Super Bowl 2023 odds: 3 reasons to bet on the Chiefs against the Eagles
The Kansas City Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl, making their third trip in the last four seasons. But they’ve got their work cut out for them if they plan to get by the Eagles in the Big Game.
And speaking of having their work cut out for them — remember, both Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce were banged up going into the NFC Championship Game. So one of the main questions on everyone’s mind is if the Chiefs are even healthy enough to win this game. We will get to that, but first, let’s jump to the more important part.
How should you wager on this powerhouse matchup?
I have you covered on both questions, with my three reasons to bet on the Chiefs (odds via FOX Bet).
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The Better QB
Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in football. So you always have a chance to win each game when he’s on the field. Even with a bum ankle — one I suspect will have improved in the two weeks between the Chiefs AFC championship game win and the Super Bowl — he was marvelous against the Bengals. The Chiefs offense lost three receivers against the Bengals. They were down to Marcus Kemp as their second receiver. Kemp is primarily a special teams player who has double the career tackles as receiving targets in his five-year career, but the offense kept humming along with him in the lineup.
It’s fair to acknowledge the Eagles have not had a challenging schedule this season. However, you can only play the teams on your schedule, and the Eagles deserve the credit for blowing out several of their opponents.
However, Philly has not faced an offense or quarterback like the Chiefs all season.
According to the final QBR rankings, the best QB the Eagles defense has faced is Jared Goff, and that was in Week 1 of the season. Other notable quarterbacks the Eagles have defended were Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers. That’s it. It’s not a long list.
The Chiefs offense, if healthy, will put up points on the Eagles defense. They just haven’t seen anyone close to this team all season. Worth noting that Mahomes has faced four teams in the top 10 of pass defenses this season. He’s 4-0, averaging 287 yards passing with 10 touchdowns.
He will be ready for the Eagles top-ranked pass defense.
Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes wins the ‘NFL on FOX’ MVP Award
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes won the “NFL on FOX” MVP Award presented by Chris Myers and Mark Sanchez.
The Chiefs defensive coordinator is often the punching bag for Kansas City’s fan base, but he has multiple Super Bowl rings because of how his units play during the playoffs and in the Big Game. Whether it’s the 2007 Giants defense shutting down the 18-0 New England Patriots or the 2019 Chiefs defense playing well and ending their season with a Super Bowl, his defense always seems to come up big in these moments. This season is following a similar path.
At one moment in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the Chiefs were playing with FIVE rookies on defense, including four in the secondary. Four rookies played at least 25% of snaps in the secondary this season, which was by far the most snaps any defense has seen by players that young this season. All the early reps have paid off because the pass defense has been much better during the back half of the season. Spags has figured out the rotation of young players to see the field, including a now-healthy first-round pick Trent McDuffie. With McDuffie on the field, the Chiefs defense has not allowed a 300-yard passer in 13 games. Since Week 10, the Chiefs pass defense is ranked 10th in DVOA. Since Week 16, it’s ranked sixth. It keeps improving.
One thing Spags is known for is bringing pressure, and I expect a heavy dose of it against the Eagles. Jalen Hurts has the fifth-lowest expected completion percentage when blitzed this season and the sixth-lowest success rate when an extra defender is pressuring. These numbers are sure to pique the interest of a blitz-happy coordinator in Spags. Kansas City has to find a way to make Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts uncomfortable and this is how it’s done.
Why Nick is nervous for his Chiefs ahead of Super Bowl LVII
The Eagles thoroughly beat down the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game 31-7 to advance to Super Bowl LVII.
If the Chiefs win this game, Chris Jones will be in the discussion for the game MVP.
Since Week 13, Chris Jones has more run stops than all but one Chiefs defender. Chris Jones has 63 pressures this season — first for defensive tackles in the NFL. He’s doubled his pressure rate since Week 13, and he’s third in the league in fourth-quarter pressures and turnovers forced. He is a force.
But Chris Jones won’t have it as easy in the Super Bowl as he did when the Chiefs played the Bengals.
The Eagles have the best offensive line in football, but there are a few players he could target. Jones will move all over the line to find the best situation for him to rush. Against Cincinnati, he was able to generate pressure over the right tackle and both guards. The right tackle is out against the Eagles. He’s not working over Lane Johnson. However, the Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata has allowed six sacks and 39 pressures — both highs for the Eagles this season.
Jones doesn’t often line up over the left tackle because that’s where Frank Clark lines up. But maybe there’s some line shuffling. If not left tackle, I could see Jones working over right guard Isaac Seumalo. He has only allowed 22 pressures this season but is more heavy-footed than his left guard counterpart in Dickerson.
It won’t be easy for Jones, but if Jones can win some of these matchups, the Chiefs will win.
PICK: Chiefs (+1.5 at FOX Bet) to lose by fewer than 1.5 points (or win outright)
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