Game between Chiefs and Eagles is on Sunday Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET
The long lead time between the end of conference championship Sunday and the Super Bowl gives bettors a ton of time to look through the vast amount of betting options on the big game. In the old days before legalization, the Super Bowl was like sports betting’s version of a comet. It was the first and pretty much only time of the season when hundreds upon hundreds of prop bets would be offered by the sportsbooks in Las Vegas and in the offshore markets.
Nowadays, props are all the rage, Same Game Parlays are the most popular bet types and some of the novelty has worn off. However, the Super Bowl is far and away the single biggest betting event of the season and more prop betting odds are offered than usual.
I wrote about general prop betting strategies for our VSiN Big Game Betting Guide, but there are also some prop bets that I’m looking at for Super Bowl LVII between the Chiefs and Eagles. Here are some that you might want to consider and the reasons why with odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Opening Kickoff to be a Touchback
Yes -200 / No +170
The league-wide touchback percentage (TB%) during the regular season was 59.7% out of 2,698 kickoffs. The “Yes” at -200 implies a 66.67% probability of a touchback. The two kickers in question here are Jake Elliott (PHI) and Harrison Butker (KC). Elliott had 91 kickoffs this season with 63 touchbacks for a 69.2% TB%. Butker only played 13 games and had 68 kickoffs with 44 touchbacks for a 64.7% TB%.
Here’s the catch about this prop bet: The opening kickoff has NOT been a touchback in 28 of the last 32 Super Bowls. It was last season when Evan McPherson (60.4% TB%) got the first ball to the end zone, but that has been the rarer of the two outcomes.
Prior to last year’s Super Bowl, Pat McAfee discussed on his radio show (NSFW) about why the opening kickoff is rarely a touchback. Basically, the short version is that a new football is used fresh out of the box that is not broken in. That ball immediately goes to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Other balls used for kicking are beaten up and abused before the game to give them more distance and more of a soft spot.
These are two pretty good kickers by touchback percentage, so this bet is a little bit of a risk, but it seems worth the risk at +170 given the historical rate of touchbacks on opening kickoffs in the Super Bowl and the nature of the ball being used.
Pick: Opening Kickoff Touchback “NO” +170
Jake Elliott Kicking Points
Over 7.5 (-115) / Under 7.5 (-115)
Kicking props are an area that I like to tackle. I’ll usually play Both Teams to Make a 37+ Yard Field Goal, which has come through in four of the last five and five of the last seven Super Bowls. This, however, may not be a Super Bowl in which I do and it is because of two key red zone stats.
Jake Elliott only made 20 field goals during the regular season and five of them came in the Week 18 win over the Giants. That was his only game with more than two field goal attempts. He’s 2-for-2 this postseason, but has successfully kicked nine extra points. I’m not expecting the Eagles to get into the 30s in this game, so Elliott may see more action, but this is not a team that settled for field goals often.
The Chiefs are not a team that forced opponents into many field goals either. Kansas City ranked 31st in TD% in the red zone at 67.3%, better than only the Colts. The Eagles offense was third in red zone TD% at 67.8%. Philadelphia was also fourth in fourth-down attempts and fourth in fourth-down conversion rate. Maybe they’ll take the points in the Super Bowl, but their success in short yardage on fourth down should be a factor in the decision-making process.
Pick: Elliott Under 7.5 Points (-115)
Super Bowl LVII MVP
Patrick Mahomes +130
At present, my initial lean is on the Eagles, but those that like the Chiefs may be better off simply taking Mahomes to win MVP. The consensus moneyline across the market is Chiefs +110. Mahomes to win MVP is +130 at DraftKings, though you may find a higher line elsewhere. He already has one to his name from Super Bowl LIV, despite playing rather poorly for 3.5 quarters of that game against the 49ers.
The award should have gone to RB Damien Williams, but a running back hasn’t won since Super Bowl XXXII when Terrell Davis won for the Broncos in 1998. A tight end has never won it, so maybe Travis Kelce (+1000) makes history against his brother, Jason, if Kansas City is victorious because that’s an interesting storyline, but Mahomes is extremely likely to win the award.
While Super Bowl MVP isn’t as quarterback-heavy these days as it was, that’s the guy that is always in the spotlight and get the benefit of the doubt. Any receiver that puts up numbers is getting thrown passes from the QB. In this case, that would be Mahomes.
And, let’s be honest, we have a built-in narrative with his high ankle sprain. We haven’t had a player that won the regular season MVP and Super Bowl MVP in the same season since 1999 (Kurt Warner). A large percentage of the Super Bowl MVP vote is made up of writers that need a story to tell. Mahomes making history on one leg is a story to tell.
If you like the Chiefs and think they’re going to win the Lombardi Trophy, then Mahomes at +130 makes a ton of sense.
Consideration: Patrick Mahomes to win Super Bowl LVII MVP +130
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