The Chiefs and 49ers meet once again in the Super Bowl with the Chiefs in a familiar spot as an underdog.
Kansas City has won back-to-back games in the postseason as an underdogs, will the team come out ahead as a small underdog and lift the Lombardi Trophy? The team will face the San Francisco 49ers, who has been rated as the best team in the NFL this season for a majority of the season.
Our NFL betting experts are split on whether to ride the hot hand of the Chiefs and the best quarterback in the NFL Patrick Mahomes one more time or whether to trust the full season profile of the 49ers, who have not covered in either playoff game as big favorites.
Here's our best bet for Super Bowl 58
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Best Straight up Picks for Super Bowl 58
Chiefs vs. 49ers Prediction and Pick
Unlike most of these straight up pick articles, we only have pick to make.
Last season, I bet on the Kansas City Chiefs as underdogs in the Super Bowl, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The Chiefs have yet to allow more than 28 points in a game this season, and I think their defense is the most underrated unit heading into this game. Plus, the San Francisco defense looked very beatable against Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game.
You think that’s going to work against Patrick Mahomes? I don’t.
Mahomes is playing in his fourth Super Bowl in his NFL career, and he’s 2-1 in those games, winning outright as a dog against the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
In his already historic NFL career, Mahomes has been an underdog 12 times. He’s 10-1-1 against the spread in those games and 9-3 straight up. That includes two playoff wins as an underdog this season in Buffalo and Baltimore.
San Francisco has fallen behind and been forced to battle back in each of its playoff games, and I don’t think it’ll be able to get away with that against the No. 2 scoring defense in the NFL with arguably the greatest quarterback of all time on the other side.
I’m siding with the experience of Mahomes, Andy Reid and really this entire Chiefs roster to win a second straight Super Bowl. -- Peter Dewey
PICK: Chiefs (+115)
Chiefs vs. 49ers Prediction and Pick
It may seem stupid to some people to bet against Patrick Mahomes, but that's exactly what I'm going to do. Let's all take a step back from these past two games, for both teams, and think about this season as a whole.
The 49ers, for the majority of the 2023 NFL campaign, was the best team in the NFL and if you didn't think they were the best, you would have slot them in at No. 2 behind only the Baltimore Ravens. It wasn't just because of their record either. Let's look at where they rank in some key offensive metrics:
- Net Yards per Play: 1st
- EPA per Play: 1st
- Success rate: 1st
- Dropback EPA: 1st
- Dropback success rate: 1st
- Rush EPA: 1st
- Rush success rate: 2nd
- Average scoring margin: 2nd
- Red zone offense: 1st
- Third down offense: 3rd
Let's also remember that they have the best weapon possible to attack the Chiefs' defensive weakness. Kansas City has allowed teams to run the ball against them all season, ranking 25th in opponent yards per carry, 28th in opponent rush EPA and 23rd in opponent rush success rate. For some reason, the Ravens refused to run the football against them in the AFC Championship and it cost them.
Now, the 49ers have a chance to sick Christian McCaffrey on them. He may just drag this team to victory.
Is it concerning that they'll face this era's version of the GOAT in Patrick Mahomes? Yes. Is how the 49ers have come out in the first half in each of their two playoff games something to worry about? Yes.
With that being said, the 49ers have been the best team in the NFL this season but yet are only 1.5-point favorites. We need to base our evaluation off a full season of games, not just the latest two.
I'll bet on the 49ers to get their revenge and win the franchise's first Super Bowl since 1994. -- Iain MacMillan
PICK: 49ers ML (-130)
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.