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NFL Betting Model Pick: Super Bowl 58 (2024)

The Super Bowl is almost here! The biggest event in sports is sure to be a thriller with the electric Kansas City Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, taking on the always-great San Francisco 49ers. Will Mahomes add another ring to his collection, or can the 49ers finally get their first Super Bowl win since 1994 in their third try? Let’s dive into how my NFL betting model is handicapping the Super Bowl 58 before I identify my top early NFL picks. Take a look at OddsShopper’s tools for the most up-to-date odds and additional expert picks!

My model is built using expected points added (EPA), mainly from this year, but previous seasons are factored into a quarterback’s weighted average. Last week, it expected the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers to win. It correctly anticipated Detroit’s rushing attack to be a problem for San Francisco’s rushing defense, but it incorrectly expected Baltimore to grind out a win over Kansas City on the ground. Let’s see if it can bounce back for the final game of the season.

NFL Betting Model Picks: Super Bowl 58

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NFL Model Picks: Handicapping Chiefs-49ers in Super Bowl 58

Chiefs-49ers Odds

Odds via BetMGM
Chiefs: +110 | 49ers: -130
Chiefs +2 | 49ers -2
Odds via NFL Betting Model
Chiefs: +200 | 49ers: -200
Chiefs +6.5 | 49ers -6.5

Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl 58 Preview

The Kansas City Chiefs have frustrated the model in the last two rounds. It correctly favored them over the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round, but it incorrectly preferred both the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens in the subsequent games. But is the math wrong about the Chiefs, or did something else go wrong?

To understand the model’s failures, you must understand how it works. It calculates a spread based on both the value added by plays (indexed by play type) and the total number of plays (also indexed by play type). If it incorrectly estimates how many plays a team will run, how many of those plays will be runs or passes or how valuable those plays will be, it will fail. One of those failures took place in each of the last two rounds. I won’t belabor you further, but if you’re interested in how I understand what went wrong, click “show more”.

Against Baltimore, the model failed because of how little the Ravens ran the ball, which would’ve been a major source of added value for them versus Kansas City’s defense. It failed to do so because of how far their rushing play percentage was from their regular-season mark. Baltimore, which entered last week running almost 50% of the time, ran just 28.1% of the time against Kansas City.

Against Buffalo, the model failed by underestimating how much value the Chiefs’ passing plays would add due to their shaky regular-season performance — Kansas City’s whopping 2.6 dropped passes per game depressed their performance in the metric. The Chiefs lead the playoffs in expected points added per dropback, nearly doubling what they recorded in the regular season. Uncalled holding penalties in both rounds certainly didn’t help things for the model, either.

But in short, the model failed because key data points (Baltimore’s rushing play percentage and Kansas City’s EPA per dropback) were skewed far from where they were earlier in the year — and, barring even more variance breaking Kansas City’s way on Super Bowl Sunday, the 49ers should win this game. The model favors the 49ers for two primary reasons: their more efficient passing offense, which gives them a larger advantage than the one afforded to the Chiefs by their better passing defense, and their vastly more efficient rushing offense.

San Francisco’s passing offense was vastly superior to Kansas City’s this year. Throughout the full season, San Francisco’s passing offense ranked first (+0.29 EPA/dropback) while Kansas City’s ranked eighth (+0.11). The playoffs have been a slightly different story. Kansas City (+0.29) leads San Francisco’s (+0.24), albeit minimally. Still, with the Chiefs playing so far over their regular season skis, regression looms on the horizon.

San Francisco’s rushing offense gives the club a huge potential advantage over Kansas City — if head coach Kyle Shanahan learns from John Harbaugh’s mistakes and chooses to keep the ball on the ground. The 49ers also led the NFL in rushing offense this season (+0.04 EPA/play), far ahead of the 21st-ranked Chiefs (-0.13 EPA/play). The Chiefs’ rushing defense ranked 28th (-0.03 EPA allowed/play) this year. The unit has fared worse in the playoffs (+0.04).

Let's dive into my NFL betting model's picks and predictions for Super Bowl 58 between the Chiefs and 49ers...

If you’re enjoying my model’s Super Bowl 58 pick, why not check out OddsShopper’s? Our model’s top pick as of publication was Deebo Samuel under 15.5 rushing yards for -110 at FanDuel. The under 14.5 would cost you -115 at BetMGM, and our model estimates a breakeven price for the under 15.5 to be around -119. If you’re interested in more model picks — or you want to see its most up-to-date plays, subscribe by using code “ISIROIS” at checkout to take 20% off!

2024 NFL Super Bowl 58 Betting Model Pick

Super Bowl 58 NFL Betting Model Pick for Chiefs-49ers

Will the Chiefs string together a third-straight win despite the model favoring their opponents? While they’ll benefit from not having to play this game in hostile territory, they’re also running into the NFL’s most efficient offense. Some may try to minimize the contributions of quarterback Brock Purdy or criticize the clutchness of head coach Kyle Shanahan, but I’m undeterred.

Purdy’s postseason performance may not be as impressive as what we saw him do in the regular season, but he has delivered in big moments. Purdy’s 21-yard dart to Jauan Jennings on 3rd and 10 yielded a massive 11.8% swing in San Francisco’s win probability against the Green Bay Packers. Although the 49ers would then have to punt a few plays later, he made the next drive count. Purdy was similarly clutch last week. After another slow start, Purdy delivered a 51-yard pass to Brandon Aiyuk that set up a score to bring the game within one possession; he then scrambled for 21 yards to set up the tying score.

Mahomes’ resume is long and features more highlight plays than Purdy’s, but it’s not like the second-year quarterback is holding the 49ers back. Likewise, Shanahan’s past failures in big moments feel further behind him after his 49ers successfully engineered comeback wins in the last two rounds. I would buy the 49ers to win down to odds of -150 (60%).

Super Bowl 58 Pick: 49ers Moneyline -125 at DraftKings

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OddsShopper’s NFL Tools & Tip

Looking for more NFL predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this NFL season — make sure to check out the rest of our NFL articles. Still need more picks? Subscribe to OddsShopper Premium for our market-based betting model’s picks and best bets!

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