Mahomes a big favorite in the Super Bowl LIV MVP odds, but don’t look past these live long shots

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The matchup for Super Bowl LIV is set as the San Francisco 49ers prepare to throw down with the Kansas City Chiefs. That means one thing above all: prop bets. A ton of them. And one of the most-wagered prop bets every year is who will win the Big Game’s Most Valuable Player Award. This year should be no different, particularly with some fresh faces on the field.

Julian Edelman snapped the skid of skill-position players not winning Super Bowl MVP last year, but oddsmakers are betting things return to normal this time around, expecting a quarterback to claim the prize for the 10th time in the last 14 years. As a result, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to win at about EVEN money depending where you look (some have him -110), while the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo has the next best odds at +250.

It’s no surprise Mahomes is the sizeable favorite. The K.C. gunslinger is at another level now that he’s fully healthy, which is incredible considering it looked like his season might be over after suffering a dislocated knee back in Week 7. Mahomes is completing 66 percent of his passes for 615 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in the postseason, while adding another 106 yards and a score on the ground.

Jimmy G, on the other hand, has looked much more mortal despite showing some flashes of brilliance in the passing game this season. Not to mention, Niners’ head coach Kyle Shanahan has put a real emphasis on the run over the last month or so, as Garoppolo hasn’t thrown for multiple touchdowns or more than 285 yards since the Week 14 shootout against the Saints. But Shanahan has two weeks to cook up a game plan and Garoppolo could be the quarterback of the winning team in the Super Bowl.

The problem is neither quarterback provides much value for the bettor out there looking to take a flyer on a dark horse to win the award. So, who can be this year’s Edelman?

Even with the Niners proclivity for running the ball, it’s probably not going to be a running back (sorry Raheem Mostert fans). You have to go all the way back to 1998 to find the last back to win the award when the Broncos’ Terrell Davis was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXII.

That said, here are some live long shots to win MVP of Super Bowl LIV:

GEORGE KITTLE (+1,600)

If we’re looking away from a 49ers running back the best option on their offense is without a doubt George Kittle. The explosive tight end had another great season, hauling in 85 receptions for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns. He’s also one of the best blocking tight ends in the league and whether he’s catching passes or not, Kittle is an integral part of the 49ers’ playbook.

Kittle has been quiet in the playoffs (due mostly to the fact the Niners have barely had to pass in their two playoff games) but he’s going to have an opportunity to have a big impact on this game. While Kansas City has a strong pass defense led by Tyrann Mathieu, the Chiefs have been vulnerable against tight ends. They allowed the third most receptions and the fifth most yards to tight ends in the regular season.

We expect this game to be much more competitive than the Niners’ first two playoffs games which in turn means leaning more on the pass game. And Kittle, as we mentioned, is San Francisco’s most talented pass catcher. If he can turn his targets into over 100 yards, a couple of scores and some emphatic blocks to top it off, he could easily be lifting the MVP trophy at the end of the night.

RICHARD SHERMAN (+6,000)

Another path to a 49ers’ victory in Super Bowl LIV would be through another dominating performance from their elite defense. San Francisco ranked second in the NFL in defensive DVOA, including second against the pass and ranked third in sack percentage. If there’s any team out there that can make life uncomfortable for Mahomes, it’s the Niners. And it’s not like defenders haven’t won the MVP recently. Von Miller won it with the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 and Malcolm Smith captured the award in the Seahawks’ victory in Super Bowl 48.

If the 49ers can ride their defense to a Super Bowl title, which defender are we going to back to win MVP. My initial thought would be to back super-rookie Nick Bosa. The defensive end is a shoe in to win Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording nine sacks and 25 QB hits in the regular season. Bosa has followed that up with three more sacks during the playoffs. The problem with backing Bosa is No.1: at +2,500 the value is already gone. And No. 2: it could be any one of the Niners’ excellent defensive lineman that has a big game.

That means we’re looking at the brash but effective Richard Sherman. The cornerback might not be as great at he once was, but he sure has stepped up in big games and is still an excellent scheme corner. Sherman already has two picks in the playoffs and if that Niners defensive front is able to pressure Mahomes into some bad passes, he could get one or two more. If the game is lower scoring than expected or he returns one for a score, watch out. We could be hearing a lot more from Sherman.

MECOLE HARDMAN (+6,600)

The true Edelman candidates in this matchup both play for the Chiefs and they are tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. One or both could have huge games, and are good value at +1,600, but it’s almost impossible to envision either one having a big game without Mahomes having a bigger one. So, we turn our attention to another K.C. wideout: rookie Mecole Hardman.

Hardman can flat out fly. He has 4.33 forty speed and averaged 20.7 yards per reception this season, making 26 receptions for 538 yards which includes six scores. He’s also an elite weapon in the return game, averaging over 26 yards per kick return and including one for a touchdown and nearly 10 yards per punt return.

Your hope here is that, once again, the game is a little lower scoring than expected and that while San Francisco is busy trying to contain Kelce and Hill, Hardman is able to beat them over the top once for a big score and then return a punt or kick for a touchdown. Crazier things have happened.

PICK: While I’ll be sprinkling a little on each of these players, Mahomes is the horse I’m backing with the majority of my Super Bowl MVP bankroll. The guy is just so special and at even money, he’s still great value.

Check out all the odds for Super Bowl LIV MVP

PLAYER ODDS PLAYER ODDS
Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) +100 Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers) +250
Raheem Mostert (49ers) +700 George Kittle (49ers) +1600
Travis Kelce (Chiefs) +1600 Tyreek Hill (Chiefs) +1600
Damien Williams (Chiefs) +2200 Nick Bosa (49ers) +2500
Deebo Samuel (49ers) +2500 Emmanuel Sanders (49ers) +3300
Sammy Watkins (Chiefs) +3300 Tevin Coleman (49ers) +5000
Richard Sherman (49ers) +6000 Mecole Hardman (Chiefs) +6600
Matt Breida (49ers) +6600 Frank Clark (Chiefs) +8000
Tyrann Mathieu (Chiefs) +10000 Arik Armstead (49ers) +10000
DeForest Buckner (49ers) +12500 LeSean McCoy (Chiefs) +15000
Demarcus Robinson (Chiefs) +20000 Kendrick Bourne (49ers) +20000

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook