Edwards: Super Bowl LVIII picks

Edwards: Super Bowl LVIII picks

Happy Super Sunday, gang!

I took an early look at today’s Super Bowl LVIII 13 days ago. There’s been little to no line movement since then.

As of 2:45 p.m. Eastern today, most books had San Francisco (14-5 straight up, 9-10 against the spread) installed as a two-point favorite with a total of 47.5. The Chiefs were +110 on the money line at most spots, but Circa had them at +118 and the Westgate SuperBook was at +115.

For Super Bowls, I like to have a sink-or-swim bet. In other words, I want to be a winner or loser on Super Sunday based on the result of my favorite wager.

With this approach, I want to have about 75% of my bankroll for the day on that sink-or-swim pick. Then I can use the other 25% on props, but I’ll still be a winner for the day if I go 0-5 on props as long as my favorite play cashes.

My favorite play today is the Chiefs +2. Why, you ask?

Well, I think the wrong team is favored. Since its Christmas Day debacle when Kansas City (14-6 SU, 12-8 ATS) lost outright at home to Las Vegas, it has won five games in a row both SU and ATS.

Andy Reid’s team started its postseason run with a 26-7 win over Miami as a 4.5-point home favorite. Next, Kansas City went to Buffalo and won a 27-24 decision as a 2.5-point road underdog.

Then in the AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs captured a 17-10 win at Baltimore as 4.5-point road underdogs. With the win, the Chiefs improved to 10-1-1 ATS with nine outright victories in their 12 games as underdogs when Patrick Mahomes has been their starting QB.

I feel like we have three critical advantages in siding with Kansas City over the 49ers. For starters, we have the QB advantage.

And hey, I’m a huge fan of Brock Purdy and I think he’ll play well today. But Mahomes is the NFL’s best QB these days. He’s thrown five TD passes without an interception during his team’s five-game winning streak.

Mahomes completed 30-of-39 throws for 241 yards and one TD in the win at Baltimore. In Purdy’s last four games, he has a 4/5 TD-INT ratio.

The second advantage we have is in the head-coaching department. Reid’s teams are 31-7 in 38 games in which he and his staff have had two weeks to prepare. Reid’s also won two Super Bowls, including a 31-20 win over Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers four years ago.

Shanahan was also the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons when they blew the biggest lead in Super Bowl history (28-3 late in the third quarter) in a 34-28 overtime loss to the Patriots in Houston.

The third edge we have is that Kansas City has the better defense. This unit completely shut down the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens.

During the regular season, the Dolphins were ranked #1 in the NFL in both total yards and passing yards, and they were #2 in scoring with their 29.2 points-per-game average.

The Ravens were ranked #1 in the NFL in rushing yards during the regular season. They were ranked sixth in total yards and fourth in scoring (28.4 PPG).

San Francisco gave up 28 first downs and 442 yards of total offense in its 34-31 win over Detroit in the NFC Championship Game.

Favorite/Largest Prediction: Chiefs +2

Now let’s get into some props. The one I like the most is Kansas City RB Isiah Pacheco to go ‘over’ 67.5 rushing yards. The second-year RB out of Rutgers has produced 68, 97, 89 and 130 rushing yards in the last four games.

San Francisco’s run defense has been non-existent in the playoffs. Green Bay’s Aaron Jones had 108 rushing yards on 18 attempts against the 49ers in the NFC semifinals.

Detroit had 182 rushing yards on 29 attempts at San Francisco, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. RB David Montgomery had 93 rushing yards and one TD on merely 15 carries.

Let’s also back Kansas City TE Travis Kelce to go ‘over’ 71.5 receiving yards. We saw Detroit TE Sam LaPorta catch nine balls for 97 receiving yards at San Francisco. In three postseason games, Kelce has 23 receptions for 262 yards and three TDs. He had 75 receiving yards and two TDs at Buffalo and 11 catches for 116 yards and one TD at Baltimore.

I was able to get Kelce at +800 (or 8/1) odds to score the game’s first TD. I’ve noticed multiple books have reduced those odds. As long as you can get +650 or better, I still like it.

I’m also on Kansas City’s Team Total in the first half to go ‘over’ 10.5 points for a +105 payout. The Chiefs have scored 16, 13 and 17 points in the first half in its three playoff games this year vs. Miami, at Buffalo and at Baltimore. San Francisco’s defense gave up 24 points at home vs. Detroit in the first half of the NFC Championship Game.

Let’s also go with Kansas City punter Tommy Townsend’s shortest punt to go ‘over’ 38.5 yards. Townsend has averaged 46.1 yards on his 10 punts in the playoffs. In the regular season, he averaged 47.1 yards per punt.

Our only fear here is a pooch-punt situation but even if he has to punt from midfield, we’ll be ok as long as he buries it inside the 11-yard line.

Pay attention to my X account (formerly Twitter) if you want to see what suggestions I might have for in-game plays.

Best of luck, everybody, and enjoy the game!