Chiefs vs Eagles Picks: Experts Make Case for Both Sides of Super Bowl Spread

Chiefs vs Eagles Picks: Experts Make Case for Both Sides of Super Bowl Spread article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Hurts (left) and Patrick Mahomes.

For the latest Super Bowl odds, click here.

We have a tough decision when making a Chiefs vs. Eagles pick for the Super Bowl.

In one corner, you have the Chiefs, who have the best player in the game – possibly the best quarterback when it’s all said and done – in Patrick Mahomes. He’s been dealing with a right ankle injury for the past few weeks, but he’ll be rested up and ready to go for Super Bowl Sunday. The status of his ailing receivers – Kadarius Toney and JuJu Smith-Schuster – is unknown.

In the other corner, you have the Eagles. They have the superior overall roster but have questions of their own. Is Jalen Hurts limited in any way by the right shoulder injury he suffered during the regular season? Does the Super Bowl experience gap between Nick Sirianni and Andy Reid matter? What about the fact that the Eagles benefitted from an easy schedule all season?

We have two NFL betting experts on each side of the spread for this piece, with Anthony Dabbundo and Brandon Anderson making a case for the Chiefs and Eagles.

Super Bowl Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Chiefs +1.5
Eagles -1.5
The must-have app for NFL bettors

The best NFL betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Chiefs +1.5
Best Book
6:30 p.m. ET

Anthony Dabbundo: Much of the discussion over the last couple weeks has centered on the health of one of the two quarterbacks in the Super Bowl — Patrick Mahomes and his right ankle.

In my view, the public (and market) is overrating Mahomes' injury and underrating Jalen Hurts’ right shoulder.

Hurts wasn’t effective in the Week 18 game against the Giants, and then he was middling at best against the Giants in the playoffs before posting poor passing numbers in the NFC Championship Game victory over the 49ers. It went under the radar because the Eagles won with ease, but Hurts' Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE) was in the negative in all three games since returning from the injury that sidelined him for two weeks.

Philadelphia had the benefit of a friendly path to the Super Bowl given Brock Purdy exited due to an injury on the first drive of the NFC Championship game. The Eagles defense has largely gone untested against elite pocket passers this season. And when they have been tested, the defense hasn’t held up to its elite standard.

In Week 12 against the Packers, Aaron Rodgers left with a hand injury but Green Bay still managed to put up 33 points. Dak Prescott dropped 40 on them in Week 16 and Jared Goff led Detroit to 35 in Week 1. Two of those three games were Eagles victories, but those  came with a healthy Hurts. Mahomes will challenge the Eagles secondary, and based on pass block win rate, the Chiefs will be able to slow down the Eagles' dominant pass rush.

Kansas City is first in pass block win rate and Mahomes has the lowest sack rate under pressure in the NFL this season. This is not the Chiefs-Bucs Super Bowl redux, when Kansas City couldn’t block Tampa Bay with its porous offensive line.

This matchup is largely a chess match between Andy Reid’s innovation and Jonathan Gannon’s passive scheme defensively. The Chiefs are likely to see the Eagles dare them to run, but Kansas City may have found something in Isiah Pacheco — a hard-nosed runner who can keep the chains moving.

Mahomes and Reid will force the Eagles to go score for score with them to stay in this game, and Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo isn’t going to let the Eagles run the ball at will. He’ll bring run blitzes and force Hurts to beat K.C. with his arm from the pocket.

Early in the year, I’d maybe favor the Eagles to do that. But given his recent regression — potentially due to injury — Hurts is likely going to be less efficient than the market projects him to be. For that reason, Kansas City should be favored to win Super Bowl 57 and I’d bet them at any underdog price to lift the Lombardi Trophy.

The Eagles may have the better talent overall, but the Chiefs have the experience up and down the staff and roster, and a quarterback who will go down as one of the best to ever do it.

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

The ultimate NFL betting cheat code

Best bets for every game

Our NFL model's biggest weekly edges

Profitable data-driven system picks

» Return to the table of contents «

Eagles -1.5
Best Book
6:30 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: Patrick Mahomes might indeed be the best to ever do it, but football is a team game and there’s a reason no MVP has won the Super Bowl that same season this century.

Kansas City has the better quarterback but Philadelphia has the better run game, receiving corps, offensive line, pass rush, pass defense and in-game coaching. That’s why the Eagles are favored, even against Mahomes, and it’s why they’re the right pick.

Football is still won and lost in the trenches, and that’s advantage Philly.

The Eagles defensive line features Haason Reddick with at least one sack in eight of the last 10 games plus Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, and Javon Hargrave all with 11 or more sacks. The Eagles had the best sack rate on pass plays (11.5%) not just this season but by any team this century, as far ahead of second as No. 2 was ahead of No. 29, lapping the league.

Kansas City’s interior line is elite, but the key matchup in this game is Chiefstackles Orlando Brown and Andrew Wylie against those edge rushers. The Chiefs faced only one team all season in the top quarter of the league in pressure rate. Also, Mahomes is on a bad ankle likely to get worse as the game progresses. If Philadelphia gets a lead, those edge rushers can come after Mahomes all game.

On the other side, the Eagles’ offensive line is the best in the league. The interior of the line led by Jason “The Other” Kelce can handle Kansas City’s one elite defender Chris Jones, and Kelce, and the gang are built to shred a vulnerable Chiefs run defense. The Eagles led the league in rushing DVOA, EPA, and explosive plays. The Chiefs played only two games all season against a team with a positive rushing DVOA; they lost both and had the No. 30 DVOA in those games, and they rank dead last in ESPN’s run-stop rate.

Sometimes, the best defense against Patrick Mahomes is a good run offense. Philly’s rushing attack is versatile and creative. The Eagles can run with power, get to the edge, or confuse the defense with run-pass options. They find what works and mash the same concept until opponents stop it. That leads to those long 14-play, 82-yard drives that drain the clock, and it keeps Mahomes on the sidelines and all those Eagles pass rushers rested.

There’s no question Philadelphia had an easy path to the Super Bowl, both in the regular and postseason, but I’m not sure the Chiefs are particularly tested either. The defense faced only four offenses all year ranked top 13 in DVOA; the Eagles rank No. 1 with Hurts. Kansas City has the league’s worst red-zone defense against an elite red-zone offense, and the Chiefs are poor against short passes where Hurts has thrived.

It’s never fun betting against Mahomes, but it’s worth remembering the Chiefs have been outscored 51–19 in seven of eight Super Bowl quarters under Mahomes. K.C. is one fourth-quarter comeback against the Niners away from a very different narrative here.

I trust the Eagles to do what they’ve done all season and grab a first-half lead before dominating the clock late.

I love Philly halftime/full-time at +160, with the better team outplaying the individual once again as the Eagles win the Super Bowl.

» Return to the table of contents «

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.