- The 49ers are 2-point favorites against the Chiefs.
- The 49ers used a 27-7 second half against the Lions to reach Super Bowl LVIII.
- Kansas City matches two historically profitable playoff trends.
Ahead of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, I’m here to offer a 49ers vs. Chiefs prediction.
The 49ers pulled off a dramatic comeback in the NFC Championship to earn their spot in Super Bowl 58.
Down 24-7 at halftime, they used a 27-7 second half to win outright.
As for the Chiefs, they pulled off their second straight win as underdogs. In Baltimore, they won 17-10 outright as dogs to reach their fourth Super Bowl in the last six years.
Here’s a look at NFL betting lines for Super Bowl LVIII, along with my bets for the contest.
49ers vs. Chiefs Betting Odds
- San Francisco 49ers Moneyline: -130
- Kansas City Chiefs Moneyline: +110
- Game Spread: San Francisco 49ers -2
- Game Total: 47 Points
49ers vs. Chiefs Betting Predictions
Kansas City Chiefs Moneyline (+110) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Disclaimer: this is largely a hedge against a 49ers Super Bowl future (+170) I bet on January 15.
That said, the line has already moved 10 cents in the direction of Kansas City, and I would bet this so long as the Chiefs are underdogs at +100 or better.
Just in terms of the eye test, the 49ers needed loads of luck in the NFC Championship game to even be in this position.
Down 24-7 at halftime, they needed a Brandon Aiyuk 51-yard reception that should have been intercepted to score AND a Jahmyr Gibbs fumble in Detroit territory to get themselves back in the game.
Those types of plays simply aren’t going to happen against the Chiefs, who have yet to turn the ball over on offense this postseason.
Plus, what really worries me about this 49ers team is their inability to stop the run.
The Lions generated 6.3 yards per rush against the 49ers, who also surrendered 4.9 yards per rush against the Packers in the divisional round.
For the entire season, the 49ers are 25th in rush EPA per play allowed and 27th in rushing success rate allowed.
Even since acquiring Chase Young in Week 10, they’re 19th in rush EPA per play allowed and 23rd in rush success rate allowed.
Although the Chiefs managed only 2.8 yards per attempt on the ground in Baltimore, they thrived in earlier postseason games.
Against the Bills and Dolphins, who finished the regular season 17th and 16th in rush defense DVOA, they averaged 6.1 and 4.3 yards per rush, respectively.
Given the 49ers ranked 15th in rush defense DVOA during the regular season, expect Kansas City to dominate on the ground.
Lastly, Patrick Mahomes is 11-1-1 ATS as an underdog for his career, and postseason underdogs that move by at least half a point are 69.2% ATS.
For those reasons, take the Chiefs to win their third Super Bowl in five years.
49ers Team Total Under 24.5 Points (-125)
Fading the 49ers’ potent offense basically has my heart in my throat.
But, although they’ve cleared this number in all but six games this year, it’s come against an easy set of opposing defenses.
San Francisco ranks first in both offensive DVOA and EPA per play, but they’ve faced the 23rd-hardest strength of schedule, per ftnfantasy.com.
To date, they’ve faced only two defenses this season ranking fifth or better in EPA per play and have stayed under 24 points in both games.
Even if you want to set aside a 17-point performance in Cleveland without Deebo Samuel, the fact remains they managed only 19 points against Baltimore at home.
Now they face a Chiefs defense I’m not sure the market fully respects.
The Chiefs are fifth in EPA per play and seventh in defensive DVOA, including fifth in pass defense DVOA.
Even if you sample Kansas City’s four games against sides fifth or better in offensive EPA per play, bettors will find they’ve kept three sides under this number.
Expand the sample to sides 10th or better in EPA per play, and bettors will discover Kansas City held seven of those eight opponents under this number.
In those games, only three teams managed three or more offensive touchdowns.
Game state also matters here, too.
Given I trust Kansas City’s defense more than San Francisco’s, it’s reasonable to expect the Chiefs to take an early lead.
If they keep that lead, it will force more passes from San Francisco against a side that excels against the pass (third in passing EPA per play from Week 1 to 17 and the playoffs).
Take the under on San Francisco’s team total so long as it stays at 24.5 or better.
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