Betting tips for Super Bowl LVII: Top picks and props
The biggest sports betting event of the year is finally upon us as the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs face off in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday. The Eagles and Chiefs have both appeared in Super Bowls within the past five years, with Kansas City last making the big game in 2021. The Eagles came away victorious in their previous Super Bowl, defeating the New England Patriots in 2018.
Betting analysts Doug Kezirian, Tyler Fulghum, Joe Fortenbaugh, Anita Marks and Erin Dolan, fantasy and sports betting analyst Eric Moody, ESPN Analytics’ Seth Walder and Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz will provide their top plays on the game, props and more.
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5, 50)
Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. ET, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Super Bowl LVII is here. Caesars Sportsbook opened this matchup as a Pick ’em, but the Eagles are now a consensus 1.5-point favorite. Who do you like and why?
Walder: Eagles -1.5. I’ve felt pretty great about picking the Eagles in both their games this postseason. But this time? It’s close. Ultimately, I can’t get past this: The Eagles’ roster is just better. Defensively, their pass rush is an unrelenting force and they have the best cornerback pairing in the league. I can’t stress that last part enough: No team made it tougher on opponents to get open than the Eagles, according to our receiver tracking metrics, and that’s crucial against a Patrick Mahomes-led offense. Offensively, the Eagles aren’t as strong as the Chiefs, but I’m confident in Philadelphia’s ability to run the ball efficiently on Kansas City and pull out a win by three or four points.
Schatz: Chiefs +1.5. This matchup is so, so close, and I would prefer to play props and the total instead of picking a side in a game that’s basically 50-50. But if forced to pick a side, I would go with the Chiefs. It’s simply about trusting that offense is more consistent and predictable than defense, and quarterback play is the most important part of that. The Chiefs have the best quarterback in the game. That’s one tiebreaker. The second tiebreaker is getting a point and a half. I doubt the game comes down to a single point, but I’d rather have that point than not. The third tiebreaker is that the extra week off before the Super Bowl enhances the things that make Andy Reid a great coach — game-planning and player preparation — rather than the things that make Nick Sirianni a strong coach, such as his in-game decisions.
Fulghum: If I absolutely must pick a side, I would play the Eagles -1.5. Betting against Patrick Mahomes is never comfortable, but the Eagles’ dominance on both sides of the ball, the consistent positive expected value decision-making from HC Nick Sirianni, and the injury issues for the Chiefs all point me to Philadelphia. I want to like Mahomes and the Chiefs because it’s so rare to get him as an underdog, but in this case I believe it is warranted.
Dolan: Eagles money line (-125). I am not messing around with this tight spread. It’s such a close matchup and relatively low juice to take the Eagles on the money line. When I say close, the Eagles and Chiefs have the exact same record including the playoffs (16-3). It’s the first Super Bowl between teams that had the same number of points entering the game (546). They also have the same number of All-Pro selections. With that being said, the Eagles are the complete package in this game. Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia offensive line have a multitude of ways to beat the Chiefs. The Eagles’ defensive unit is also much better, as the Chiefs’ secondary has been carved up all season. Kansas City’s best asset is Patrick Mahomes, and there is no denying that, but I am taking the Eagles to get it done.
Moody: Eagles money line. I’m with Erin and prefer to back the Eagles on the money line. In my opinion, two aspects of this matchup will lead to an Eagles victory. Patrick Mahomes’ mobility and the Chiefs’ offensive line will be tested by Philadelphia’s defensive front, which led the league in pass rush win rate during the regular season. The Eagles’ running game with Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders will be very important in this game. The Eagles can set the tone early by imposing their will on a Chiefs defense that ranked near the bottom of the league in run stop win rate. Additionally, Kansas City has also given up the fourth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks. We’re in for a slugfest in this Super Bowl, but there’s a good chance the Eagles will emerge victorious.
The total opened at 49.5 and has been bet up to 50, even going to 51 at one point. Do you see this as going over 50 or under?
Walder: Under. Like I mentioned in my side pick, I think the Eagles’ pass defense will be the crucial element here. If anyone can slow down the Chiefs’ passing attack, it’s James Bradberry and Darius Slay, aided by the Haason Reddick-led pass rush up front. The Chiefs’ defense has played better in the postseason, and while I think the Eagles can have success on the ground, that type of offense will churn the clock.
Schatz: Over. The Chiefs had the best offense in the league by pretty much every metric available. The Eagles were the No. 3 offense during the regular season by both DVOA and EPA per play. Both offenses ranked higher than both defenses. Yes, the Eagles’ pass rush is fantastic, but they are matching up against the No. 1 pass-blocking line by pass block win rate. One more hidden reason to go over: These teams like to play fast. Philadelphia and Kansas City ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in situation-neutral pace this season. More plays equal more points. If this game is as close as we expect it to be, neither team will be slowing it down to run out the clock with a big lead.
Moody: Under. The Eagles should use their running game to keep Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense off the field as much as possible. As for Philadelphia’s defense, the Eagles are also equipped with the personnel to slow down the Chiefs’ offense and should be ready to shine on the biggest stage in the biggest game of their professional careers. In the past 19 Super Bowls, the under has gone 11-8.
The Super Bowl is a prop holiday for some people. You’ve seen the board, with over 2,000 unique outcomes. What are some of your favorite props that you will be playing this Sunday?
Kezirian: Patrick Mahomes over 3.5 rushing yards on first attempt. This prop accounts for the possibility of a quarterback sneak. However, Kansas City does not use Mahomes on sneaks, given he got injured a couple of years ago. Also, I realize he has an injured ankle, but it should be a lot stronger after two weeks, and he is not cutting any corners in the Super Bowl. So if he is flushed from the pocket, he should be able to gain at least 4 yards.
Kezirian: Kenneth Gainwell over 11.5 receiving yards and over 34.5 rushing + receiving yards. Philly’s playoff stats are skewed because the Eagles won both games in blowout fashion. However, we have seen teams feature different running backs in the postseason than what we saw during the regular season. This could be a coach preferring a fresher player or one he feels has the hot hand. Either way, Gainwell has speed and should be able to hit these marks.
Fortenbaugh: Gainwell over 1.5 receptions and over 11.5 receiving yards. Gainwell is the most targeted player in the Eagles’ backfield facing a Chiefs defense that surrendered the second-most targets, most receptions and fourth-most receiving yards to opposing running backs this season. The Chiefs’ defense will be occupied trying to limit A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert and will likely let Gainwell slip through the cracks a few times on Sunday.
Dolan: Mahomes to throw an interception. Mahomes had 12 interceptions in the regular season but none so far in the postseason. Sunday will be a different story against an Eagles defense that is good at taking the ball away. Philly had 17 interceptions during the regular season, tied for third best in the league. Mahomes averaged 38 passing attempts per game this season, and despite the ankle injury I still expect him to throw the ball a ton, which means room for error against this tough defense. Also, for what it’s worth … Mahomes has thrown four total interceptions over his past two Super Bowl appearances.
Walder: Under 5.5 total sacks (+100). Sack game totals are typically 4.5 or 5.5, so at 5.5 juiced toward the over this is a high line. But I don’t think it necessarily should be. The Eagles have a prolific pass rush, no doubt. But sacks are driven first and foremost by the quarterback, and Mahomes is great at sack avoidance. He had the lowest sack to pressure ratio (11%) in the league this season. Plus, he plays behind the No. 1 pass block win rate offensive line in the NFL. Hurts takes sacks at a higher clip than Mahomes, but he, too, plays behind a strong offensive line and the Chiefs’ pass rush isn’t nearly as prolific as the Eagles’ is.
Walder: L’Jarius Sneed to record 2+ interceptions (210-1 at FanDuel). Defensive backs recorded two interceptions just over 1% of the time in games where they had at least 25 coverage snaps this season (some slight selection bias that downplays the chance of injury, I will note). No player in the entire league was targeted more frequently in the regular season than Sneed, who had 105 defensive targets, per NFL Next Gen Stats. Put that together and I think there’s a little value on Sneed, presuming he plays.
Schatz: Jersey number of first touchdown scorer over 11.5 (+105). Picking the under here gives you Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon for the Chiefs and A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith for the Eagles. You also get a Jalen Hurts run. But picking the over gives you Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert and the entire Eagles running back corps, plus the tiny chance of some sort of Patrick Mahomes scramble touchdown. I get Kelce and the Eagles’ running backs and positive odds? Give me some of that, please.
Schatz: Isiah Pacheco over 49.5 rushing yards. Big games by opposing running backs were the connecting string through most of the Eagles’ lesser performances this season. So, I’m going to guess that the Chiefs will stick with the ground game more than they usually do, knowing that’s the Eagles’ (relative) weakness.
Moody: Travis Kelce over 6.5 receptions. Kelce has averaged 9.3 targets and 6.9 receptions per game during the regular season and postseason. Mahomes also leaned heavily on Kelce in the Chiefs’ previous two Super Bowls. While the Eagles have a stout secondary and have done a good job defending tight ends this season, they allow a high number of receptions, which bodes well for Kelce hitting this over.
Moody: DeVonta Smith over 62.5 receiving yards. Smith has reached at least 61 receiving yards in eight of his past 10 games. Additionally, he has had eight or more targets in nine of them, including double-digit targets in three. Many view A.J. Brown as the Eagles’ No. 1 receiver, but in reality, it’s more of a 1A and 1B situation. As a legitimate deep-ball threat, Smith is well-positioned to flourish in this matchup.
Marks: DeVonta Smith over 62.5 receiving yards. Smith averaged nine targets a game up until the NFC title game. Jalen Hurts has favored the left side of the field — which is where Smith lines up most of the time. The Chiefs play a lot of two high safety looks — and Smith is targeted more against that defense (28% as opposed to 24%). I think Smtih is in line for a big game.
Marks: Miles Sanders over 59.5 rushing yards. Sanders averaged almost five yards per carry and 75 yards a game in the regular season. Kansas City has one of the worst defenses in making contact behind the line of scrimmage. Sanders is averages 7 yards per carry after contact. I expect this to be the closest game the Eagles have played this postseason — which means we should see a lot of Sanders on Sunday.
If you could give one single play to make on this game, what would it be?
Kezirian: Kenneth Gainwell 100-1 to win Super Bowl MVP. This is unlikely, but at those odds, this offers ridiculous value. Gainwell could very well be Philly’s featured back, given his speed and how well he has performed this postseason. For all we know, he could be a better fit for a game plan specific to facing Kansas City. For perspective, these are the same odds that Frank Clark has.
Schatz: Miles Sanders 25-1 to win Super Bowl MVP. We all know that the road to an Eagles victory is likely to involve a heavy dose of the running game. There’s a reasonable chance, then, that an Eagles victory is going to give Sanders better numbers than Jalen Hurts. Yes, the Eagles spread the ball among three backs, but Sanders is still their main runner in competitive situations. Kenneth Gainwell has more carries than Sanders in the postseason mainly because the Eagles played two blowouts and used him a lot late in the games. I like the idea that the Eagles’ main running back has a better than 4% chance to win Super Bowl MVP.
Fortenbaugh: Jalen Hurts anytime touchdown (+112). I love the fact that this is plus money. +113 implies a 46.9% probability for a guy who scored 15 rushing touchdowns in 17 games this season, and has found the end zone via the ground in seven of his past nine outings. Keep in mind the KC defense surrendered the fifth-most rushing yards and sixth-most rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Walder: Reddick under 0.5 sacks (+140). If I can make only a single play, I’m going to do it on something I’ve modeled out and is showing value. That’s the case here: I’ve got the chances of a Reddick sack (with half sacks excluded as pushes) at 34%, making this a heck of a price. Reddick is on a tear, yes. But Chiefs RT Andrew Wylie is a good pass-protector and no QB in the league is better at avoiding sacks than Mahomes: His 11% pressure to sack ratio is the lowest in the NFL.
Moody: Patrick Mahomes over 38.5 pass attempts. It’s Mahomes’ third Super Bowl in four years, and the Chiefs have relied heavily on his arm. He has averaged 37.8 pass attempts and 299.9 passing yards per game in the regular season and playoffs since 2019. While the Eagles’ secondary is formidable, Mahomes isn’t going to back down from what got the Chiefs here in the first place, and that’s the passing game.
Marks: Travis Kelce anytime touchdown (-113). Kelce and Mahomes are two touchdowns shy of passing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski for the most postseason TDs by a QB/TE duo. Kelce is one TD shy of passing Gronk (15) for the second-most receiving postseason TDs — only behind Jerry Rice (22). The extra motivation to break two records on Sunday has me believing Kelce will be targeted often in the red zone.
Source: Read Full Article