I've given out picks for every week of NFL football this season except for one, and I performed better than I had in either of the two prior seasons I've done this. I already recapped my regular season stats with a brief analysis that can be read here:
In the conference championship, I gave out picks from an Excel model I've been developing for the past few years. However, that model did not account for injuries to San Francisco's only rostered quarterbacks, which was not good when you picked the 49ers to cover. The four picks I gave out in those two games ended up going 2-2 (though I did provide a disclaimer that I personally thought the Eagles would cover). That brings us to 5-7 on the postseason, a figure I'm not happy with. To make amends, I'm going to give out a bunch of team bets and player props for the Super Bowl to end the playoffs on a net positive side.
We'll start with the standard bets.
Kansas City Chiefs +1.5 (-110)
I've already given my prediction that the Chiefs will win on Sunday. I outlined in more detail in the my Super Bowl 57 prediction, which you can read here:
To sum up my sentiments in that article, my basic argument is that I don't feel the Eagles have faced an elite quarterback pretty much all season. Their defense has been impressive, but how will they perform against the best QB in the league in the NFL's most fluent offensive system? I don't think they'll do poorly, but I can't bet against Patrick Mahomes in this one.
Let's remember that Mahomes was about the only guy on the team who looked pretty good in Kansas City's last Super Bowl appearance against the Buccaneers in 2021, a game they lost 31-9. Mahomes had no time to throw and was running for his life all game, but still delivered beautiful throws to tight windows, several of which were dropped. With a much improved O-line from that season, I fully expect the Chiefs to be a more well-oiled machine this go around and avenge their last Super Bowl loss.
Game Total Over 51.0 (-110)
Fortunately for the viewers, I think the Chiefs will accomplish this in a fun-to-watch, fairly high-scoring manner. Now, it's probably worth noting that the last four Super Bowls have stayed under, but three of them featured somewhat unusually high point totals for a Super Bowl. That, among other things, has caused this year's number to fall a bit, which we'll use to our advantage.
The Eagles have been dominant offensively all season, and they've topped 30 in both playoff games. They could have scored even more in both matchups had they needed to. But I don't think the Chiefs will mind to get in a bit of a shootout with Philadelphia, and the amount of stars on both offenses potentially sets up for a couple big play touchdowns. I'm thinking both teams will score close to or exceeding 30, which would make the over hit with ease.
Now we'll get into some player props that I really like.
Patrick Mahomes Over 295.5 Passing Yards (-115)
This would be a career high for Mahomes in a Super Bowl, but this game definitely sets up for it. Mahomes threw for 286 yards in his first SB appearance against a very strong 49ers defense in 2020, and still amassed 270 yards in the disastrous game against the Bucs discussed previously. After throwing for 326 yards on a bum ankle in a still pass-happy offensive scheme against the Bengals, I'm confident Patrick will break the 300 mark again.
Boston Scott Over 7.5 Rushing Yards (-140)
This number is surprisingly low for what Scott has done in his prior two postseason appearances. He's turned just 12 carries into 53 yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs. While the Eagles' rush group is a bit crowded, there's still plenty of touches to go around for Boston Scott to hit his number.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Under 37.5 Receiving Yards (-120)
JuJu has been battling injuries for the latter part of the season and postseason, and he's fallen out of usage almost entirely in that time. He hasn't recorded more than 3 receptions or 35 yards since December 18 against the Texans, and his job won't be made any easier against a physical Philadelphia secondary. Mahomes has been targeting other guys more frequently, including Travis Kelce (obviously), Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Kadarius Toney when he isn't throwing to his running backs out of the backfield.
Jerick McKinnon Any-Time TD Scorer (+175)
Throw a boatload of cash on Travis Kelce, Jalen Hurts, and Miles Sanders as anytime touchdown scorers if you want, but I think the best value is Jerick McKinnon. He scored nine TDs in the final six games of the regular season (all but one through the air), and while he's been scoreless so far in the postseason, he's due for one in the big game.
Travis Kelce First TD Scorer (+700)
Kelce has scored the opening touchdown for the Chiefs in a whopping eight of their 17 contests. Philadelphia has a few contenders for getting the first points on the board if they strike first, but if Kansas City is the first to cross the end zone, the odds are high that it'll be Kelce.
Haason Reddick Over 0.25 Sacks (-180)
Reddick has been getting after opposing quarterbacks this postseason, totaling 3.5 sacks in the last two games. The Chiefs pass protection has been better this season, but Philly's D-line is sure to get to Mahomes at least a couple times on Sunday. Reddick will represent at least one of those times.
Jake Elliott Under 6.5 Kicking Points (+105)
Nick Sirianni is the ultimate aggressive head coach. So I don't think the Eagles will settle for a field goal unless it's absolutely necessary. I think nearly all of Philly's points will come from touchdowns, and we might even see one or two two-point conversion attempts in place of extra points.
Opening Kickoff to Not Be a Touchback (+140)
In the last 31 Super Bowls, 28 of the opening kickoffs have been returned. With the rate of touchbacks in football these days, it seems like a lock that a touchback would occur on the Super Bowl's opening kickoff. But former NFL punter Pat McAfee has announced over the years that nerves are so high and the footballs are so new and tight that it's hard to get a massive kick out of whoever tees it up first. Harrison Butker, who has a massive leg, failed to secure a touchback in his lone opening Super Bowl kickoff attempt in 2021, while this year's would be Jake Elliott's first if Philadelphia kicks off to start.
There are so many different types of prop bets you can put money on for Super Bowl Sunday, but the ones I've given above are my favorite out of all of them. They're also at least somewhat based on reason and historical analysis, rather than a bet such as whether the opening coin toss will land on heads or tails.
Feel free to parlay any of these picks that you like and remember to gamble responsibly. But I'll be the first to admit that if your team isn't featured in the Super Bowl, having a bit of money at stake on a bevy of prop bets makes the viewing experience that much more enjoyable (assuming you win the majority of them).
I hope everyone enjoys the highly anticipated Super 57 between two powerhouses who would both deserve this year's Lombardi Trophy. Let me know in the comments who you like to win and what your favorite bets are for Super Bowl Sunday.
Check back on Monday when I'll give my thoughts on what goes down in the big game.
Written by Nick Swatson