Super Bowl LVIII: Forget the moneyline, make these prop bets instead

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Missouri prosecutors charge 2 adults in Chiefs Super Bowl parade shooting [Update]

Updated Feb. 20: Missouri prosecutors have officially filed murder charges against two adults after last week’s shooting that killed one and injured 22 during...

This is the Super Bowl made for gambling. The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans will wager a combined $23.1 billion on the Big Game this year, up from $16 billion year-over-year. Whether it’s your first time betting on the big game or you’re a seasoned vet, you don’t want to be placing bets blindly. Take it from someone who’s already put together extensive statistical deep-dives on this matchup: The odds can be in your favor on this Sunday night. Put on your best Danny Ocean impression, and get ready to rob Vegas blind this weekend with the best bets of Super Bowl LVIII.

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Reba McEntire National Anthem 90.5 seconds

Take the under

I said in our “Most Outlandish Prop Bets” column earlier this week that I thought it was ridiculous for McEntire to go under 90 seconds on the Anthem. It’s a breakneck pace that only marching bands play at. Singers savor the moment. They soak it all in, and add little vocal flourishes. Then I saw this playlist compiled by Reba(‘s YouTube channel) herself. It makes up a handful of her most notable former runs at the Anthem. I was blown away. She is EFFICIENT. Still gets the vocal flair in, adlibs a bit, and still gets in well under the wire. Some of her runs during the World Series almost finish in the 70s. Her splits are crazy, hitting “rocket’s red glare” routinely around the 35-second mark. I will add she gets slower with age – her anthem at the 1974 Rodeo was a breakneck 72 seconds, while her anthem at a 1999 Cowboys game was exactly 90 seconds. If we’re being really sharp, betting under 90 seconds is probably cutting it close, but any books where you see a 1:35, or 1:40 line, hammer the under.

Patrick Mahomes 260.5 Passing Yards

Take the under

Mahomes is known for his incredible achievements through the air. This almost feels like a rat line. Mahomes has thrown under 260 yards in 37 of his 113 career games, playoffs or regular season. That means we place this bet on any game at random in Mahomes’ career, we lose just over two out of every three times. Of those 37, though, 12 have happened this season, with one coming in the playoffs against Buffalo. Mahomes also threw for just 182 yards during last year’s Super Bowl against Philadelphia. The Chiefs quarterback doesn’t typically over-produce in Super Bowls, either. With much better offenses than this one, Mahomes has never broken 286 passing yards in a Super Bowl. This is a quarterback that will do anything to win. That includes taking a backseat to the run game, or winning with his own legs to take advantage of the 49ers. There are similar sharp lines on Purdy for yardage and pass attempt totals, but I think lines are going to be much more favorable in the Mahomes department despite the similar game plans.

Christian McCaffrey 128.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards

Take the over

I think it’s safe to say that everyone who has done an ounce of research into this game knows Christian McCaffrey is going to play a huge part in San Francisco’s game plan. The Chiefs have been abysmal stopping the run this season, and the 49ers are one of the most run-heavy teams in football. This is a perfectly set line. McCaffrey has eclipsed 128 all-purpose yards exactly 16 times in the 32 games he has played for San Francisco. This is, however, a bit of a hedge on how I think McCaffrey will get these yards. The Chiefs are one of the best teams in the league at covering up routes underneath. Of the 354 routes McCaffrey ran in 2023, 173 of them were either flats, shallows, or screens, according to 33rd Team’s The Edge. He runs the vast majority of his routes (234 of 354) out of the backfield, meaning they are more likely to end up in the short-yardage blanket the Chiefs cover so well. The real juice on McCaffrey lies in his alternate rushing prop. While you could pick McCaffrey getting over 128 all-purpose yards at -120, you can get his over 115 alternate rushing prop at +205. I’m too big a coward, but maybe you’re not.

Rashee Rice 6.5 Receptions

Take the over

The Chiefs rookie has been the heart and soul of this Chiefs receiving corps, working his catch totals up dramatically over the course of the season. Since Week 11 of the regular season, Rice has only fallen short of the 6.5 receptions line twice in nine games – once in the Week 17 matchup against the Bengals, and once in the Divisional Round matchup against the Bills. This slightly conflicts with my belief that the Chiefs will have a more run-focused, methodical gameplan heading into Sunday, and Rice will definitely have his hands full most likely drawing Charvarius Ward as his main assignment, but if you think this is going to be a close game at all, Rice is the guy to bet on. Plus, his odds for 6.5 catches are much more friendly (-115 at DraftKings) than Travis Kelce’s to catch the same passes (-166 at DraftKings).

Brock Purdy 0.5 Interceptions

Take the over

Brock Purdy is a good quarterback, but he’s still young and a little frantic. He’s awesome in the Shanahan system because he’s willing to take shots downfield and make some big-risk throws. Purdy’s also knocked because he makes some big-risk throws at times when he absolutely shouldn’t. Purdy is great at escaping pressure, but he makes more turnover-worthy throws when pressured. The only way the Chiefs are going to stay in this game defensively is if they force Purdy to make mistakes. Kansas City will get one blunder out of Purdy on Sunday.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling 19.5 Receiving Yards

Take the over

We touched on how crazy this line is in the “Outlandish Props” column, so I won’t go long here, but Marquez Valdes-Scanting is the only semi-functional Chiefs receiver not named Rashee Rice. He’s also Kansas City’s best big-play threat. Valdes-Scantling averages 18.38 yards per reception in his playoff career. This year alone, MVS is putting up 25 yards per reception in the postseason. This is almost exclusively a bet on “Will Marquez Valdes-Scantling catch one pass in the Super Bowl?” If you’re bullish on that, the line for his receiving prop is also set at 1.5 receptions.

Javon Hargrave 0.25 sacks

Take the over

Nick Bosa is going to be the big point of focus on the 49ers pass rush, but the impact is going to be felt in the interior. With Joe Thuney suffering a torn pectoral, the Chiefs will likely be running Nick Allegretti at guard. Hargrave and Arik Armstead have been excellent on the interior pass rush this year, and getting pressure without blitzing is a key factor in stopping the Mahomes offense. You can pick either of the 49ers defensive tackles to get a sack, I just chose Hargrave off sack total and playoff performance.

First TD scored

Pick Deebo Samuel

Maybe it’s the Jameson Williams trickery burned into my brain from the NFC Championship, but I just have a feeling about this one. I’m going into the first touchdown prop like this: Of all the possible permutations and combinations of a touchdown happening in this game, who has the most opportunity to score? McCaffrey as a dual-threat player checks out here, but I like Deebo at the higher odds. Samuel is one of the most frequent tackle-breakers in the NFL, leads the 49ers in yards after the catch, and serves as a runner and a receiver. I like the chances of San Francisco working something around Samuel’s hyper-varied skillset on the opening drive to score.

Will There Be A Scorigami?

No

For the uninitiated, a Scorigami is a term invented by Jon Bois used to describe a wholly unique score that’s never happened before in an NFL game. I want to bet yes on this. Scorigamis happen in the Super Bowl because an uptick in risk, the increased desperation to score, mixed in with a bit of weird luck. That being said, if you look at the database of all scorigamis, we don’t have a ton of openings to work with. We’re expecting this to be a defensive game, so if we hypothetically capped the winning team’s point total at 31 (four standard touchdown/extra-point combos and a field goal), our windows are bleak. 11 is a possibility to look out for – you could picture a team being held to a field goal early, then scoring and going for two late. The numbers it lines up with, though, (12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 29) are tougher to envision. 8 has slightly fewer openings under winning scores just as obtuse. The others would just be one-off scores like 25-18, 18-9. To bet on Yes at +2000 pretty much comes down to praying for a 20-11 outcome, or begging for field goals and safeties.

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