More Sports:

February 09, 2024

Eytan Shander: The three things you must bet on in Super Bowl LVIII

Making a wager on the big game is sure to make it just that much more fun to watch this weekend.

NFL Super Bowl
Travis-Kelce-Super-Bowl_LVIII_020924_USAT Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Will Travis Kelce lead the Super Bowl in receiving?

The Super Bowl has a different feel this year in Philadelphia but don’t let that prevent you from making some money. There are some fun bets out there, you just need to know where to go. Don’t worry, we will cover the gambit here from who wins the game to the shortest TD scored – maybe even some Gatorade action. 

Here are the top three Super Bowl bets for this year’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs!

Kansas City Chiefs ALT Line

The Kansas City Chiefs are winning this game. The best way to play this game isn’t the current spread nor the money line, it’s an alt spread. The biggest reason is because there’s little value in betting any team +1 or +2.5, as the biggest key number in the NFL is 3. Meaning, the most common margin of victory for any team is 3, followed by 7, 6, and 14. If you ever see a team getting 2.5 points, just take them to win outright. 

In this case, we fall back on Patrick Mahomes sitting 10-0 ATS (against the spread) as an underdog away from Arrowhead stadium. Andy Reid is 3-0 SUATS (Straight up and against the spread) against Kyle Shanahan, which means Mahomes and DC Steve Spagnulo are also undefeated against Shanahan. Nobody means more in a game like this than the QB and HC, especially when it comes to experience. 

The Chiefs defense has been the unsung hero this year but there’s another guy worth mentioning. It’s taken two decades for Andy Reid to embrace the run game and all it took was a hard-nosed rusher from Rutgers. Isiah Pacheco is the secret weapon against any team because a good running back takes immense pressure of the passing game. Reid knows he can run on the Niners, everyone does, so don’t be shocked to see some ball control offense for at least two of the four quarters. 

Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 (+128 FanDuel) 

Travis Kelce Most Receiving Yards in the Game

Did you know Taylor Swift is attending the game? I hope you are ready to see multiple shots of her in the box. The easy connection is that Kelce seems to perform better with the Queen of Pop in attendance, fueled by his shirtless brother too. The reality is Kelce is the best receiver on the field at all times and will be the most targeted player throughout the game. 

That’s the biggest key in placing this wager for Kelce to lead the game in receiving yards, especially north of +250 on the books. The Chiefs hit Kelce with double-digit targets in two of their three playoff games, including 11 last time out against Baltimore. Kelce was limited to just six targets two games ago against Buffalo, but still led the game in receiving yards. He’s live to do it against this Niners defense.

Why? Because he’s Travis Kelce and nobody can stop the Mahomes to Kelce connection. Everyone knows the ball is going to Kelce, they did for the past three games and still nothing. The Niners aren’t going to load up on Kelce because that leaves them vulnerable to Rashee Rice and a back in the passing game. Mahomes may look away from Kelce but it won’t be for long. 

Last thing is look at the rest of the WR/TE in this game. Deebo Samuel is going to need a heavy amount of volume to get to 100 receiving yards. The Chiefs do an amazing job on #1 WRs which actually fits Brandon Ayiuk more in his down field role, so scratch him – he won’t have enough grabs. Christian McCaffery won’t get the targets but is a threat to carry some receptions for good yardage. Utimately, Kelce is more likely to get a higher target share. Rashee Rice does have some big play capability, but he’s best used in middle and underneath routes, allowing for more deep middle pressure by Kelce. Rice could outlast Kelce but the better strategy by Reid and Mahomes is forcing the Niners to adjust off Rice. 

Travis Kelce Leading Receiver (+280 Ceasars) 

Shortest TD O/U 1.5 Yards

This is my favorite prop that’s not off the deep end. The bet is simply whether the shortest TD scored will be over or under 1.5 yards. The biggest drawback of this bet is any PI call in the end zone or simply a team moving the ball to the 1 yard line. But these aren’t death sentences, especially with either team’s defense in the red zone. There’s a chance of a holding call, or defensive stand, or even a turnover that could change this result. 

It's the Super Bowl and crazy stuff happens. Maybe not the entire game, but there are going to be some moments that just stand out as wild, crazy, or unfathomable. Seeing a team turn the ball over in their opponents end zone, or taking a 1st and goal from the 1 back because of a hold are not unreasonable to see. 

Both teams boast big play capability in the passing game which should provide scores well over 1.5 yards out, and even the two running backs can explode inside the red zone but off the goal line. At plus money this is a great bet and will be a tremendous sweat until the final whistle. Just no pass interference in the end zone, please! 

Shortest TD Over 1.5 Yards (+138 FanDuel) 

Honorable mention wacky bets

• Jalen Hurts was the first player in 29 Super Bowls to successfully record an Octopus. Meaning, he scored a TD and the very next play on a 2-point conversion. There are four key candidates who can do this, Samuel, McCaffery, Pacheco, and Kelce. Add in George Kittle and Rashee Rice, not to mention both QBs, and we have a plethora of options here. Bet this now.

• Big Red loves Orange. The only reason – my belief – that we saw Purple last year was a close game deep into the fourth quarter. Teams up big or simply in control of the game in the 4th don’t usually change the Gatorade. Equipment managers tend to just let it run out rather than re-fill for a team in control. Orange might be the chalk play but it’s Reid’s favorite color, and good enough for a small play. 

• Take either Christian McCaffery or Isiah Pacheco to have 8+ carries within any quarter. Both have the volume and trust of their coaches and QBs to keep getting the rock. This game might easily trend under which also allows the run games to open some pathways for either back to hit this number. McCaffery is 45-1 on DraftKings, and Pacheco is 80-1 at the same book. Both are worth a small sprinkle.

Eytan Shander is a long time radio and TV personality in Philadelphia. In addition to his weekly column, you can currently listen and watch him on Fox29’s Good Day and other sports shows. He’s giving betting advice on OddsShopper. A lifetime Eagles fan, Eytan lives just outside the city with his wife.

Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow