After two weeks of hype, Super Bowl LVIII is here.
Finally, it’s Game Day!
We asked seven of our experts to give us their best bets for Super Bowl 2024 between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Isaiah Pacheco over 64.5 rushing yards (-122, BetRivers)
The 49ers’ run defense hasn’t given a good account of itself during these playoffs.
Green Bay out-gained San Francisco on the ground, 136-111, in the divisional round, while rushing for 4.9 yards per carry.
San Francisco was even worse in the NFC Championship, allowing 182 rushing yards.
The flow of the game will often dictate a team’s rushing strategy.
When the regular season got underway, the 49ers often built comfortable early leads, which meant their opponents somewhat abandoned the run as they played catch up.
However, during the postseason, it’s been the 49ers that are trailing early on, so their opponents can play possession football and use their rushing attack to try and control the game.
Schematically, the 49ers also struggle to set the edge by walking their safeties down. The loss of All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga to an ACL injury is a massive blow for the 49ers when they come up against quality teams.
Given their experience and a veteran quarterback, the Chiefs are the likelier of the teams to start fast, which could lead to a heavy dose of opportunities for Pacheco in the running game. —Michael Arinze
Deebo Samuel anytime touchdown (+155, FanDuel)
Despite missing a few games during the regular season with a shoulder injury, Samuel still had 1,200 total yards and 12 total touchdowns for the second time in his career.
In the NFC Championship game, he finished with eight receptions and three carries for 96 yards.
His seven receiving scores were a career-high, and he found the end zone nine times in the final seven games to set the fourth-highest touchdown rate at the wide receiver position.
Samuel has yet to find paydirt in the playoffs, but his unmatched versatility makes him one of the game’s most difficult gadget players to defend and we can expect that advantage to be weaponized in Super Bowl 2024.
After two weeks of healing, the “wide back” is due for positive scoring regression on the big stage.
This season, he was fed nine red-zone carries and caught 12 of his 17 targets inside the 20.
Aside from Samuel’s red-zone usage, his acumen for juicing extra ground out of a play raises his scoring potential. He posted the top-ranked juke rate and averaged 5.9 yards after the catch per target, landing him in the top 10.
This makes him one of the best x-factors on the field Sunday, and you can bet Kyle Shanahan will put the ball in his hands accordingly. –Sean Treppedi
49ers to win by 25-30 points (+4000, DraftKings)
The best way to find some long-shot value in the Super Bowl is to bet into markets that are correlated with the game being terrible.
Nobody wants the season to end with a dud, which means very few people bet into that happening.
Me? I’m happy to do it.
We saw Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City get blown out by the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, so it’s not out of the question that one team just completely no-shows Sunday.
I’ll have a flutter on history repeating itself in Las Vegas. —Michael Leboff
Travis Kelce over 70.5 receiving yards (-115, ESPN Bet)
Kelce had a down season by his standards, failing to top 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his eight NFL seasons.
However, he has returned to vintage form since the playoffs began.
Kelce has topped 70 receiving yards in all three postseason games, and he has seen his target share increase from 21.2% in the regular season to 26.2% in the playoffs.
Defensively, the Niners are more vulnerable through the air, as they allowed the third-fewest rushing yards and 14th fewest passing yards this season.
The Chiefs should rely on heavy passing volume, and weather will not be a factor as the game will be played in a dome. –Keith Eyster
Ready to start your Super Bowl 2024 betting?
Deebo Samuel over 58.5 receiving yards (-110, FanDuel)
I plan to do some ladder bets on Samuel’s receiving props for Sunday’s game. This means taking the over on his receiving yards and the over on his alt line receiving yards.
No one’s better in the NFL at limiting the opposing team’s top receiver than the Chiefs, who held both Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs in check in their first two playoff games.
Brandon Aiyuk is the WR1 in San Francisco, which bodes well for Samuel.
Given Kansas City’s pass rush and their good cornerback play (most notably L’Jarius Sneed), I expect the Niners to employ more of a quick-passing attack Sunday, getting Samuel targets near the line of scrimmage and letting him make plays in space.
He has topped 58.5 receiving yards in five of his last seven full games.
If you want to get frisky, I think there’s some merit to parlaying the over on Samuel’s receiving prop with the under on Aiyuk’s receiving prop. –Derek Farnsworth
Brock Purdy over 12.5 rushing yards (-112, BetRivers)
This isn’t where I expected to land as one of my favorite picks, but Kansas City has allowed opposing quarterbacks to eclipse this number in 12 of 21 games this season.
Pretty much every QB with a decent pair of legs was able to hit 13 yards against the Chiefs. Most of the misses were “statue” quarterbacks such as Mac Jones, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins and Aidan O’Connell.
Purdy is not afraid to carry the football. He’s hit the over at this number in both playoff games.
With so much attention on Christian McCaffrey, I am sure Kyle Shanahan is going to design some bootlegs for him to roll out the other way and look downfield or tuck and run for a few easy gains. And with everything on the line, there should be less hesitation for Purdy to take off and go with any opportunity.
Per Sharp Football, the Chiefs allowed 19.9 scramble yards per game to quarterbacks this season, ranking 30th in the NFL. —Justin Carlucci
Christian McCaffrey to win MVP (+450, BetMGM)
No running back has won the award since Terrell Davis rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns a quarter of a century ago.
Of those who have won over the last 25 years, 83% have been either a quarterback (61%) or a wide receiver (22%), which makes sense why Patrick Mahomes (+125) and Brock Purdy (+220) have better odds.
But I like the value that McCaffrey’s odds (+450) offer because of his consistency in making an impact. He had four touchdowns in the playoffs and 25 in 18 games played this season.
The Chiefs can be run on, as Buffalo proved in the divisional round. The Bills rushed for 180 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
On the season, the Chiefs gave up 4.5 yards per carry, tied for the seventh-most in the NFL.
Being as much of a receiver as he is a running back, McCaffrey can beat you in multiple ways. The fact he does both equally well gives him two paths to MVP.
Plus, CMC for MVP has a nice ring to it. –Andy Fenelon