This is NFL Best Bets, a recurring series in which football experts and handicappers lend us their insights and picks for the most intriguing matchups for each week of the professional football season.
In this season’s final edition of Best Bets, we go through 10 of the top Super Bowl prop bets with Thomas Gable, the director of race and sportsbook at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, as well as handicap the overall matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.
You’ve got places to go, people to see and hopefully some wagers to make, so let’s get to it.
49ers (-2, O/U 47.5) vs. Chiefs
Gable’s Guess: The side is tough to pick in this one. There’s a lot of public money coming in on the Chiefs, but there’s probably more respected money coming in on the Niners. It’s very split right now. Maybe people feel they can’t bet against Mahomes as an underdog. I think when you look at the two teams coming into this game, the Chiefs are kind of on an upward trajectory. You could say the Niners are on a slightly downward trajectory. I would put the coaching advantage with Kansas City and the quarterback advantage with Kansas City, but probably not the offense as a whole. The Niners, for all the talent they have on defense, haven’t been playing up to their ability lately. If you’re forcing me to take a side, I’d probably take the Chiefs plus the points. But my favorite bet here is the under. I believe in the Chief defense.
IH Best Bet: Not betting against Mahomes in the playoffs. To win, he’ll need points. Chiefs and the over.
Coin Toss: Heads -110, Tails -110
Gable’s Guess: Not too much handicapping goes into this one. It’s just an instant gratification bet and you know whether you won or lost before the game even starts. If you’re in a sports book for the Super Bowl when the coin toss comes, you always hear a roar, whether it’s heads or tails. It’s one of those fun ones you don’t have to do any thinking about,
IH Best Bet: Tails never fails.
Successful 2-Point Conversion: Yes +275, No -400
Gable’s Guess: Neither the Niners nor the Chiefs had a successful two-point conversion this whole season. The Niners didn’t even attempt one all year. If you go back even two years, they only attempted one. It seems Kyle Shanahan does not ever really attempt two-point conversions. That’s why the “No” price is so expensive. This is priced due to the way that these teams have shown their history of attempting two-point conversions.
IH Best Bet: In these days of analytics, who knows? Will go with someone converting a 2-pointer.
Patrick Mahomes Passing TDs, 1.5: Under -160, Over +125
Gable’s Guess: With a lot of these props, you have to think about how this game is going to play out. If you think the Chiefs fall behind early and Mahomes will be passing the ball more, maybe you look at the over. If the Chiefs control the flow of the game, I could certainly see them deciding to run the ball more and keep it on the ground. I think it’s all dependent on how you see this game playing out.
IH Best Bet: Mahomes is going to sling it, or attempt to. Would take the over if it was 2.5.
First TD of Game, Travis Kelce: 8/1
Gable’s Guess: I hate to even mention her, but you actually may see some sort of Taylor Swift effect from a betting perspective. The Super Bowl is the most heavily bet game of the year and you get people betting who won’t make another bet until next year. Now you have Taylor Swift fans who may have never watched football before and they want to get involved. I expect any Kelce prop to be heavily bet. We also know he is Mahomes’s favorite target.
IH Best Bet: Too obvious. Bet Kelce gets in the end zone, but he won’t be the first one.
Kelce vs. Kittle Receiving Yards: Kelce, -250, Kittle, +180
Gable’s Guess: When you look at their receiving yards props individually, Kelce is at 70.5 and Kittle is below 50. So, you certainly expect Kelce to have more touches or at least more targets. That’s why Kelce is the favorite here. Taking nothing away from Kittle, but the 49ers have a lot more weapons than the Chiefs do. I think it would be a minor upset if Kittle gets more receiving yards in this game. It will depend on a big play and if he can produce.
IH Best Bet: The 49ers have to cover Kelce, right? Bet Kittle has a big play to take the yardage edge.
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Rice vs. Samuel Receiving Yards: Rice, -175, Samuel, +130
Gable’s Guess: Rice has emerged as somebody Mahomes is comfortable with. He’s probably going to get a lot of targets. With Deebo, anything is possible, I’d look to bet him in this head-to-head simply because he’s so good after the catch. Yards after contact is a big thing for him and he could certainly rip off a long one.
IH Best Bet: Same token, the Chiefs have to cover Samuel, right? Bet Rice gets the edge on this one.
Team to Score First Wins: Yes -185, No +155
Gable’s Guess: The team that scores first obviously needs to be the favorite here because they’ll be playing from in front and with a lead. The way this is priced, it’s just more or less for a touchdown, more than anything. But if you think the first score’s going to be a field goal, I would look to bet the “No” and take the plus price here.
IH Best Bet: No real analysis here but taking the better odds seems smart. No.
Mahomes to Throw an Interception: Yes -120, No -110
Gable’s Guess: This is basically a yes-no prop. The thing that scares you about this is deflections and the ball popping up in the air off somebody’s helmet or hands and getting picked off. It’s not necessarily the quarterback’s fault in those situations, but this is a good two-way market that typically gets a lot of handle on both of these guys. Chances are a little bit better an interception could happen. I would lean yes for both.
IH Best Bet: He throws picks in Super Bowls. Yes.
Game Goes to Overtime: Yes +750, No -2500
Gable’s Guess: If you’re looking to bet the “Yes” on this, I think it may be a good year to do it. You want to do it when the spread is a bit smaller like it is in this game. These teams, on paper, seem to be evenly matched and if the game is close certainly you have a possibility of overtime happening. I would probably put a little bit on the “Yes” here.
IH Best Bet: It’s so rare, will say no. But might be worth a few bucks anyhow.
First TD Scorer…
Gable’s Guess: I’d have to go with Christian McCaffrey overall. The guy is going to get into the end zone, whether he is the first one or not. I’ll take my chances with him because he’s the favorite for a reason. I would put some money on Patrick Mahomes as well. I remember a couple of years ago we had six figures of liability on Mahomes being the first touchdown scorer and he was the first touchdown scorer. In honor of me losing so much money on that bet, I’ll take him as well.
IH Best Bet: Betting it’s a random player. Will go with Brandon Aiyuk.
Last Week: 3-1, This Season: 53-41-4
Editor’s note: Betting lines fluctuate based on injuries, the weather and other factors. Double-check the odds before betting.