Billy Walters, author of the autobiography “Gambler: Secrets From A Life At Risk,” says he will place a “small bet” of $500,000 to $1 million on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl.
Walters is widely regarded as the most successful American sports bettor ever and shared his betting system with the world in his autobiography.
Part of that system is finding the edge, and in this case, he loves three things about the Chiefs in the big game: the quarterback, the defense, and the kicker.
“At the end of the day, quarterbacks are the most important thing in handicapping any football game. Defense, that’s the second most important thing for my money. And kickers," Walters told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Walters is way higher on Patrick Mahomes than he is on Brock Purdy. He cited Mahomes’ Super Bowl experience as a way to handicap Purdy’s performance.
“You look at Patrick Mahomes in his first Super Bowl, he wasn’t great. And I don’t suspect Brock Purdy’s going to be great either.”
It’s an interesting assertion considering Mahomes and the Chiefs triumphed over the 49ers (with Jimmy Garoppolo under center) in Super Bowl LIV, and Mahomes won MVP in that game. Mahomes did throw two interceptions and was sacked four times in that contest though, and then followed that up with a zero-touchdown and two-interception performance in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LV loss to the Buccaneers a year later. Mahomes put together an unquestioned MVP performance in Super Bowl LVII last year, going 21 for 27 with three touchdowns, zero sacks, and zero interceptions.
Walters is really high on the Chiefs’ defense led by Steve Spagnuolo. When looking at the coaching staff on each sideline, he said that assessing “the defensive coordinators is like comparing night and day” and that the Niners DC Steve Wilks “has frankly done a mediocre job” in his first season at the helm. And despite substantial talent on the defensive side of the football in San Francisco, he still thinks “overall, Kansas City’s got by far, in my opinion, the best defense.”
Kickers can make or break a game, and Walters gives that a lot of value when picking Super Bowl winners, especially in this matchup. He says that the kicker comparison is “not even close.” He touts the Chiefs’ Harrison Butker as one of the game’s greats, while the Niners are trotting out “a real shaky rookie” in Jake Moody.
Butker’s knocked all 7 of his field goal attempts and all 7 of his extra points tries through the uprights in this postseason while Moody missed a field goal in both of his postseason appearances so far.
Going Against The Grain
Walters has made hundreds of millions of dollars beating the books in his illustrious gambling career. Although this half-a-million-to-million-dollar wager is “small” for him, that’s big by any measure, and the biggest bets on Super Bowl LVIII have been going the other direction this week.
A $600,000 bet on San Francisco on the moneyline at -120 odds came in at DraftKings on Thursday. Another big bettor placed a whopping $1 million on the 49ers to win the Super Bowl at -120 on Caesars Sportsbook.
Walters is leaning with the public though since 77% of bets placed on DraftKings to date were on the Chiefs.