Super Bowl 54 Odds, Betting Picks, Predictions: Preview, Spread, Line for Chiefs vs. 49ers
Via Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Mahomes
- Updated Super Bowl odds list the Chiefs as a -1.5 betting favorite over the 49ers.
- Our experts have covered every angle, including mismatches, props, our model predictions, betting picks and so much more.
- Check out our official Super Bowl betting preview below.
Super Bowl Odds: Chiefs vs. 49ers
- Spread: Chiefs -1.5
- Over/Under: 53.5
- Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Miami, FL
- TV Channel: FOX
Odds as of Saturday evening and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Our experts are here to guide you through how to bet on Super Bowl 54.
Find their analysis of the matchups that could swing the big game, their projected odds, our experts’ and model’s spread picks as well as our resident prop expert’s top prop bet below.
Super Bowl Injury Report
Both teams are all systems go.
It’s a bittersweet moment as I’ve written more than 300 injury blurbs this NFL season, and unsurprisingly, we’re down to the two healthiest teams.
The Chiefs biggest question mark heading into this game was DL Chris Jones (calf), who graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 interior defender and is one of the league’s best pass-rushers. But there doesn’t appear to be any more concerns — he practiced in full all week and was removed from the injury report altogether.
RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) had an early exit against in the NFC Championship Game, and his status seemed uncertain over the past two weeks. However, he returned to limited practice early in the week, then logged a full practice on Friday and was ultimately removed from the 49ers’ injury report.
Still, there’s no telling how much time Coleman will actually see given Raheem Mostert is more than capable of taking on backfield duties. — Justin Bailey
Mismatch That Favors the 49ers
49ers Rush Offense vs. Chiefs Run Defense
Kyle Juszczyk and George Kittle earned top-three run-blocking grades from PFF this season, and the Niners’ run game is a completely different beast when both of them are on the field together:
- Juszczyk and Kittle Both Active (12 games): 5.3 yards per carry, 173.8 yards per game, 1.8 touchdowns per game
- Juszczyk and/or Kittle Out (six games): 3.5 yards per carry, 115.0 yards per game, 1.2 TDs per game
After surrendering an unforgivable 28.2 carries for 148.1 yards and 1.2 TDs per game in Weeks 1-10, the Chiefs run defense has started to come on. Since Week 11, Kansas City is allowing just 21.5 carries for 93.6 yards and 0.5 TDs per contest. And just in case you thought the Chiefs weren’t for real, they derailed the Derrick Henry train in the AFC Championship Game, holding him to just 69 yards on 19 carries.
Still, things won’t be nearly as easy on Sunday.
The 49ers’ backs possess more speed than Henry. In fact, Raheem Mostert finished first among running backs in Football Outsiders’ rushing DVOA (26.4%) — 10 spots higher than Henry (6.5%). — Chris Raybon
Mismatch That Favors the Chiefs
Chiefs Special Teams vs. 49ers Special Teams
Mecole Hardman didn’t waste any time putting his 4.33 jets to good use, averaging 26.1 yards per kickoff return and earning a Pro Bowl nod as a rookie. In Week 17, Hardman took a kickoff back 104 yards to the house, the longest of the 2019 NFL season. He’s popped a return of at least 32 yards in each of his past four games.
This is not a dude that you want to kick anywhere even remotely near.
Because if there’s one thing the Niners fanbase absolutely needs, it’s a screw-up on special teams that ends up costing them a shot to win a championship. It naturally follows, then, that of the 32 kickers to attempt 36 or more kickoffs this season, Mitch Wishnowsky’s 51.8% touchback percentage ranks seventh-worst.
“At least 90 percent of the time if the ball’s not going for a touchback it’s not on purpose,” he told The Athletic ahead of the NFC Championship Game. “There’s still a bit for me to figure out,” he then added.
While Mr. Wishnowsky is figuring that out, we should all be figuring out how to get more money down on Hardman for Super Bowl MVP. — Raybon
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Chiefs -1.5
- Projected Total: 52.5
This matchup is fascinating: We have arguably the NFL’s best offense (Chiefs) going up against the NFL’s best defense (49ers). However, it just might be the opposite matchup that ultimately decides this game.
The 49ers have an explosive offense that ranks seventh in explosive plays via the run and first in explosive plays via the pass. It’s worth noting that they rely on their strong run game to set up play-action passes, which Jimmy Garoppolo has thrived on this season. And this matchup sets up perfectly for them as the Chiefs are a run funnel defense, as evidenced by their sixth overall ranking in DVOA against the pass compared to their 29th overall ranking against the run.
The Chiefs will have issues against the 49ers, especially when the game is close. However, if the Chiefs jump out to an early lead and force the 49ers into a pass-heavy offense, it could throw off the 49ers’ game plan completely. That scenario would also make play-action less effective as the Chiefs would be less likely to fall for it.
Because of this, it is absolutely critical for the 49ers to get off to a fast start and prevent the Chiefs from taking an early lead — it’s also why I’m leaning toward backing San Francisco in the first-quarter and first-half markets.
The Chiefs’ offense will have its hands full against 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s unit, but with Patrick Mahomes under center, no lead is safe for the 49ers.
Let’s not forget that Mahomes suffered a multi-week injury in Week 7, then beat his timetable by missing only two games. He also dealt with a high ankle sprain and a nagging hand injury. But thanks to the Chiefs’ first-round bye, he appeared to finally be 100% at the start of the playoffs. Now we’re starting to see the 2018 version of Mahomes — he’s looked unstoppable.
The sneaky edge for the Chiefs is that no matter the game flow — whether they get out to a big lead or fall behind early — they’re capable of winning in either scenario whereas the 49ers are much less likely to comeback from a one- to two-score deficit.
I’m going to pass on this spread, but there does appear to be some value on the over/under.
Since opening at 51.5, this total has been driven up to 53.5 with a vast majority of tickets and money coming in on the over (find real-time public betting data here). This is typical for the Super Bowl as it’s by far the most-bet game of the year, and the general public loves betting on the over.
Fifty-two, 53 and 54 are sort of a dead zone when it comes to totals, but 55 is a key number — just think of typical football scores such as 28-27 or 31-24 — and professional bettors (aka sharps) always seem to come in heavy on the under whenever a total hits 55. We could see this one pop up to 55 or 55.5 before kickoff, but it would be key to take either number before pros bet it back down.
Our Model’s Pick
Bookmakers and the public favor the Chiefs, but The Action Network’s model — which uses player and team statistics to simulate the Super Bowl 10,000 times — does not.
According to our model, the 49ers should be favored. On average, our simulations have them winning by 0.4 points.
But how trustworthy are the simulations? Whenever there was at least a one-point difference between our simulations and the betting line this season, like with the 49ers, the model went 81-59-1 (57.9%) against the spread. — John Ewing
Expert Spread Pick
Raybon: 49ers +1.5
Kansas City was the most profitable team to bet on this season, going 12-5-1 against the spread, covering by an average of 4.56 points. Of course, San Francisco was no slouch, either, going 11-6-1 with an average margin of +6.83.
The Chiefs’ run defense — which ranked 29th in Football Outsiders’ schedule-adjusted efficiency metric (DVOA) during the regular season — was a concern they were ultimately able to overcome against the Titans, holding Henry to 19 carries for 69 yards in the AFC Championship Game. This 49ers running game may be even scarier, though: They averaged the second-most rushing yards per game over the regular season (144.1) and another 235.5 per game in their two playoff wins.
The difference between the Titans and 49ers is that San Francisco also has a top-tier defense that’s harder to build a commanding lead against.
Of course, that defense hasn’t met an offense quite like Kansas City’s. San Francisco faced the two highest-scoring offenses in the league besides itself in the regular season, losing 20-17 to Baltimore and winning 48-46 against New Orleans.
This could come down to something as simple as the coin toss and which team takes a lead first — in fact, I make this a pick ’em.
The Chiefs have shown they can come from behind after starting slow, but that will be harder to do against the 49ers, who get pressure without blitzing better than any team in the league. On the other hand, despite showing they could win a shootout, the 49ers are clearly better when they’re playing from ahead.
Ultimately, I see slight value on the 49ers here, as I feel most models are overweighting Weeks 14-17, when they were the most banged-up on defense.
Historically, only 3-4% of NFL games will land on a final margin of 1, so if you can’t get the 49ers +1.5 — which I bet it at with -110 juice — it makes more sense to grab the 49ers moneyline at +105 or better instead.
Since I have this as a pick ’em, anything beyond +100 would trigger value. That said, I should point out that my thresholds to trigger a bet would normally be higher than tenths of a percent; I just make an exception for the Super Bowl because there will be no more NFL for the next six months.
Expert Prop Bet
Matthew Freedman: Damien Williams Over 3.5 Receptions (-114)
I prefer unders with player props, but there’s value on Williams’ overs: The market is yet to appreciate how fully he has controlled the Chiefs backfield in the playoffs.
Over the past two games, Williams has had a snap rate of 90.9% while getting 29 of the backfield’s 30 carries and 12 of its 14 targets. In his 10 Chiefs games with a snap rate of at least 60%, Williams has had a median of five receptions.
I’d bet the over on this prop up to 4.5 receptions.
More on Super Bowl 54
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