The Super Bowl LVII matchup is set, and wasting no time, we’re taking a look at a betting preview just as the dust settles from the AFC and NFC Championship games.
The Kansas City Chiefs finally vanquished their new AFC rivals by beating Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals for the first time in four tries dating back to last January. Patrick Mahomes–bum ankle and all–is heading to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons and looking for his second title. After the Buffalo Bills were the favorites all year, the Chiefs are representing the AFC in Arizona.
Their opponent is the Philadelphia Eagles, who had no trouble winning their two playoff games thus far. It’s the Eagles’ first trip to the Super Bowl since after the 2017 season. They will be looking to add a second Lombardi Trophy to their collection after first winning one six seasons ago.
Let’s take a look at each team and then offer strategies off the early line that has been set for the game in this Super Bowl betting preview.
Super Bowl Betting Preview: Eagles Dominating Opponents
One might say the Philadelphia Eagles had a fair bit of luck in the playoffs. However, you make your own luck.
Due to their 14-3 record in the regular season, the Eagles had a bye in the first round. Then, they hosted the lowest seed remaining in the second round, which was a favorable contest against the overmatched New York Giants.
On Sunday, Haason Reddick pressured San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy. On the play, he knocked the ball loose for a fumble, and Purdy also suffered an elbow injury.
In the 31-7 win, however, the Eagles’ pressure caused Purdy to leave the game, and the 49ers’ defensive players lost their composure, racking up several penalties while playing aggressively.
In both playoff games, the Eagles outscored their opponents 69-14. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has played nearly perfect football since returning from a shoulder injury. That caused him to miss two games in the regular season and didn’t look 100% in a Week 18 win over the Giants’ backup players. In the playoffs, however, Hurts has played perfect football, and the Eagles are averaging 208 rushing yards per game with the trio of Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell–not to mention the running ability of Hurts.
Philadelphia obviously faced a compromised 49ers team, but they’ve still allowed just 195.5 yards per game in the postseason. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have allowed an average of 325 yards in their two playoff contests.
Super Bowl Betting Preview: Mahomes Overcomes Injured Ankle to Win Again
Patrick Mahomes–the MVP frontrunner–clearly was bothered by his injured ankle in the Chiefs’ 23-20 win over Cincinnati on Sunday evening, but he didn’t leave any doubt that he would lead his team no matter his condition.
“He gave me no opportunity to think he wasn’t going to play. He didn’t even miss a snap [in practice],” head coach Andy Reid said after the game.
It just adds to the legacy of the 27-year-old who becomes just the second quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to the Super Bowl for the third time in his first six NFL seasons. Tom Brady is the other one to do so.
Mahomes largely avoided running with the ball but still had precision passes like this touchdown to Marques Valdes-Scantling as the pressure closed in on him.
He largely avoided scrambling with the ball, choosing to improvise in the pocket. That all changed on the last offensive play, as the Chiefs needed to get into field goal range to try and break the 20-20 tie in regulation. Mahomes scrambled for five yards but appeared to be short of field goal range. That is, of course, until he got a late shove from behind by Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai.
The extra 15 yards allowed the field goal attempt to go from a 60 yarder into a swirling wind to a manageable 45-yard try. Harrison Butker left no doubt by splitting the uprights with :03 remaining to flip the script on the Bengals. In their last three meetings, Cincinnati won each game by three points. Now, the Chiefs won by three at a jubilant Arrowhead Stadium.
Super Bowl Betting Preview: Eagles Installed as Early Favorites
For the first time in their fourth Super Bowl appearance, the Eagles are the betting favorites for Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. Here is the early line, courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
|SUPER BOWL LVII TEAM
|Kansas City Chiefs
The strength of the Eagles’ defensive line and their No. 2 pass defense will be the keys of this game. Expect them to put pressure on Mahomes and force him to test his ankle more than the Bengals did. Kansas City’s rush defense ranks eighth in the league, and they held Cincinnati to just 71 yards on the ground on Sunday night.
We see the Eagles in a position of strength here against a limited Mahomes, but the Chiefs defense will keep it a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Philadelphia 24, Kansas City 20