Entering Sunday’s NFL conference championships, the Philadelphia Eagles are the new betting favorites to win Super Bowl 57 on the odds boards at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and PointsBet.
Just last week, Philadelphia was only the fourth choice at +500, with the Kansas City Chiefs listed as the top betting pick at +300. But the Eagles’ rousing victory over the NY Giants last week and the high ankle sprain suffered by Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes have caused shuffling on the odds boards.
2023 Super Bowl Odds: Impact of Patrick Mahomes’ Injury
The Chiefs (15-3 SU/6-11-1 ATS), who opened the season at +1000 to win the Super Bowl, saw their title hopes jolted last week when Mahomes, the favorite to win this year’s MVP award, was hurt in the team’s 27-20 home win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here is a look at each of the team’s chances to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy — and what might hold them back:
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Missing from the playoff mix are the Buffalo Bills, who were the betting favorites for the majority of the season. In last week’s divisional round, the Cincinnati Bengals thumped the Bills in the Buffalo snow as a 6-point underdog, 27-10.
In this week’s matchups, the NFC final has the top-seeded Eagles playing host to the second-seeded San Francisco 49ers in the early-afternoon time slot. Philly is a 2.5-point choice.
That game will be followed by the battle between third-seeded Cincinnati and top-seed Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. It’s a repeat of last season’s conference championship game won by Cincinnati, 27-24. The Bengals are listed as a 1-point favorite.
The Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz.
This is the first time since 2012 that three teams that made the conference finals the year before are returning to the final four this year (KC, Cincinnati, and San Francisco). And like last time, when the defending champion Giants were at home, it’s the previous year’s Super Bowl champions that are out (Los Angeles Rams).
Philadelphia Eagles (+250 PointsBet)
Of the squads that got this far, Philadelphia (15-3 straight up/9-9 against the spread) opened the season with the longest Super Bowl odds at +2500. That number steadily shortened during the team’s 8-0 start to the season.
Last week’s 38-7 divisional round victory over the visiting NY Giants has brought back fond memories of the Eagles’ run to the Super Bowl title at +5000 (Caesars Sportsbook) five seasons ago when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 38-7, in the NFC final.
This preseason, though, Philadelphia wasn’t even favored to win the East Division, but behind a pair of first-team All-Pros on the offensive line — center Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson — and second-team All-Pros in QB Jalen Hurts and WR A.J. Brown, the offense ranked third in the league.
The ground game helped greatly, exceeding 250 yards in a game three times in its past eight games. By comparison, the rest of the league teams had a total of nine such games all season.
The defense might have been even better, ranking second overall behind three second-team All-Pros. Included were 17 INTs, tied for the fourth-most in the league. And the sack unit had 70, which was tops on the chart.
The major hiccup to the Eagles’ season occurred in Week 15 when Hurts sprained his right (passing) shoulder and was held out of the team’s next two games. Philly lost both with Gardner Minshew at QB, which caused head coach Nick Sirianni to insert Hurts back into the lineup for the finale in order to secure the top seed.
Hurts appeared to be in good form last week, throwing for two scores and running for another. He was sacked only once.
Is he 100% recovered from his injury? He didn’t appear to be favoring his shoulder during the game, but also didn’t take any significant hits except maybe for some robust pats on the back.
Johnson, meanwhile, has an abdominal injury that will need attention after the season, but he played last week after sitting out the season’s last two games. If he has to step away, the Eagles could be vulnerable to edge rushers.
As far as being the current favorite to win SB57, only three times in the past 10 years has the betting choice entering the conference finals gone on to win the Super Bowl, according to Sports Odds History.
By contrast, the longest shot during that stretch won the crown four times, including the Tampa Bay Bucs (+425) two years ago.
Cincinnati Bengals (+260 PointsBet)
The Bengals (14-4 SU/13-5 SATS), who fell to the LA Rams in last year’s Super Bowl, have leapfrogged Kansas City on the odds boards thanks to their manhandling of the Bills last week and because of Mahomes’ injury.
It also has to do with Cincinnati having defeated Kansas City three times in 2021-22, each time as an underdog.
In the preseason, Cincinnati was listed as a +2200 choice to win the Super Bowl and that number climbed to +3500 after it lost its first two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys as 7-point favorites.
But apparently, the Super Bowl hangover didn’t last long for the Bengals, who have gone a league-best 14-2 since.
The Bengals’ play in the secondary and along the defensive line has been key, with the team’s defensive passer rating No. 1 in the league.
On offense, QB Joe Burrow and fleet receivers Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, and Tyler Boyd are among the best. And last week the running game came to life with 172 yards (5.1 a carry), which was the Bengals’ second-best total in a game this year.
It will be hard for anyone to keep that unit in check.
However, a major concern continues to be with the injury-ravaged offensive line.The Chiefs (15-3 SU/6-11-1 ATS), who opened the season at +1000 to win the Super Bowl, saw their title hopes jolted last week when Mahomes, the favorite in NFL MVP odds, was hurt in the team’s 27-20 home win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The team rolled last week without three of its starters, but how will that unit handle a Chiefs defense that was second in the league in sacks this season? And if the Bengals reach the Super Bowl and face the Eagles, that’s a team that had 70 sacks, the third most in league history.
ORT La’el Collins (knee) is on IR, but OLT Jonah Williams (knee) and ORG Alex Cappa (ankle) are hoping to play this week. They are questionable. This week, center Ted Karras (knee) is also questionable. He reportedly played through the knee issue last week.
One last thing: Although the secondary has thrived, the unit has taken injury hits with starting corner Tre Flowers (questionable) sitting out last week with a hamstring injury. This is on top of star CB Chidobe Awuzie (IR, knee) having missed the past 10 games. That’s a lot of pressure to put on fellow corner Eli Apple, who hasn’t been known to cause QBs to quake while looking in his direction.
Kansas City Chiefs (+300)
Although Mahomes vows to play this week and said Wednesday his ankle is “doing good,” it remains to be seen whether he will indeed be in the lineup.
Last week, he appeared to be favoring the ankle when he returned to action in the second half. And according to the advanced-stat keepers, he’s thrown more passes out of the pocket this season than anyone else this season, so if he gets to go, he’ll likely be confined to the pocket and out of his element.
His backup, veteran Chad Henne, did lead KC on a 98-yard TD drive in his brief appearance last week, so Chiefs fans shouldn’t clobber the panic button if he has to play.
What could cause trouble is KC’s tendency to yield TDs off short fields. Foes have nine touchdowns in such scenarios this season. By comparison, Cincinnati has given up two.
Not to mention the Chiefs gave up a league-high 33 TD passes this season and have the league’s 27th-rated pass defense. Just like in the past games, KC could have trouble handling Cincinnati’s Burrow.
A Chiefs bet seems extra risky at this futures number.
Mahomes Favored Despite Injury: Super Bowl 57 MVP odds
San Francisco 49ers (+350 BetMGM)
The 49ers (15-4 SU/13-6 ATS) have the longest odds on the board among the final four despite being on a 12-game winning streak, which is tops in the NFL this season.
Those odds were at +1200 two months ago in the aftermath of starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffering a major foot injury and yielding to rookie Brock Purdy.
Although they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 at home last week, they scored only one TD and faced an opponent that lost its top running back to a broken leg in the second quarter. Maybe not by coincidence, San Francisco intercepted Dak Prescott’s next pass and throttled Dallas the rest of the way.
Purdy has been a sensation this season after opening the year third on the team’s depth chart, but much of his success came against less-than-stellar defenses. Against Dallas’ 10th-ranked pass defense (based on passer rating), he had his worst outing in his eight games with extensive action. He had no TD throws after having at least two in the others. Philly’s unit is ranked third.
As a side note, he will be the fifth rookie QB in history to start a game in a conference final. The other four (Mark Sanchez, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and Shaun King) all lost and had a cumulative four TD throws and nine INTs. Flacco and King both had a passer rating below the Mendoza Line of 39.6.
Although San Francisco finished the regular season ranked first in total defense, it has been vulnerable to top-ranked attacks such as Kansas City’s. The Chiefs had 529 yards versus the 49ers in a 44-23 win in San Francisco in Week 7. The 49ers haven’t lost since.
And what’s this? How come the league’s top defense saw Marcus Mariota and Carson Wentz — two QBs who eventually were benched — have their best games of the year against San Francisco? And then Las Vegas’ Jarrett Stidham threw for three TDs and 365 yards in his starting debut in a Week 16 game.
Something else to keep an eye on is the status of San Francisco’s top two running backs. Christian McCaffrey (who was seen nursing a calf injury last week) and Elijah Mitchell (groin) are considered day-to-day.