All eyes will be on Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and San Francisco’s Brock Purdy throughout Super Bowl LVIII, but which quarterback props are the best ones to bet on?
Our betting experts Erin Dolan, Eric Moody, Liz Loza, Daniel Dopp, Tyler Fulghum, Seth Walder, Anita Marks, Kevin Pulsifer and Aaron Schatz explain the QB props they like most, and Mackenzie Kraemer provides his top QB prop betting nuggets.
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What are you expecting from Patrick Mahomes, and is there a prop you like?
Schatz: I can talk you into the Mahomes interception prop either way. During the regular season, Mahomes had 14 interceptions in 16 games (he sat out the season finale). That’s almost one per game, making over 0.5 interceptions a good bet. San Francisco’s defense had a league-leading 22 interceptions in the regular season, making that an even better bet. However, Mahomes hasn’t thrown a pick in the playoffs. According to FTN Data, Mahomes hasn’t even had an interception-worthy throw in three postseason games, so you can go either way depending on what you believe. If you believe in the larger sample size, go with Mahomes over 0.5 interceptions. If you believe in Mahomes’ playoff magic, go with Mahomes under 0.5 interceptions.
Dolan: Mahomes OVER 4.5 rushing attempts. Mahomes is a guy that will take matters into his own hands, as seen so far this postseason. He ran the ball six times in each of the past two games against the Ravens and Bills, averaging 4.7 carries. I’d play his rushing attempts rather than rushing yards prop at 26.5 given that the 49ers have been successful at stopping the run this season. Mahomes’ skill players have not looked the way they have in seasons past, and I expect this offense to lean on the run game. Mahomes will have to use his legs.
Moody: Mahomes OVER 36.5 pass attempts. Mahomes and coach Andy Reid have relied heavily on the passing game this season, and I expect that trend to continue against the 49ers. Mahomes has surpassed this line in 12 of 19 games this season. This also includes postseason games against the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. This line has been exceeded by Mahomes in two of the three Super Bowls he has played in. In this year’s postseason, he has a passer rating of 100.7 with 718 yards and four touchdowns, so there’s no reason to shy away from the passing game now.
Loza: Mahomes UNDER 25.5 pass completions. Mahomes averaged 23.5 completions over the regular season, and he’s been under this number in two of his three postseason performances. While the 49ers have been more vulnerable via the pass than on the ground, San Francisco’s run defense has been leaky over the postseason, allowing over 130 rushing yards in back-to-back playoff efforts. I expect the Chiefs to take advantage of this recent development. Even if Mahomes airs it out, hitting the over on 36.5 pass attempts (as Moody notes above), he’s still unlikely to record 26 or more completions, as he’s managed a 69% completion percentage during the playoffs (and the 49ers have allowed a completion percentage of 66% over the regular season while also holding both Jordan Love and Jared Goff under the above line).
Walder: Mahomes OVER 26.5 rushing yards (-110). I’m thinking along the same lines as Erin here, but I’m opting for the yardage because Mahomes is so efficient as a scrambler that he could go over this line in just a couple of carries. I want to stress: I have no model — this is a pure gut-feel recommendation — but Mahomes ranked 17th in QBR on plays when he actually passes the ball. One reason why the Chiefs are where they are is on other plays — sacks and scrambles — Mahomes ranks second. With a championship on the line, I would think he recognizes how valuable his legs can be in this game and makes the most of it.
Fulghum: I believe in Mahomes’ playoff magic that Schatz mentioned above, so I’ll go with Mahomes UNDER 0.5 INT (-115). Mahomes has thrown just 7 interceptions in his playoff career in 626 attempts (1.1%). He hasn’t thrown an INT in the playoffs since the Chiefs lost to the Bengals in the 2021 AFC Championship Game. I trust Mahomes to take care of the football in this matchup.
Marks: Mahomes OVER 35.5 total pass attempts. The 49ers play very little man coverage. Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks plays a lot of zone with two-deep safeties to try to take away the long ball. Mahomes is excellent against zone coverage and can dink and dunk his way down the field, eating up seven- and eight-minute drives.
What are you expecting from Brock Purdy, and is there a prop you like?
Schatz: I’m going to go a different direction with a rushing prop instead of a passing prop for Purdy. He had double-digit rushing yards only four times in 16 regular-season games (he sat out the season finale), but his ability to escape the pocket is a big part of what makes him better than the 49ers quarterbacks who came before him, and he’s rushed for double-digit yardage in both playoff games. Meanwhile, the Chiefs defense has allowed over 50 yards to opposing quarterbacks in back-to-back games and gave up 20.1 rushing yards per game to quarterbacks during the regular season. The Chiefs ranked sixth in pressure rate from Week 10 through the playoffs. More pressure means more leaving the pocket, so I like Purdy over 12.5 rushing yards.
Moody: Purdy UNDER 21.5 passing completions. During Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots when Kyle Shanahan was the coach of the Atlanta Falcons, and in Super Bowl LIV against the Chiefs when he was with San Francisco, Shanahan’s playcalling was criticized because he abandoned the running game in both. I don’t believe history will repeat itself. Christian McCaffrey will be heavily relied upon against the Chiefs to better position Purdy for success. Purdy has gone under 21.5 completions in eight of his last 10 games. The Chiefs defense could also be a problem for him.
Dopp: Purdy OVER 0.5 interceptions. While Purdy has been an amazing story, leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl in his second season, he’s had some throwing inconsistencies the last couple of weeks that make me feel a little more confident in this INT prop. First, there’s the eye test. He’s looked off at times against both the Packers and Lions in the playoffs. In those two games, he had 17 off-target passes, the most over a two-game stretch this year (10 vs. Packers, 7 vs. Lions). The Lions took advantage of that. They picked off one pass and should’ve had a second from Kindle Vildor… but please don’t remind me. Purdy hasn’t been 100% locked in from an accuracy or decision-making standpoint. He has left some plays on the field, and I think we see it again against the Chiefs.
Marks: Purdy OVER 0.5 interceptions. Purdy has been inconsistent since the Ravens game, when he tossed 4 INTs. He should have been picked off twice in the Packers game as well. Sometimes he telegraphs throws and the Chiefs secondary will capitalize.
Walder: Purdy UNDER 0.5 interceptions (-120). Dopp and I are at odds (pun intended!) here. I show an ever-so-slight amount of value on the under at this price, making the fair price -125. I’m probably holding out for a slightly better price given how close I am to the market. But the fact is the 49ers are favored — even if narrowly — and that helps the under. Quarterbacks that are ahead on the scoreboard are less likely to throw picks.
Fulghum: Purdy UNDER 1.5 pass TD (+100). The Kansas City Chiefs have played 20 games this year and only four quarterbacks have thrown two or more in a single game against them. Care to guess? You never would have gotten this right, but those four QBs are: Zach Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson and Love. Most of the touchdown equity in this offense resides at running back with McCaffrey.
Pulsifer: Purdy UNDER 31.5 pass attempts (-115). If I can find a prop that works regardless of game script, I’m all-in. The Chiefs have been easier to run against this season, and both teams like to play a style of ball control offense that limits opponent plays. I expect the game to start slowly, and while I don’t expect Purdy to struggle mightily, I do think Shanahan will look to call a balanced game. In 18 games this season, Purdy only hit the over on this line 3 times (and one was only 32 attempts). When they win, they’re uber-efficient. But even in the four 49ers losses, Purdy only hit 27, 30, 31 and 32 attempts (an average of 30).
Top QB prop betting nuggets
1. Mahomes has gone under his passing yards prop in 13 of 19 games this season.
2. Mahomes has gone under 1.5 passing touchdowns in six of his last eight starts, all at plus money. The 49ers have held 12 of 19 opposing quarterbacks under 1.5 passing touchdowns.
3. Purdy has gone under his passing yards prop in each of his last five games. He had gone over the number in nine of his first 13 starts.
4. Purdy’s rushing prop is 12.5 after never being higher than 8.5 all season. He rushed for 14 yards against the Packers (over 6.5) and 48 yards against the Lions (over 7.5).
5. Out of 19 starting quarterbacks to have posted passing yards props against the Chiefs, only four went over the number.