FOX Sports Betting Analyst
Welcome to Super Bowl week!
As a fan, I’m pumped about watching this game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs in Las Vegas.
When it comes to how I bet on the Big Game, I wager on the Super Bowl in two simple ways.
The first spot I like to wager is on quarterbacks if I feel there’s a big gap in talent. That’s the case in this Super Bowl. That doesn’t mean Brock Purdy hasn’t played well in this Niners offense. He has. But when it comes down to making plays in the biggest moments of Super Bowl LVIII, I’m taking Patrick Mahomes.
So I have the Chiefs’ moneyline. It was the first wager I made after the 49ers beat the Lions.
The second way I wager on the game is the prop market. However, I keep it simple. I just wager on props based on how I believe the game will play out. If it doesn’t go that way, I’m probably out of luck.
Big note: I end up being on the right side more often than not.
So, here goes.
Fade or follow. Good luck!
Rashee Rice — Over/Under Receptions 6.5, Over/Under 66.5 Receiving Yards
The 49ers defense is static on nearly 80% of its snaps. It lines up, doesn’t move and just plays ball.
That’s not a winning formula for playing well against Kansas City’s offense, even if the Chiefs’ receiving group isn’t elite.
Mahomes is going to find holes in the 49ers zone defense. We’ve seen this season — and more specifically against the Ravens — that he’s got no issue getting rid of the ball quickly to gain yards.
Rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice turned into a legitimate target for Mahomes in the final weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs. His 20 receptions, 223 yards and one touchdown in the postseason are more than the rest of the Chiefs receivers combined.
Rice has the second most yards after reception in the NFL this season, averaging 8.4 per reception.
I think Rice is the main target for Mahomes against the 49ers’ zone.
PICK: Rashee Rice Over 6.5 receptions
PICK: Rashee Rice Over 66.5 receiving yards.
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Isiah Pacheco — Longest Rush Over/Under 15.5 yards
The 49ers have a poor run defense. They are ranked 26th in expected points added for their rushing defense, and in the last five games in which their starters have played, they’ve been gashed.
San Fran has allowed six running backs in their last five games to have at least one 16-yard rush.
I’d love to wager on Pacheco’s overall rushing props, but I never expect Andy Reid to have a game plan where the Chiefs rush the ball a bunch. So I’m opting for Pacheco to have a long gain in this game.
Worth mentioning is that Pacheco leads the NFL in rushing yards over the last two postseasons.
PICK: Pacheco longest rush Over 15.5 yards
Chris Jones — Over/Under .25 sacks
The Chiefs’ All-Pro pass rusher Chris Jones has played in three Super Bowls. Jones has zero sacks and zero hits in those three games, while racking up only six pressures. He’s due for a stat-sheet production game in the Super Bowl and this 49ers offensive line is perfect for that.
The 49ers roster goes like this: Future Hall of Famer at left tackle, decent players at left guard and center, hold on for dear life at right guard and right tackle.
Chris Jones has major advantages in those matchups, and this is the game where he finally gets home.
PICK: Chris Jones (+130) Over .25 Sacks
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Brandon Aiyuk — Over/Under 4.5 Receptions, Over/Under 61.5 Receiving Yards
The Chiefs have an outstanding pass defense. They limit explosive plays and take away the first option for most passing offenses. The Chiefs passing defense was third in the league in limiting explosive pass plays, and against its last two opponents, it allowed a single one with a rare blown coverage.
I’m taking the Under for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk’s receptions and yards for this game.
Aiyuk feels like the forgotten man in the 49ers offense, but he had 75 catches for 1,342 yards this season. He’s a legit No. 1 receiver and the Chiefs will have their best guy, L’Jarius Sneed, on him the entire game.
Sneed just doesn’t allow the player he’s mirroring to catch the football. He’s first in the NFL in that category, allowing only 49% of passes in his direction to be caught.
Tyreek Hill, Ja’Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs and more have seen production dip when playing the Chiefs.
I believe Aiyuk will struggle to see production on Sunday.
PICK: Brandon Aiyuk Under 4.5 receptions
PICK: Brandon Aiyuk Uunder 61.5 receiving yards
Deebo Samuel — Over/Under 4.5 Receptions, Over/Under 58.5 Receiving Yards
If Aiyuk is going to be held in check, then the 49ers must turn to someone else for receiving production.
That someone else is Deebo Samuel.
Deebo looks healthy and ready to have a monster game against the Chiefs. While the Chiefs defense does tackle well, Samuel leads the NFL in yards after reception.
The Chiefs pass defense does have some issues defending the play action pass, and considering how the 49ers use Deebo over the middle or through the middle of the field on play action pass, there’s an opportunity for him to make big plays.
PICK: Deebo Samuel Over 4.5 receptions
PICK: Deebo Samuel Over 58.5 receiving yards
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Kyle Juszczyk — Over/Under 3.5 Receiving Yards
The Chiefs defense is going to focus on stopping the Niners’ potent run game and stopping Purdy’s ability to generate big passing plays. This is what it focused on against the Bills and Ravens this postseason, and the trend will be the same this Sunday.
When the Bills and Ravens have thrown the ball, they’ve been finding their underneath checkdown routes. With that in mind, I’m making a wager on 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk to have over 3.5 receiving yards.
Juice is less fullback and more an H-back or U tight end — meaning he’s part of the passing game and will align in different formational spots. That makes him more of a passing option against the Chiefs, and history has shown the 49ers have targeted him against K.C.
In Super Bowl 54, Juice had three targets and three catches for 39 yards. In the 49ers 2022 matchup, he had four targets, three catches and 34 yards.
PICK: Kyle Juszczyk Over 3.5 receiving yards
Geoff Schwartz is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz
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