In case you haven’t heard, the Super Bowl is next weekend. There are plenty of storylines to keep people interested. Andy Reid will be leading the Kansas City Chiefs to face his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason and Travis Kelce are the first set of brothers who will face one another in the big game. And Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts will be the first pair of Black quarterbacks to square off in the Super Bowl. Kansas City and Philadelphia had the two best records in the NFL during the regular season and were also the top two scoring teams. This should be a great matchup and figures to offer plenty of opportunities to bet on player props.
Betting player props has certainly become more mainstream in recent years. The legalization of sports betting in many states has brought this niche to the forefront for many people. For degenerates like me, however, betting on Super Bowl props is hardly a new phenomenon. Before my core group of friends and I had wives and kids, we used to gather to watch the game every year. We would print out a list of an ungodly amount of props, and play against each other with the winner taking home the pot. Luckily now, we can just take money from the sportsbooks instead of each other.
Full disclosure – on Monday morning, I already locked in three player props for Super Bowl LVII. All three were overs, and all three numbers have risen since then. Though that does not guarantee success, the confirmation bias and potential CLV (closing line value) lead me to believe that my initial reads on this game are solid. Below I will highlight those three plays and discuss my rationale for taking them. I will also indicate if I would still play them at their current numbers. Finally, I will add some other Super Bowl LVII player props that I also think make sense given the matchups. As always, please tail responsibly, and best of luck!
Super Bowl LVII Player Props
Patrick Mahomes OVER 290.5 Passing Yards (-115, PointsBet), Most Valuable Player (+130, Various)
I put in a bet on Mahomes’ passing yards Monday at 281.5, and the number has continued to climb throughout the week. That may seem like a large jump, but essentially it is one extra play. Mahomes averaged 8.1 yards per attempt and 12.1 yards per completion this season. Since I expect Mahomes to clear 281.5, I am fine playing him at 290.5 as well. There is also a case to be made for Mahomes to throw for at least 300 yards. This player prop can be found on FanDuel at +112. I am not normally one to buy into the type of split featured in the tweet below, but I do think there are some breadcrumbs we can follow here:
The Chiefs have been a betting underdog for 8 games with Patrick Mahomes as their starting QB since 2018.
Chiefs are 5-3 in those games. With the 3 losses coming by 10 points combined.
Mahomes in those 8 games: 30 passing TDs (10.1 TD%), 9 Y/A, 116.8 passer rating, .30 EPA/DB.
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) January 31, 2023
The Eagles are a slight favorite in this game, and their implied team total is around 26 points. On the rare occasions Mahomes has entered a game as an underdog, it is because Kansas City’s opponent has the firepower needed to keep up with the Chiefs’ high-powered offense. That seems to be the case with this Eagles squad. I expect Andy Reid to trust the ball in Mahomes’ hands to get Kansas City over the hump in this game. Since 2018, the Chiefs have allowed at least 21 points in 53 ballgames. Mahomes has thrown for over 290 yards in 35 of those 53 games. I like his chances of doing so again next Sunday night.
As an alternative, you can also bet on Mahomes to win MVP provided you believe the Chiefs can win outright. There is a strong correlation between Kansas City winning and Mahomes having a signature performance. Mahomes is +130 to take home the award, which is a better return than his passing yardage prop or the Chiefs’ money line. I have not played this one personally as of yet, but it is something I am strongly considering, as I do think that Kansas City pulls off the slight upset.
DeVonta Smith OVER 61.5 Receiving Yards (-115, MGM)
This is one of my favorite Super Bowl LVII player props, and I immediately grabbed it Monday at 60.5. I believe that people are making too much of what both DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown (that’s a teaser, folks) have not done in the playoffs, instead of focusing on what the duo was able to accomplish during the regular season. Smith has just 97 total receiving yards thus far in the playoffs. That may seem like a far cry from the 70 yards per game he averaged during the regular season. But Smith has led the Eagles in receiving yards in both postseason contests despite such pedestrian totals. His 26.5 percent target share is a touch higher than his regular season target share (25.4 percent).
The reason Smith’s yardage totals have been so low is that the Eagles have yet to trail in the postseason. They have won their two games by a combined score of 69-14. If you exclude the opening drive of each game, Philadelphia has had the lead at the beginning of all but one of their other 18 possessions. As a result, they were able to essentially take their foot off the proverbial gas pedal against both the Giants and the 49ers. I do not believe they will be afforded that luxury against the Chiefs. Smith had at least 64 receiving yards 10 times during the regular season, including six straight games heading into the playoffs. Philly will have to score to win this game, and Smith will be a focal point of Philadelphia’s offensive scheme.
A.J. Brown OVER 70.5 Receiving Yards (-115, PointsBet)
I grabbed this at 65.5 as soon as I saw it. I still like it at 70.5, but I am slightly hesitant at that number. That is mainly because Brown has fallen between 66-70 receiving yards on three different occasions this season. There is probably a bit of noise in that stat, but it is something to consider. Like Smith, Brown has had a quiet postseason to this point. He has just 50 total receiving yards and has been held under 30. During the regular campaign, Brown was held below 30 yards in just one of 17 games. Again, I think that the numbers for Brown and Smith over the past two games can largely be ignored. Both wideouts surpassed their current yardage props in each of their final six regular season games. Philadelphia will have to be more aggressive offensively to keep up with the Chiefs.
I expect both Brown and Smith to have success in this matchup. The Chiefs allowed 20 different wideouts to record at least 60 receiving yards against them this year. Pay attention to the status of cornerback L’Jarius Sneed in the coming days. He left the AFC Championship game due to a concussion and is currently in the league’s protocol. He is Kansas City’s best corner and is 13th in the NFL with a 76.8 coverage grade, per Pro Football Focus. Trent McDuffie has been solid in the slot, but the Chiefs’ other outside cornerbacks have struggled in coverage. Brown and Smith both line up on the perimeter on about 74 percent of snaps. I expect Jalen Hurts to target whichever wide receiver is lined up against Jaylen Watson. And if Sneed is limited, both Eagles’ wide receivers will have significant advantages on a majority of snaps.
Other Super Bowl LVII Player Props to Consider
Here are a few additional player props that I like for this game.
Jalen Hurts OVER Rushing Props
We know how prolific Jalen Hurts has been on the ground this season. He ran for 760 yards this season, averaging just over 50 yards per game. I expect him to continue to run the ball effectively in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have allowed 11 of the last 12 starting quarterbacks they have faced to eclipse 15 rushing yards. Five of those signal-callers had at least 40 rushing yards. Sportsbooks list Hurts’ rushing total at just under 50 yards, with a long rush hovering between 12.5 and 13.5. I think playing either one is a solid option. If I had to choose, I would lean towards taking the over on Hurts’ long rush prop. Including the playoffs, Hurts has at least one rush for 14 or more yards in 10 of 17 games.
Travis Kelce OVER Receiving Props
It feels like Travis Kelce’s receiving props for Super Bowl LVII are super high. The lowest yardage prop I have seen is 75.5 on PointsBet, while his receptions prop is either 6.5 or 7.5. On books where it is 6.5, the over is highly juiced. You would have to risk nearly $1.50 for every potential dollar won. But while those numbers are extremely high, Kelce has had at least seven receptions in seven of his last eight playoff games. He has also surpassed 75 receiving yards in all eight. Considering Philadelphia’s formidable cornerback duo of Darius Slay and James Bradberry, I would not be surprised to see Mahomes continue to lean on Kelce once again in this matchup.
Running Backs OVER Receiving Props
Among their many accolades, these two teams lead the NFL in sacks this season. Their prowess in pressuring the passer may cause the opposing offenses to try to stave off the pass rush with quick passes and screens. The Chiefs allowed the most receptions to opposing running backs during the regular season. They allowed 18 running backs to catch at least three passes in a game against them. And they permitted 17 backs to have at least 20 receiving yards. Neither Miles Sanders nor Kenneth Gainwell has a receptions prop over 1.5 or a receiving yardage prop higher than 11.5. I believe it is extremely likely that at least one of them goes over these numbers.
On the flip side, Isiah Pacheco was featured prominently out of the backfield in last week’s Championship Game. It was quite a turn from how the Chiefs had utilized the rookie back before last week. Pacheco caught five passes for 59 yards against Cincinnati. His previous season-highs were three receptions and 32 receiving yards. I think a lot of the extra involvement in the passing game was the result of the high-ankle sprain that Mahomes is dealing with. Though he will have two weeks to heal, he is unlikely to be 100 percent for this game. The Eagles’ ferocious pass rush will likely force Kansas City to rely on their backs as safety valves in the passing game.