Super Bowl LVIII is here. The Chiefs and the 49ers will battle in Las Vegas for the Lombardi Trophy. Most of us aren’t Chiefs or 49ers fans, but we will all have a team on Sunday. We will all pick a side. And we can all put some action behind our newly formed allegiance by betting on the spread and the over/under on DraftKings Sportsbook. Will the 49ers cover? Will Super Bowl LVIII be an over? Read on to find out.
Super Bowl bets are different. This is not another regular season game. The statistics, matchups and advanced analytics aren’t as predictive. This is not a regular season conference matchup where the team with the better defense or home field advantage is the obvious pick to cover. Team trends do not matter much. Even historical playoff trends or Super Bowl trends are shaky statistics for prognostication. This doesn’t mean that stats do not matter. What matters is this is the Super Bowl. It’s its own beast and should be treated as such.
Super Bowl LVIII Game Spread — Chiefs vs. 49ers
Chiefs +2 (-115)
It’s worth repeating that this is the Super Bowl and not just another NFL game. Matchups and personnel breakdowns matter for NFL betting, but they’re not quite as definitive in the playoffs or the Super Bowl. Case in point the conference championship games. The Baltimore Ravens outmatched the Kansas City Chiefs in nearly every matchup category. Baltimore was at home. The public loved them, as did the Media. The Chiefs won outright. In the NFC, no one gave the Lions a chance except for the city of Detroit. They almost pulled off the impossible, but they covered when every stat said they would get wiped out. The stats still matter. The matchups still matter. Trust the numbers, but also trust your eyes and past experience.
Forget about the Taylor Swift conspiracy theories. That’s going a little too far, but there is a delicate balance between analytics and gut. The analytics never liked the Patriots’ dynasty, but they won Super Bowls. And when the analytics favored the Patriots, they lost Super Bowls. Eli Manning and Nick Foles won Super Bowls. Peyton Manning won Super Bowl 50 with 141 passing yards. Does this sound scientific? Did the simulations and algorithmic AI models predict those outcomes?
Games like this come down to specific plays and the ability of a team to execute and take advantage of opportunities. That’s the Chiefs. They are the Patriots 2.0. They just win big games. When it’s time to make the play or not make the mistake, they get it done. By hook or by crook, they find a way to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
The 49ers are not this team. They are not built for this game. They are built to pummel opponents over the course of 18 low-pressure weeks. Over the long run, their mistakes and occasional lack of execution are excused. The short run is different. Their propensity to sleepwalk nearly cost them the chance to play in the Super Bowl. In tough matchups during the regular season, they lost several games because of their leisurely play. The Chiefs do not know casual. The 49ers cannot waste a down against the Chiefs. On the big stage, the 49ers have not proven that they can play a full game.
This could be the Niners moment. Was the NFC Conference game their Road to Damascus awakening? It’s hard to believe that this team figured it out 22 weeks into the season. Trust is earned. The Chiefs and their coaching staff have earned that trust. They have the Super Bowl and playoff wins to prove it.
Super Bowl LV III Game Total
Under 47.5 (-110)
There’s a plethora of articles breaking down why the over will hit for Super Bowl LVIII. There’s just as many for the under. It’s not just articles. Every major website has video segments breaking it down. YouTube is teeming with even more takes from tiny sites to amateur touts. Cable sports channels have been going over the projected score for two weeks and every paid and unpaid personality has given their hot take. Some are analytical and some are clickbait takes. The question is why read this one? Why trust this one?
This article is from the darkness. It’s a curmudgeon’s conception. Everyone is excited. It’s the Super Bowl. Enthusiasm equals expectations. The public tunes in to the Super Bowl for more than commercials. They want highlights and not fundamental tackling highlights. Money always comes in on the over that should not. The over/under is always too high.
Both defenses are elite. The 49ers were shaky in the first half in the NFC Conference Championship. They didn’t play well and they were playing an elite offense. Don’t bury the 49ers’ gold. If the first half was bad, then the second half was great. The 49ers can stymie Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Kansas City’s offense is not elite. The Chiefs are the modern Patriots Dynasty. The dynasty that won Super Bowls, not the offensive juggernauts that came up short. Kansas City looks more like the Patriots with Deion Branch at receiver, not the Randy Moss iteration. For those that don’t remember, Branch caught 57 of 104 targets for 803 yards during the Patriots’ 2003 Super Bowl season. Those are hardly hall of fame numbers, but they would qualify Branch as WR1 for the 2023-24 Kansas City Chiefs. The KC Dynasty is measured by wins not points. On the flip side, the 49ers are starting a quarterback that has become too familiar with flipping on and off. Brock Purdy is known as Mr. Irrelevant but Mr. Mercurial is a far better suiting moniker. Purdy lacks consistency. That didn’t hurt the 49ers against the Lions’ inferior defense. He got away with it. He can’t keep getting away with it! Actually, he can. The 49ers can win, but that doesn’t mean that they will throw gaudy numbers up on the scoreboard. This is the Super Bowl. The story is the same but it’s different — the ending is different. Purdy needs to be on and remain on. Otherwise, all of the 49ers’ fancy offensive forces aren’t very formidable. This isn’t the Lions or the Packers. The last time the 49ers were truly challenged by a defense, they lost 33-19 to the Ravens on Christmas Day. Win or lose, 19 points isn’t going to cut it.
Last but not least, both teams play slow. Even though the 49ers are explosive at times, they’re slow and methodical most of the time. The Chiefs don’t have the weapons to push the pace. They call the right plays, execute and play sound football. When the whistle blows, they have more points than their opponents, but not a lot more. Slow offenses and good defenses set the stage for an under. For the casual fans looking for non-stop exciting action, they should look to the commercials, the halftime show or daring someone at the party to consume 50 extremely hot chicken wings. That would be spicy. This game will not be. It’ll be a good football game, but not spicy.
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