The 2022-23 NFL season has come down to the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs battling it out for Super Bowl LVII.
It’s almost here…
The NFL season is coming to a close as the Philadelphia Eagles prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.
While some will place an asterisk next to the Eagles given how far down the quarterback depth chart the San Francisco 49ers had to reach last week, they sat at the top of the NFL standings all season for a reason. They’re an elite team and face a Chiefs side who come into this one after beating the Cincinnati Bengals with relative ease in the Conference Championship.
This will be the eighth time since 1990 that both #1 seeds will meet in the Super Bowl. For the Eagles, that’s a fairly good omen as the last time it happened – back in 2017 – they won their lone title. So, how will this one go?
The Eagles jumped as $1.74 and -2.5 favourites early on but have since drifted out to $1.82 and -1.5. Positive news around Patrick Mahomes’ ankle will have had a little bit to do with that. He limped through the Conference Championship but came out the other side feeling fine:
“I don’t think I had any steps backward or anything like that. No like re-aggravation of the ankle. Just the general little bit of pain I had playing with it, but other than that, I feel like I’m in a good spot.” – Patrick Mahomes
As it stands, there is little separating the two teams with the Chiefs at $1.98 and +1.5 a week out from kickoff. While it’s close, it’s worth noting that Super Bowl favourites are 30-26 straight up and 27-27-2 against the spread.
For Totals, the line is set at 50.5. Super Bowls have averaged 46.1 points per game since Super Bowl I in 1967 and we can expect a few in this one. The Chiefs lead the NFL in scoring at 29.2 points per game while the Eagles aren’t far behind at 3rd with 28.1 points per game.
Where Are The Points Coming From?
We leaned into Playoff Travis Kelce last week and he came up with the goods. He hadn’t managed a touchdown since Week 12 but has three in these playoffs and is the $8 favourite to score first/$1.90 anytime. Similar to last week, the concerns around Mahomes’ injury translate into a lack of mobility, shorter throws and a sure thing where possible. That’s Kelce.
Jalen Hurts rushed in his 15th touchdown of the season last week – the most in NFL history. If the Eagles are close to the line, he’s a chance and is on the second line of betting at $9.50 and $2.15 for a reason.
Jalen Hurts is 16-1 as the the Eagles starting quarterback this season.
The only quarterback in NFL history to go 17-1 and win the Super Bowl was Joe Montana in 1984.
— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) February 2, 2023
Isiah Pacheco ($9.75/$2.25) has impressed in his rookie season since being drafted with the 251st pick of the NFL draft to have five touchdowns but hasn’t found the end zone in the playoffs. It feels like a game Mahomes and the Chiefs will look to the more experienced players like Jerick McKinnon ($13/$2.85), Juju Smith-Schuster ($14/$3.05) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($14/$3.05).
While he hadn’t found the end zone for quite some time, Miles Sanders rushed in for two against the 49ers and is behind only Hurts for the Eagles at $10.50 and $2.35. A.J Brown ($10.50/$2.40), DeVonta Smith ($12/$2.70) and Dallas Goedert ($13/$2.85) round out the most likely touchdown scorers in Super Bowl LVII.
Tip: Any Time Touchdown Scorer – Jerick McKinnon @ $2.85
Final Thoughts On Super Bowl LVII
So much of this one will come down to the quarterbacks.
While Mahomes seemed to be somewhat limited in the AFC Championship win over the Bengals, he still managed to throw for over 300 yards, a pair of touchdowns and zero interceptions. Hurts, on the other hand, hasn’t looked quite so good carrying an injury of his own. He hasn’t thrown for more than 160 yards in either of Philadelphia’s two playoff games. He hasn’t really needed to be his best, though.
And that brings us to the elephant in the room so many people are talking about at the moment: Philly’s schedule.
The Eagles played out a historically easy schedule throughout the NFL season. That has been well and truly established. Just how influential it should be heading into Super Bowl LVII is another story.
By record, it looks fine. Reuben Frank tried to put an end to the chatter by looking at simply the record.
"The Eagles had an easy schedule."
Best records in NFL history vs. winning teams:
9-1 … 1969 Vikings
9-1 … 2007 Patriots
9-1 … 2022 Eagles @Stathead
— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) January 30, 2023
The problem with this ‘best record’ is the fact neither of those teams won the Super Bowl. Contextually, the Eagles have had it relatively nice. But that isn’t to say they can’t beat the Chiefs. The Eagles haven’t only beaten those teams, but beat them very well. More importantly, they’re healthy. All Eagles starters on both sides of the ball are preparing to play in Super Bowl LVII. Cohesion is a grossly understated aspect in sports while the strength (or weakness) of schedule is often overstated. If we’re looking to weigh things that aren’t particularly measurable, Philly’s cohesion level should mean more than their apparent easy run through the NFL season.
We can add another one to the mix: experience. More than simply games or Super Bowls played is how players will cope in the big dance. We know the big influences on the Chiefs roster will come up with the goods. Hobbled or not, Mahomes will find ways to extend the play, Kelce will get open enough to end up over his 78.5-yard recieving total ($1.88), and Andy Reid will cook up something special when they need it most.
The Eagles defence is exceptional, but the Chiefs offensive line is one of the best in the NFL. The Eagles have the better roster overall, but Mahomes is the best player in the game. With an offensive line that can protect the best player in the game throughout one that is expected to be close to the end, Chiefs to win by a whisker is the play.