We are just a matter of days away from Super Bowl 58 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. Our team at Pro Football Network has been on the ground in Las Vegas talking to some of the best in the business when it comes to NFL betting.
Among bigger discussions on the science of Super Bowl betting, those experts have been giving us their Super Bowl 58 predictions and picks ahead of Sunday. Let’s take a look at what each had to say about how they see things playing out leading up to and on Sunday.
Super Bowl 58 Picks and Predictions
Ben Fawkes, formally of ESPN and VSIN joined David Bearman on the PFN Betting Podcast and gave his prediction for how he sees the line potentially moving ahead of Sunday.
“The bigger money is on the Niners. So we’ve seen one $1 million bet on the Niners that was at Caesars, Niners moneyline, and another $500,000 bet on the Niners moneyline as well. The books don’t always like to give the exact figures, some other six-figure wagers also on the Niners.
“The public is on the Chiefs, and so DraftKings in 24 states, in 23 of them, the majority of the bets and the handle are on the Chiefs to cover. The public is all over the Chiefs, and some of the bigger bets on the Niners so far.
“I don’t think it (the spread) is going to go too far. We’ve seen it got down to Niners -1 and respected money hammered that. I don’t think it’s going down to a pick, and I don’t think it’s going to get up to three because I think other respected money will hammer. They’re already taking the Chiefs at +2.5 and +2, they’re definitely going to take it at +3.
“I think it is kind of where it should be, and you can take a side. We saw the Westgate, and we saw FanDuel and some other books go to 2.5, and they haven’t moved it back yet. So it’s not like they are getting inundated with cheese. So I think it is just kind of where the liability wants to be. Some books have liability on the Niners to win the Super Bowl, so they’re booking a little bit based off of that too.”
Fawkes also gave PFN his current Super Bowl 58 picks and how he sees the game playing out on Sunday.
“I’ve just bet a couple of props. I like to talk to people smarter than me about it. Brock Purdy under pass attempts (30.5 at -120 on ESPN BET), just seeing the way, ideally, the 49ers play. They don’t want him to pass too much.”
“A couple of people like George Kittle over receiving yards as well. It’s 47.5 or somewhere in there (Over 49.5 at -110 on FanDuel).”
“San Francisco to win the time of possession as well. Similar to how you’re thinking the Niners want to keep Mahomes off the field, run the ball.”
“I’m going Niners, I’m going to say 30-27. I do think it is a little more of a higher-scoring game. I think the offenses will have a little more success even though the Chiefs’ defense has been good and the Niners’ defense was not so good against the [Detroit] Lions. I’m going to go [Christian] McCaffrey (for MVP), I think.”
VP of Trading at Caesars Sportsbook, Craig Mucklow, echoed Fawkes’ thoughts in terms of the line remaining fairly steady in the region of 2-to-2.5. In an interview alongside his colleague Adam Pullen (Assistant Director of Trading), Mucklow told PFN that the spread “won’t get to three. I think it is pretty solid at two.”
When discussing the Super Bowl with Aaron Schatz of FTN Fantasy, he gave an insight into how this game is viewed in the sphere of his DVOA metric.
“If we look at the regular season or we look at the weighted numbers that include the playoffs and give more weight to more recent games, it likes the 49ers. The [Baltimore] Ravens and 49ers this year were both among the top 10 teams ever measured by DVOA going back to 1981.
“San Francisco was the better team this year, and even if you add on the playoff performance where the Chiefs have played so well in three playoff games, both on offense and defense, San Francisco has been the better team this year.
“The San Francisco offense has been so efficient this year, and even if let’s assume Kansas City is back, that they’re at the same level, not that they were in this year’s regular season, but that they were the last couple of years, San Francisco is still better than that.”
When asked how often the team with the better DVOA beats the team with the lesser DVOA, Schatz answered “Two-thirds of the time.” In terms of the spread, Schatz told PFN he would “have it by San Francisco by like three,” as part of stating that he feels the spread is “pretty close to right on.”
Schatz added, “If you are a bettor who likes all the little, like slight advantages that I would say to put your money on San Francisco, but there are a lot of other bets that I like better for return on investment than trying to play the spread on this game, where the spread is this close.”
Schatz also spoke about his view on the Super Bowl MVP.
“I can’t read the minds of the media, but I have a feeling based on the way people talk about this game that if San Francisco wins, I think they are going to be looking for a reason to give the MVP to someone other than Brock Purdy.
“I think there is a general belief that while Brock Purdy has the great numbers, he’s helped along by his teammates, sort of the feeling of giving the MVP to one of those teammates. I like Christian McCaffrey at +450. I like the long shots. Brandon Aiyuk at +5000 and George Kittle at +8000.”
When asked what else he thinks we could see in this game, Schatz added, “Both of these, the offenses are better in the first half, and these defenses are fantastic in the fourth quarter from a football perspective. That means whoever is behind when we get near the end of the game is going to have a hard time coming back.”
“It means I like the over first half, which I think is 23.5 in some places and 22.5 in other places.”
KEEP READING: Biggest Super Bowl 58 Bets Made So Far
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