It didn’t take a standout Patrick Mahomes game for the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl a year ago and our spotlight picks think such could be the same again on Sunday — read more below.
Patrick Mahomes is set to make his fourth Big Game appearance when his Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58.
Mahomes’ Super Bowl odds will be among the most popular wagering options as the Big Game closes in, as casual bettors flood the market with a desire to bet on the Super Bowl’s biggest stars.
I size up the Patrick Mahomes odds and give my best NFL picks for his performance in Sin City on Sunday, February 11. For more NFL odds analysis and Super Bowl predictions, be sure to check out our 49ers vs. Chiefs picks.
Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl prop picks
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl prop pick
Under 262.5 passing yards (-110)
The popularity of Super Bowl player props was evidenced by sportsbooks posting passing Over/Unders about 30 minutes after the Super Bowl LVIII odds hit the board on Sunday night. This is by far the earliest I can remember these markets being available in my nearly 20 years analyzing the Super Bowl odds for Covers.
Patrick Mahomes’ passing props opened as high as 265.5 yards O/U at some shops and the knee-jerk reaction from prop bettors was to go Under. We’ve seen his passing yards total tumble to as low as 255.5 O/U as of Tuesday afternoon. FanDuel books, however, are sitting at 262.5 yards for Mahomes (Under -110).
The early NFL player prop projections are leaning toward the Under with some popular models calling for less than 250 yards from the Kansas City Chiefs QB (247.2). Some other forecasts are sitting right on this Over/Under at 263 yards.
The 262.5-yard passing total would be the tallest number Mahomes has been tabbed with since facing Cincinnati in Week 17 (265.5 O/U). The Chiefs’ three postseason games have seen Mahomes’ passing yard props close at 235.5 (Miami), 250.5 (Buffalo), and 240.5 yards (Baltimore). He’s played Under in the previous two games.
Granted, Super Bowl LVIII has a bigger point total than those past playoff outings (47.5 O/U) and will be inside Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, with indoor games typically generating higher passing success and more points. But Kansas City does take on a solid pass defense in San Francisco.
The San Francisco 49ers allow an average of 215.6 passing yards per game on the season and rank No. 6 in EPA allowed per dropback overall. However, that advanced measurement has slid in the second half of the schedule and into the postseason, with the Niners down to 19th in that metric since Week 14.
The Niners predominantly run a lot of zone coverage, specifically Cover 3 and Cover 4 sets. That means plenty of defensive backs on the field protecting against any deep shots and it’s a big reason why the 49ers don’t give up many home run passing plays (5.9 yards per attempt allowed).
We’ve seen opponents try to counter this by throwing more man coverage at Kansas City – even zone-dominant teams – and it’s had some decent success. The Las Vegas Raiders did this in an upset win over the Chiefs in Week 16, in which Mahomes was 27 of 44 passing for 235 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
The 49ers are no strangers to man coverage and in fact, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks dialed up more man-press coverage since coming out of the bye in Week 9. San Francisco went very man heavy in the closing weeks of the regular season, which forces opposing QBs to read and react at the line. Wilks is also good at disguising those coverages.
Whether it’s man or zone, the Chiefs’ passing attack is not the downfield threat it used to be. Mahomes ranks among the bottom of the league in intended and completed air yards, with the playbook more reliant on short connections and yards after the catch. The Niners don’t give up anything over the top and were the second-best tackling team in the league (only 64 missed tackles).
Another factor playing into Mahomes’ passing potency is the Chiefs’ rushing attack versus the 49ers’ run stop. Kansas City has been much more balanced in terms of play calling in the playoffs, handing off on 46.15% of snaps compared to just 38.61% in the regular season.
The Chiefs face a San Francisco defense getting bullied on the ground. The Niners have been susceptible to the run all season, sitting 27th in EPA allowed per handoff. The Packers marched for 136 yards on 28 attempts for an average of 4.9 yards per carry in the Divisional Round, and the Lions rumbled for 182 yards on 29 attempts, picking up 6.3 yards per run in the NFC title game.
If Kansas City can find that same success with the rushing attack in the Super Bowl, Andy Reid will lean into it. In last year’s Super Bowl, the Chiefs picked up 158 yards rushing on 6.1 yards per carry against an Eagles defense with issues against the run. Mahomes threw only 27 passes for 182 yards and finished well below his prop total of 295.5 yards O/U.
For those who can’t bet the taller Super Bowl LVIII total on this prop at FanDuel and are left with an adjusted number of 257.5 O/U or lower, maybe wait and see if this ticks back up before now and Super Bowl Sunday.
As mentioned, Mahomes props will be a hot market for casual players, who gravitate to betting the Overs – especially with star players. So that slimmer number may get a couple extra yards back before kickoff. And in a game this big, every yard counts.
Prop: Under 262.5 passing yards (-110 at FanDuel)
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Patrick Mahomes Under 262.5 passing yards
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Given the way the Chiefs can run versus the Niners’ shaky rushing defense, Mahomes may not have to carry the load on offense.
Even with a quiet passing day in last year’s Super Bowl, Mahomes still connected for three touchdowns. He’ll have at least two in Vegas.
Rice is just as popular a red-zone target as Kelce but is paying out at a much higher price to find the end zone. He’s elite versus zone defense and can strike in both the short and deep passing game.
Not intended for use in MA.
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