matchup to generate action on both sides this matchup. A ton of betting will take place well before the opening kick on Sunday night, but there will be just as much betting going after the opening kickoff.
With that said, here's a brief breakdown of two potentially profitable in-game, live betting strategies that we as sports bettors can look to take advantage of after said opening kickoff on Sunday evening:
Low Scoring First Quarter/First Half
The current total for this matchup is set at 56 in most shops, which is the third highest Super Bowl game total of all-time. The majority of the tickets are on the over as well, and for good reason. You have two explosive offenses ranked #1 (Chiefs) and #4 (Buccaneers) respectively, according to Pro Football Focus.
The general consensus amongst bettors is that the game will go over, but what about in-game/live betting the over during the first half? Well, if you look at Super Bowls played this century, then you would notice a pattern. Out of 21 Super Bowls since 2000, only four of them saw the first half outscore the second half.
If we dig a bit deeper, we will also note that while this is indeed Brady’s tenth Super Bowl appearance, in his previous nine appearances his teams have scored a total of three points in the first quarter. Three total points. What does this have to do with in-game/live wagering you ask? The books typically split the difference when it comes to the over and under, especially in the first half. For example, if the total points scored at anytime in the first half is 20 then most books will have the game's points lined at around 40 for live betting. Most books’ in-game/live wagering lines fluctuate based off of the current game flow here.
A low scoring first quarter and/or first half will therefore drive this full game total down, and this allows the savvy in-game/live bettor the chance jump on a deflated over total in the first half. With two explosive offenses that can score at a moment’s notice, and with this century’s history of low first half totals, a bettor waiting to take the full game over after kickoff and before halftime begins has a slight edge.
Getting the defending NFL champions as just a field goal favorite is a pretty solid bet. The majority of the tickets are currently on the Chiefs, and it’s definitely understandable. The Chiefs have the best quarterback in the league, the best offense in the league, and a knack for never being out of a game regardless of the score. In the Mahomes era, this Kansas City team has 9 of the 50 biggest comebacks in franchise history.
If you dig deeper again here, you'll also see that those nine comeback victories happened within one and half years time, more specifically rom October 1st, 2018 through February 2nd, 2020. If those stats aren’t good enough for you, then consider that the Chiefs just came back from a 9-0 deficit to defeat the Buffalo Bills two weeks ago and easily advance to Super Bowl LV. If you recall, the Chiefs were also favored by three points prior to kickoff in that AFC Championship game and had a money line of roughly -160.
After Kansas City went down 9-0, their live betting odds on the spread dipped as low as -1.5 and the money line was -105 in some places. The Chiefs, as they often do, came roaring back to take a commanding lead and eventually win the game in dominating fashion. The moral to this specific story is that the Chiefs typically overcome many of their large deficits with ease, and most large Chief deficits allow in-game/live wagering opportunities for us to get Kansas City at better odds than before kickoff.