UA-59049186-1 Super Bowl LVIII Picks - Good if it Goes

Super Bowl LVIII Picks

When the 49ers have the ball:

They must win the battle up front. The 49ers offense ranks 2nd in DVOA adjusted line yards whereas the Chiefs defense ranks 25th. The KC defense ranks 27th in run defense DVOA and will likely have their hands full with the #2 rushing offense. At this point, you may be asking “who’s #1?” That would be Baltimore. If San Francisco is going to win this game, they must be able to do what Baltimore couldn’t: establish the run and play their game.

Brock Purdy needs to be more than a bus driver. The Chiefs are going to get theirs. They are going to score and the 49ers are going to have to be able to answer. On Temecula Day, we saw a game get out of hand when the Ravens got the 49ers off their game and forced them to pass. Purdy made several mistakes and the game turned into a blowout. While that Ravens defense is better than the one the 49ers will see in Vegas on Sunday, the Chiefs’ defensive unit is no pushover. The Chiefs have the #5 pass defense in DVOA and L’Jarius Sneed has been playing great football. They are more than capable of making plays.

When the Chiefs have the ball:

They need to score. I know this sounds obvious, but they need to keep the pressure on San Francisco. Make them answer you. Don’t let them play their game and grind it out. A Chiefs vs. 49ers game can go many ways. A Patrick Mahomes vs. Brock Purdy game goes one way.

KC’s receivers cannot let Mahomes down. Last year showed that they don’t need a true superstar at receiver, but this year showed that they need something more than a bunch of JAGs. The team misses JuJu. They not only miss his pure production, they miss what he made opposing defenses do. When the Chiefs’ offense was firing on all cylinders, the answer from opposing defenses was to play 2-high. The Chiefs answered this by letting Travis Kelce eat in the gaps in the zones underneath. The lack of a real #1 receiver lets defenses turn their attention to Kelce.

The Chiefs need to take advantage of an average 49ers run defense. The 49ers rank just 15th in run defense DVOA. However, the Chiefs rank 17th in run offense DVOA. Getting Isiah Pacheco going would be huge for Kansas City’s chances.

One area the Chiefs figure to have a big advantage is up front in the passing game. Kansas City’s offense ranks second in adjusted sack rate, while San Francisco’s defense ranks 17th. When Tampa Bay was able to solve the Chiefs’ offense three years ago, a big part of that victory was their ability to get to Mahomes. If San Francisco can’t get home with 4, that’s a big point in favor of KC.

The pick:

If the 49ers had a clear way to get the Chiefs off schedule, I would lean their way, but they don’t. Their pass rush and their run defense are both just average. Thus, the game will be played on the Chiefs’ terms. We saw the Chiefs handle a team who wants to run the football. Steve Spagnuolo’s unit stepped up big time and got them off their game. Can the 49ers win playing the Chiefs’ game? We saw them come back from 17 down against Detroit, but the Chiefs are not the Lions. They have been here before. They are ready for the moment. Their coach does not hit on 19. And, most importantly, they have Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs 27, 49ers 19


(Lines as of February 7)

Super Bowl MVP: Patrick Mahomes +140 (FD)

If the Chiefs win, this is the safest pick by far, and you’re getting plus money on it. Travis Kelce should really only be considered because he’s going off at +1700, because, obviously, any numbers he puts up go towards Mahomes as well. If you think the 49ers will win, I like Deebo Samuel at +2500, as he’s capable of impacting the game in multiple ways. For longshot plays, I like Nick Bosa (+10000) for the 49ers and L’Jarius Sneed (+24000) for the Chiefs.

Brock Purdy INT -115 (FD)

This is a good Chiefs pass defense. Sneed, in particular, has been playing great. It feels like Purdy has one in him, especially if he has to start throwing a lot.

Isiah Pacheco ATD -120 (DK)

Figures to get a chance to pound one in at some point.

Deebo Samuel ATD +140 (FD)

Plus money for a guy who can score in multiple ways.

Noah Gray o10.5 rec yds -120 (PB)

The Chiefs make frequent use of 12 and 13 personnel and Gray has been targeted at least 3 times in 5 of KC’s last 6 games.


(Lines from as of February 6, unless noted.)

Coin toss: Tails -104 (FD)

In reality, you should never play this, because

it’s less than even money on something with even chances, but for the purposes of this blog, tails never fails.

National anthem o86.5 sec -180

Reba doesn’t mess around when she sings the anthem, but that number just feels too low.

Gatorade color: Blue +500

In the Chiefs’ two wins, it’s been orange and then purple. We’ve also seen Andy Reid doused with lemon lime in the past. But Not blue. Yet. Blue’s got the best value, so that’s where we’re going.


Whatever Elmo’s calling it nowBlueskyThreads: @312sportsguy

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