Super Bowl LVII is only days away. As the weekend nears, our our ESPN fantasy football experts have you covered with some last-minute advice for all of your parlays. They have studied and analyzed all of the players across the league from a fantasy perspective all season and offer insights on which player props are the most profitable for Super Bowl Sunday.
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
Patrick Mahomes, the likely league MVP, goes for his second Super Bowl title in his third appearance, while Jalen Hurts tries to cap off a magical season with his first title in his second season. Taking a look at the board, which is your favorite Super Bowl prop for the two QBs?
Bowen: Patrick Mahomes over 25.5 completions. Mahomes has completed 26 or more passes in four of his past seven games. And looking at the Eagles coverage structure -- with an idea of how Andy Reid will scheme to isolate underneath defenders in zone coverage -- Mahomes will have opportunities to work the second level of the field. Higher percentage throws. And those add up -- in a game where I believe Mahomes will throw with volume.
Clay: Hurts is averaging 29.9 pass attempts per game this season and hasn't cleared 25 in either playoff game. Of course, game script is a gigantic factor here. The Eagles won those playoff games by 38-7 and 31-7 margins and have been ahead on the scoreboard on a league-high 56% of offensive snaps this season. That has led to a lot of run plays (league-high 64% run in the 4th quarter), but note that Philadelphia otherwise operates a pass-first offense (10th pass heaviest during Quarters 1-3). The Eagles are slight favorites against the Chiefs, but this is expected to be a more competitive game than they're used to, which figures to add to Hurts' pass attempt total. The Chiefs, by the way, faced 617 pass attempts during the regular season (third most) and 13 (68%) of 19 opponents reached 32 attempts. Hurts' projection checks in at 33.2. I'll take Jalen Hurts over 31.5 pass attempts.
Clay: Mahomes under 289.5 passing yards. Mahomes has hit 290 passing yards in 12 (63%) of 19 games this season, but try this on for size: The Eagles have allowed more than 216 passing yards in only one of their 19 games. Sure, the schedule hasn't been overly intimidating, but 199 yards per game (fewest) and a 6.3 YPA (lowest) is as good as it gets. Tracing back to the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay to wrap the 2020 season, Mahomes has fallen short of 290 yards in eight of his last 10 losses, averaging 270.8 yards per game during the span. That's notable with the Chiefs a slight underdog against Philly. Mahomes' projection checks in at 285 yards, so while it's close, I'm comfortable leaning under at even money.
Cockcroft: Hurts over 241.5 passing yards. I'm with Mike that Jalen Hurts is likely to be tasked with more throwing in this game than in his previous two postseason contests, and while I see a path to an Eagles runaway victory, my suspicion is this will be a closer, but higher-scoring, game with big numbers on offense. At 241.5, Hurts' betting number is aggressive, one that he reached in only 7-of-15 regular-season outings and neither of his two postseason games, but he's also facing a defense that should have difficulty containing wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith as well as tight end Dallas Goedert. Patrick Mahomes has plenty of potential to lure this game into a quick-paced, heavy-passing arrangement as well.
Moody: Mahomes over 38.5 pass attempts. It's Mahomes' third Super Bowl in four years, and the Chiefs have relied heavily on his arm. He has averaged 37.8 pass attempts and 299.9 passing yards per game in the regular season and playoffs since 2019. While the Eagles' secondary is formidable, Mahomes isn't going to back down from what got the Chiefs here in the first place, and that's the passing game.
Both teams use committees as running backs, switching out multiple players depending on the game situation. What is your read on which RBs are worth betting on during Super Bowl LVII?
Bowen: Boston Scott over 7.5 rushing yards. I really like the Kenneth Gainwell over at 19.5 yards rushing, but don't forget about Scott, who has hit over 7.5 yards rushing in six of his last seven games. And we know the Eagles will go with a rotational script in the backfield. You need Scott to find daylight at the second level on one or possibly two carries for this bet to cash. Run inside zone behind the Eagles offensive front. That's it. It doesn't need to be complicated when looking at Scott's short-area speed.
Cockcroft: In situations like this, with a pair of tough-to-gauge committee backfields, I tend to want hot hands with lower over/under numbers. Kenneth Gainwell stands out, having easily exceeded his 19.5 number in each of his past three games, not to mention his accounting for 9-of-18 carries by Eagles running backs that went for double-digit yardage during that time. Sure, Gainwell did most of his damage later in those games and with handy leads, but it's worth pointing out that he had 37 of his yards in the two playoff games while his team was within one score of its opponent on the scoreboard (18.5 yard average). I see him being enough of a factor here to go Kenneth Gainwell over 19.5 rush yards (-115).
Similarly, Isiah Pacheco over 16.5 receiving yards (-113) brings quite a bit of value, considering he exceeded that number in five of his past nine games, not to mention should be involved in the passing game due to the Eagles' strength at cornerback.
Moody: Pacheco over 64.5 rushing + receiving yards. Mahomes and Kelce get all the attention for the Chiefs, and rightfully so, but Pacheco will play an important role. Kansas City can keep the Eagles on their toes by leaning on the running game. One thing I noticed about the Chiefs' offensive line is that it doesn't allow its running backs to be tackled behind the line of scrimmage. Kansas City has a significant advantage with Joe Thuney, Trey Smith, and Creed Humphrey on the interior. Considering Mahomes' limited mobility, Pacheco could also serve as a safety valve as a receiver out of the backfield.
There are a lot of question marks as to who plays WR for the Chiefs, but we know All-Pro TE Travis Kelce will be there. Offseason acquisition A.J. Brown and 2021 first-round draft pick Devonta Smith lead the way for Philly. Which WRs or TEs are you betting on this weekend?
Bowen: A.J. Brown longest reception over 26.5 yards. The Chiefs played Cover 2 zone on 33% of coverage snaps this year. It's a staple scheme for KC, with late rotation and movement. But how much two-deep coverage can you play versus the Eagles run game? I would anticipate more single-high man, and some three-deep zone, from the Chiefs on Sunday night -- to gain an extra defender in the box -- which will create one-on-one matchups for Brown on the perimeter. This is where Hurts will take his vertical shots on the boundary. And don't forget about the Chiefs pressure looks here. All-out blitzes. Those are catch and run opportunities for Brown on quick slants and unders (with no safety help).
Bowen: Travis Kelce over 6.5 receptions. Kelce logged 21 receptions in the Chiefs two playoff games, and he's caught at least 7 passes in four of his last six games. And, if we are looking for a script that tells how Kelce could be deployed versus the Eagles zone coverage schemes, go back to the Week 7 game versus the 49ers. Clear and replace concepts (to isolate versus linebackers), plus leveled routes and middle of the field throws. And when the Eagles do play man, we should expect safety CJ Gardner-Johnson to be the matchup player.
Clay: Dallas Goedert over 44.5 receiving yards. Goedert has cleared 44 receiving yards in 10 (71%) of his 14 games this season. He's been a key component of the Philly offense, having handled a 20% target share. That includes shares of 21% and 25% in the team's two playoff games. The Chiefs allowed 802 yards to tight ends during the regular season, which ranked 19th and shouldn't give us any pause. Goedert projects for 52 yards on 6.6 targets. Cockcroft: I like the Eagles to break off at least one long reception, considering the Eagles' struggles defending wide receivers and tight ends this season. Dallas Goedert with a long reception over 19.5 yards (-109) particularly stands out, as since his Week 16 return from a shoulder injury, 18% of his catches have gone for at least that length, with DeVonta Smith (over 23.5, -111) also in the discussion after 21% of his catches since Week 13 have gone for at least that length of his prop. As Mike mentioned, Goedert's props are probably across-the-board the wisest "over" bets, but I'm feeling the distance-related props more than the totals for this game.
Moody: I'm prioritizing Travis Kelce and De'Vonta Smith. Let's start with Kelce over 6.5 receptions. He has averaged 9.3 targets and 6.9 receptions per game during the regular season and postseason. Mahomes also leaned heavily on Kelce in the Chiefs' previous two Super Bowls. While the Eagles have a stout secondary and have done a good job defending tight ends this season, they allow a high number of receptions, which bodes well for Kelce hitting this over. Smith over 62.5 receiving yards also intrigues me. He has reached at least 61 receiving yards in eight of his past 10 games. Additionally, Smith has had eight or more targets in nine of them, including double-digit targets in three. Many view A.J. Brown as the Eagles' No. 1 receiver, but in reality, it's more of a 1A and 1B situation. As a legitimate deep-ball threat, Smith is well-positioned to flourish in this matchup.
Betting on the Super Bowl is a whole lot more than just QB/RB/WR player props. Taking a look at more than 2,000 options out there, are there any other props you are looking to play?
Bowen: Josh Sweat over 0.75 sacks. The Eagles have pass rush advantages on the edges with Sweat and Haason Reddick. So, let's go with Sweat at +120 to get home for a sack on Sunday night. With his long 6-foot-5 frame, and lower body agility, he can create matchup issues in protection for Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown.
Bowen: Haason Reddick to win MVP (+3000). I might sprinkle a little cash here on Reddick given the payout -- and the matchup versus Andrew Wylie. The Chiefs right tackle can be tested on his edges as space expands. And the Eagles can create this one-on-one matchup out of their five-man fronts. You get a Philly Super Bowl winner here with Reddick producing multiple sacks and a potential turnover? It's a long shot -- that could hit.
Bowen: Jerick McKinnon anytime TD. I'm looking at McKinnon's deployment as a receiver in the red zone. This season, McKinnon caught nine touchdown passes -- with seven scores inside the 20 yard line. Think screens, schemed concepts to beat man coverage and quick throws to the flat. Andy Reid can isolate the Chiefs running back to get defined pass game matchups or open grass to attack in scoring position.
Clay: Juan Thornhill under 5.5 combined tackles (+104). Thornhill has played 96% of the Chiefs' defensive snaps this season, but the 26-year-old has reached six total tackles in only five (28%) of 18 games. That includes both playoff games in which he played all 123 defensive snaps and had eight tackles. Unlike fellow Kansas City safety Justin Reid, Thornhill rarely aligns in the box, having lined up at free safety 87% of the time this season. With a projection of 4.9, we're taking this one at plus money.
Cockcroft: Mahomes to throw interception before passing TD (+240). Anyone recall Mahomes' past two Super Bowl appearances? He totaled four interceptions, and in fact was picked off before throwing a passing score (he did, however, manage a rushing score first in Super Bowl LIV, though that wouldn't count for this prop) in each of those games. Additionally, seven of Mahomes' 12 regular-season interceptions this season came against top-eight defenses against the pass (using fantasy metrics to rank them, so that TDs and interceptions weigh), meaning he's quite a bit more likely to get picked off by a defense that ranked fourth in interceptions during the regular season (17).
Moody: Both teams' first scoring play is a field goal (YES +575). Historically, the combined points in the first quarter in Super Bowl history is only 9.1 points. This could also be caused by nerves and jitters. While both the Eagles and Chiefs have potent offenses, there is a strong chance that both teams will score first on a field goal. This is a bet that is worth placing at these odds.