Opening Line: Chiefs -1.5
KC Injury News:
The Chiefs have Chris Jones, Travis Kelce, Austin Reiter and Deon Yelder on the injury report, but they all practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday so should be good to go on Sunday.
San Francisco Injury News:
The 49ers have Kwon Alexander, Tevin Coleman and Jaquiski Tartt on their injury report. All 3 should be good to go on Sunday so they’re also at full strength for this matchup
If you’d have asked a lot of people what the most entertaining Super Bowl would’ve been at the start of the playoffs this matchup would’ve been 1 of the top 3 games mentioned and these are comfortably the best 2 teams in the NFL right now. The Chiefs are going to their first Super Bowl in 50 years with their last appearance being a victory over the Minnesota Vikings for their only Lombardi trophy so far. The 49ers will be playing their 7th SuperBowl and have won 5 rings, their last win was 1994 and their last appearance was in 2012 where they came just short of a ferocious comeback against the Ravens.
Focusing on this matchup, the marquee part of this game is Patrick Mahomes against the San Francisco defence. The early parts of this will be interesting as Kansas have come out cold in both of their playoff matchups so far while San Francisco have basically had both of their games won by the half. If Mahomes starts with back to back 3 and outs, then this could be a tough day for Kansas since the San Francisco D-line looks unblockable and will be putting him under pressure all day.
The positive for Mahomes is that he’s much more mobile than the quarterbacks this San Francisco D has come against in the playoffs so adds an extra dimension for San Francisco to stop. If he manages to get into a rhythm, then the Chiefs could score 3 touchdowns in a quarter and he has the potential to win any game on his own. The main 2 people supporting him are Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, Kelce will most likely be his go to target when he has to get the ball out quickly and look for Kansas to use Kelce very creatively in the redzone as he’ll draw the most attention from the fearsome San Francisco linebackers. Hill will probably see most of his joy out of the slot as on the outside he’ll have Richard Sherman to deal with who has had a brilliant postseason. Damien Williams figures to have a very tough day on the ground against a run D that eliminated Dalvin Cook and restricted the influence of Aaron Jones before the game became a blowout last time, but Andy Reid should be able to call some plays to give him a chance in the passing game once or twice.
The San Francisco D will be looking to give Mahomes no time or freedom to throw the ball. Strangely enough, only 1 of the 18 interceptions Mahomes has thrown in his career have come when he’s been blitzed, but I don’t think that will deter this freakish D-line from going after him with Nick Bosa, Armstead and Dee Ford causing chaos in all backfields they’ve come against lately. If they can get enough pressure to not give the KC receivers time to stretch the zone D then the secondary has a good chance of keeping the KC receivers quiet, the issue would be if Mahomes gave himself enough time to stretch the zones and forced the 49ers into man coverage then they can start picking their poison as Kelce is basically impossible to single cover and the other receivers are so fast that one of them will always get open.
On the other side of the ball the San Francisco offense is underrated in my eyes. They can beat each team a different way any week and I think they have one of the top 3 offensive minds in the league with Shanahan as head coach, look at the drop off in offense for the Falcons since he left if you need proof. Also, there’ll be an extra edge for him this SuperBowl after what happened with the Falcons in 2017 where his playcalling towards the end contributed to their collapse. Raheem Mostart had a career day against the Packers once Coleman came out with 4 touchdowns and 229 yards, while I don’t think he’ll be as effective in this game he still has a very good chance of powering into the endzone once or twice, look for carries to be mainly distributed between him and Coleman with Breida maybe getting a couple of carries depending on game script. I imagine San Francisco will want long drives to keep Mahomes off the field as much as possible and to keep their defense fresh, especially the D-line. This means a lot of creative runs and intermediate throws from Jimmy Garoppolo. Kansas have been caught out across the middle once or twice this postseason which is Garoppolo’s bread and butter so expect to see a lot of throws to Kittle and Sanders there in the first couple of drives. But a lot of the yardage Kansas have been conceded recently has been out wide so look for Sanders and especially Deebo Samuel to have much more productive days than they have previously in the playoffs.
The Kansas D is starting to finally get the respect it deserves having played well at key points in the last 2 games but faces the most dynamic offense it has seen in the postseason. Kansas have been fantastic at picking up key sacks this postseason and have generated a lot of pressure off the edge in the playoffs. A fully fit Chris Jones gives them key interior pressure which Garoppolo would hate if successful. The secondary has been a bit hit and miss, they are very capable of giving up big plays still and have conceded multiple scoring drives in the first quarter of each playoff game so far. If they iron this out though and get out into a lead they can force the 49ers into throwing it more which would be crucial as Garoppolo is more likely to turn the ball over than Mahomes is, especially with Tyrann Mathieu marauding around the secondary, look for him to play a key role of the outcome of this game and possibly force a turnover.
I think this either goes 1 of 2 ways, Kansas start slow, go 14-0 down early and this time can’t come back against a 49ers D that will feast on them and a running game that will just churn out first downs and cruise home. Or Kansas come out rolling and this turns into a shootout which comes down to which team makes a play last. I think it’ll be the latter since I can’t see Reid with 2 weeks of prep having his team come out cold yet again.
I still like the 49ers to win here, while Kansas have the best player on the field, San Francisco just seem a more complete team and are fully healthy again and I can see them forcing Mahomes into a turnover. Also, Garoppolo doesn’t receive enough credit in my eyes and is more than capable of making a play late to get his team over the line even though I can see him also throwing a pick. I’m going to say San Francisco wins 27-24.
Recommended bets: – I’m using the SkyBet prop market for this
San Francisco moneyline – 11/10 – Some early sharp money has been on KC so I’m going to keep this down to 2 units for now.
Raheem Mostart 100 yards rushing + TD – 4/1 – I think he’ll get a touchdown, so this is a decent price to take as a prop bet
49ers to win and any defensive player to win MVP – 14/1 I can see a scenario where Nick Bosa, Alexander or Sherman wins MVP if they get a defensive touchdown and the 49ers D overwhelms Kansas
Chiefs win, Mahomes MVP, Hill under 75 yards, Williams under 75 rush yards, Mostert 1+ TD – 12/1 I could see this scenario happening in a Kansas win. I think Kelce will be the standout receiver for KC and Hardman, Watkins and Robinson could vulture yards off of Hill. Williams should struggle on the ground and Mostert can score.
Garoppolo 300+ passing yards, Samuel 100+ receiving yards and Mostert 100+ rushing yards- 12/1
I think at double digits this is fair, Samuel should have a nice day if the game turns into a track meet, Mostert could have a nice day as well in a track meet. Garoppolo would have to throw for this many yards if this turned into a 60+ point game.
Mahomes and Garoppolo 200+ pass yards each, each team 1+ FG in each half, Williams and Mostert both to score a TD – 22/1 –
This is a fair price if the game develops into a track meet. Both RBs can score a short TD, Mahomes is almost certain to hit this mark and Garoppolo should hit this mark. Both kickers are solid and Miami is warm which helps kicking conditions.
KC to win Mahomes 400+ yards, Kelce 75+ yards and a TD – 25/1 –
I think this is a great price, for KC to win Kelce will need to go off, Mahomes will need to throw a lot due to Williams being unlikely to do much on the ground so could get to 400 for sure. Especially if they have a comeback win like in their other 2 games.
Deebo Samuel 151+ scrimmage yards – 11/2 –
I think Samuel will have a nice day and if he gets a decent rush in there then this mark is attainable though small stakes advised.
Other random bets –
Shakira’s first song will be She Wolf
Garoppolo to catch a TD – I can see Shanahan doing a Philly Special but can’t find a market for it. If you get 20/1 then it’s worth a shot
All playoff teams to be mentioned is boosted to 5/1 – Chiefs, 49ers, Vikings, Packers, Texans and Titans will all be mentioned as part of the road to the SB. The Patriots will be mentioned as reigning champs, Baltimore will be mentioned as part of the road as well being a losing 1 seed and the last team San Fran lost to in an SB. The Eagles will be mentioned I think if a commentator mentions the Philly Special. That leaves the Seahawks, Bills and Saints. The Seahawks may get a shout due to their rivalry with the 49ers and how they were 1 yard away from beating the 49ers in week 17, also the not running it on the 1 issue could come up. The Bills are going to be tough to mention unless they mention losing SBs or the whole playoff picture, the Saints are former SB champs which could help get a mention and there may be a throwback to the Saints-49ers game if commentators are talking up Jimmy G. I’d probably avoid this one, but I know a lot of people will be looking at it as it’s a super boost.