There are only three games left in the 2020 NFL postseason, and by the end of the last we’ll know which team will get to call itself Super Bowl championship for the next 12 months. By the end of Sunday, we’ll know which two teams will be battling for that honor in Super Bowl LIV.
With the playoff field narrowed down to four teams, there are only four possible Super Bowl matchups that can take place on Sunday, Feb. 2 in Miami. On the AFC side, the Titans will face the Chiefs in Kansas City for one spot in the Super Bowl, while the Packers and 49ers will battle in Santa Clara for the other spot after the first game concludes on Sunday.
Sportsbooks are already allowing bettors to get money down on each side of the four potential Super Bowl matchups, releasing lines for each after the matchups were locked in. Anyone who bets on a potential matchup that doesn’t actually happen will get their money back, while bettors who lock in their bets now on the matchup that does happen will be hoping to land a favorable line when compared to the actual betting line that will be released after Sunday’s games have concluded.
Here are the opening lines for each potential Super Bowl matchup, as well as where each line sits as of Wednesday afternoon.
Super Bowl LIV potential lines
|49ers vs. Chiefs||Chiefs -1||Pick ’em|
|49ers vs. Titans||49ers -4||49ers -5.5|
|Packers vs. Chiefs||Chiefs -4.5||Chiefs -4.5|
|Packers vs. Titans||Packers -1||Packers -1.5|
The betting market seems to be valuing the 49ers at a higher level than the opening lines, as the number moved a point in their matchup with the Chiefs and 1.5 points in a matchup with the Titans (it’s important to note that the Chiefs line couldn’t have moved 1.5 points due to pick ’em lines hopping directly to -1 on either side).
On the AFC side, the market is docking the Titans a half-point based on their projected matchup with the Packers. So on the whole, it appears the market as of Wednesday is giving the 49ers a full point more of respect than the opening lines, while the Titans are getting a half-point less. The Chiefs and Packers are stable, hence their line not moving at all.
Do any of these scenarios offer value? I would argue that if the Titans can add the Chiefs to their bucket of upsets on Sunday, they would get much more respect than is shown in these lookahead lines. My current power ratings would make them four-point ‘dogs against the 49ers and one-point favorites against the Packers, but beating the Chiefs would certainly cause a rise in their number.
I would expect a 49ers-Titans Super Bowl to hover around 49ers -3.5 with a better shot of closing at -3 than -4. I could see the Packers, a super-public side as casual bettors love to back the team, being short favorites but the sportsbooks being comfortable with “taking a position” and knowing they’ll be overexposed to Packers money but have their odds with the better team.