February 10, 2023
Just two more sleeps until Super Bowl Sunday.
The anxiety of the wait may be rough for some Eagles fans, but there are a multitude of activities you could do until then to hold over your hunger for another Lombardi Trophy. Other than checking out old Eagles highlights on YouTube or rewatching the Super Bowl episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," you could (responsibly) place a few wagers on the big game itself.
Besides some of the nonsensical same-game parlays that you can cook up, a fun bet is for Super Bowl MVP. Only once in Super Bowl history has a player from a losing team won MVP, so these bets are all in mind with an impending Eagles title on the way.
There are loads of players to choose from, of course, but here are five that intrigue me the most. I'll also give a historical precedent for an Eagles player to win the award, picking one winner from Super Bowl history that the scenario would be most similar to. All odds are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
As of this writing, Hurts is tied with Patrick Mahomes for the best odds to win Super Bowl LVII MVP. One of the overarching Super Bowl gambling philosophies is that if you're considering betting on a given team's money line, go for the better odds and just bet on that team's quarterback to win MVP instead. 11 of the last 16 Super Bowl MVPs have gone to the winning team's quarterback. You could go from Eagles straight-up winning at -122 to plus money with a Hurts MVP bet.
If Hurts leads the Birds to a clutch game-winning drive while also going off for 80+ rushing yards, the award will likely be his.
Comparison: Tom Brady, Patriots, Super Bowl XXXVI, 2001-2002
More likely than not, Sunday will be Miles Sanders' last game as an Eagle. It's the final game of the season and perhaps the final one of his Philadelphia tenure. There is no "resting up" at play here. Miles Sanders is the Eagles' RB1 on Sunday.
Sanders has been a bigger threat in the red zone this season than he was in 2021. Sanders infamously scored zero touchdowns last season, but for 2022 (including the playoffs), he has 13. A clear path to the Eagles winning could include getting out to an early lead and then controlling the clock with their elite running game. Perhaps Sanders hits the 90 rushing yards mark, which he's done six times this season, and adds two goal-line TDs. That could get it done, right?
Comparison: Terrell Davis, Broncos, Super Bowl XXXII, 1997-1998
In this hypothetical, let's say Hurts throws for fewer than 200 passing yards in an Eagles win, like he's done during the Birds' last two playoff games. What if DeVonta Smith hauls in about 120 of those including a touchdown and a wild circus catch that lives on in Super Bowl lore forever, like Julian Edelman or David Tyree?
Against a suspect Kansas City cornerback group, Smith could be primed for his sixth 100-yard game of the season. If that happens without Hurts producing eye-popping stats of his own, there might be a legit case for Skinny Batman.
Comparison: Julian Edelman, Patriots, Super Bowl LIII, 2018-2019
As has been said repeatedly, if there was an MVP winner for the NFC Championship Game, Haason Reddick would've won. Reddick, whose 19.5 sacks through the regular and postseason are the most in the NFL, was robbed of an All-Pro selection and as a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2022.
Who's to say he can't pick up a couple of sacks, force a turnover and make Mahomes' life hell on Sunday?
In my official Super Bowl prediction (a 38-23 Eagles win), I have Reddick winning MVP with 2.5 sacks, including a sack-strip-touchdown trifecta. Lofty? Certainly. Impossible? Nope. At his peak, Reddick is playing as good as any Eagles defensive player I've ever seen.
Just four defensive players have won the award this century, making it a tough task, but some guys just get in a zone and elevate their game to a previously unseen level. That's the vibe Reddick has given off the last two months.
Additionally, my Lock of the Week is Reddick to record 1+ sack parlayed with Eagles money line on DraftKings Sportsbook at +225.
Comparison: Von Miller, Broncos, Super Bowl 50, 2015-2016
What if a completely random player goes off in the Super Bowl and grabs MVP honors? That was nearly the case in Super Bowl LII when third-string running back Corey Clement had 100 receiving yards and a TD. If there's going to be an offensive player who comes totally out of left field to be winner, I'm going with Kenny Gainwell.
I threw $5 on Gainwell to win $650. That's better than spending $8 on a Bud Light while watching the game in a Center City bar.
Gainwell has had his two best games as a pro during this postseason, totaling 195 yards from scrimmage. Gainwell is the Eagles' go-to back on third down and in two-minute situations. If he's able to rack up receiving yards, picking up some high-leverage third-down conversions along the way while finding the end zone at least once, maybe, just maybe, Gainwell brings home the honors.
Hey, it's a long-shot pick, but sometimes those are the most fun bets to make.
Comparison: Desmond Howard, Packers Super Bowl XXIX 1996-1997
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