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A Super Bowl conspiracy theory has made headlines ahead of the biggest event on the North American sports calendar – and it has impacted at least one of the biggest sports betting sites.

A TikTok user shared a post late last week about the Super Bowl 57 final score having been "leaked" – and after a screenshot landed on Twitter, it didn't take long to go viral:

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The supposed lead raised eyebrows – not only for the conspiratorial nature of suggesting the outcome of the Big Game was predetermined, but also because of the fact that the tweet had been viewed some 12 million times in just a couple of days.

The questions it raises are whether or not such unfounded predictions are affecting the overall credibility if the NFL, and if they are driving betting behavior at sportsbooks around the world.

The answer to the second question appears to be yes.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, bets on a 37-34 Chiefs win have soared, trailing only bets on each teams' moneyline and spread selections in terms of stake. It's no coincidence that TikTok and Twitter had the "leaked" score on their platforms prior to this spike.

Origin of "fixed Super Bowl" rumors

You don't have to look hard to find examples where the conspiracy theory of fixed Super Bowl results has gained momentum.

In a 2022 interview, former NFL safety Dwight Smith – a Super Bowl winner with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003 – said that the winners of some high-profile games are predetermined and that, according to him, "games aren't decided on the field."

More recently, former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster quipped about the outcome of certain NFL games being scripted and ultimately fixed. Foster admitted that he was joking, but his sentiment caught on – and fuelled the notion that the NFL championship is fixed.

Allegations of game-fixing flew following the AFC Championship game between the Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals a little over a week ago. Controversial calls in that game led some to the notion that the game was indeed “fixed.” 

Ramifications of the rumors

The beauty of sports is not knowing the outcome of a game until the very end.

This goes for the viewing audience and those that can now place a legal bet on such an event as the Super Bowl. The integrity of the games is absolutely paramount. Otherwise leagues like the NFL would turn into the WWE.

In that case, sports and sports betting as we know it would cease to exist. Other industries could be shuttered, such as the exploding legal sports betting business that has taken North America by storm. It alone has been the source of a ton of tax revenue for participating states.

Foster was clearly joking and was playing along with the crazy notion that the NFL is rigged during an episode of his "Macrodosing: Arian Foster and PFT Commenter" podcast – but the damage seems to have already been done.

No matter, the rationale for ”leaking” the final score of the Super Bowl or for playing along with the notion that the fix is in on the Big Game, “fake” has potential to derail sports as we know it.

Conspiracies are ramping up and touching virtually every aspect of our society. Make no mistake: Super Bowl 57’s outcome has yet to be decided – and it will be decided on the field Sunday, not in the basement of a fan with conspiratorial beliefs.

How the NFL and the sports betting business deals with the increasing threat of “fake” remains to be seen. But the “leaked Super Bowl Final Score” is the latest reminder that league execs and sports fans need to be vigilant in their recognition of meritless stories such as this.