Ultimate Super Bowl LVII betting guide: Picks, prop bets and more

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Super Bowl LVII is almost here and there thousands of ways to bet on the Big Game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Our VSiN experts run through their favorite bets for the side, total and props.

 

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Patrick Mahomes to Win Super Bowl MVP (+130)

Adam Burke: Getting the most bang for your buck is really important given how hard it is to beat the vig and beat the sports betting markets. There is an opportunity to do that if you think the Chiefs will win the Super Bowl. I don’t know if they will, but there is some line value on taking Patrick Mahomes to win MVP as opposed to taking the Chiefs to win or 1.5.

Mahomes is +130 to win the Super Bowl MVP award. The Chiefs are +105 on the moneyline at most places. There are very few possible outcomes in which the Chiefs are victorious and Mahomes fails to win MVP. There is already a built-in narrative with his bad ankle and the impressive things he has done while compromised. There is another built-in news story that would make him the first player to win the regular-season MVP and Super Bowl MVP in nearly 25 years.

Travis Kelce might have a big game, but Mahomes will be the one throwing him passes. A defensive player may have a big game, but defensive players who have won in recent history have usually returned an interception for a touchdown or had a couple of picks. Jalen Hurts has thrown six picks all season. Von Miller is the only pass rusher since the 1980s to win the award on the merit of sacks (Malcolm Smith had a pick-six and a fumble recovery in Super Bowl XLVIII).

If you think the Chiefs will win, Mahomes 130 to win MVP is a no-brainer. If you think the game is a toss-up, Mahomes 130 to win MVP is way better than Chiefs 105 on the moneyline. To me, it’s worth the risk and the low-percentage outcome that the Chiefs win and somebody other than Mahomes is crowned the hero of the game.

Patrick Mahomes Over 16.5 rushing yards

Matt Youmans: With two weeks to heal his sprained ankle, Mahomes should look more like he did in the regular season when he averaged 21 rushing yards per game and topped 20 rushing yards in 10 games. A Philadelphia defense that leads the league in sacks will put a lot of pressure on Mahomes, who will be forced to take off and run more than a few times.

Patrick Mahomes Over 38.5 Passing Attempts (-125)

Ben Wilson: At first glance, you might think the Chiefs will be tempted to run the ball more than average considering the injuries in their wide receiver room as well as the matchup: The Eagles led the NFL defending the pass but were vulnerable against the run, finishing the regular season 23rd on an EPA-per-play basis. But I’m not convinced Andy Reid is going to try reinventing the wheel of a dynamic offense that led the league in multiple offensive categories, including yards per play and yards per drive.

Patrick Mahomes threw the ball 43 times in the AFC title game despite playing on a badly sprained right ankle. Even when his pass catchers began dropping like flies, he continued to wing it around the field to no-names like Marcus Kemp, ultimately completing passes to 10 receivers.

There’s also a healthy amount of historical data to suggest pass-happy QBs only throw more once they reach Super Sunday. Since 2000, 11 QBs entered the Super Bowl averaging at least 36 pass attempts per game (Mahomes is at about 38). Ten of the 11 attempted 40 or more passes in those Super Bowls.  Add an extra week of rest to heal his balky ankle and I’m confident Mahomes will be throwing from start to finish.

Patrick Mahomes UNDER 290.5 passing yards 

Steve Makinen: Most of the props you’ll see for any Super Bowl are based on seasonal performance averages. They don’t necessarily consider the opponent’s strength, recency or the way the game will be played. This year, I see two teams that have dominated recent opponents in time of possession, thus generating inflated offense statistics in various ways. Obviously, the Chiefs and Eagles can’t control the time of possession on Sunday. I surmise that there is a better chance the Eagles own this key stat based simply on their ability to run the ball more successfully, which means fewer plays for Mahomes than he has been used to. 

My forecast shows the Eagles running 64.7 plays and the Chiefs 59.2; of these 59 plays, it’s reasonable to think about 37 of them will be passing plays. In his last 10 games, Mahomes has attempted more than 40 passes five times and fewer than 40 passes five other times. In the latter, he has averaged just 234.2 yards per game. My numbers project him for 253.8, well shy of the 290.5 prop offered by DraftKings. I don’t believe this angle will dictate whether or not the Chiefs win and/or cover. I don’t feel he will get enough attempts to run up near the 300-yard mark on the league’s top-ranked pass defense, for both yards and efficiency.

Will the Chiefs convert a fourth-down attempt? Yes -130

Matt Youmans: The team with the inferior defense must take more chances, and Chiefs coach Andy Reid can gamble because his odds are usually better with the ball in Mahomes’ hands. My game script has Kansas City trailing in the second half, so if that’s the case and Mahomes is making a comeback, this prop should hit at some point.

 

Largest lead Under 14.5 points -140

Dave Tuley: This is another prop tied to our prediction of a close, back-and-forth game. Since joining VSiN, I’ve gone 4-1 with this prop. And I’m 6-2 the last eight years, with the only losses being the Buccaneers’ 31-9 rout of the Chiefs two years ago and the Falcons’ infamous 28-3 lead against the Patriots six years ago. Again, we’re counting on Mahomes or Hurts to rally his team if falling behind by two scores. We’re not crazy about the increased juice, but we’re actually relieved as we feared that oddsmakers might lower the number to 13.5 with the spread so close to pick-’em.
 

A.J. Brown Over 72.5 Receiving Yards (-125)

Adam Burke: A.J. Brown finished the regular season on an absolute tear. The star wideout had 35 catches for 665 yards over the final six games of the regular season, but he has had only seven catches for 50 yards in the two playoff games. The Eagles haven’t had to use the pass very much because they’ve been shortening games with the run. Blowouts are a different kind of game state that negatively affects wide receivers.

I don’t think we’ll get a blowout in the Super Bowl, and that means we’ll have to see Jalen Hurts in action. I think Brown is the guy he will look for, specifically as a downfield threat to keep the Chiefs honest. Brown’s two highest-yardage outputs came in games started by Hurts. He was a low-volume pass-catcher but averaged 19 yards per reception.

Brown’s season average for receiving yards per game was 88, but his Super Bowl LVII prop line is 72.5. I think he’s being unfairly punished for the two games in which the Eagles were in cruise control. DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert may get more volume, but Brown is the big-play guy, and I think Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen know they’ll need some big plays.

Miles Sanders Under 13.5 Rush Attempts (-110)

Danny Burke: Seldom have the Eagles been forced to abandon their offensive game plan. When they have their way, they will ground and pound you to death with their running effort featuring a trio of backs as well as QB Jalen Hurts as a runner. In Philly’s last game, we actually saw Kenneth Gainwell featured as the top running back (14 carries) over Miles Sanders (11 carries). It’s hard to bank on a guy getting a lot of reps when there is a committee, especially when the Eagles’ game plan may be altered early on. If the Chiefs are able to generate offensive success immediately, this will put pressure on the Eagles to play catch-up and start throwing the ball more. You can’t play catch-up in the running game against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. You will have to throw the ball. So I don’t envision this Philadelphia offensive game plan to be as run-dominant as in past games, which were against much weaker opponents. Even if there is a sizable dose of it, the load has been pretty evenly spread out as of late. Sanders has gotten more than 13 rush attempts in just two of the last six games. He’ll get his carries, just not an overwhelming amount of them. 

Jake Elliott Under 7.5 Points (-125)

Adam Burke: Eagles kicker Jake Elliott led the NFL in extra points and extra point attempts this season, going 51-for-53 on those opportunities. He was also 20-for-23 on field goals, but that is a point of emphasis for me in Super Bowl LVII. The Eagles were one of the best red zone offenses in the NFL and ranked in the top five in fourth-down conversions and fourth-down attempts. They’re not an offense looking to settle for three points all that often.

Elliott had six of his 23 attempts from 50 or more yards, so he was called on rather sparingly when the Eagles were in range of a touchdown. He attempted more than two field goals in a game just once, and that was the Week 18 win over the Giants in which he kicked five of his 20 made field goals. Otherwise, he was mostly just out there for extra points and kickoffs.

Philadelphia’s play design and ability to run the ball inside the red zone are all reasons why they were so successful at getting 7s instead of 3s, and I think those things come into play in this game. His points prop is set at 7.5 with some juice to the Under, but I think this game follows the mold of other games for the Eagles.

Why? Because the Chiefs were the second-worst red zone defense in the NFL by touchdown percentage. The Eagles have played 19 games, and Elliott had only five games with two or more field goals. Add Philadelphia’s red zone efficiency to Kansas City’s bad red zone defense, and I think Elliott is out there for PATs instead of FGs.

Eagles Players with a Rush Attempt Over 4.5 (+175)

Adam Burke: Coaches tend to get too cute in Super Bowls. They’ll bust out plays that probably looked good on paper and aren’t effective in a game setting. But it never fails that we’ll see some random player or two get a rushing attempt, and I think that will be the case for the Eagles here.

The number of Eagles players with a rush attempt is set at 4.5 with the Over at +175. We know four of them right away — Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott and Jalen Hurts. At +175, I’d take a shot on DeVonta Smith or Quez Watkins getting a carry. The Eagles have mauled opponents at the line of scrimmage all season long and throughout the playoffs, but an extra wrinkle to throw Kansas City off guard makes sense.

Smith hasn’t had any carries this season, but a jet sweep with a guy who ran a sub-4.5 40-yard dash isn’t a bad use of resources. We could also run into a situation where Smith catches something behind the line of scrimmage, and it gets graded as a rush attempt. Watkins has three carries to his name this season.

What about something crazy like a Jason Kelce rushing attempt down by the goal line? His brother Travis has a rushing touchdown to his name, but not in a Super Bowl. It just seems like there could be something fluky that is worth the risk on this prop. There are enough oddities to make this worthy of strong consideration at +175, and I like rooting for chaos.

 

Justin Reid Over 5.5 Tackles Assists (-110)

Adam Burke: The Eagles have run at least 63 offensive plays in 15 of the 17 games started by Jalen Hurts. Their effective running game and top-five third-down conversion rate allow them to stay on the field and have a lot of snaps. What that also means is that it creates a lot of opportunities for Chiefs players to record tackles.

One player who is priced a little low in this market is Justin Reid. Reid’s line sits at 5.5 tackles with a little extra vig on the Under. It’s important to remember that the Chiefs often had the lead in games, so safeties wouldn’t be able to step up and help against the run as much. They’d be dropping back into Cover-1 or Cover-2 in hopes of limiting big plays to keep the game in front of them.

With the Eagles, it will probably be a different story as they’re going to emphasize running the football, particularly if they get a lead. The books have slightly adjusted here, as Reid has averaged 5.05 combined tackles and assists per game this season, but the game script for the Eagles is likely to be different than what Reid has dealt with in most of his games. He’s gone over this number in both playoff games, and I expect him to do so again in the Super Bowl.

Game tied after 0-0 (following PATs) -110 

Dave Tuley: In the recent era, with Super Bowl point spreads relatively close to pick-’em, we love this prop as we just need to get the score tied during the whole game. It hasn’t cashed the last two years, but before that it hit four Super Bowls in a row (and is 5-3 the last eight years). It can happen as early as 3-3 in the 2019 game between the Patriots and Rams or as late as 28-28 in the 2017 game when the Patriots famously rallied to catch up with the Falcons with 57 seconds left in regulation. The Eagles and Chiefs are pretty evenly matched as the low point spread indicates, and we expect this to be a close, back-and-forth game with Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts both fully capable of matching scores.

Matt Youmans: Philadelphia has been a fast-starting team all season — leading at halftime in 15 of 19 games — but it would be a surprise if either side runs away and hides. There is always a decent chance of a 3-3, 7-7 or 10-10 score early. A point spread of 1.5 indicates this should be a tight game with two quarterbacks who can trade shots.

Halftime Tie/Eagles Win 16-1 and Halftime Tie/Chiefs Win 18-1

Dave Tuley: This is basically a bet on there being a tie at halftime, again based on our prediction of this being a close, back-and-forth Super Bowl. Since we don’t see a “Will the game be tied at halftime?” prop offered anywhere, we play this “Double Result” at the Westgate SuperBook and bet both the “Halftime Tie/Eagles Win” at 16-1 and “Halftime Tie/Chiefs Win” at 18-1 options. If the game is tied at intermission, we know we will end up with a net profit of 750 if the Eagles win or 850 if the Chiefs win. This has been a long-term profitable play as we cashed three years ago when the Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl was tied at 10-10 and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl that was tied 14-14.

Shortest TD Under 1.5 yards -160 (SuperBook Sports)

Dave Tuley: We used to get a nice, juicy plus price on this each year, but this has cashed for us eight of the last nine years, and the oddsmakers have slowly made it a favorite. But it’s still worth playing as -160 is cheap considering how often it comes in (plus we’re playing with house money). This can cash multiple ways: organically, with a team moving the ball to the 1-yard line and punching it in or having a defensive pass-interference call in the end zone place the ball at the 1-yard line. Note: it’s much rarer, but it also would cash if an offensive player falls on a fumble in the end zone for a 0-yard fumble recovery or if a defensive player were to score on a fumble recovery or interception in the opposing team’s end zone for a zero-yard score.