I had a rough go at it during Conference Championship weekend, bringing my season tally to 60-49-2.
I have seven picks on deck for the Super Bowl, so let’s end this year on a good note.
Without further ado, let’s dive into my best bets for Super Bowl LVIII.
Nobody wants to go into the offseason losing their final bets, going against one of the greatest QB/coach combos we’ve ever seen.
If you like the 49ers, why not bake in some room for error by teasing the Chiefs up?
In the last three seasons (regular season and playoffs), the Chiefs have lost a total of three games by more than eight points. When you have Patrick Mahomes — combined with a ferocious defense — how do they get blown out?
The total is trickier because there can be late scoring explosions — 25 points in the fourth quarter last year, 21 points in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, 19 points in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII — to torch your Under bet.
For those reasons, give me this teaser.
PICK: Chiefs +8.5, Under 53.5
49ers will own the first half
This is a fade-the-narrative play.
The extra week here will break that cycle and revert to the regular season form, where San Francisco was the fourth-highest-scoring team in the first quarter and the first half.
PICK: 49ers (-128 1st half) to outscore Chiefs in the 1st half by at least 1 point
Brock Purdy will be a passing machine
The narrative is that the Ravens went away from the run game against the Chiefs and hurt themselves. Well, San Fran won’t do that!
Let’s remember that the Dolphins, Bills and Ravens all had top-5 running offenses this season, and the Chiefs bottled them up and won the game.
Brock Purdy will have to deliver against an elite secondary, and the guess here is he will, even though he didn’t do that against the other top pass defenses (Browns in the rain; Dallas in a blowout; Ravens in a blowout) that he’s faced.
PICK: Purdy (+102) to throw Over 260.5 yards passing
Anytime Touchdown Prop
Kyle Juszczyk +675
His role has been diminished considerably (by design?), but the last time these two met in the Super Bowl, he was a big part of the offense with three catches for 39 yards and a TD. That matched his entire season’s worth of touchdowns.
This season, Juszczy only has two TDs. He didn’t get a touch in the Packers playoff game despite playing 26 snaps. Look for that to change on Sunday.
PICK: Kyle Juszczyk (+675) to score a touchdown in Super Bowl LVIII
To Score a Touchdown
Richie James +800
Andy Reid loves to dial up exotic, new stuff in the red zone, and we know the 49ers will be on high alert for all things Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice. We also know that the snaps for Justin Watson, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore have dropped considerably.
It’s a dart throw, but James is a veteran, and Reid trusts him.
PICK: Richie James (+800) to score a touchdown in Super Bowl LVIII
Long-shot MVP Bet
If you think this game will be a low-scoring affair and that the Chiefs defense will bottle up the 49ers offense, why not take a flier on someone from Kansas City’s defense?
George Karlaftis as MVP is currently listed at +16100.
He is tied for the team lead in sacks this season (10.5) and leads the team in sacks this postseason (2.5), as well as tackles for loss (3). Most importantly, Karlaftis will be going head-to-head with Colton McKivitz, who has been just average all season.
If Karlaftis picks up 2.5 sacks, the Chiefs win an ugly 13-10 game and neither offense tops 350 yards … why not the young edge guy from Purdue?
This is definitely worth a sprinkle.
PICK: Karlaftis (+16100) to win Super Bowl LVIII MVP
Longest field goal over 47.5 yards
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker hasn’t missed a field goal all postseason (7-7), and he was a perfect 5-for-5 on field goals over 50 yards this season.
The concern here is Jake Moody, the 49ers rookie. He’s only one-for-three from 40-49 yards in the playoffs, and during the season, he missed two-of-six from that range and one from 50+.
He is not exactly the legend Robbie Gould, who famously never missed a postseason kick.
The most nervous man on either sideline Sunday might be the rookie kicker drafted in the third round. This is Butker’s fourth Super Bowl.
I still think we see one deep FG made.
PICK: Longest FG Over 47.5 yards
Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst who also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead. Follow him on Twitter @JasonRMcIntyre.
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