Super Bowl Best Bets

In a Super Bowl likely to be decided late in the fourth quarter, which quarterback do you trust to make the winning plays?

It’s a trick question. It’s obvious the most trustworthy quarterback is the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, who’s the best in the NFL at what he does, yet this is not necessarily the correct answer in this case. The 49ers would not be in this game without the heroics of Brock Purdy, who was phenomenal in the fourth quarter of his team’s two playoff wins in January.


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The most simplistic handicap is comparing the quarterbacks and going with the proven winner, Mahomes. The trick in the question is that each quarterback can be trusted to win this game, and whoever has the ball last is a good bet to win, even if it’s Purdy.

I’m going with Kansas City to win, but Mahomes is only part of the reason. Mahomes has been here and won it, which gives him an advantage over Purdy, but the Chiefs also have the slightly better defense and far better kicker. The underdog has a few edges. Of course, Mahomes owns a 10-1-1 ATS record as a ‘dog in his career, including a 38-35 victory over the favored Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) in last year’s Super Bowl.

I have bet the Chiefs in all three playoff wins this year, and bettors tend to stick with the team that has paid off.

Pick: Chiefs +3 (-130, buying the half point on the 2.5).
Also: Chiefs +8.5 and Over 41 (6.5-point teaser).

I’m not going to be surprised if the 49ers win, however, so my prop plays in the game are not linked to almost everything going the Chiefs’ way.

Christian McCaffrey Over 89.5 rushing yards; Over 34.5 receiving yards
McCaffrey is the horse the 49ers need to ride to the winner’s circle, and you can bet coach Kyle Shanahan knows it. The Chiefs’ run defense is vulnerable — the Buffalo Bills, who rushed for 182 yards against Kansas City, wisely took that path before the Baltimore Ravens lost their way in the AFC title game.

In the playoffs, McCaffrey had 20 carries for 90 yards and four receptions for 42 yards versus Detroit after totaling 17 carries for 98 yards and seven receptions for 30 yards versus Green Bay. I like McCaffrey’s chances to go Over his rushing and receiving totals. I’ll bet both props, and if he falls short in one category, no harm is done.
Also: McCaffrey to be MVP +500

Brock Purdy Under 242.5 passing yards
The Kansas City defense is stronger against the pass than the run. Shanahan is not planning to ride the inexperienced Purdy and his erratic arm, especially in the first half. Unless the 49ers are trailing most of the way, as they were against the Lions and Packers, expect a run-heavy offensive game plan that is mostly focused on McCaffrey.

Isaiah Pacheco Over 16.5 rushing attempts; Over 65.5 rushing yards
The Chiefs’ running back is a battering ram capable of punishing a San Francisco defense that surrendered 182 yards on 29 carries by the Lions and 136 yards on 28 carries by the Packers. The biggest concern for the 49ers is their soft run defense. In three playoff wins, Pacheco had 24, 15 and 24 carries to go with 89, 97 and 68 yards. Pacheco also had 15 carries for 76 yards in last year’s Super Bowl.

Team to make the longest field goal: Chiefs -120
Harrison Butker is about as good as it gets. Butler is 33-for-35 on field-goal attempts this season, converting all 12 tries from 40 yards or more, including five of 50 yards or more.

Will the game be decided by exactly 3 points? Yes +500
This prop has paid off two years in a row, so I’m sticking with it. My score projection is Chiefs, 27-24.