BetMGM Big Game Preview: Back Purdy to overcome Mahomes & co. in Vegas

BetMGM Big Game Preview: Back Purdy to overcome Mahomes & co. in Vegas

It’s showtime! Fabulous Las Vegas is ready, the teams are set and the world will be watching as Kansas City and San Francisco meet in one of the most scintillating sporting spectaculars out there.

We will see a rematch of the 2019 showpiece for this season's championship game. In that one, Kansas City scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to reel off a historic comeback against a then Jimmy Garopollo-led San Francisco. Patrick Mahomes will try to do that once again this season by leading his men to consecutive trophies and a third in five years.

Kansas City are not the favourites this time though – they go into the Big Game as the slight outsiders at 27/25 with BetMGM.

Mahomes’ counterpart will be Brock Purdy. Once football’s ‘Mr Irrelevant’ on account of being selected with the final pick of the 2022 draft, Purdy has taken the reins as the signal-caller for this San Francisco offense and driven them to a first Big Game appearance since 2019 amid his name being floated in MVP conversations.

Will Purdy be able to right the wrongs of 2019 – a game that took place when he was just 20 years old? Will Mahomes continue his already hall-of-fame-worthy legacy and pick up a third ring?

Here at BetMGM we make every game an occasion – so we are going to take you on a deep dive into the betting markets where you could find some value this weekend.

Tip 1 – Patrick Mahomes Most Passing Yards @ 8/11

Quarterback is the most important position in football – and there aren’t many that have redefined the position like Patrick Mahomes has.

To provide some context to how elite Mahomes is, Kansas City have won their division in every year Mahomes has started and they have never ended a season without getting to at least the conference championship game in his six years as a starter.

The former Texas Tech star also became the youngest quarterback to win MVP in the Big Game back in February 2020 when he led his men to a 31-20 comeback victory over this weekend’s opponents.

He threw for 286 yards in his first Big Game appearance against San Francisco that evening and it would not be surprising if he produced another stellar performance in Las Vegas this time round.

A large portion of those passing yards came when Kansas City were playing from behind in that game so, if they were to go down early in this one, we can expect another pass-happy performance from Mahomes.

In addition, the 28-year-old aired the ball out more than his opposing quarterback in 11 of his 16 games during the 2023 regular season, as well as out-passing the opponent in two of his three post-season performances. The odds are therefore in the favour of Kansas City’s quarterback being the gunslinger fans know and love when he takes to the field on Sunday and, in turn, clocking the most passing yards in the game.

Mahomes is the 13/10 pre-game favourite to be named Big Game MVP this year with BetMGM. His San Francisco adversary Purdy (21/10) slots in as the second favourite while his team-mate, running back Christian McCaffrey, is viewed as the most likely non-quarterback to win the trophy at 9/2.

Meanwhile, the best pass-catching options come in the form of Kansas City’s Travis Kelce (14/1) and San Francisco duo Deebo Samuel (30/1) and Brandon Aiyuk (33/1).

Tip 2 – Isiah Pacheco to have Over 64.5 rushing yards & score a touchdown @ 7/4

A lot will be made of the running game heading into the game this weekend, mainly because MVP contender Christian McCaffrey will be on the field. However, do not overlook Isiah Pacheco and his production throughout the 2023 season – especially in Kansas City’s run during the post-season.

The former seventh-round draft pick notched 935 rushing yards in the regular season and found the endzone seven times despite missing three games. Combine his rushing with 234 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns and it’s clear Pacheco has transformed himself into a dual-threat weapon for this Patrick Mahomes-led offense.

As impressive as his regular season has been, the Rutgers alumni has really hit his stride in the business end of the season. He’s gone past the goalline in all three of Kansas City’s post-season outings – as well as scoring in last year’s 38-35 victory over the Eagles – so he could be a solid bet at 3/4 to score a touchdown at any time with BetMGM.

There may well be some additional value in combining Pacheco’s insatiable appetite for scoring six with his overall production in the running game. The 24-year-old averaged 66.8 rushing yards per game across the regular season and 84.7 rushing yards across Kansas City’s last three games against Miami, Buffalo and Baltimore.

San Francisco’s stymie run defence does have to be considered too though. Steve Wilks’ defensive front was the fifth-best against the run this season, allowing only 97 yards per game. But this strong statistic has wavered across their last three games, most evidently in their conference championship game comeback against Detroit.

Dan Campbell’s two-headed monster rushing attack – comprised of Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery – had their way with San Francisco on the ground, combining for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Even wide receiver Jameson Williams scored a touchdown on his one sole rushing attempt.

Isiah Pacheco should have a productive day. We’ll back him to get over 64.5 rushing yards and find the endzone at 7/4.

Tip 3 – George Karlaftis Over 0.5 sacks @ 23/20

Las Vegas will play host to two sets of premiere pass-rushing attacks for Sunday’s Big Game.

Kansas City were the second-most effective team when rushing the quarterback during the regular season, ranking just behind Baltimore; a less surprising statistic considering the talent they possess in the trenches.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones might be the most esteemed name in Steve Spagnuolo’s defence – and rightly so considering the former second-round pick ranks second in the league among defensive tackles for pass rush win rate.

He sits right behind eight-time All-Pro and undoubted hall-of-famer Aaron Donald in that list so he’s a solid 13/4 to grab the most sacks in the game and 11/8 to grab over 0.5 sacks in the game.

Due to his overpowering ability to put the quarterback in the dirt, Jones is susceptible to double teams (meaning two blockers are responsible for the 300lbs-plus lineman). Jones faced double teams on almost 70% of his snaps during the regular season, a league-high in that category.

With two players being occupied with preventing Jones, the gaps should open up for the other players on Kansas City’s defensive front – players such as George Karlaftis. The Greek defensive end has had a breakout second year, leading the team in sacks and quarterback hurries with 10.5 and 18 respectively.

Plus, Kansas City’s other outstanding defensive end, Charles Omenihu, had to exit their conference championship game with a torn ACL. It was a heartbreaking loss but it should put more onus on Karlaftis to find his way to Brock Purdy.

He is a sensible option to have over 0.5 sacks at 23/20 – and remember you can **double your winnings on any Big Game Bet Builder **(/promotions/sports/dyo-biggame) with BetMGM.

BetMGM’s Big Game Bet Builder – San Francisco to win & both Christian McCaffrey & Travis Kelce to score a touchdown @ 4/1

Throughout the season, the men from San Francisco have looked a step above the rest of the league.

They had the second-highest average points per game during the regular season (28.9) and allowed the third-fewest points per game (18.4). They should be the team to come out on top in this Vegas showdown and get revenge for four years ago.

Adding Christian McCaffrey to any Bet Builder as a touchdown scorer this year is a no-brainer. The former Carolina running back has carried the majority of the load for San Francisco’s offense, tallying over 2,000 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns throughout the year, including another four touchdowns in the two post-season games. There is never truly a banker in this league – but McCaffrey is as close as it comes.

Finally, we are adding the Taylor Swift-inspired Travis Kelce to our Bet Builder as a touchdown scorer. While the tight end may not be enjoying his most fruitful year as a pro, he has been Mahomes’ go-to option in the biggest games of the season.

On Kansas City’s post-season road to the Big Game Kelce has found the endzone on three occasions, only two fewer times than he managed during the entire regular season.

Kelce is the most reliable threat in Kansas City’s receiving game, so it’s sensible to predict he will add to his receiving touchdown stretch here. Add BetMGM’s Big Game Bet Builder To Your Betslip

Odds correct at time of publication but subject to change

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