If the odds to win MVP don’t give away, the quarterbacks are the stars of Super Bowl LIV.
Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes is an overwhelming favorite to win Most Valuable Player followed by San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo at +250. But betting on which QB will take home top individual honors is just scratching the surface when it comes to gambling on these two passers.
We put Mahomes and Jimmy G head-to-head, looking at their player prop odds for Super Bowl LIV.
Glancing over the postseason performances you have to give a huge edge in the passing yards department to Mahomes. The Chiefs gunslinger has totaled 615 total yards through the air in the playoffs, while Garoppolo has a mere 208 total yards passing in the tournament.
The head-to-head handicap is set at 67.5 yards in favor of Mahomes, who if you based this solely on those playoff numbers would look to be a lock (Mahomes without the handicap is a -333 fave vs. Jimmy G at +230). However, the 49ers bring the best passing defense in the NFL to Miami and if San Francisco is going to win this one, it will likely need a couple big throws from their dashing passer to keep pace with the Chiefs.
On the season, Garoppolo finished with 248.6 yards passing per game between Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins (not bad company). Mahomes, on the other hand, wrapped 2019 with an average of 287.9 yards passing a contest – a difference of just over 39 yards.
As for their respective passing yards totals for Super Bowl LIV, Mahomes is set at 308.5 yards while Garoppolo is at 239.5. Mahomes surpassed that passing total against Houston in the Divisional Round but was forced to throw (35 times) after falling behind 24-0 to the Texans, and went Over 308.5 yards through the air in seven regular season games (five of those coming in the first five games of the schedule).
Jimmy G hasn’t sniffed this passing yards total in the postseason but went Over it in three of his four final regular season performances. On the year, Garoppolo has broke through the 239.5-point barrier 10 times and faces a Chiefs stop unit ranked sixth in passing defense DVOA at Football Outsiders.
Tailing on the passing yards prop, the head-to-head on total completions for Mahomes and Garoppolo gives a 6.5-catch edge to the K.C. quarterback.
Mahomes threw the ball a grand total of 70 times in the postseason, with 46 of those attempts ending up in the hands of receivers. Although, in both playoff matchups the Chiefs receivers had trouble reeling in the football in the first quarter.
Mahomes’ total completions prop for Super Bowl LIV sits a 24.5 which is a total he hasn’t eclipsed since Week 15 when he connected for 27 passes against the Broncos. Granted, K.C. cruised through opponents at the end of the season and ran the ball more with bigger leads.
Garoppolo has a completions Over/Under of 18.5 which seems like a pipe dream when measured against the 49ers’ postseason playbook. But Jimmy G has carried his own weight in this offense, with 19 or more completions in eight games this season. Kansas City has given up an average of 22.5 completions per game in 2019-20 and completion totals of 31 and 21 in the postseason.
There are multiple props on passing touchdowns from both quarterbacks but the general Over/Under on passing TD totals are at 2.5 (Over +120/Under -140) for Mahomes and 1.5 (Over -120/Under +100) for Garoppolo. Mahomes is also a -238 favorite to pass for more touchdowns than his San Francisco counterpart (+170).
Mahomes has eight touchdowns already in the playoffs, five coming in the Divisional Round, and has connected for three or more scores in five regular season games. Of course, the former MVP can strike for six from just about anywhere on the field but when inside the red zone his numbers dip, with completions dropping to 51 percent and his passer rating sitting at 92.7. He has passed for 11 of this total 26 TDs inside the 20-yard line.
Garoppolo and the Niners passing attack can also move the chains in a hurry and averaged out with almost 1.7 passing touchdowns per game in 2019. Jimmy G passed for one or fewer TDs in nine regular season games and has only one touchdown pass in the playoffs so far. The 49ers’ red-zone attack primarily leans on the run inside the 20-yard line (at least in the postseason) but Garoppolo has 16 of his total 27 TD passes from inside that segment.
Mahomes is not only been a big-play threat with his arm but breaks off huge gains with his legs, leading the Chiefs in rushing yards this postseason with 106 yards on the ground through two games. Mahomes has looked quicker with each game since dislocating his knee back in Week 7 and could be flushed out of the pocket and put on the run plenty of times versus a daunting 49ers pass rush. Books have his Over/Under on rushing yards at 30.5 (Over -149/Under +110).
San Francisco finished with 48 sacks in the regular season and have gotten to rival QBs nine times this postseason, with rookie DE Nick Bosa leading the way with three of those sacks. The 49ers gave up a total of 380 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks this season, but did have to face three of the best dual-threat QBs in the league: Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray (both twice) as well as Lamar Jackson (who picked up 101 of those total rushing yards allowed).
Garoppolo doesn’t pose the same threat as a runner, burning up the turf for a grand total of 61 yards rushing in 2019-20, and enters Super Bowl LIV with a rushing Over/Under of 3.5 yards. He’s actually minus-1 in the postseason and faces a Kansas City defense that has eight sacks in the postseason and finished with 45 sacks in the regular season.
The Chiefs have given up 48 total yards on the ground to QBs in the postseason (37 to Deshaun Watson in the Divisional Round) and 318 yards rushing to rival quarterbacks on the year, including limiting Lamar Jackson for only 46 yards on eight carries in Week 3. Garoppolo has gone for four or more yards rushing in just eight regular season games, and four of those came in the final five weeks of the schedule.