As the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are less than a week away from the big game, sports books are meeting the heightened interest of the betting public by releasing a slew of proposition bets ranging from novelty props like the length of the national anthem, color of gatorade and whether Jennifer Lopez will show butt cleavage or not, in addition to the most comprehensive number of actual game, team and player props that one will see for any game all year long. Here we will discuss a strategy to consider for making prop bets on Super Bowl LIV.


While there is no single right way to wager on Super Bowl props, one strategy is to take a prediction for the game, including the winner and how one sees the game playing out in terms of strengths/weaknesses, and making prop bets based on that formulation.

In our Super Bowl LIV prediction article, we hypothesized that Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City's pass-heavy offense might be somewhat neutralized by San Francisco's top rated passing defense, for San Francisco's potent rushing attack to have some success against the Chiefs' weaker rushing defense and for San Francisco to score first and ultimately win and cover. We would consider prop bets based on our formulation with the disclaimer that we are not actually making any bets on the Super Bowl and encourage those who are considering to bet only small amounts or only what he or she can afford to lose and to always wager responsibly.

Team to score first: 49ers score first (-115)
The Kansas City Chiefs have fallen behind in the first quarter in each of their home playoff games this season while San Francisco has scored first in each of their two playoff games this season. In his prior Super Bowl as offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan jumped out to a lead in the first half and if we had to guess who would score first on Sunday, we would have to go with the 49ers.

Raheem Mostert over 79.5 rushing yards (-115), longest rush over 16.5 yards (-140), scores a TD (-150)
Even after its defense tightened up over the last weeks of the season, Kansas City still ranked 17th in run defense DVOA for Weeks 13-20 and though we would not be surprised if Kyle Shanahan zigs while others are expecting him to zag and implements an aerial assault because it might not be expected, we still anticipate a game plan that exploits the Chiefs' rush defense. As such, we might consider Raheem Mostert to have a game where he goes over 80 yards and scores a touchdown. Given Kansas City's question marks at linebacker, taken together with Mostert's speed, we might also expect him to break a run or two over 16.5 yards. The biggest risk to Mostert not having a solid game is if Tevin Coleman or Matt Breida gets a significant share of carries. Though this is a possibility, Coleman coming off of a dislocated shoulder and Breida having recent fumbling issues makes Mostert the prime candidate for the bulk of the carries.


George Kittle over 73.5 receiving yards (-130)
Kansas City finished 6th in pass defense DVOA but ranked 22nd in terms of production given up to tight ends. One of the story lines of this contest has been the match up of two of the best tight ends in the league between Kittle and Travis Kelce and we have little doubt that George will be fired up not only for the Super Bowl but the opportunity to show why he ended up being rated not only the top tight end in the league but top rated football player in the entire NFL.


Patrick Mahomes under 300.5 passing yards (-105), under 33.5 rushing yards (-115)
Patrick Mahomes has been the leading rusher and thrown for at least 294 yards in each of Kansas City's playoff games so wouldn't it make sense for those trends to continue? While recency bias might lead one to think Mahomes keeps it going in the Super Bowl, the Niners are one of the best passing defenses that Kansas City will face all year and we expect San Francisco to focus on neutralizing Mahomes and his passing attack. In two games against Joey Bosa's San Diego Chargers, Mahomes finished with 174 and 182 yards passing and now he will be facing one of the most potent pass rushes in the league; and with Kwon Alexander now healthy and being one of the best linebackers in coverage and Dre Greenlaw continuing to improve in all facets of the game, we see the 49ers defense limiting Mahomes' rushing as well.


Travis Kelce under 75.5 receiving yards (-115), Tyreek Hill under 74.5 receiving yards (-115)
Casual observers remember San Francisco's pass defense regressing since Week 10, a time which coincided with the onset of multiple defensive injuries and the toughest part of the 49ers schedule. Now with Kwon Alexander, Jaquiski Tartt and Dee Ford all back for the playoffs, and Robert Saleh finally keeping Ahkello Witherspoon on the bench and starting Emmanuel Moseley instead, San Francisco's defense is returning to its early season pass defense form and we have seen them shut down every receiver in the playoffs not named Davante Adams to under 60 yards. While either Kelce or Hill could have a big game, we don't see both of them exploding and the Niners focusing on not letting these two go off.

Which of these is your best prop bet for Super Bowl LIV? Let us know in the poll below.

Poll

  • What is your best prop bet for Super Bowl LIV?
  • 49ers score first (-115)
  • Raheem Mostert over 79.5 rushing yards (-115)
  • Raheem Mostert longest rush over 16.5 yards (-140)
  • Raheem Mostert scores a TD (-150)
  • George Kittle over 73.5 receiving yards (-130)
  • Patrick Mahomes under 300.5 passing yards (-105)
  • Patrick Mahomes under 33.5 rushing yards (-115)
  • Travis Kelce under 75.5 receiving yards (-115)
  • Tyreek Hill under 74.5 receiving yards (-115)