Chips will be pushed all-in one final time for the 2023 NFL season in Las Vegas on Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58. With an extra week off before the season finale, we have some extra time to witness line movement in the betting markets. However, there actually hasn’t been much movement.
The sharpest sportsbooks in the world opened the 49ers at -2 and there was a momentary blip down to -1, we have come back to -2 with less than a week until kickoff. The total has been much of the same. It opened at 47.5, saw a dip to 47 before climbing back to 47.5.
So here we are, one final game to crown a champion and the betting market makes the game almost a near coin flip as San Francisco is implied to win the game about 55 percent of the time.
Last week’s record: 1-0, +1 unit
Season record: 46-47-1, -2.35 units, -2.3% ROI
So what does all this line movement mean for my NFL projection model? Well, I have the total at 47.5 so there is nothing there for me. But I do think there is an opportunity in another traditional market. Just one bet to place but luckily for us, the Super Bowl means a million prop bets so keep an eye out for that article.
Super Bowl 58 best bet
Kansas City Chiefs moneyline (+110) vs. San Francisco 49ers
I could sit here and tell you that I’m taking the better quarterback in this game and it would be totally justified…kind of. My model makes this game close to a coin flip but does have the 49ers favored by less than a point. My question about that number is that the Chiefs offense has looked like a totally different unit than we saw during the regular season. Did the Chiefs go on auto-pilot during the regular season? Did Andy Reid save the good plays for the postseason?
I’m not sure, but if anything, I believe that my model underrates the Chiefs right now which I didn’t think would have been possible heading into the season. And am I really willing to bet against the triumvirate of Patrick Mahomes, the Kelce family and Taylor Swift? I’m not so sure.
Let’s talk about the actual matchup now. The Chiefs defense has been flying around for quite some time while the 49ers defense has been trending the other direction. Since Week 9 (including the postseason), San Francisco’s defense ranks 17th in EPA/Play and 20th in success rate. If variance falls towards Detroit and they convert one of the two now infamous fourth down calls in the NFC Championship Game, we might be talking about Dan Campbell’s team in Las Vegas this week. I don’t think that’s where you want to be when going up against the best quarterback on the planet in Mahomes.
One last note on Brock Purdy and this 49ers offense. I’m a little skeptical of their ability to put up efficient numbers against quality defenses. When going through the game log of this season, Purdy and the offense absolutely scorched the Cardinals (twice), Cowboys, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Eagles, Seahawks and Commanders. They’ve been mortal against the Steelers, Rams, Giants, Browns, Vikings, Bengals, Seahawks, Ravens, Packers and Lions. Which group of teams is the Chiefs’ defense more like? Yes, I’m aware there has been weather impacting some of San Francisco’s games this year and that won’t be an issue in Vegas, but the dropoff in production when the quality of the defense rises makes me wonder if there is something there.
Model projection: 49ers 24, Chiefs 23.3
(Photo of Andy Reid: Luke Hales / Getty Images)