By Justin Mark, SGPN Football Handicapper
This is it. A year of success and game planning has led to a showdown between the two number-one seeds in the NFL. Super Bowl 57, the high-caliber matchup is set, the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Through all the coverage and press, the anxiety of the big game, and fatigue after a long football season, the Eagles find themselves as 1.5-point favorites.
It’s been a fun year covering the Eagles. They finished with a 14-3 record, tying for the best record in the NFL with the Chiefs. The Birds outscored their opponents by 103 points, thanks to the play of their strong defense and the variety of weapons on offense. The Eagles weren’t the only ones finding success this year. If you followed my bets, we also found success, hitting a 60% success rate. The biggest hit of course was in the playoff game against the Giants when we called for a Boston Scott anytime touchdown at +370.
Key Defensive Matchup
If I could write about game-planning against anybody it would be Andy Reid. He’s one of the best coaches in the NFL. However, you can’t game plan against a coach, only that coach’s players. None of them are as dangerous as Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes threw for 5,250 yards this year, good enough for best in the league by almost 500 yards. He also threw the most passing touchdowns with 41. The Chiefs have injuries at wide receiver and focusing on the run isn’t their forte.
They’re a pass-happy team and it doesn’t seem to matter who Mahomes has to throw to. Mahomes’ go-to target is Travis Kelce, however, he spreads the ball around to anybody who is open. Mahomes’ pocket presence, ability to rollout, along with his ability to make a wide range of throws on the run are a few of the many things that make him so dangerous. However, the Chiefs barely survived against the Bengals. Mahomes made some dangerous throws they weren’t able to capitalize on that I think the Eagles will be able to. Pressuring Mahomes is key to victory.
Key Offensive Matchup
The Eagles have a variety of weapons that have worked all year, whether they are running the ball with Miles Sanders, or Jalen Hurts throwing to several difference-making receivers. The Chiefs lost three times this year, to the Colts, Bills, and Bengals. Those games showed that the recipe for beating them is through the air. While each of those three teams balanced their attack, more of the focus was put on the passing game.
The good thing is, Jalen Hurts has proven to be an excellent quarterback this year. He’s learned to not only rely on his legs but also to utilize his skill as a passer to overcome defenses. A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert have helped him tremendously as reliable targets. The Eagles should look to move the ball down the field in the passing game like they’ve done many times this year.
Looking at lines on WynnBet Super Bowl 57 has the Eagles favored. The Moneyline is -130 (risk $13 to win $10), which is good value if you think the Eagles will win. The spread is set with the Eagles being 1.5-point favorites. This surprised a good handful of people in the betting community as the Chiefs opened up as a favorite but money quickly came in on the Eagles. The Chiefs are good, but I think the Eagles’ advantage on defense and being able to keep up on offense gives them the edge. I like the Eagles -1.5. The total for the game is 51. Both of these teams have powerful offenses, therefore, I like the over.
The props have been the hardest thing to hit all year. That’s also why they usually pay well. However, it’s the Super Bowl, so let’s go out with a bang. The first bet I like is the Kansas City Chiefs‘ first touchdown scorer to be Travis Kelce at +280. He’s scored the Chiefs’ first touchdown in 46% of the games this year. Let’s go ahead and take an Eagles touchdown prop as well. Personally, I like the Eagles’ first touchdown scorer to be Jalen Hurts at +340. He scored the first touchdown for the Eagles in four of the first five games.
Like I said in my game breakdown above, I think the Eagles will pass the ball. Therefore, Jalen Hurts over 240.5 passing yards (-125) feels solid. Another prop bet I like is Jerick McKinnon over 22.5 receiving yards (-125). McKinnon has gotten more involved over the second half of the year and he is another safety blanket for Mahomes.
You can find all of the SGPN staff’s picks here.
Justin Mark is co-host of SGPN Fantasy Football’s show “Old-Fashioned Football”, and co-host of a show on the NFL Gambling Podcast, as well as co-host of the XFL Gambling Podcast. He’s also a writer for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JMarkFootball and The Sports Gambling Podcast @GamblingPodcast.