Super Bowl prop bets have become the betting buffet that never ends. Every year, the table gets bigger, and every year, we line up and pile up more and more on our wagering plate.
The analogies write themselves on the popularity of these wagers. Witness the size of the prop bet menu at such sportsbooks as the Westgate and Circa. They’re not quite in the Oxford English Dictionary neighborhood in terms of sheer volume. But we didn’t say they aren’t pushing the size of a Russian novel.
Like you did in college, when you grabbed the Cliffs Notes to spare yourself stirring concrete with your eyelashes reading Dostoyevsky or Tolstoi, we’re culling the herd for you on some team props we like in Super Bowl LVIII.
Load up and enjoy.
Chiefs and/or 49ers to Have a Fourth-Down Conversion
This is not your grandfather’s buttoned-down NFL. Nor is it your father’s traditional NFL. If now-former Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley accomplished anything during his less-than-accomplished tenure on the Chargers’ sideline, it was to illustrate the possibilities of going for it on fourth down. In his unapologetic approach, Staley opened up a window for much of the league to leap, push, and walk through.
Enter the Chiefs, who have done just that this year. They were 13th in the league in fourth-down conversions (52.17%), but in 2022, were second at a lofty 76.92%. Over the last three games, Kansas City has converted 66.67% of its fourth-down opportunities. That includes five of its last six opportunities. They have a veritable plethora of weapons with RB Isiah Pacheco, QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce, and even WR Rashee Rice. It is inconceivable for the Chiefs not to pull the trigger on a fourth-down opportunity sometime in this game.
The 49ers have the same full pantry of weapons. They boast RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, TE George Kittle. They even have the Scrabble rack from Hell—a.k.a. FB Kyle Juszczyk. San Francisco is 15th (50%) in fourth-down conversions, explaining the plus money. But who can’t see head coach Kyle Shanahan rolling the dice in Kansas City’s territory should the 49ers trail?
Best Bet: Chiefs to convert a fourth down at (-102 at Caesars)
Best Bet: 49ers to convert a fourth down (+104 at Caesars)
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Chiefs to Make the Longest Field Goal
On the Kansas City sideline, you have Harrison Butker. He was 33-for-35 (94.2%) during the regular season. In the playoffs, Butker is a perfect 7-for-7, coming into an indoor Allegiant Stadium he’s very familiar with.
On the other sideline, we find San Francisco rookie Jake Moody, who was 21-of-25 (84%). But he’s been shaky in the postseason. He’s missed at least one kick in the last three games, a potentially fatal flaw to any kicker’s confidence, much less a rookie stepping into the biggest spotlight on the North American sporting calendar.
Butker is 12-for-12 from 40-plus yards this season. He’s connected on six kicks of 50-plus yards and hit 80% of his career kicks from beyond 40 yards. Moody, meanwhile, is 8-of-13 from 40-plus and 3-of-4 from 50 or beyond.
Who do you think is in a better position to split the uprights from long distance? We thought so.
Best Bet: Chiefs to make the longest field goal (-125 at BetRivers)
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Both Teams to Have a Rushing Touchdown
One of the most inexplicable sights of the NFL postseason was watching the Baltimore Ravens not run the ball against a mediocre Chiefs rushing defense ranked 18th in the NFL at stopping the run. Only 89 yards on 16 carries? For a team leading the league in rushing yards-per-game at 156.5, it’s no wonder the Ravens are watching the Super Bowl like the rest of us.
Meanwhile, San Francisco—owners of the No. 3 regular-season rushing defense—hasn’t played like the No. 3 rushing defense. The 49ers gave up 108 yards to Green Bay’s Aaron Jones in its divisional win, then got gashed for 182 yards—with David Montgomery providing 93 of those—against the Lions in the NFC Championship. That’s nearly 100 yards more than its regular-season average.
The translation here for prop bettors? Both teams’ defensive weaknesses are against the run. Now, throw in McCaffrey, who is -225 to score an anytime TD, and Pacheco (-125 to do the same). Don’t forget Mahomes, who averaged 5.2 yards-per-carry. And we’re getting plus money here? Shut up and take ours.
Best Bet: Both Teams to Have a Rushing TD (+130 at BetRivers)
Shortest Touchdown Under 1.5 Yards
Let’s sneak in one more that has become one of the hottest bets in the prop pantheon—a trendy bet that is equal parts simple and genius when it comes to value.
Consider the simple 1-yard touchdown. Now consider we’ve seen the simple 1-yard touchdown in each of the last four Super Bowls. We’ve seen it in seven of the last eight and nine of the last 11.
Did someone say “recency bias?” Well, the shortest touchdown in a Super Bowl has been the simple 1-yard touchdown in 24 of the last 34 Super Bowls. That’s 70.5%. Take the Wayback Machine to the first Super Bowl in 1967 and zoom back to the present and this bet has hit in 36 of the 57 Super Bowls (63.1%) to date.
A bet hitting 63.1% of the time should bring odds around -172. Instead, we’re getting -145. On a wager that has become nearly automatic. Walking to the window and placing this bet should be automatic for you as well.
Best Bet: Shortest Touchdown Under 1.5 Yards (-145 at BetMGM)
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