How Eagles, Chiefs’ Receivers Set Course for Super Bowl LVII
Super Bowl LVII: Ultimate Guide to Prop Betting, Office Pool Picks
Josh Larky, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Farley and Ben Wolbransky break down their favorite props and novelty picks for Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
Super Bowl Squares Analysis
- 3 and 0 (or 0 and 3) is your best bet
- 0, 3 and 7 are the three best numbers in general
- 4 and 7 (or 7 and 4) is an underrated pairing
- 9, 2 and 8 are the three numbers to avoid
Shortest TD Yardage, UNDER 1.5 Yards (+150, Caesars)
- The Eagles have become somewhat infamous for their success rate at QB sneaks and success in short-yardage/goal-line situations.
- Each team has six games with a score of fewer than 1.5 yards.
- Given those numbers, a 1-yard score should happen 47% of the time.
- However, the implied odds indicate only a 40% chance, giving the under an edge.
Chiefs Fourth-Down Conversions OVER 0.5 (-130)
- The Chiefs convert fourth downs at a rate of 77%, the second-best in the NFL.
- Against one of the league’s best defenses and faced with the task of keeping pace with one of the most explosive offenses, Kansas City will most likely need to roll the dice to stay in the game.
Team to Score Longest TD, Eagles (-115)
- The line has since moved to -135, but there is still value to be had there.
- This year, the Eagles scored five touchdowns of over 40 yards, while the Chiefs only had four.
- Touchdowns of 30-40 yards: Eagles six, Chiefs two.
- Touchdowns of 20-29 yards: Eagles seven, Chiefs three.
First Sack (Team) Chiefs (+102, FanDuel)
- Even though the Eagles led the league in sacks by a historic margin, the value for the Chiefs’ side makes them the pick here.
- In Jalen Hurts’ 17 starts, the Eagles allowed eight sacks in the first quarter.
- Conversely, in Patrick Mahomes’ 19 starts, the Chiefs only allowed three sacks in the first quarter.
- The Eagles allowed 21 sacks in the first halves of Hurts’ starts; the Chiefs, only 13 sacks in 19 starts.
- Finally, the Eagles have been better at sacking teams in the second half of games, when their opponents are down by multiple scores and trying to mount a comeback.
Eagles lead at Halftime, Chiefs lead End of Game, +650
- Eagles have been the best halftime ATS team in the NFL this season.
- They are also the highest-scoring first-half team in the NFL, albeit the Chiefs are No. 2.
- This fits both the narratives of the Eagles as a fast-starting team and the Chiefs as a come-from-behind team, thanks to Mahomes.
Isiah Pacheco, OVER 16.5 Yards Receiving
- The Chiefs are dealing with lots of injuries at the skill positions (RB, WR).
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and Kadarius Toney all left the AFC Championship against the Bengals with injuries.
- Thus, running back Isiah Pacheco had career-highs in snaps (39), targets (6) and catches (5) in that game.
- Jerick McKinnon’s production has also been lackluster as of late.
First Reception, Travis Kelce (-120) or A.J. Brown (+112) (FanDuel)
- Essentially, this comes down to who wins the coin flip, as these two players are the primary receivers for their respective teams.
- In 19 games, Travis Kelce had a reception on 11 first drives.
- A.J. Brown recorded 11 receptions on first drives as well with Jalen Hurts at quarterback.
- Given the more favorable odds for Brown, go with the Eagles WR1.
First Player to Reach 10 Yards Rushing, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+3,300)
- This is quite the longshot, as this will be Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s first action since Week 11.
- However, given that he is finally healthy and the Chiefs may want to feature their former first-round pick, 1-in-33 odds could make for a great payout.
- With CEH returning to the lineup, the Chiefs may want to reintegrate him to the offense quickly to give them another option at running back.
- How would they do that? Giving him plenty of touches, and thus increasing the likelihood he gets to 10 yards rushing first.
- Furthermore, getting in on these odds before they become much more reasonable (+700-800) could create quite the edge.
First Touchdown Scorer
- Jalen Hurts was second in the league in rushing touchdowns (13), despite missing a few games toward the end of the season.
- Miles Sanders was eighth with 11.
- Travis Kelce was second among all pass-catchers (12).
- Along with A.J. Brown, in a pool, any of the aforementioned four are your best options.
- But if you’re betting straight up, better to go with a longshot outlier, given the odds on the favorites.
- With plenty of games on tape and nothing left to hold back, both coaches could reach deep into their bag of tricks to surprise the opposing defense.
- Quez Watkins (+3500) or Skyy Moore (+4500) are among the more intriguing longshot options.
Travis Kelce, Anytime TD Scorer (-130)
- Yeah, it’s pretty obvious.
- But if the Eagles’ defense has any weakness, it’s over the middle against the linebackers, where Kelce already thrives.
- Given the narratives surrounding the Kelces this week, it’s hard to imagine Travis not getting in the end zone.
- Get in on this line as soon as possible, as some books still have it at -120 or even -110.
Jalen Hurts Passing TD Before Interception, (-280, Caesar’s Sportsbook)
- The odds imply nearly a 74% chance of this happening.
- Like many mobile quarterbacks, Hurts rarely throws interceptions to begin with, as he would rather tuck and run than force the ball into tight coverage.
- In the 14 games where Hurts had a passing TD or an interception, 11 of those games featured him throwing the TD first (79%).
- In addition to that math, the Chiefs allowed the most passing touchdowns in the NFL during the regular season.
- Finally, only nine teams had fewer interceptions than the Chiefs.
First Sack (Player), Chris Jones or Josh Sweat
- Chris Jones is the better option than pretty much any of the Eagles’ defenders because there are simply too many of them.
- Jones is the guy for the Chiefs.
- But if you really want an Eagle, the best value is probably Josh Sweat.
- The strength of the Chiefs’ offensive line is its interior, so better to go with an edge rusher, especially one who will probably get more one-on-one opportunities than Haason Reddick or Brandon Graham.
Super Bowl MVP
- Unlike in the regular season, the Super Bowl MVP is not solely a quarterback award, even though they win it 60% of the time vs. 85-90% in the regular season.
- Ryan has Travis Kelce as the best bet, giving him +700-800 odds.
- Last year’s MVP, Cooper Kupp, was +650.
- Kelce has the best matchup by far among the Chiefs’ offensive weapons.
- Mahomes already has a Super Bowl MVP, so the voters might not be looking to give it to him without an incredible performance.
- Even though the winning QB is most likely to win, Kelce will get his targets regardless.
- Finally, if any tight end were to become the first at his position to win Super Bowl MVP, it would probably be Kelce.
- If you’re sticking with the Eagles, take the chalk and go with Hurts.
- There’s some value to be had with the Philly defense, as shutting down Mahomes could go a long way toward winning the award.
Kadarius Toney OVER 49.5 Yards Receiving and Score TD (+1,000, FanDuel)
- Kadarius Toney had 25% snap share of higher in five games for the Chiefs this year.
- They want him to be 30-40% snap share.
- In two of those five games, he had at least 57 yards receiving or scored a TD; in one, he did both.
- It’s a long shot, but in the Super Bowl, anything can happen.
- Correlate the team’s general color with the Gatorade.
- If you think the Eagles will win, go with green/lime or maybe even yellow.
- If you think the Chiefs will win, pick red or orange.
- Both teams have historical precedence with yellow and orange.
National Anthem Length
- The line is higher than usual at two minutes, one second, with some books even moving it up to two minutes, four seconds.
- Furthermore, the over is being juiced (-130, even to -145).
- Per Ben Wolby’s analysis, Chris Stapleton’s songs, albums and performances are significantly longer than other artists.
Rihanna’s First Song, Outfit
- In Super Bowls past, Katy Perry opened with “Roar”, Lady Gaga started with “Edge of Glory” and Coldplay began with “Viva La Vida”.
- All are relatively upbeat songs with discussions of victory, historical success, etc.
- “Diamonds” or “Umbrella,” therefore, are the frontrunners.
- Plus, in every video, she was wearing black.
- However, the in-house Rihanna “stan” himself, Josh Larky, counters with “Please Don’t Stop The Music,” (+150) as a fast-paced, solo feature to get the crowd riled up.
- But Larky and Reynolds agree black is the color of choice.
WATCH: Super Bowl LVII Betting Preview
Super Bowl LVII Betting: Parlay These Kadarius Toney Props
Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will provide plenty of betting opportunities. Josh Larky says you need to parlay these Kadarius Toney props on Sunday.
Super Bowl LVII Defensive Coverage Breakdown for Chiefs vs. Eagles
Super Bowl LVII Betting: Odds, Spreads, Picks, Predictions for Chiefs vs. Eagles
An in-depth betting breakdown of Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday:
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Opening Spread: Eagles -2
Opening Game Total: 49.5
Opening Team Totals: Eagles (25.75), Chiefs (23.75)
Weather: Indoor venue.
The Line Report
- This line opened as Eagles +2 but became Eagles -2 a few hours later
- This line has settled in at Eagles -1.5
- This total opened at 49.5 points
- This total has moved up to 50.5 points
Eagles: RT Lane Johnson, OG Landon Dickerson, Edge Robert Quinn, and CB Avonte Maddox were all held out of practice last week, but do not have an injury designation as of Monday night.
Chiefs: Out: WR Mecole Hardman. Questionable: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Kadarius Toney, LB Willie Gay, CB L’Jarius Snead.
Eagles Offense vs. Chiefs Defense
At full strength, the Eagles have a top-five-level offensive line. Star right tackle Lane Johnson is playing through a torn groin muscle, while left guard Landon Dickerson has a hyperextended elbow. I’m still treating the Eagles’ offensive line as a top-five unit, but those injuries bring volatility to this otherwise outstanding group.
I have the Chiefs defensive front tiered as a fringe top-10 unit headlined by one of the NFL’s best interior defenders in Chris Jones. The Eagles have a moderate advantage in the trenches in this contest, though that margin could be reduced if Johnson or Dickerson’s injury situations trend down.
Regular-Season Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- Philadelphia is 8-9 against the spread this season
- The Eagles are 10-7 on overs this season
- Jalen Hurts is 17-16-1 against the spread in his career
- Hurts is 20-14 on overs in his career
- Nick Sirianni is 16-17-1 against the spread in his NFL head coaching career
- Sirianni is 20-14 on overs in his NFL head coaching career
Eagles Offense (Regular Season)
- Philadelphia scored 28.1 points per game, good for third in the league
- The Eagles are ninth in the league in yards passing per game and fifth in yards rushing
- Philadelphia passes on 56% of plays and runs on 44%, per Sports Info Solutions
- Per The Edge, Hurts is fourth among quarterbacks in yards rushing (760) and second among all runners in rushing touchdowns (13), despite missing two games
- Miles Sanders is fifth in the league in yards rushing with 1,269, and he’s eighth in rushing touchdowns with 11
- A.J. Brown is 12th in the league in receptions (88), fourth in yards receiving (1,496), tied for third in receiving touchdowns (11), eighth in target share (28.7%) and seventh in air yards share (39.4%)
- DeVonta Smith is 10th in the league in receptions (95), ninth in yards receiving (1,196), tied for 15th in receiving touchdowns (7) and 15th in target share (26.9%) with a 30.2% air yards share
- Quez Watkins breached 40 yards receiving just twice this season
- Despite missing five games, Dallas Goedert was 12th among tight ends in receptions (55), seventh in yards receiving (702), 19th in touchdowns (3), seventh in target share (19.4%) and 13th in air yards share (15%)
- Per TruMedia, Brown has played 647 snaps on the perimeter and 287 in the slot
- Brown is sixth in the league in yards after the catch, and he’s third among non-running backs
- Smith has played 789 snaps on the perimeter and 222 in the slot
- Watkins has played 179 snaps on the perimeter and 460 in the slot
- Goedert has played 412 snaps as an inline tight end, 63 on the perimeter, and 195 in the slot
Eagles Offense (Playoffs)
- The Eagles scored 38 points in the Divisional Round against the New York Giants and 31 against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship
- Hurts had 154 yards passing against the Giants; 121 against the 49ers
- Philadelphia ran for 268 yards against the Giants; 148 against the 49ers
- In those two games, Sanders had 28 carries, Kenneth Gainwell had 26 and Boston Scott had 12. Hurts added another 20 carries
- In the first half against the 49ers, Sanders had 10 carries, Gainwell had three and Scott had two. Both of Scott’s carries came in the final minute of the first half
- The Eagles held the Giants and 49ers to seven points apiece
- The Eagles were in control against the Giants from the beginning, while Philadelphia began to pull away from the 49ers towards the end of the first half
- Expect Philadelphia’s running back deployments to more closely mimic those in the first half against the 49ers, rather than the total running back carries during the Eagles’ first two playoff games
- In the playoffs, Brown has 14 total targets, Smith has 13, Goedert has 11, Zach Pascal has two, Gainwell has two and Sanders, Watkins and Jack Stoll have one each
- The Eagles passing attack generally flows through their core of Brown, Smith and Goedert. Each of those players is in a neutral or better matchup, as is Watkins
- One of the challenges of betting on Eagles’ skill position players is, in most matchups, every member of their core has a realistic path to exceeding expectations
Chiefs Defense (Regular Season)
- Kansas City allowed 21.7 points per game (16th in the league)
- The Chiefs are second in the league in sacks, 18th in forced fumbles and 21st in interceptions
- Per The Edge, Kansas City allowed the 25th-most yards rushing per game and the fourth-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
- The Chiefs gave up the 18th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
- Kansas City gave up the seventh-most PPR points per game to slots receivers this year
- The Chiefs allowed the 20th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season
- Kansas City has allowed the most PPR points per game to tight ends lined up in the slot this year
Chiefs Offense vs. Eagles Defense
I have the Chiefs’ offensive line tiered as a top-10, bordering on a top-five group. I have the Eagles defensive front tiered as a top-five group. The Eagles led the league in sacks by a substantial margin with 70, and their front four has remarkable depth. The strength of the Chiefs’ offensive line is their interior, making this trench matchup a relative draw. The Eagles have a moderate advantage on the outside with a mild-to-moderate trench advantage overall.
Another factor in this trench matchup is Patrick Mahomes’ high ankle sprain. Mahomes played well against the Cincinnati Bengals, but it was clear his ability to extend plays was significantly reduced. We can reasonably expect Mahomes’ ankle to be better against the Eagles than it was against the Bengals, but likely he still won’t be fully recovered. He’ll also be facing one of the league’s premier fronts this week, while the Bengals’ pass rush is more of a bottom-10 unit.
Regular Season Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- Kansas City is 7-10 against the spread this season
- The Chiefs are 8-9 on overs this season
- Mahomes is 41-37-2 against the spread in his career
- Mahomes is 42-37-1 on overs in his career
- Andy Reid is 197-166-7 against the spread since 2000 as an NFL head coach
- Reid is 181-178-11 on overs since 2000 as an NFL head coach
Chiefs Offense (Regular Season)
- Kansas City scored 29.2 points per game, which was the best in the league
- The Chiefs are first in the league in yards passing per game and 20th in yards rushing
- Kansas City passes on 67% of plays and runs on 33% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions
- Per The Edge, Isiah Pacheco had at least 58 yards rushing in eight of his last nine regular season games
- Jerick McKinnon had a touchdown in each of his last six regular season games (a total of nine scores during that span)
- Pacheco has been the Chiefs’ primary ball carrier since Week 10 against the Jaguars, while McKinnon took on the bulk of the passing game and goal-line work
- JuJu Smith-Schuster finished the regular season with 78 receptions for 933 yards receiving and three touchdowns on a 17.1% target share and a 17.2% air yards share
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling finished the regular season with 42 receptions for 687 yards receiving and two touchdowns on a 13.2% target share and a 25.5% air yards share
- Travis Kelce finished the regular season with the third most receptions in the league (110), eighth in yards receiving (1,338) and second in receiving touchdowns (12)
- Kelce finished third among tight ends in target share (24.9%) and third in air yards share (24.2%)
- Per TruMedia, Smith-Schuster played 433 snaps on the perimeter and 298 in the slot
- Valdes-Scantling played 469 snaps on the perimeter and 264 in the slot
- Skyy Moore has played 148 snaps on the perimeter and 143 in the slot
- Kadarius Toney has played 70 snaps on the perimeter and 60 in the slot
- Kelce played 321 snaps as an inline tight end, 223 on the perimeter, and 313 in the slot this season
Chiefs Offense (Postseason)
- Kansas City scored 27 points against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round and 23 against the Bengals in the AFC Championship
- Mahomes threw for 195 yards passing against the Jaguars and 326 against the Bengals
- Chad Henne added 23 yards passing against the Jaguars
- Pacheco led the Chiefs in carries against the Jaguars (12) and Bengals (10). His six targets against the Bengals doubled his previous career high of three in a single game
- McKinnon had 11 carries against the Jaguars and just four carries with four targets against the Bengals. McKinnon was largely ineffective in both contests
- Kelce has 25 total targets over both playoff games, including 17 against the Jaguars
- Kelce has a 34.2% target share and a 30% air yards share in the playoffs
- After just one catch for 6 yards receiving against the Jaguars, Valdes-Scantling led the Chiefs with a 6-116-1 line on eight targets against the Bengals
- Smith-Schuster has been held to three receptions for 36 yards receiving in the playoffs
- Toney saw seven targets against the Jaguars but left the AFC Championship early because of an ankle injury
- With Toney, Smith-Schuster, Justin Watson and Mecole Hardman all limited or out with injuries, Moore saw seven targets against the Bengals after just one against the Jaguars
Eagles Defense (Regular Season)
- Philadelphia allowed 20.2 points per game, which is eighth in the league
- The Eagles led the league in sacks, were seventh in forced fumbles and fourth in interceptions
- Per The Edge, Philadelphia allowed the 22nd-most yards rushing per game and the 20th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
- The Eagles gave up the fourth-fewest yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
- Philadelphia allowed the 19th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season
This Is What You’re Betting On
This is a great matchup between the No. 1 seeds from each conference. The Eagles have the best roster in the league, while the Chiefs have been the measuring stick in the AFC for several years now. Both Mahomes and Hurts are MVP finalists.
Kansas City is making its third Super Bowl appearance in four years. The Eagles have a number of difference makers from their Super Bowl LII title run. The Eagles would have the Super Bowl experience advantage on a lot of teams, but not Kansas City. From their coaching staff to their roster, the Chiefs have a wealth of experience in this type of game environment.
These teams didn’t play each other this year, but they play in Week 4 of the 2021 season. The Chiefs went into Philadelphia and won that contest, 42-30. The Eagles’ roster is significantly better this season, and the Chiefs no longer have Tyreek Hill, who had 186 yards receiving and three scores in that contest. That’s why I’m largely throwing that game out when analyzing this year’s Super Bowl matchup.
If You’re Betting on the Eagles
I’ve said this many times since the beginning of the year: the Eagles have the best roster in the league. They have top-five lines on both sides of the ball, a top-10 secondary and a top-10 collection of pass catchers. Sanders finished the year fifth in the league in rushing, and Hurts is one of the MVP finalists. No other team can make all of those claims.
The Eagles are capable of a dominant performance in every phase, and they can win in multiple ways. We saw this on full display as the Eagles blew out the Giants, then the 49ers to get to this spot. Talent and versatility are the Eagles’ biggest edge in every game, including this one.
The Eagles tend to start games pass-heavy, while leaning on the run more once they’ve acquired a significant lead. One of the keys to this game is if Hurts starts hot, any opponent has their hands full. Even Mahomes’ Chiefs.
The Eagles’ pass catchers have the advantage against the Chiefs’ secondary. If the Eagles’ premium offensive line holds up against the Chiefs’ good – but not premium front – Philadelphia has a realistic path to breaching 30 points.
Similarly, the Eagles’ secondary has the advantage against Kansas City’s average receiver group. If the Eagles’ talented, extremely deep front can match even their standard level of disruption, Mahomes will have to make many big plays to win.
That brings us to the concerns you have as an Eagles’ bettor. Mahomes is a magician that just won the Conference Championship a week removed from suffering a high ankle sprain. On top of that, Reid is one of the greatest offensive strategists in the history of football. Betting against those guys is your primary concern whenever you’re betting against the Chiefs.
Pressure is your other principal concern as an Eagles bettor. The Super Bowl isn’t just a football game, it’s the most-watched annual sporting event in the United States. Hurts and a number of the best players on this loaded Eagles roster haven’t been in this spot before. That doesn’t preclude Hurts from playing well or winning this game, but it’s a condition you have to factor into your process as an Eagles bettor. Especially against a Chiefs team that consistently takes advantage of their opponent’s mistakes late in games.
If You’re Betting on the Chiefs
As always, any bet on the Chiefs starts as a bet on Mahomes and Reid’s offense. Mahomes playing at the level he did against the Bengals in the AFC Championship is remarkable. That said, Kansas City’s offense didn’t exactly blow out the Bengals or Jaguars to get here. That means you’re either building a Chiefs bet around Mahomes’ ability to exceed expectations against a talent-rich Eagles defense, while still being injured, or you’re betting against Hurts.
From a pure talent perspective, the Eagles’ offense has a number of paths to exceeding expectations in this matchup. How this game ends up ultimately boils down to how well Hurts plays. Hurts has shown he has a similarly massive ceiling to the elite quarterbacks in the league, but he’s not as consistent as Mahomes or the other members of that true upper echelon. Hurts has played in a National Championship, but he’s never played in a Super Bowl. That level of pressure is a positive for Chiefs’ bettors as Kansas City is vastly more experienced in this environment.
Your primary concern as a Chiefs’ bettor is the Eagles’ overall roster advantage. The Chiefs have advantages at quarterback, tight end and head coach. Philadelphia has them everywhere else while having its own quality quarterback, tight end and coaching staff. The Eagles are capable of beating anyone by a fair margin.
Even if the Eagles start hot, one of the best things about a Chiefs bet is Kansas City isn’t done, because no lead is safe against Mahomes. Another major positive is, much like the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick New England Patriots, the Mahomes and Reid Chiefs take advantage of their opponents’ mistakes late in games. If Mahomes has the ball late in a one-score game, no Eagles fan or bettor is going to feel safe in that position.
Score Prediction: Eagles 26, Chiefs 20
Ryan’s Recent Betting Record
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 48-32
Props 2022: 61-45
One-and-Done or Dynasty? What Future Holds for Eagles, Chiefs
Super Bowl LVII Betting: Evaluating Which Eagles, Chiefs Players Can Win MVP
In the first installment of our two-part Super Bowl MVP series, we took a deep dive into the history of the Super Bowl MVP. We did that so we can make more informed bets. Now, we’re going to analyze more than two dozen players with a path to winning this year’s Super Bowl MVP. The lines provided in this column come from BetMGM. If you’re considering a Super Bowl MVP wager, make sure you line shop at multiple sportsbooks for the best odds and promotions.
If you’re considering a bet on a quarterback, 31 quarterbacks (~55%) have won the Super Bowl MVP. The most common paths to a quarterback winning Super Bowl MVP are either high-end production or a late, game-winning drive.
Jalen Hurts +110
Can a dual-threat quarterback with a loaded supporting cast like Jalen Hurts win Super Bowl MVP? He sure can. Should we bet on him to do so at +110 odds? Not only do you have to essentially pick the winning team with that bet, but as we just discussed, quarterbacks win this award 55% of the time. I’d rather bet the Eagles’ money line at -125, considering how many of his teammates have a realistic path to a spike game.
Patrick Mahomes +125
If the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, there’s a high chance Patrick Mahomes is the driving force behind that outcome. That said, I’d rather bet the Chiefs’ money line at +110 than I would on betting Mahomes to be the game’s MVP at +125.
>> READ: Mahomes’ Legacy Nearing All-Time Great QBs
A running back hasn’t won the Super Bowl MVP since Terrell Davis in Super Bowl XXXII (32). That said, exceeding 100 total yards with two or more scores will put a running back right in the mix for this award.
Miles Sanders +3000
Early in the week, Miles Sanders was available at 50:1 odds on FanDuel, which I viewed as an early misprice. Sanders has a realistic path to 100 yards rushing and multiple scores behind the Eagles’ top-five offensive line. I’m not head over heels at 30:1 odds, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to talk you out of that bet, either.
Isiah Pacheco +5000
Isiah Pacheco has been the Chiefs’ primary ball carrier for months, but his usage has been scaled back during his past four games, which includes the playoffs. Pacheco has been a pleasant surprise this season, but he has yet to put up a monster box score. Considering how pass-centric the Chiefs’ offense is, a lot of things would have to bounce Pacheco’s way for him to win the Super Bowl MVP over Mahomes or Travis Kelce.
Jerick McKinnon +5000
Jerick McKinnon went on a touchdown spree down the stretch, scoring nine times during his last six regular season games. Apart from the touchdowns, McKinnon has only breached 100 yards receiving once this season, and he’s only had double-digit carries in two games. McKinnon has only 30 total yards during this year’s playoffs.
If you’re considering a bet on a pass catcher, eight (~14%) wide receivers have won the Super Bowl MVP. No tight end has ever won this award. In most instances where a pass catcher has won this award, they accounted for a large portion of the team’s passing offense while the quarterback has more of an average or worse outing. Further, recent Super Bowls where a wide receiver wins the MVP have gone under their game total.
Travis Kelce +1100
Kelce is the standalone primary pass catcher in Mahomes’ offense, which puts him in a strong position to win the Super Bowl MVP. A tight end has never won this award before, which might actually be an advantage for Kelce if he has a big game and the Chiefs win. That type of outcome offers an opportunity for history to be made, which could be a tiebreaker of sorts for voters.
A.J. Brown +1400
A.J. Brown breached 100 yards receiving in five games this season while scoring multiple touchdowns in two of those matchups. Brown certainly has the spike game potential to win this award. However, my primary concern with betting on the Eagles’ offense in specific ways is they have four, bordering on five, players capable of massive production.
DeVonta Smith +2500
DeVonta Smith also breached 100 yards receiving in five games this season while scoring multiple touchdowns in one of those matchups. Four of those five 100-yard outputs came in the final six regular season games, including two with Gardner Minshew at the controls. Smith has considerable spike game potential, which is why I’d have his MVP odds closer to Brown’s. If I were an oddsmaker, I’d have Smith’s MVP odds in the 18:1 to 20:1 range.
Dallas Goedert +5000
I don’t see Dallas Goedert as an automatic cross-off, but he’d have to outproduce Hurts, Sanders, Brown and Smith to contend for this award. Considering Goedert only had one 100-yard game this season, he has a narrow path to winning Super Bowl MVP.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling +6600
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is coming off his best game of the season, which also happens to be just the second time he breached 100 yards receiving this year. The Eagles’ cornerbacks are among the best in the league, which reduces my already limited enthusiasm in Valdes-Scantling having another spike game.
JuJu Smith-Schuster +6600
JuJu Smith-Schuster breached 100 yards receiving twice this year, in back-to-back October games. Smith-Schuster is currently on the injury report and hasn’t breached 40 yards receiving in any of his last five games, which includes the playoffs.
Quez Watkins +12500
I like Quez Watkins as a player, but he’s seeing limited opportunities, and he’s only exceeded 40 yards receiving in two games this year.
Skyy Moore +15000
A number of Chiefs’ wide receivers are on the injury report, which could lead to another uptick in opportunities for Skyy Moore in the big game. Moore has only exceeded 50 yards receiving in one game this year. He’d need to have the outlier of all outlier performances to win Super Bowl MVP.
Kadarius Toney +15000
When Kadarius Toney is healthy, he’s a difference-making talent that would warrant serious consideration at 150:1 odds. Unfortunately, availability has been a major issue for Toney throughout his two-year career. Toney left the AFC Championship early with an ankle injury.
Defensive linemen have won the Super Bowl MVP three out of 56 times. If you’re considering a bet on one of those options, you’re looking for a decisive victory that’s primarily driven by the winning team’s pass rush. You’re then looking for one player to have multiple sacks and, ideally, at least one forced turnover.
Haason Reddick +3000
Haason Reddick ended up being one of the more impactful signings of last year’s free-agent class. Reddick had 16 sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during the regular season. He had multiple sacks with at least one forced fumble or fumble recovery in three different games this year.
If Reddick has that kind of performance during an Eagles win in a low-scoring affair, he would have a real shot to win MVP. Not all major sportsbooks have released Super Bowl MVP odds yet. Reddick is on my short list of options I will bet on if I can get him at a better price.
Chris Jones +5000
If you’re going to bet on a Chiefs defender, Chris Jones has the best chance for a game-derailing performance by a considerable margin. Including the playoffs, Jones had five multi-sack games this season, and he’s one of the premier interior defenders in the league.
Brandon Graham +8000
Brandon Graham has been a disruptive force for over a decade, but this season he had a career-best 11 sacks with three multi-sack games. If Graham has a big Super Bowl, he also has a compelling story, as he missed most of the 2021 season with an Achilles injury.
Frank Clark +12500
Frank Clark is a good player that would need an outlier performance against an elite offensive line to put himself in the Super Bowl MVP conversation.
George Karlaftis +15000
George Karlaftis had an encouraging rookie year, and he was among my favorite players in last year’s draft class. Karlaftis had six sacks this season, but he’s still searching for his first multi-sack game.
Josh Sweat +15000
Josh Sweat finished the year with 11 sacks and two multi-sack games. He had another three games with 1.5 sacks. Sweat is a pass rusher capable of spike games, which makes him an interesting super longshot option.
Fletcher Cox +20000
Fletcher Cox is at least a borderline Hall-of-Fame defensive tackle. If he has a big game, he’ll at least be in the conversation.
If you’re considering a bet on a linebacker, only three (~5%) have ever won the Super Bowl MVP. You’re going to need a performance with multiple splash plays (sacks or turnovers) without any offensive player on the winning team having a big game.
Nick Bolton +10000
Nick Bolton is an interesting longshot candidate that finished with the second-most tackles in the league this season. In Week 11 against the Chargers, Bolton had 14 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. If this contest ends up being low scoring in nature, and Bolton has the kind of box score he had against the Chargers, he could bring home the MVP.
T.J. Edwards +10000
T.J. Edwards has emerged as a rock-solid linebacker for the Eagles during the last two seasons. That said, he didn’t have an interception this season, and he only has two in his four-year career. Betting on Edwards to have a massive spike game against Mahomes’ offense is pretty thin.
If you’re considering a bet on a secondary player, only three (~5%) cornerbacks or safeties have ever won the Super Bowl MVP. You’re going to need multiple turnovers, maybe a score, without any offensive player having a game-breaking performance.
Darius Slay +5000
Darius Slay plays the overwhelming majority of his snaps on the perimeter (~91%). The Chiefs don’t have a perimeter receiver that “needs” the ball for their offense to function, which means they could go out of their way to avoid Slay if they wanted. Slay is an exceptional player, but I’d be surprised if he saw enough opportunities to have a monster game.
James Bradberry +15000
James Bradberry also plays the overwhelming majority of his snaps on the perimeter (~90%). Bradberry is one of the better second corners in the league, but he’s more likely to be tested than Slay. Keep in mind Bradberry has just one multi-interception game in his seven-year career.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson +15000
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is a versatile player who, in a best-case scenario, has a game with a forced fumble, an interception and close to 10 tackles in his range of outcomes.
Justin Reid +15000
Justin Reid is a good player, but he only has seven interceptions in his five-year career.
L’Jaruis Sneed +15000
L’Jarius Sneed is currently on the injury report after playing only four snaps in the last week. Sneed has eight interceptions in his three-year career.
Trent McDuffie +25000
Trent McDuffie had a good rookie year, but he has yet to record an interception as a pro.
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Between the Lines: Betting Super Bowl LVII
The stage is set – the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs will face off in Super Bowl LVII, and we’ve already seen some significant line movement. The Chiefs opened up as 1.5-point favorites at FanDuel, but immediately big money started to pour in on Philadelphia. As it sits now, the Eagles are 2-point favorites at most sportsbooks. Here’s a way-too-early” dissection of this contest from a betting perspective.
Chiefs vs. Eagles (-2), Total: 50
Where I set the line: EVEN, Total: 47.5
On Sunday, we watched two different games play out. One offered more entertainment than the other. Regardless, let’s break down both contests and the effect they have on the betting lines. As you can see, I don’t think either team should be favored, but I understand why the line quickly moved in the Eagles’ favor.
Why the Eagles Should Be Favored
I’ll cover some of the more controversial aspects of this game in the next segment, but I’d be remiss to ignore the many dominant aspects the Eagles displayed on Sunday. Despite Brock Purdy getting injured on the 49ers’ first drive, the Eagles’ defense deserves credit for their performance. They held one of the best offenses in the NFL to only 164 total yards, forced three turnovers, had three sacks and allowed the 49ers to gain only 11 first downs.
Jalen Hurts had a typical game. He didn’t do anything particularly game-changing, but he was efficient enough (15-25, 121 yards, no TDs, no INTs). He led the Eagles on several key touchdown drives, including an immediate response after the 49ers tied the score in the second quarter.
He also used his legs (11 carries for 39 yards) to gain several integral first downs. Hurts, Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell gained 148 yards on the ground behind an assertive offensive line, one that pushed around the 49ers’ front seven for most of the game. The Eagles controlled the time of possession with ease (37:26 to 22:34).
The Eagles are united, confident and full of veteran leaders on the field. They don’t need to play perfectly to beat great teams. They’re insanely talented at every position, and they have tremendous depth on both the offensive and defensive lines. When they’re healthy, they look virtually unstoppable, and it’s no wonder why sharps like their chances against a hobbling Patrick Mahomes.
Why the Eagles Being Favored Is Questionable
On paper, the Eagles’ win looked like just another dominant performance by the NFC’s best team. Those who watched the game from start to finish know quite a few things went in the Eagles’ favor from the start of the game.
- DeVonta Smith dropped a pass on fourth and 3 on the opening drive. It was called a completion, but if San Francisco would have challenged the play, it would’ve been overturned
- On the 49ers’ first drive, Purdy was sacked by All-Pro defensive end Haason Reddick, sending the ball flying into the air and injuring Purdy’s elbow. Josh Johnson, the fourth-string quarterback, a 14-year journeyman quarterback took over. It’s hard to be as impressed by Philadelphia’s defense with Purdy out
- In the second half, Johnson then got injured, forcing Purdy to come back onto the field and merely act as QB since he couldn’t throw the ball. The 49ers’ offense became all too predictable from that point on
- On a key touchdown drive in the second quarter where the Eagles went up 14-7, the 49ers gifted the home team with three penalties, one after a crucial third third-and-7 stop in Eagles’ territory
- The Eagles ran the ball nine times and passed the ball only four times on a second-quarter drive, calling the Eagles’ trust in Hurts into question. Hurts nearly threw an interception on the same possession
- The Eagles then went up 21-7 after San Francisco fumbled the ball deep in its own territory on the proceeding possession. The game felt like it was over at that point
- The 49ers had 11 penalties for 81 yards on Sunday, and many were egregious calls that kept the Eagles’ drives alive. Philadelphia was only penalized four times for 34 yards
Of course, even if the game played out differently and Purdy was healthy, there’s no telling if the result would have been any different. The Eagles are an extremely hard team to beat because of the talent they have on the field, but I still don’t necessarily trust Hurts to lead his offense against a great defense in big moments. We have yet to see that in his career, but the truth is we may not need to see it for Philadelphia to win a title – that’s how elite their roster is.
Why Kansas City Shouldn’t Be Underdogs
Let’s start with Mahomes. Even with a bum ankle, he was everything the Chiefs needed to gain a victory Sunday night. Underhand throws, sideways throws, precision bullets into coverage on one leg – you name it, Mahomes did it in the AFC title game. Inspired by the trash-talking all week from the Bengals’ community (including Cincinnati’s mayor, which was weird), Mahomes looked poised to show that he’s still the best QB in the NFL.
After Sunday’s win, that’s hard to argue. Mahomes went 29 of 43 (67%) for 326 yards, two TDs and no INTs. On the final drive of the game on a worn-out ankle, he found a way to run for a first down. That led to a personal-foul penalty on Bengals’ defensive end Joseph Ossai, putting Kansas City in field goal position to win the game. Harrison Butker nailed the attempt, and Kansas City won, 23-20.
Kansas City’s defense was also stellar throughout the game. Joe Burrow made some electric passes, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo had the right game plan. Burrow was sacked five different times, two by All Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones, and the Chiefs forced Burrow into two uncharacteristic interceptions. Allowing only 309 total yards, the Chiefs’ defense imposed their will on the Bengals in several key spots, restricting Burrow and company to three different “three and outs” and multiple drives with negative yards. It was one of their best defensive performances of the year, and it came at the perfect time.
The Chiefs have a championship pedigree. Their defense has an uncanny ability to show up and play their best in the postseason, and a motivated Mahomes seems impossible to stop no matter what the in-game circumstances are. The Chiefs’ roster and coaches have a ton of Super Bowl experience, their offensive line was mostly brilliant in protecting Mahomes and Andy Reid’s offense is one of the most dynamic in league history. Against an unfamiliar foe they won’t be an easy out, nor do I think they should be underdogs in two weeks.
Why Kansas City Should Be Underdogs
There are reasons to think the Chiefs shouldn’t be favored, however.
- Mahomes played well, but he’s clearly not 100%. The Bengals’ defensive line is good, but it’s not as elite as Philadelphia’s. The Chiefs’ offensive line will need to play brilliantly on every play to protect Mahomes in Super Bowl LVII.
- The Chiefs are injured. Wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster, Kadarius Toney and Mecole Hardman all went down on Sunday. Linebacker Willie Gay and talented cornerback L’Jarius Sneed are also banged up.
- The Chiefs own the most explosive offense and the best passing attack in the NFL, but they’re going up against the NFL’s best defense in that area.
- Kansas City’s run defense played well against Cincinnati, permitting only 71 yards on the ground, but one week ago they allowed the Jaguars to run for 144 yards. They’ve been inconsistent throughout the season. They’re ranked 19th in yards per carry allowed (4.5). Against the Eagles, a top-five rushing team in most categories, that could be a problem.
- In most cases, Mahomes is simply the better quarterback, and that’s enough for the Chiefs to beat most teams. It might not matter as much in the big dance, though. Hurts rarely has to carry the Eagles; that’s just how dominant they are in the trenches.
One thing we’ll break down for the next two weeks is this game’s betting total. I think it’s too high. Kansas City’s defense overperforms in big games, and we know how good the Eagles’ defense is. Mahomes may not be 100%, and Hurts hasn’t proven he can lead an explosive offense against a top-tier defense. I think there’s value in betting on the under.
As far as betting on one side goes, I’m not committing yet. The sharps made up their minds early, betting big on Philadelphia and moving the line a full three-plus points. I want to take what I consider good value on the Chiefs. I have these two teams power-rated equally, but it’s hard to do that considering the injuries to Mahomes and other Chiefs’ skill players. I’ll lean toward the Chiefs and hope this goes up to a +3. When it does, I’ll be all over the underdog.