The matchup for Super Bowl LIV is set with the San Francisco 49ers preparing to battle the Kansas City Chiefs and that mean props galore are starting to hit the board. Josh Inglis gives you his initial picks and predictions for Super Bowl Sunday.
Vegas expects Super Bowl LIV to be a close game as the Kansas City Chiefs are just 1.5-point favorites. Of the last 12 Super Bowls, eight have been decided by eight points or less which means one big play could lead to the crowning of the game’s MVP. On Feb 2, that big play could come from the Chief’s special teams.
K.C. return man Mecole Hardman has 4.33 wheels and was third in the league in yards per return. He was also one of seven players to take a kickoff to the house (104 yards). The wide receiver also returns punts and has the ability to break a big play and change the game.
We are looking at Hardman to do his best Desmond Howard impression and take home the MVP honors thanks to a big special teams play. Hardman is currently paying +6600 to win the MVP.
RUNNING INTO PROBLEMS
Damien Williams has seen 29 of the Chiefs’ 30 running back carries in the playoffs but has gained just 92 yards against the No. 22 and No. 10 rush defenses. Should we expect the running back to top his rushing total of 53.5 yards against San Francisco’s No. 2 DVOA defense that held Aaron Jones to 12-56-1 and Dalvin Cook to 9-18-0?
Over their last five games, the 49ers have allowed an average of 44.6 yards to opposing teams’ leading rusher. The Niners have a theme of not giving up big gains on the ground as the longest rushing play, they have given up in the last six weeks was a 15-yard run — they have also held two of their last five opponents to a long run of under 10 yards.
We are taking the Under 53.5 rushing yards for Williams.
OH, SAY CAN YOU SEE
The Over/Under for the national anthem sung by Demi Lovato sits at two minutes. Over two minutes is the heavy favorite at -200 and the Under two minutes is paying +150. Heading into the 2019 Super Bowl, the average length of the anthem was one minute 55 seconds (n=28).
Last year, the length was set at one minute 45 seconds and Gladys Knight hit the Over, clocking in at two minutes and one second. However, the Under has hit in nine of the last 13 Super Bowls.
One of the most recent versions of Lovato singing the national anthem — McGregor Vs. Mayweather in 2018 — clocks the singer at two minutes 12 seconds in what looks like a visibly nervous performance. The female singer pays +600 if she omits or forgets a word.
We are trusting the juice and leaning on the Over.
Although Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker has attempted just one field goal so far in the playoffs, he finished the season hitting nearly 90 percent of his FGs, good for a Top-7 finish. Butker was also a perfect 13-for-13 from 40-49 yards and had long of 56 yards.
His kicking opponent, Robbie Gould, finished 28th in FG% (77.8%) but has made all five of his kicks this postseason including a season-high 54-yarder last week. The San Fran veteran is also a perfect 13-for-13 in his nine career playoff games.
The 49ers could make things more difficult for Mahomes in the red zone while Kansas City’s red zone defense was the 8th-best unit in the league, allowing a TD in 51 percent of its opponents’ RZ possessions.
We like the Over 3.5 field goals at -115 or if you prefer one kick over the other, both kickers’ totals sits at 7.5 with the Over paying -130.