To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, “…and so we face the final curtain.” The annual Biggest Game of the Year is upon us, and thankfully, we get the two best teams in said game. For those of us who enjoy partaking in legal sports wagering, it’s our last chance to pad the football account before the offseason, so let’s dive right in and get busy making that scratch! Here are my favorite Super Bowl bets!
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Conference Championship Accountability
Last Week: My picks, 2 – 0; Analytics, 2 – 0
Playoffs: My picks, 7 – 5; Analytics, 7 – 5
5 – 1 post-Wildcard Weekend. Pretty, pretty good.
San Francisco at Philadelphia – “By any metric, this is a massive step up in class for the now not necessarily irrelevant rookie QB.”
I loved the Eagles and think they would have won fairly easily without the Purdy injury. The Josh Johnson Experience and secondary QB injury only exacerbated the Niners’ misery. I can’t remember a coach waving the white flag on such an important game as early as Kyle Shanahan did/was forced to.
Cincinnati at Kansas City – “Chris Jones and Frank Clark can bring individual pressure, and Steve Spagnolo can and will bring pressure from every angle and through every gap. However, a non-meshed line group could struggle to pick up the exotic looks they’ll get.”
That was a very long-winded way of saying, “Chris Jones gonna wreck this game.” “Haason Reddick was MVP of the NFC Championship Game? Hold my beer.” – Chris Jones in pre-game (probably).
Super Bowl Bets
(Standard disclaimer – All opinions are my own and may or may not reflect those of this website. “Analytic Lines” are ELO point spreads from fivethirtyeight.com, and “Vegas Lines” are courtesy of thelines.com, current as of the writing of this article. Predicted Line (“PL”) is my early week estimate of where the Vegas line would be set.)
Game of the Week of the Year
Kansas City “at” Philadelphia at Glendale, AZ – Analytic Line: PHI (+2), Vegas Line: PHI (-1.5), PL: PHI (-2.5); Money Line: KC (+105), PHI (-125); Over/Under: 51
ELO and I gonna rumble on this one. After the Championship games, the early lines came in at Philly -2 or -2.5, which is where I would have set it. But, apparently, the “I get to bet Patrick Mahomes as an underdog” crowd has been out in full force to push this line down. That’s cool; I’ll buy that value.
On the field, Philly has advantages almost everywhere. Run game, receivers, O-Line, pass rush, run defense, pass defense, special teams, you name it. KC’s only on-field advantage is at quarterback, and even that is muted by the fact that as transcendent as Patrick Mahomes is, Jalen Hurts is pretty damn good himself. So why is KC only a small dog (and an analytic favorite)? Soft factors. Coaching and Super Bowl experience. But again, even these are muted by the fact that Nick Sirianni appears to be a pretty good HC himself, and the Eagles have seven players from the 2017 Super Bowl team still on their roster.
If there’s a game where soft skills matter, the Super Bowl is clearly the one. In this Super Bowl, I think the Eagles are clearly the better team, and I expect them to show it on the field of State Farm Stadium on Sunday.
For the game bets, with a -1.5 spread, it doesn’t make sense to pay the juice and bet the Philly money line. Unless you’re convinced the Eagles to win by exactly one, just bet the spread. I like the under, as well. These two defenses are both solid, and with the total moving up from 50.5 to 51, you at least get a push on the common score of 27-24 (KC has had three 27-24 final scores this season). The two teams only have a combined 11 (out of 38 total) games this season that have gone over this number (KC-7, Philly-4).
Picks: Philadelphia (-1.5); Under 51
Prop Bet Madness!
Philly Alt Lines: -5.5, (+162); -6.5, (+190)
I’ve got Philly winning by 6, so I’ll take the (-5.5) line. I think (-6.5) at +190 is the best value line, so sign me up for both, and I hope I can double dip.
Alt Total: Under 43, (+250)
The base O/U of 51 feels way too high for me. I don’t see this being a shootout in any way, so I’ll buy some value a touchdown-plus south of the number.
Half Time/Full Time Winners: Philly/Philly, (+135) & Win Both Halves: Philly (+340)
The Philly path through the playoffs has been big first halves, then grind out the clock with the run game in the 2nd. So I’ll take these payouts if this one follows suit.
KC Under 24.5 Team Total (-110) & Under 2.5 Touchdowns (+145)
I believe in this Eagles’ defense. KC only put up 23 points against a similar but lesser Bengals defense at home in the Championship game. As mentioned above, and unlike Cinci, Philly can grind clock with their run game if they have the lead in the 2nd half.
Any Player to Have a Pass Completion, Reception, and a Rush Attempt (+900) & Any QB to Have a Reception (+1200)
Jalen Hurts is a lock to hit ⅔ of the first one. Would Sirianni break out the Philly Special: Part Deux? For 9X & 12X, it’s worth paying to find out.
Kenneth Gainwell Rushing Yards: Over 19.5, (-120)
He’s been their preferred closer and has topped this number in each of the last three games.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling Receptions: Under 2.5, (-115)
Any Packers fan (of which I am one) can tell you it’s not physically possible for MVS to have back-to-back big games. It just doesn’t happen. Outside of a three-week stretch from weeks Three through Five, he hasn’t had consecutive games with more than two catches. He had six in their last game. Six is more than two.
KC Field Goals Made: Over 1.5, (+100) & Total Field Goal Yardage: Over 55.5, (-120)
I generally don’t like Single Game Parlays (doubling your chance to lose!) unless they’re highly correlated. KC has kicked five field goals in their two playoff games. If you hit on the over for the first bet, there’s almost no way to lose the second, so I’d be OK parlaying these two.
Last Scoring Play: Field Goal (+210)
I can double my money for a game-winning FG? Sign me up. This would have hit in both Conference Title games.
Will There Be a Successful Two-Point Conversion: Yes (+230)
No profound insight here. Andy Reid goes for two a lot, and I expect them to be playing from behind.
Philly to Score More Points in the 1st Half Than 2nd: Yes (+110)
Again, you’re getting plus money for Philly to follow the script of each of their playoff games so far.
Super Bowl 2024 Winner: Green Bay (+3000)
It’s been a long playoffs without my boys included. Of course, per recent seasons, it’s also been much less emotionally devastating. That said, I gotta get something in on my squad. Jordan Love to the MOON, baby!
(Prop lines courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
While our content slows down in the postseason, keep an eye out for our weekly betting and DFS articles here. We’re also working on a new series called How To Fix, where we create a plan to fix some of the teams that missed the playoffs this year. Check out our first few entries here!
You can find all of Joel Wirth’s work at Club Fantasy here!