This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
Staff Picks: Super Bowl 57 Picks, Props and Best Bets
The Big Game is upon us and our staff of expert NFL betting writers have lined up their best bets for Super Bowl LVII. Sports betting is getting set to launch in Massachusetts and you can stay up to date on the latest Massachusetts Sports Betting Promos at all Massachusetts Betting Apps and Massachusetts Sportsbooks.
Mike Barner’s Best Bets
Travis Kelce Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-120 FanDuel Sportsbook) for 1 unit
Kelce scored two touchdowns in the Divisional Round against the Jaguars, then followed that up with another score in the AFC Championship against the Bengals. He received six red zone targets over those two games, three of which came inside the 10-yard line. During the regular season, he had eight games in which he received at least two red zone targets.
Going back even further, Kelce has at least one touchdown reception in eight of his last nine playoff games. The only time he failed to, he had 10 catches for 133 yards against the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. In what could be a high-scoring game, expect Kelce to receive multiple opportunities to reach the end zone.
Jalen Hurts Over 10.5 Rush Attempts (-112 FanDuel Sportsbook) for 1 unit
Even with the Eagles routing the 49ers in the NFC Championship, Hurts received 11 carries. He produced a modest 39 yards, but he did reach the end zone. After missing two games with a shoulder injury, Hurts has at least nine carries in all three games since.
With regards to this prop, Hurts had at least 11 rushing attempts in a game seven times during the regular season. The Chiefs put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, finishing the regular season with the second-most sacks in the league. Hurts might be forced to scramble more in this matchup, which would improve his chances of reaching the over.
This is an intriguing prop special on FanDuel. Miles Sanders is the Eagles’ lead running back, but Scott and Gainwell have both been productive at times this season. In their two playoff games, Scott rushed for 32 and 21 yards, respectively. Meanwhile, Gainwell rushed for 112 and 48 yards, respectively.
Part of the reason why Scott and Gainwell have been so involved in the playoffs is that the Eagles blew out both the Giants and the 49ers, leaving them with no need to push Sanders. This game should be closer, which might mean fewer rushing opportunities for both. Still, if they can combine for 10-12 carries, they could hit the over behind their excellent offensive line.
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Jim Coventry’s Best Bets
Probability. No, wait. How about ‘propability’? Even though there’ll never be a sure thing, having over a week to break down one game allows us to better understand the probabilities that help us make the best bets. After breaking down this game and compiling over 20 pages of notes, it’s time to leverage that in an attempt to cash some tickets! To plan out the prop bets, it’s critical to determine a likely game script. I anticipate the Eagles to lean into their rushing attack. Not only should they have success on the ground, but this should allow them to control the clock and shorten the game. Although this is an excellent offense, they don’t want to get into a shootout with Patrick Mahomes. For the Chiefs, they’ll need to attack the middle of the field while maybe running the ball slightly more than usual. This should be successful, but we may not see many explosive plays against the Eagles defense. Based on this projected game script, I’ve placed the following bets.
Miles Sanders over 60.5 rush yards. The Chiefs have four players in their front seven who struggle against the run.That’s not ideal against an offense with the best offensive line in the league. Also, throw in the mobility of QB Jalen Hurts and Sanders should have plenty of room to run. With this being the last game of the year, I don’t see the Eagles limiting Sanders’ workload. Conservatively, I’m projecting Sanders for 75 rushing yards.
Jalen Hurts under 239.5 passing yards. He hasn’t thrown for this yardage total in 10 of his last 14 games. And in his five big passing yardage games this year, four of those came against defenses that were lights out against the run but weak in pass coverage. I expect Hurts to be a major factor as a runner. But in the passing attack, I expect his pass attempts to be limited. It’s also unlikely he’s asked to make many risky downfield passes.My projection is 218 passing yards.
Travis Kelce to score 2 TDs (+500 on DraftKings Sportsbook). I know this one is risky, so making a small bet may be the smart move. He’s scored in his last five playoff games and in eight of his 11 playoff games with Patrick Mahomes. He’s also scored multiple TDs in three of those 11 playoff games, including this year’s Wild-Card game. With the KC WRs banged up and facing excellent CBs, Kelce should see more than his usual share of red-zone work.
Game total under 51. Yes, I know that both of these offenses are outstanding. But with my expectation that the Eagles control the clock and shorten the game with their rushing attack, that should limit possessions. And both defenses are more than capable of making stops.
After all the breakdown, my prediction is the Eagles winning 24-20.
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Michael Rathburn’s Best Bets
Eagles -0.5 First Half (DraftKings -105) for 2 units
The Eagles were the best team in football with a 14-5 record against the spread in the first half and have the superior team in almost every facet of the game except quarterback and tight end. They also led the NFL in 1st half points scored per game (18.2) and margin of lead. Their offense is dynamic and gives opposing defenses fits the first time they see them before second-half adjustments. With two weeks to prepare, they are in prime position to win the first half and cover.
Patrick Mahomes under 19.5 rushing yards (FanDuel -118) for 1 unit
There is no way the Chiefs can risk Mahomes reinjuring his ankle which will limit his rushing production. He did have three rushing attempts in each of their two playoff games, but for only eight yards. The ankle will limit him from trying to extend any run and he will just run to avoid a sack and slide immediately. Mahomes has gone under this prop in four out of his last six games.
DeVonta Smith over 61.5 receiving yards (BetMGM -115) for 1 unit
Smith had hit this prop six games in a row leading into the playoffs, but both playoff games were blowouts for the Eagles which limited his targets. Even still, he was just 0.5 yards shy in the game against the Giants. Rotowire projections have Smith at 70 receiving yards against a Chiefs passing defense that ranked 18th against the pass (yards allowed).
Eagles Most Sacks (DraftKings -125) for 0.5 unit
This plays into the Mahomes not looking to run the ball angle and with that I love for the Eagles defense to be able to have more sacks than the Chiefs. Both teams were first and second on defense in sacks, but there is a healthy quarterback in Jalen Hurts against one that is not 100 percent.
Miles Sanders over 61.5 rushing yards for 0.5 unit
I expect the Eagles to establish their offensive line strength in this game early and often. This will also go into the strategy of keeping Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field and getting an early lead which is what the Eagles are known for. Sanders has hit this prop in 11 out of 19 games.
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Eric Timm’s Best Bets
From an overall perspective, I see this game being much more of a slugfest than many are predicting. I don’t think this gets close to the 50.5 total for a couple of reasons. First, Philly’s bread and butter is their dominant run game, which is the weakness of the KC defense. That is going to result in long drives when Philly is on offense. Because of those long drives, and with preserving the health of Patrick Mahomes on his mind, Andy Reid is going to guard against 3-and-outs and putting a tired defense back on the field in bad spots. My pops are centered around that game flow vision.
Kansas City First Score: FG/Safety +135
I see a conservative gameplan to start the game for the Chiefs, concentrated on sustaining drives and keeping Mahomes upright. I’m looking for a lot of short passes to Jerick McKinnon and Travis Kelce that gets KC down the field but eventually stalls out and results in a Harrison Butker FG for their first score of the game.
# Plays In 1st TD Drive of Game: 16-19 +2500
This is my one fun, long-shot prop play that follows my predicted game script. The Eagles were successful all year, but this is a big stage with a QB making his first Super Bowl start. The Philly strength is their o-line and run game and Nick Sirianni will do what he can to make Jalen Hurts comfortable early on. Nothing is more comforting than a dominant drive that walks down the field and results in a TD. The Eagles pride themselves on “who’s toughest longest” and they have had multiple long drives this season. Let’s hope they have a monster drive for the first TD in this one.
Jerick McKinnon Rush+Rec Yards: OVER 49.5 -106
Playing of the narrative above, I believe McKinnon will be heavily relied on in this game. He has a proven trust with Mahomes in the passing game and is the veteran presence in the backfield. In my opinion, this number should be much higher; if your favorite books have it, don’t hesitate to ladder bet McKinnon’s combo yards and/or receiving yards at plus money all the way up to 100. I think he has to have a big day for the Chiefs to be successful.
Miles Sanders Rush Yards: OVER 58.5 -135
This is really chalky for a prop bet, and I hate laying odds with props as a personal rule, but this is too good to pass up. The main beneficiary of the Eagles’ dominant run game is Sanders and he will get plenty of touches in this one. Like McKinnon, I would recommend ladder betting his rush yards at plus money all the way up to 100, even 125 if you are feeling frisky.
Will there be a 2-point Attempt: YES +120
Again, I think points will be at a premium and both of these coaches are creative and aggressive when it comes to getting points when the chance is there. I’m actually a bit surprised the yes is at plus money with these two teams. Along the lines of aggressiveness and creativity and the “first pair of black QB to start a Super Bowl” narrative, I like the “YES” for a QB Reception prop at +700 as well. Both QBs will be showcased in their respective offenses.
Juan Carlos Blanco’s Best Bets
Travis Kelce props: Anytime TD scorer
Kelce just wrapped a career-best 12-touchdown regular season and is naturally a prime target of Patrick Mahomes near the goal line, as evidenced by the fact he averaged two red-zone targets per game during the regular season.
Kelce checks into the Super Bowl having averaged three RZ targets over the Chiefs’ first two postseason games as well. And, he naturally has the talent to score from anywhere on the field, even against the ultra-talented linebackers and secondary of th Eagles.
Patrick Mahomes props: Under 38.5 pass attempts
If there was ever a defense that downright discourages excessive amounts of dropbacks in situation-neutral game script it would have to be this year’s Eagles unit.
Opponents attempted well under the figure for this prop – 31.5 pass attempts per game to be exact – against Philadelphia since the start of the regular season largely due to the suffocating play of cornerbacks such as Darius Slay, James Bradberry and Avonte Maddox, as well as the Eagles’ league-best pass rush (67 sacks).
Yet, an Eagles run defense that has surrendered 131.8 rushing yards per game at 4.8 yards per carry on the road is a much more inviting target. Therefore, Andy Reid could well go against his usual tendencies to a degree and surprise Philly with a more run-heavy game plan than usual.
Mahomes also fell under 38.5 pass attempts on 10 occasions since the start of the regular season and has averaged 36.5 through two postseason games.