Super Bowl LVIII Best Bets and Preview | 2024 NFL Playoffs

by Ahaan Rungta · Betting & Props

This is Super Bowl LVIII Best Bets! Super Bowl LVIII has arrived! Each week this season, we have given you our favorite sides to bet in the NFL. An entire season of work culminates with a rematch for a Lombardi Trophy this Sunday.

In this article, we will walk through the biggest facts and trends you need to know to effectively bet on the Super Bowl along with my best bet on a side for this game. As usual, a wager size recommendation will be provided (note: 1 unit = 1% of your gambling bankroll). Keep the exposure disciplined and stick to the recommendations. It is always worth line-shopping at the time you place your bet so that you can get the best value available online.

Stats & Facts

Chiefs Offense

Despite a lack of depth in offensive weapons, Patrick Mahomes‘ elite passing ability kept the Chiefs atop the AFC all season long. He ranked No. 1 in true completion percentage. Mahomes ranked No. 8 in red zone completion percentage and No. 4 in catchable pass rate. Notably, however, pressure and a lack of deep threats have proven to trouble the Chiefs offense a tad. Mahomes ranked No. 18 in completion percentage and No. 33 in deep ball completion percentage.

From Weeks 1 to 17 in the regular season, Kansas City’s offense still ranked No. 17 in rush EPA per play. Additionally, the Chiefs ranked No. 10 in drop back EPA per play behind an offensive line that ranked No. 20 in run block win rate but No. 1 in pass block win rate. Arguably the biggest storyline for Kansas City entering the weekend is that Joe Thuney, who led all NFL interior offensive linemen in pass block win rate this season, is questionable and remains out of practice.

49ers Offense

The 49ers offensive system has been reputed to be the best in the NFL. This season, they ranked No. 2 in rush EPA per play and No. 1 in drop back EPA per play. This was despite their offensive line ranking in the bottom-13 in pass block win rate and run block win rate. For the first time in the Kyle Shanahan era, however, they have a quarterback that can make a play of his own.

Brock Purdy ranked No. 1 in adjusted yards per attempt. He ranked No. 12 in catchable pass rate. Purdy ranked No. 3 in deep ball accuracy rating. He ranked No. 4 in pressured completion percentage, No. 10 in true completion percentage, No. 1 in passer rating against man coverage, and No. 6 in passer rating against zone coverage. Purdy’s two playoff games have not been perfect. He has taken three sacks and produced three turnover-worthy plays. It is notable that three of his eight quarters of football have come with Deebo Samuel off the field. Samuel is a full-go for the Super Bowl.

Chiefs Defense

The identity of the Chiefs defense has been fairly consistent throughout the season. Against the pass, they have been elite. They rank No. 3 in drop back EPA per play. Most recently, they shut down NFL MVP winner Lamar Jackson in the AFC Conference Championship. Despite ranking No. 20 in pass rush win rate this season, defensive tackle Chris Jones ranked No. 2 at the position in that metric. Kansas City ranked No. 5 in the NFL in man coverage rate. Steve Spagnuolo has relied on his cornerbacks getting red hot at the most opportune moments of the season.

However, against the run, they have been porous. The Chiefs rank No. 32 in run block win rate and No. 28 in rush EPA per play allowed. Expect stacked boxes galore against an elite rushing attack led by Christian McCaffrey. Notably, the 49ers have faced the second-highest rate of stacked boxes this season. However, they still ranked No. 1 in success rate on the ground overall.

49ers Defense

The headline of the San Francisco defense has to be reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa. Bosa is once again among edge rusher leaders in pass rush win rate. As a team, the 49ers ranked No. 12 in pass rush win rate.

The 49ers have been inconsistent against the run. However, they are dangerous in that area as well at full health. On the season, they ranked No. 26 in rush EPA per play allowed but No. 10 in run stop win rate. They will face a Kansas City rushing attack led by Isiah Pacheco. Pacheco has been just good enough to get the job done this season. He ranks No. 18 in yards created per touch. Most notably, he ranks No. 11 in breakaway run rate.

It is important for San Francisco to take advantage of Kansas City’s injuries in the offensive line. This is because they need to continue winning via pressure. The 49ers’ secondary is arguably their worst attribute. This 49ers’ secondary has allowed several wide receivers to rip off big plays. On the season, the 49ers ranked No. 13 in zone coverage rating. This is a testament to how important it is for them to adjust and bracket against future Hall of Famer Travis Kelce. San Francisco has already allowed huge receiving games to Zach Ertz (53 yards), T.J. Hockenson (86 yards), Cade Otton (49 yards), Trey McBride (102 yards), Isaiah Likely (56 yards), and Sam LaPorta (97 yards) this season.

Betting Trends

Spread: San Francisco 49ers -2.5 / Kansas City Chiefs +2.5 (as of Friday)

Moneyline: San Francisco 49ers -130 / Kansas City Chiefs +110

Total: O/U 47.5

  • The public loves the Kansas City Chiefs. Per Action Network, entering the weekend, Kansas City sees approximately 70% of the bets against the spread. Patrick Mahomes is 10-3 straight up and 11-1-1 against the spread as an underdog in his NFL career.
  • Kansas City is the 17th team in the record books to enter the Super Bowl with an against-the-spread cover streak of at least five. The 49ers are the second team in the Super Bowl era to enter the big game with at least three straight against-the-spread losses; the only other team to do so was the infamous 2007-08 Patriots, who lost the Super Bowl after going perfect in the regular season.
  • The 49ers were favored by an average of 8.3 points per game in the regular season, a new NFL record, while the Chiefs were favored by an average of 4.8 points per game (No. 4 highest). Since 2001, teams that were the bigger favorite on average are 7-15 straight up and 3-19 against the spread in the Super Bowl.
  • The No. 1 seed 49ers had a bye in the playoffs, and the Chiefs did not. In the Super Bowl era, teams with a bye (such as San Francisco) are 5-10 straight up and 2-12-1 against the spread when facing a team who did not have a bye (such as Kansas City).

Best Bet (1 unit): Chiefs 1st half team total UNDER 10.5 (-120, DraftKings)

Although many betting trends favor the Chiefs in this game, line movement against the public has sharps in a limbo. It is best to stay away from picking a side if possible. The much better bet is to read lines on the Chiefs offense in this matchup.

In the Wild Card Round, Kansas City played in one of the coldest games of all time. They still notched off 17 points in the first half. In the Divisional Round, Kansas City again played in chilly conditions. This time on the road and faced one of the best defenses in the NFL and scored 13. In the AFC Championship Game, Kansas City slowed down in the second half. However, they started off red-hot once again and scored 17 points in the first half. This was against one of the best secondaries in the NFL.

Vegas rightfully set the line absurdly low for Mahomes and company. They believe the Chiefs will struggle against the pressure of the 49ers, whose credibility is explained above. The first half of this game has all the makings of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl loss in Tampa Bay where Kansas City did not score a touchdown in the game and scored just six points in the first half.

The juice is on the under for a reason. Although Mahomes’ historic skillset could craft a masterclass post-halftime, we do not need to contend with that with this bet. Fade the public belief of the Chiefs’ offense getting hot early in the game.

Official Game Prediction

In order to pick a side for the game, the main takeaways for my decision are:

  • Brock Purdy has possibly saved his best football of his playoff career for the Super Bowl, and he now gets to face a defense that will need to find answers on the ground to stay competitive.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs’ issues in offensive depth have not come back to bite them yet, but it has reflected in these playoffs when facing pressure. If Joe Thuney is a no-go, Patrick Mahomes may have his toughest challenge since Super Bowl LV when he lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • In the event of a thriller, in what should be the most watched Super Bowl ever, the game could be decided solely by who wins the turnover battle. Although the advantage has historically gone to Patrick Mahomes, sportsbooks have set interception props at nearly identical between Purdy and Mahomes—a sign that we may see more uniformity in quarterback play this weekend than expected.

Although our best bet for the article is neither a moneyline nor a full game total, I lean the 49ers on the game and the under on the total. Predicted score: San Francisco beats Kansas City 23-21.

If you want more content for Super Bowl betting such as player props, longshots, and analytical information through PlayerProfiler’s Data Analysis Plus tool, you can check out the author’s Twitter (@AhaanRungta).