Jay Kornegay—government vp for SuperBook Sports activities operations—says what’s transpired over the previous 72 hours is unprecedented in an AFC or NFC Championship Recreation.
Kornegay’s SuperBook Sports opened its line Sunday night time with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs favored by three for Sunday’s residence sport towards the Cincinnati Bengals. Lower than 24 hours later, so many Cincinnati bets got here in that the Bengals grew to become the favored crew.
And as of early Tuesday afternoon, that pattern hadn’t slowed, with the road shifting to Bengals by 2 1/2 (although it moved again to 1 1/2 afterward Tuesday).
“We speak concerning the Bengals’ nice efficiency (towards the Buffalo Payments final week), however that is a 5 1/2-point transfer. That simply would not occur,” Kornegay mentioned. “And I’d say 90% of that’s due to (Patrick) Mahomes’ harm.”
The Chiefs quarterback Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain final week towards Jacksonville, which restricted his mobility within the second half. Mahomes has vowed to play Sunday towards Cincinnati, although, that means sportsbooks had been left to invest about his standing whereas trying to set their opening traces.
Kornegay mentioned he and a handful of different handicappers met Sunday throughout the Payments-Bengals sport to ascertain SuperBook’s opening line.
They began the dialogue with Mahomes. They knew from the previous that prime ankle sprains might be severe, estimating that Mahomes can be round 60-80% of his standard manufacturing (with some within the dialogue leaning nearer to that decrease 60% mark).
The following speaking level, although, was about Chiefs coach Andy Reid. May the bookmakers give that a lot deduction to Mahomes if the Chiefs teaching employees would possibly game-plan some round Mahomes’ lack of mobility?
“We predict that there will be sure performs that can be designed to maintain Mahomes in that pocket or a extra dink-and-dunk sort of passing plan to restrict his limitations,” Kornegay mentioned. “And so we take into consideration that.”
The group additionally tried to maintain the large image in thoughts. For instance, one of many greatest surprises from Sunday’s Bengals-Payments sport was Cincinnati’s run sport; working again Joe Mixon had 20 carries for 105 yards, and the Bengals averaged 5.1 yards per rush.
Whether or not that may be repeatable towards the Chiefs, although, was a unique dialogue.
“The Bengals had been simply working proper on the Payments, and the Payments could not do something about it. It was simply surprising to us,” Kornegay mentioned. “So we thought that was sort of an anomaly of what we had been seeing, just because the Bengals actually have not been in a position to try this all season lengthy.”
The handicappers additionally had current historical past to bear in mind. The Payments had been favored by six at residence over the Bengals in that sport Sunday, with extra bets coming in on the Payments’ aspect. That quantity, if nothing else, might be the beginning of a baseline for the way Cincinnati ought to be seen when touring to KC.
Kornegay mentioned the group ultimately got here to a consensus: SuperBook Sports activities, which prides itself on posting a few of the quickest opening traces within the NFL whereas working in seven states and at Westgate in Las Vegas, started with the Chiefs favored by three.
“You’re taking all these variables, and also you throw them within the hat. And we spit out three, despite the fact that I’ll admit… I will admit that it wasn’t our greatest work,” Kornegay mentioned with fun.
Based on Kornegay, Cincinnati had “a rush of cash” within the first few hours to maneuver that line right down to Chiefs by one late Sunday night time. By Monday morning, the Bengals had been favoured. Nonetheless, Kornegay famous some “extremely revered handicappers” began to guess Kansas Metropolis when the sport was a choose ’em or Cincinnati favored by one.
That also did not cease Cincinnati’s help as the road shifted to 2 1/2 factors. As of Tuesday afternoon, Kornegay had solely seen a quick occasion of a sportsbook making the Bengals a three-point favourite earlier than shifting again to 2 1/2; That three-point quantity is a giant one in betting circles, as NFL video games usually finish with a three-point margin due to discipline objectives.
“What’s shocking to us at this level,” Kornegay mentioned, “is that (the bets) simply retains snowballing on the Cincinnati aspect.”
A few of this might be attributed to recency bias, Kornegay mentioned. The Bengals appeared dominant of their 27-10 win over the Payments, whereas the Chiefs did not cowl their 8 1/2-point unfold in a 27-20 residence win towards the Jaguars.
Kornegay spoke by some hypotheticals to provide context on the place the general public was touchdown with the Bengals-Chiefs line. He mentioned with a totally wholesome Mahomes, he’d put the Chiefs as 4- to 4 1/2-point favorites towards the Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium. If Mahomes had been dominated out, he’d set the road at Bengals by 5.
There have been NFL cases prior to now, Kornegay mentioned, when a crew lacking its beginning quarterback and turning to its backup has moved a line between seven and 10 factors. These are usually excessive examples.
This circumstance is exclusive, nevertheless, as a result of it is attempting to estimate a wholesome Mahomes towards an injured one.
“I feel everyone’s eyes — whether or not you are a bettor, educated participant, sharp man, sharp handicapper, bookmaker, oddsmaker — everyone’s gonna be taking a look at that ankle all week,” Kornegay mentioned.
With that info, Kornegay mentioned, the road may nonetheless shift both approach.
“It is actually going to be primarily based off these follow reviews,” Kornegay mentioned. “I feel that persons are gonna have a look at that and see — together with us — and browse between the traces of what is reported to actually get an concept of how wholesome he’s.”
Nothing that occurs forward modifications the craziness of what is already occurred with the Cincinnati-Kansas Metropolis unfold.
Kornegay says the road has been a “sizzling matter” in Vegas this week, with different handicappers he is talked to agreeing that they’ve by no means seen something like this.
“That is the most important transfer,” Kornegay mentioned, “I’ve ever seen in a Championship Recreation.”
This story was initially printed January 25, 2023 6:30 AM.