We’re inching closer to kickoff on Super Bowl LVII, so it’s time to get serious about taking some betting positions ahead of Sunday’s big game.
BetMGM has hundreds of football odds markets available to bet, including dozens of individual props for yardage and touchdowns. I’ve spent the better part of two weeks combing through every single bet to find the ones I like the most.
This is my comprehensive look at everything I’ve bet… so far. Tail or fade at your leisure.
I placed this bet minutes after the AFC Championship game was resolved and the initial NFL odds market for Super Bowl LVII was priced.
There are a lot of reasons to like the Eagles in this game; there are also a lot of reasons to prefer Patrick Mahomes or be skeptical of how good Philadelphia actually is, given its regular-season schedule and playoff path through the NFC.
I’ve appeared on a lot of different media programs over the past two weeks – including my own handicapping podcast for BetMGM, The Lion’s Edge – to explain why I like the Eagles. I don’t want to try to regurgitate every single data point here.
The crux of it all is this: Philadelphia has more balance and more depth. The Eagles are better at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and the pass rush should harry a wobbly Mahomes.
Ultimately, they have more paths to win this game, and Hurts’ cheap contract situation is in line with the historical models for modern Super Bowl champions.
This number caught my eye as unusually high for a Mahomes rushing total. The KC QB doesn’t have 18.5 rushing yards combined in both of his playoff games this year, so why would the expectation for his rushing numbers be so high for this one game?
My suspicion is that it has to do with the mechanics of how the Eagles’ pocket pressure will flush Mahomes out and force him to run. But honestly, I’ve stopped asking too many matchup and scheme-related questions when reading funky numbers. In my experience, I’ve learned to just lean into the weird number and bet the thing that initially looks funky.
Once again, it’s worth looking at what Hurts has done in this department since returning from injury. He just hasn’t posted huge passing numbers. Since the Eagles’ bye week in mid-October, Hurts has only hit 239 passing yards four times.
On a broader note, I suspect that Eagles coach Nick Sirianni will want to avoid turning the game into a gunslinger’s duel, as a game script in that direction clearly favors Mahomes and the Chiefs. I expect Philadelphia’s offensive line to dictate the pace of this game, which means lots of handoffs and play-action for Hurts.
Along those same lines, I do think Mahomes is a lock to end the game with more passing yards than Hurts. Regardless of game script or outcome, this feels like a safe bet. The only thing that could disrupt it is Mahomes getting knocked out of the game.
This is getting a little down in the weeds, but I think it’s worth a play.
Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon is a plodder who’s expected to eat up some carries rather than break the game open. I’m not expecting anything explosive from him, especially against the Eagles’ defensive front.
McKinnon’s longest rush has stayed under 8.5 yards in 14 of 19 Chiefs games this year, with the most recent long outburst coming back in Week 15 against the lowly Texans defense. I don’t expect a repeat performance against Philadelphia.
This is an interesting one. In looking at some of the internal user betting data here at the BetMGM online sportsbook, I noticed that the touchdown is -200 in this three-way market, but 50% of the tickets in the market are chasing the return that field goal offers at +155.
Another 40% are looking for a lottery ticket with safety at 30-to-1.
That leaves only 10% of tickets backing the supposed marketplace favorite, the -200 touchdown option.
I got curious about the market fundamentals, so looked at first score tendencies for both the Chiefs and Eagles. Unsurprisingly, the history is pretty overwhelming in favor of the touchdown.
The first score was a touchdown in 12 of 19 Chiefs games. The numbers were even more overwhelming (15 of 19) in Eagles games.
This -200 is a big price to lay for a prop, but pure, historically-based true odds would make the touchdown price about -245. That means there’s actually pretty decent value on buying the -200 here.
This might seem like a coin-flip sort of prop, but Eagles coach Nick Sirianni overwhelmingly saves his timeouts for two-minute situations late in the half.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid, on the other hand, does not. Perhaps you have heard the legends of Reidian clock mismanagement?
That extends to dozens of instances of the Chiefs calling a timeout because they have the wrong personnel on the field for whatever playset they’re trying to run.
I’ve bet several touchdown props for Super Bowl LVII.
Here’s one key thing to keep in mind as you read through this section: Every time I bet, say, half a unit on an anytime touchdown (ATTD) prop, I’m also sprinkling 0.1 units on the first touchdown prop as well.
If you think your guy is going to score at some point, might as well add it on in case he happens to score first, right?
Jalen Hurts ATTD -110 (1st TD +800)
As I’ve said many times in the past, touchdown props are often fundamentally mispriced for quarterbacks. There’s only one player on each team that touches the ball on every offensive possession. Shouldn’t that player have an immense price disadvantage in the scoring market?
Hurts, specifically, has scored 13 rushing touchdowns on the year. That includes one in each of the two playoff games and seven total since the beginning of December. A Hurts touchdown is more likely than not, yet being priced as a coin flip.
This prop is being pushed into mild longshot territory because of Mahomes’ limited mobility, but I’m not sure that’s wise. We saw at the end of the AFC Championship game that Mahomes can grab yardage in critical spots if he needs to, and I think red-zone situations will certainly qualify.
At 5-to-1, this is insane value – especially when you consider what I just said about the guys that touch the ball on every play.
Miles Sanders has nearly 1,300 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns this season, and you’d never know it by the way he’s talked about. He’s the engine of Philadelphia’s offense, thanks in part to the Eagles’ insanely good offensive line. He’s likely to get handed the ball a lot in this game.
Based on opportunity and history alone, I like Sanders to find the end zone in this spot. He scores a lot of opening touchdowns for the Eagles, too, so definitely consider a first touchdown sprinkle at 8-to-1 here as well.
It’s hard to imagine the Chiefs being competitive in this game without a big performance from Travis Kelce, which means Kelce needs to find the end zone.
Last I checked, this is the No. 1 most popular prop at BetMGM, and while I don’t usually go in for super-popular public plays, it is hard to imagine Kelce not grabbing at least one touchdown in this game. Kelce to record two or more touchdowns at +310 is an interesting dart to throw, too.
Understandably, lots of people like the quarterbacks in the Super Bowl MVP market. About two-thirds of the MVPs chosen this century have been quarterbacks.
But I don’t really like Mahomes or Hurts at these prices, which means I’m looking further down the table for MVP candidates. The math here is pretty simple. If I like Mahomes to win MVP, I might as well bet the Chiefs on the moneyline for less return but more security.
Hurts has more value than Mahomes, relative to his team’s moneyline price to win the game, but there are also far more players on his team that could win the award. His post-injury stats have been pretty uninspiring, and this is a market all about two things: Stats and narrative.
Perhaps that explains his drop in Hurts’ market price over the last week from +105 to +140.
So instead of riding with those two guys, I’ve opted to buy these other tickets farther down the table.
No tight end has ever won Super Bowl MVP. Perhaps you’ve heard that somewhere between one and 500 times over the past two weeks. (More breaking news: have you heard that two brothers have never played in the same Super Bowl before?)
I actually think the absence of tight end MVPs could help Kelce here. If he puts up huge stats on Sunday – recall this season’s Monday Night Football game against the Raiders, where Kelce had 25 receiving yards but four touchdowns – then there could be a subconscious feeling in the box that this is the moment for a tight end to win the award.
Truthfully, I think there are only two players on the Chiefs’ team live to win the award: Mahomes and Kelce. Since I’d rather bet the Chiefs moneyline than Mahomes’ MVP odds, this is the only Chiefs MVP bet I had any interest in making.
A.J. Brown is the bigger name with the more established career, which is why his odds are so much shorter in the MVP market.
But if I’m going to bet on another receiver winning MVP – this would be the third in five years – I’d rather get a bit more return for my money. Smith is every bit as capable of putting up a big stat line as Brown, and I think he’ll see plenty of targets in this game. At 30-to-1, it’s worth the shot.
Admittedly, I had a tough time buying a ticket for a running back to win Super Bowl MVP. But I think it’s safe to assume that Miles Sanders will get the most touches of any offensive player in this game, and the Eagles clearly want to channel their offensive identity through their offensive line and run game. Is it so crazy?
Well… probably. A running back hasn’t won Super Bowl MVP since the 90s. But if ever there was a game to bet it, it’s the +3000 price I’m getting with the Eagles’ steadiest and most predictable offensive piece.
I don’t love trying to cherry-pick defensive players for MVP, but this number jumped out at me right away. Haason Reddick is the highest defensive player in the MVP table – higher than Chris Jones or Darius Slay, among others – which once again sent me hunting for answers in our BetMGM database.
I assumed a move like this was defensive. Some big fish came in and laid a massive amount of money on Reddick, and that spurred the sportsbook to move his odds way down as an act of self-preservation and liability limitation.
But that’s not what happened at all. Last Tuesday, Jan. 31, less than 3% of the MVP tickets were behind Reddick. The handle was an even smaller number, suggesting no real sharp action in the market on Reddick.
With that in mind, I’m viewing this as more of an “offensive” move from the sportsbook. In other words, the trading team is anticipating that Reddick is a real contender, alongside guys like Sanders and Smith, for Super Bowl MVP. He has the ability to affect the game with a series of key plays in high-leverage moments, which could shift the course of the market in his favor.
Evidently, the sportsbook is taking Reddick seriously. That means I am, too.
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Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.