There are hundreds of ways to bet the Super Bowl. VSiN staff members and other contributors offer their top propositions for the Chiefs-49ers matchup, with lines posted as of this week.
DAVID BEARMAN, ESPN DEPUTY EDITOR, SPORTS BETTING
Patrick Mahomes rushing yards: Over 29.5
This play is part recency bias with Mahomes’ last two games (53 rushing yards each) but also part of finding the only weakness in the 49ers’ defense — stopping a mobile QB. Russell Wilson had 53 and 29 rushing yards, Kyler Murray 34 and 66, Lamar Jackson 101. All those would get you near or way Over the total.
Chiefs -10.5 (+ 310), Chiefs by 7 to 12 (4-1) and Niners by 1 to 6 (4-1)
Chances are if you are wrong about your game pick, you’ll also miss most of your props as you read the game flow wrong. The great thing about Super Bowl props is that you can attempt to play both sides. I predict a 31-20 Chiefs win, so I’ll play the Chiefs -10.5 at a + 310 price and the Chiefs to win by 7-12 at 4-1. But if I’m wrong about K.C., then I predict it’ll be a close loss, so I’ll also play the Niners to win by 1-6 at 4-1 odds. If the Niners win in a blowout — well, like I said, if you’re wrong, you’ll miss your props too.
MATT BROWN, VSiN HOST
Emmanuel Sanders receiving yards: Over 40.5
Since being traded to the Niners, Sanders eclipsed the 40-yard mark four times. Each time, the 49ers were in a high-scoring game of 53 or more total points or they were losing. If the game goes as I think it will, we should have both these scenarios. I like points in this game, and I think the Niners will be playing from behind. Tight end George Kittle will draw plenty of defensive attention, which could funnel a few more targets toward Sanders and Deebo Samuel. Sanders is a solid veteran with great hands whom Jimmy Garoppolo can count on when needing to move the chains. In a game in which it will be absolutely necessary for San Francisco to find some success passing the ball, Sanders should be able to surpass 40 yards receiving and likely go Over his 3.5 catch prop as well.
DANNY BURKE, VSIN HOST, PRODUCER
Total interceptions: Under 1.5 -145
Mahomes has yet to throw an interception this postseason, so Garoppolo may be the only liability. However, I assume he won’t be making too many risky deep throws.
49ers points scored in first half: Over 13.5 -115
We’ve seen the Chiefs’ defense make slow adjustments and allow a combined 41 points to opponents in first halves this postseason. Also, the 49ers topped this point total in both first halves of their playoff games, so expect more of the same.
Will game be tied after 0-0? Yes -110
This point spread is an indication that this game will be close. So it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the score won’t be tied more than once.
IAN CAMERON, VSiN CONTRIBUTOR
Patrick Mahomes rushing yards: Over 29.5
Mahomes soared Over his rushing yards prop in playoff wins against Houston and Tennessee. He will be forced to scramble against a San Francisco defensive front that is even stronger than the Titans’ and Texans’ defensive lines.
Damien Williams receiving yards: Over 29.5
This prop goes hand in hand with the Mahomes rushing prop. I see a 49ers defensive front being very capable of wreaking havoc, which will force quick, short throws from Mahomes to his trusty running back. Williams caught five passes on six targets for 44 yards against Tennessee and has the open-field speed to gain extra yards once he gets past the initial wave of San Francisco defenders.
TODD DEWEY, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Total number of different 49ers to have a pass reception: Under 7 -160
Garoppolo attempted only eight passes against the Packers in the NFC title game, and the run-reliant Niners have not surpassed seven pass catchers since Nov. 17, topping the number only twice in their last 13 games.
Total rushing yards by 49ers: Over 135.5 -110
San Francisco will rely on its running game to control the clock and keep Mahomes off the field. The Niners averaged 154.2 rushing yards per game this season, including 199.7 in their last three, and ran for 285 against Green Bay in the NFC title game.
PATRICK EVERSON, COVERS.COM SENIOR WRITER
Total number of different players to have a passing attempt: Over 2.5 + 120
All it takes is one gadget play, one unique situation or a little desperation. Think “the Philly Special” two years ago, or even look at some of the playoff games of the last couple of weeks.
Will Patrick Mahomes score a touchdown? Yes + 350
Obviously, oddsmakers are not expecting this to happen. But I can sure see it happening. It’s second- or third-and-goal from a few yards out, a hole opens for Mahomes to scramble and, bam, dinner is paid for.
LOU FINOCCHIARO, VSiN CONTRIBUTOR
49ers -3.5 + 160
The running game and defense win championships.
Will Kyle Juszczyk get at least one rushing attempt? Yes + 300
With Tevin Coleman most likely out, the Niners will spread handoffs around in a ball-control game.
First rush attempt by Matt Breida: Over 3.5 yards + 110
Look for Breida to be a major contributor to the Niners’ ground game while the K.C. defense focuses on Raheem Mostert.
RON FLATTER, VSiN HOST
Will Patrick Mahomes throw an interception? Yes + 130
This is a play based on anticipated volume. Absent late-game desperation, Mahomes should throw more passes than Garoppolo, maximizing the risk — and enhancing the value at + 130.
PAUL HOWARD, VSiN HOST
Will there be a special-teams or defensive touchdown? No -200
Will there be a touchdown in every quarter? Yes -110
BRADY KANNON, VSiN HOST
First score of the game: Field goal/any other + 160
The 49ers have a top-10 defense in the red zone, and the Chiefs rank in the top half of the league in this category. As both teams work out the jitters in the early going, I believe somebody will end up settling for a field goal rather than getting the touchdown for the game’s first score.
SCOTT KELLEN, VSiN CONTRIBUTOR
Second half more points than first half: -145
In 16 of the last 21 Super Bowls, as many or more points were scored in the second half than the first half.
Jimmy Garoppolo completions: Over 19
In close games — games decided by four or fewer points, plus the Atlanta and Arizona games, which were within four points before a last-second turnover and score — the 49ers have thrown the ball much more. Garoppolo has averaged 19.2 completions on the year, but in close games he has averaged 23.5.
DOUG KEZIRIAN, ESPN’S “DAILY WAGER” HOST
Kyle Juszczyk receiving yards: Over 10.5 + 100
The weakness of Kansas City’s defense is the linebacker position. Kyle Shanahan is a wizard with his play-calling, and this is something he likely will exploit.
Will the Chiefs have a rushing TD? No + 220
Kansas City has Mahomes. The Niners have an excellent defensive line. San Francisco allowed only 11 rushing touchdowns all regular season, but the defense battled numerous injuries. At full strength, this is a fierce unit.
BRUCE MARSHALL, THE GOLD SHEET EDITOR
San Francisco to lead after first quarter -110
If playoff patterns continue, quick breaks for the Niners (scored first in both games) and slow breaks for the Chiefs (outscored 31-7 in first quarters) support San Francisco.
Matt Breida rushing attempts: Over 3.5
Recent fumbling problems are a concern, and he had only one tote in the NFC title game when Mostert was running hot, but the explosive Breida has had four or more carries in all 27 games in which he has played the last two seasons.
GREG PETERSON, VSiN PRODUCER
Will both teams make a 33-yard or longer field goal? Yes + 100
The 49ers are terrific at getting pressure, which means they might give up a big play but hold from there. The teams’ kickers have combined for one missed field goal since Thanksgiving, and the 49ers are a run-heavy team that can struggle on third-and-medium or -long.
Shortest punt by Mitch Wishnowsky: Under 36.5 yards + 100
Robbie Gould went 0-for-4 on field-goal attempts of 50 or more yards, with a season long of 47. This means the 49ers may need to punt or go for it in situations around the 35-yard line, where most other teams would kick a field goal. Wishnowsky had an average punt length of 44.9 yards, 25th in the league. He also had only two touchbacks, so he is solid at pinning opponents, and his punts often are a bit too short rather than too long in a pin situation.
WES REYNOLDS, VSiN HOST
Jimmy Garoppolo completions: Over 19
Garoppolo threw only eight passes in the NFC title game and nearly tied Bob Griese’s record of seven in the 1973 conference championship game. The Niners did not need to throw the ball against Green Bay’s poor rush defense.
Damien Williams rushing yards: Over 53.5
Williams had a 97% snap rate vs. Houston and an 85% snap rate vs. Tennessee. The Chiefs’ backfield has carried the ball 30 times in the last two games, and Williams has 29 of those carries.
Shortest TD: Under 1.5 Yards -150
ERIN RYNNING, VSiN CONTRIBUTOR
Raheem Mostert rushing yards: Over 73.5
I’m betting the 49ers, so I’m certainly betting on the success of their ground attack. In three of the Chiefs’ four losses, they allowed 192, 180 and 225 yards on the ground, with individual performances of 116, 132 and 188. Mostert is the likely benefactor.
PAUL STONE, VSiN CONTRIBUTOR
Who will have more?
San Francisco 49ers touchdowns -165 over Florentina-Juventus total goals
Italian soccer rivals Florentina and Juventus have combined for three or fewer goals in each of their last eight meetings, and I expect Garoppolo and the 49ers to put up some touchdowns in what should be a relatively high-scoring Super Bowl.
DAVE TULEY, VSiN SENIOR REPORTER
Will the game be tied after 0-0? Yes -110
These props are tied to my prediction of a back-and-forth, high-scoring game. We cashed with this last year when the Rams tied the Patriots 3-3 in the third quarter, and this game should have many more chances for a tie score.
Largest lead of the game: Under 14½ + 110
This is also tied to a close game. It’s sometimes priced at 13½ points, but with a high Over/Under for the game, we’re getting the hook on two touchdowns, which makes this even stronger.
Will there be overtime? Yes 8/1
Only one of the 53 Super Bowls has gone to OT, but with the line nearly pick-’em, why not this year? I trust either offense to be able to drive for a tying score if down by three, seven or eight.
JONATHAN VON TOBEL, VSiN HOST
Patrick Mahomes rushing yards: Over 29.5
In the last three games, Mahomes has averaged 7.3 carries for 42.3 yards after averaging 3.1 attempts for 15.5 yards in the regular season. San Francisco has trouble with mobile quarterbacks, which was apparent in four games against Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson, who rushed for a combined 183 yards on 27 carries.
Travis Kelce receiving yards: Under 77.5
San Francisco has the second-best pass defense in the NFL, according to FootballOutsiders’ DVOA metric. Dig a bit deeper and the numbers show the 49ers are second best in defending tight ends, allowing just 33.5 yards per game on 6.5 passing attempts to the position.
More receiving yards: George Kittle + 1.5 over Kelce
Similar thinking as the Kelce prop. Kansas City actually allows 58.7 yards per game to the tight end position. Kittle should be able to have the better game against the weaker defense.
MATT YOUMANS, VSiN SENIOR EDITOR
First team to score: 49ers -110
For whatever reasons, the Chiefs are the horse that gets a slow break out of the gate but comes on strong in the stretch run. Confident in his comeback ability, Mahomes never panics. Kansas City trailed 10-0, 24-0 and 14-0 in its last three playoff games. Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling script has led to the 49ers being fast starters. San Francisco has scored first in 12 of its 18 games this season, which is enough to make this play at -110, and it’s a better bet when considering the Chiefs’ troubling trend of sluggish starts.
Will the game be decided by exactly 3 points? Yes + 375
Sometimes you just want to take a shot on a plus-price prop for entertainment. I project a 27-24 final, so I’ll take the shot. The price is fair considering four of the last 16 Super Bowls were decided by a field goal. It has not happened since Baltimore beat San Francisco 34-31 seven years ago. In what is basically a pick-’em game, this prop has a decent shot to hit.