In mid-October, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes recovering from a knee injury, the Chiefs were second-tier Super Bowl contenders, behind the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, 49ers and Packers on the oddsboard at Caesars. Mahomes returned quickly and helped the Chiefs close out the regular season with six straight wins. Their last loss, however, was to the upstart Titans, their opponent in the AFC Championship Game.
Entering the season, the betting public had little faith in the Titans. In fact, when the season kicked off, Tennessee had attracted fewer bets to win the Super Bowl than any other team at MGM sportsbooks in Nevada.
In October, the Titans could be found at 400-1 to win the Super Bowl. They still had triple-digit odds entering December. In Atlantic City, New Jersey, the sportsbook at The Borgata has offered betting on which two teams would reach the Super Bowl. The book didn't take a single bet that included the Titans.
There were a few believers in Tennessee, however. On Dec. 1, bookmaker William Hill took a $3,000 bet on the Titans to win the Super Bowl at 100-1. That potential $300,000 ticket is one of six Super Bowl bets on Tennessee at William Hill that would net six-figure wins.
While most Nevada sportsbooks were sitting pretty on the Titans in the Super Bowl futures market, books in other states had liability on Tennessee.
"We'd lose a pretty good amount to the Titans in Mississippi," Alan Berg, senior oddsmaker at Caesars Sportsbook, told ESPN. "In Indiana, we would lose a pile if the Titans won."
Berg noted that, out of the four remaining teams, Tennessee is the best result for Caesars' books in Nevada, despite a pair of $500 Super Bowl bets on the Titans at 200-1 that were placed by a respected customer earlier in the season.
The Titans began the week as 7.5-point underdogs to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. In the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers are 7-point favorites over the Packers.
If both favorites prevail, oddsmakers say the point spread on a Super Bowl between the Chiefs and 49ers would be tiny, possibly even pick 'em.