Welcome to my annual primer on how to find value by betting the Super Bowl to go completely off-script.
By now, you’ve probably read tons of preview content about the Eagles vs. Chiefs and how the game should play out.
This won’t be like those previews. Instead, this is a column about a betting strategy that tries to cash a big ticket on the game playing out in a way that nobody sees coming.
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Chiefs vs. Eagles Super Bowl prediction and preview
For example, in the College Football Playoff semifinal between TCU and Michigan, the prevailing thought was that the Wolverines would be able to dominate the clock with their smashmouth style and turn the contest into a Big Ten game rather than a Big 12 shootout.
But what if the opposite happened? What if TCU caught a couple of breaks and forced Michigan to play catch-up? It takes one play, mistake, or weird bounce for a football game (or any game, really) to go completely off-script.
And that’s precisely what happened. Next thing you know, the Horned Frogs put up 51 points. Some sportsbooks offered 55/1 on TCU, going over 50.5 points pregame. That’s a wild number for one of the most explosive offenses in the nation.
But it got that high because the entire country was expecting Michigan to control the tempo and the game to follow a certain pattern. Not many people out there were holding a ticket on the Horned Frogs to put up a 50-spot on a vaunted Wolverines defense.
So what’s the script telling us about Super Bowl LVII? According to almost everyone — including oddsmakers — Chiefs vs. Eagles is a virtual coin flip, with the Eagles sitting as -1.5 favorites. What’s interesting about that line is that the game is also expected to feature plenty of scoring with an Over/Under of 50.5 points. These are the two most explosive offenses in the NFL, after all.
A game expected to feature a lot of scoring and two high-risk, high-reward offenses should feature plenty of variance. That opens up an opportunity for chaos.
So while everyone expects the Eagles and Chiefs to go back and forth all night and play a close game, I’m going to bet that one offense doesn’t show up, and the big game could turn into a blowout.
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It’s an angle not many people want to bet because it means that the game will be a dud. The upside for you is that while everyone else is tuned out of the game and focused on the snacks, you’ll still be sweating out garbage time. The other benefit is that since very few people will bet into this angle, you can get big numbers, like 13/1 for the Chiefs to cover the alternate spread of -23.5.
The Eagles are a hot commodity right now. They look good, they talk loud, and they’ve blown out their two playoff opponents. But one of those games came against an overmatched Giants team, and the other against the 49ers, that was basically forced to forfeit due to quarterback injuries.
What if the Eagles fall behind early in this game, and Jalen Hurts is forced to play catch-up? That’s a real possibility and not something the Eagles have had to do much this season. Will they be comfortable?
The margin for error against the Chiefs is so thin — you give them one or two extra possessions, and you’re cooked — that you’re rooting for one or two mistakes from Philadelphia to give this bet some serious legs.
Consider grabbing the 13/1 on the Chiefs -23.5 at FanDuel and root for what no one wants to see in the Super Bowl: A blowout.