This one’s for all the marbles! Oddsmakers opened with Kansas City being a small favorite, but those numbers didn’t last long. Within a few minutes, a ton of early action pushed the line to Philadelphia -2.5.
The line has bounced around quite a bit since then. The Eagles are now listed as 1.5 or 2-point favorites, depending on which online sportsbook you check. The total is sitting at 51 points at almost every shop on the market.
Struggling to decide which way to bet on the big game? Here are 4 Reasons to Bet on the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. Good luck with your plays, and thanks for riding along with us this season!
1. Philly Has a Better Defense
Remember the old coaches saying, “Defense wins championships.” Even with the NFL’s shift to being more offense-focused, defense still means quite a bit. Being able to get off the field on 3rd down and being able to pressure the QB are hidden keys to predicting success in a football game.
Philadelphia has the better defense in this matchup. The Eagles lead the league in a whole slew of important statistical categories like yards per play (4.7), yards per pass (5.4), sack rate (11.49%), and passing yards per game allowed (171). Philly also ranks 4th in points per game allowed (18.8).
Kansas City has improved greatly on the defensive side of the ball, but they’re nowhere near the juggernaut that Jonathan Gannon’s crew is. If any team can limit Patrick Mahomes, it’s this Eagles defense.
2. Kansas City is Awful in Red Zone Defense
As much as the Chiefs have improved on D, they’re still one of the worst in the league in red zone defense. Kansas City ranks 30th in red zone TD percentage allowed. That won’t bode well against an Eagles offense that ranks 3rd in that category.
Look for Jalen Hurts to take advantage of this deficiency by scoring red zone touchdowns with both his arm and his legs. The zone read is incredibly tough to defend near the goal line, and we don’t see the Chiefs stopping it in this game.
On the flip side, sure, Kansas City has an elite red zone offense. However, Philly’s red zone defense is no slouch. The Eagles rank 11th in red zone defense by only allowing a TD on 53.57% of their opponents’ trips inside the 20.
3. Turnovers and Penalties
In a game of this gigantic magnitude, the little intangibles end up meaning quite a bit. Philly has the edge over Kansas City in both turnovers and penalties, which could end up being the difference in this game.
The Eagles rank 2nd in the NFL in turnover margin. The Chiefs aren’t terrible in that area, but they still only rank 13th. What that tells us is that Darius “Big Play” Slay or James Bradberry could come up with a timely interception or 2 in this game.
As for penalties, Philly has the edge there as well. The Eagles rank 6th in penalty yards per game (39), while the Chiefs rank 21st (48.6). Again, that’s a small edge but could come into play.
Now we’re down to the most obvious reason to back Philly. They’re by far the healthier team! Is Jalen Hurts’ shoulder 100%? Nope, but he’s probably much closer to full health than Patrick Mahomes and his high ankle sprain.
The receiving corps is really where the Chiefs have been decimated. Mecole Hardman is on injured reserve, and Kadarius Toney and Juju Smith-Schuster aren’t anywhere close to 100%. On the other hand, AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert all appear to be fully healthy.
After this many full-throttle games, every team has its share of bumps and bruises. However, it’s clear that Philly isn’t nearly as banged up as Kansas City. That’s the 4th and final reason why we’re taking the Eagles.