Anticipation is building for a potential classic in Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers will attempt to win their first title since the 1994 season while the Chiefs can become the first NFL team to repeat in nearly 20 years (2003-04 Patriots).
Top-rated sportsbooks continue to show the 49ers as a 2-point favorite with a total of 47.5 points. We have our best bets below for the big game that paint a favorable picture for the defending champs.
- Chiefs’ First Drive Outcome (2-Way) – Score (+135) at Bet365
- Chiefs Team Total 23.5 (-115) at Bet365
- Spread/Total Points Double – Chiefs +3.5 and Under 51.5 Points (+135) at Caesars Sportsbook
Sunday, February 11, 2024 – 06:30 PM ET at Allegiant Stadium
Andy Reid Sticks to the Early Script
You give Chiefs coach Andy Reid an extra week to prepare for a game, he is going to find the best hamburger joint in town, and he is going to draw up a great early script with plays the 49ers maybe weren’t expecting after a long season.
The Chiefs have been money to start playoff games going back to the 2021 season and their thrilling 42-36 win over the Bills in the divisional round. Since that game, the Chiefs have scored on their opening drive in 8 straight postseason games.
The good thing about betting this as a 2-way outcome is you don’t need to guess if it will be a field goal or a touchdown. You can just bet that they’ll score. For the record, the Chiefs have opened their last 8 playoff games with 6 touchdowns and 2 field goals.
Even in their last playoff loss to the Bengals in the 2021 AFC title game, the Chiefs still scored a touchdown on the opening drive. Travis Kelce came out on fire in Super Bowl LVII against Philadelphia and caught a touchdown right away. He did the same thing in the AFC Championship Game in Baltimore last time out.
The Chiefs start fast, which is usually what the 49ers do too. But the 49ers have struggled to start these playoff games, trailing the Packers 3-0 and the Lions 14-0 in the 1st quarter.
The Chiefs have more Super Bowl experience and they are very familiar playing at Allegiant Stadium each season. Look for the offense to make a statement on its opening drive and add points on the scoreboard. Remember, Reid is not super aggressive, so he will not bypass a field goal for a 4th-down attempt if the points are available.
Chiefs Finish Where Packers and Lions Couldn’t
Our next NFL pick is looking at the team total for the Chiefs (over/under 23.5 points).
The Chiefs have only gone over 23.5 points in 8 of 20 games this year, but the Super Bowl usually comes down to matchups and how you are playing now. Struggling in September does not mean much come February.
Early in the season, the Chiefs did not really have much to rely on at wide receiver, but rookie Rashee Rice has stepped up as the new No. 1 option there. Travis Kelce has looked fantastic this postseason as he gets back to his old tricks with Mahomes. Isiah Pacheco has also really come along as the lead back and has been producing consistently down the stretch.
San Francisco’s Lackluster Defense
The Chiefs have been moving the ball very well the last month, though they have settled for a lot of field goals at times. They’ll need touchdowns in this game, but they can take some comfort in a San Francisco defense that has been below average in 5-of-6 games coming into this game.
The Packers moved the ball well against the 49ers in the divisional round, but a failed 4th-and-1 and a missed field goal led to their 24-21 loss. They could have easily scored 24 points that night in the rain. The Chiefs have a much better kicker in Harrison Butker and will be indoors for this one in a venue they know well.
The Lions moved the ball even better against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, including a rushing game that produced 182 yards as the 49ers have allowed over 100 rushing yards in 5 of the last 6 games too. It was criminal that Detroit didn’t score more than 31 points, leaving points on the field with big dropped passes by Josh Reynolds on a 4th down and a 3rd-and-long in the 3rd quarter alone.
Chief’s Turnaround in Mistakes
The Chiefs are certainly no strangers to dropped passes this season, but they have cut down on their mistakes at the right time. Their 1 drop over the last 2 games is their best 2-game stretch of the season, and they only have 2 lost fumbles this postseason. Mahomes has not thrown an interception in his last 6 playoff games, which is an NFL record.
The only real concern with this line is if the Chiefs go cold after halftime again. In the Mahomes era, the Chiefs have had 6 scoreless 2nd halves and 4 of them have come this season, including the AFC Championship Game in Baltimore.
But if the 49ers are scoring enough to make this a competitive game, the Chiefs will play aggressively and look to keep putting up points for 60 minutes. It shouldn’t reach the level of 38-35 last year in the Super Bowl, but the Chiefs have more than enough to score over 23.5 points in this matchup.
NFL Pick: Chiefs Team Total 23.5 (-115) at Bet365
Think Kansas City, Think Under
For our final pick, we are looking at a Spread/Total Points Double bet for Chiefs +3.5 and Under 51.5 Points. For reference, the game’s spread is 49ers -2.5 and over/under 47.5 points, so this is teasing each line a little.
Statistically, the 49ers have been a stronger team than the Chiefs this year, and that has been true since Week 1. But it was still a little surprising to see the 49ers have to come back from a 17-point deficit against the Lions to win the NFC Championship Game, and they still find themselves as a favorite over the Chiefs, who dispatched the top-seeded Ravens on the road a week after taking care of the Bills in Buffalo.
At some point, you stop betting against the underdog, especially when it’s a defending champion with Reid, Mahomes, Kelce and the No. 2 scoring defense. But the money stat is the Chiefs are now 10-1-1 ATS as an underdog with Mahomes at quarterback. Maybe more impressive than that is his 9-3 SU record as an underdog, including last year’s Super Bowl win against Philadelphia.
The Chiefs fully embrace the underdog role, and their improved defense has them in this game with an offense that has clicked again at the right time. They face a San Francisco team that has won back-to-back playoff games by 3 points after a regular season where all but one of the team’s wins was by fewer than 12 points, so it has been a role reversal for both teams coming into this game.
For the record, only the 2021 Rams ever won 3 straight playoff games by 3 points, so that’s what the 49ers would tie here if they only won by 1-to-3 points again. But we are still taking the line of Chiefs +3.5 instead of the moneyline, because you just never know when one of these receivers will decide to mess things up for the Chiefs.
- We saw on opening night how Kadarius Toney cost the team at least 10 net points in a 21-20 loss to Detroit, a game where Toney also dropped a pass in go-ahead field goal range at the end.
- We saw Marquez Valdes-Scantling drop a go-ahead touchdown late in a 21-17 loss to the Eagles.
- We saw Toney line up offsides against Buffalo to negate his touchdown from a brilliant lateral by Kelce in a 20-17 loss.
Like we said, the 49ers are still here because of opponent mistakes with missed field goals and drops, so we’ll take the extra security of Chiefs +3.5. The team has every right to eye another potential Super Bowl win, because it has the defense to rattle Brock Purdy into sacks and turnovers. Meanwhile, they still have the best quarterback in the game and Kelce isn’t going to look like a bum when his ultra-famous girlfriend is spending a fortune to get to the game from Tokyo.
The underdog Chiefs cover again.
Under 51.5 Points
In case you forgot, this has been a season of unders in island games, especially some of the ones we had the highest expectations for like Dolphins-Chiefs in Germany and Eagles-Chiefs on a Monday night. Even Chiefs-Ravens just ended 17-10 in the AFC Championship Game after an absurd run of 3 straight touchdowns by the offenses. That dried up quickly.
Defense still wins championships. The Chiefs have not allowed more than 27 points in any game this season, and they have held everyone but Green Bay to 24 points or fewer. The 19 games of allowing 24 points or fewer is tied for the most games in NFL history in a single season (playoffs included) with the 1925 Frankford Yellow Jackets and the 2000 Ravens.
Granted, the Chiefs also needed the Bills to miss a field goal to keep that final at 27-24, meaning all 20 Kansas City games have finished under 51.5 points this year. The under is also 14-6 (70%) in Kansas City games, the 3rd-highest mark in 2023. Remember, the real under for this game is 47.5 points and given 51 is a key number in NFL totals, you want to be on the other side of it at 51.5 for the under.
Between Chiefs +3.5 and under 51.5, we feel very good about Kansas City’s ability to keep it a 27-24 or 24-21 type of game again.
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