49ers vs. Chiefs Super Bowl LVIII Favorites to Win MVP Award

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NFL Pick: Patrick Mahomes to Win Super Bowl MVP (+120) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Patrick Mahomes to Win Super Bowl MVP (+120)
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Super Bowl LVIII is a game for the superstars as arguably the top quarterback (Patrick Mahomes), running back (Christian McCaffrey), and tight end (Travis Kelce) in the NFL are going to be competing for the championship as well as Super Bowl MVP honors.

We know the award goes to someone on the winning team, and we know the quarterback has a huge edge over the field with 32-of-57 Super Bowl MVPs (56.1%) going to the winning quarterback. Mahomes won it last year for the 2nd time after first winning it in Super Bowl LIV against the 49ers.

The 49ers are a 1.5-point favorite this time at top-rated sportsbooks. But given Mahomes is 9-3 SU as an underdog in his career, can he make more history and become the first player to ever win 3 Super Bowl MVP awards for each of his 3 rings? Even Tom Brady and Joe Montana saw their top wide receiver (Jerry Rice and Deion Branch) win Super Bowl MVP honors when they won their 3rd championship.

Taking a peek at the NFL odds, let’s check out the early favorites for Super Bowl MVP and see if anyone on the 49ers could be a smart move as a backup plan in case you’re leaning towards the Chiefs.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, February 11, 2024 – 06:30 PM ET at Allegiant Stadium

Is It Mahomes or Bust for the Chiefs?

This was supposed to be the worst Kansas City offense in the Mahomes era, and yet here they are in the Super Bowl again, the 4th time since 2019. Mahomes’ QBR this postseason is 90.2, which would be the 5th highest in any season since 2006 for anyone who played at least 2 playoff games.

Is there anyone else who can overtake Mahomes for MVP in a game like this?

Defense has helped the Chiefs reach this point, but it is so hard to win this award on defense. Only 10 defenders have won it, and that includes the only Super Bowl MVP winner from a losing team (Chuck Howley in Super Bowl V) and the only time there were co-MVPs (Harvey Martin and Randy White in Super Bowl XII). Both of those outliers were over 40 years ago.

Usually, if a defender wins Super Bowl MVP, it is because the team had such a strong identity on defense all season, and the game is a blowout. Think of the 1985 Bears (Richard Dent), 2000 Ravens (Ray Lewis), 2002 Buccaneers (Dexter Jackson), and 2013 Seahawks (Malcolm Smith).

Offensive Stars and Defensive Longshots

When it comes to the Chiefs, their defenders with the highest odds for Super Bowl MVP are the pass rushers Chris Jones (+10000) and George Karlaftis (+10000). Maybe a couple of sacks and a forced fumble against Brock Purdy can get the job done, but the odds are staggering for a reason given how hard that is to do.

You have to think offense first with the Chiefs, and since around Week 12, they have refocused their offense around a trio of their best-skill players. Travis Kelce (+1200), Isiah Pacheco (+2500), or Rashee Rice (+5000) have odds better than +1200 to win MVP.

Kelce is the one you could see doing it just as he is so popular, he still is Mahomes’ favorite weapon, and he has looked more like his old self in recent weeks. If you gave out an MVP award for the AFC Championship Game, Kelce probably wins it after catching all 11 of his targets for 116 yards and a touchdown.

But he was kind of quiet against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV when he had 6 catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. A receiver usually needs to go over 100 yards to win it, and no tight end has ever won Super Bowl MVP.

Kelce had 98 yards when he played the 49ers in 2022, and this defense is not quite as good as that one. But the problem there is Mahomes went off for 423 yards and 3 touchdowns, so he would have easily won MVP for a game like that.

Mahomes’ Dominance

Mahomes has faced Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers 3 times in his career and he is 3-0 with over 300 total yards and 3 total touchdowns in each game. Basically, he’s the MVP every time he faces the 49ers.

If Kelce, Pacheco, and Rice all play well for the Chiefs, then the thought will be to give the award to the quarterback who orchestrates the offense and makes everything work. One of those players would have to really explode for a lot of yards or collect all the touchdowns to take it from the quarterback, and the Chiefs tend to spread it around more than that.

Mahomes is the safest, smartest, and most likely pick for Super Bowl MVP in this game.

NFL Pick: Patrick Mahomes to Win Super Bowl MVP (+120) at Bovada

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Patrick Mahomes to Win Super Bowl MVP (+120)
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San Francisco’s Dark Horse

On the San Francisco front, here are the best odds for Super Bowl MVP from Bovada:

  • QB Brock Purdy (+225)
  • RB Christian McCaffrey (+475)
  • WR Deebo Samuel (+2000)
  • TE George Kittle (+6000)
  • WR Brandon Aiyuk (+7500)
  • DE Nick Bosa (+7500)
  • LB Fred Warner (+10000)

Like with the Chiefs, it is hard for defenders to make enough impact to win it.

Nick Bosa is the big name and he’ll be out for revenge after he almost got Mahomes on that critical 3rd-and-15 play that was the play of the game in Super Bowl LIV, the 44-yard gain to Tyreek Hill. But Bosa would need at least 2.0 sacks and maybe a turnover that leads to a touchdown or short field for his team a la Von Miller on the 2015 Broncos when he won Super Bowl MVP.

Then when you look at the other weapons, George Kittle is another great tight end in this game, but he disappears a lot as a receiver, especially on the road. Even in the NFC Championship Game, he only had 1 catch for positive yards.

The Chiefs are very good at defending wide receivers. They have shut down many competent No. 1 options this year. Brandon Aiyuk barely has 100 yards this postseason, and half of that came on a fluke play that hit a defender in the face mask before Aiyuk caught the ball.

Deebo Samuel is an elite talent since he can run the ball in addition to catching, and he is so strong and hard to tackle after the catch. But the Chiefs are one of the best tackling defenses and have faced Samuel before without giving up huge games.

The Elephant in the Room

On any other team, if their 24-year-old quarterback in his 2nd season threw for 4,280 yards, 31 touchdowns, and led his team to the Super Bowl, they would be ecstatic and praise him every day.

With the 49ers and Brock Purdy, there is all this pushback and polarizing opinions because of his draft status and the history of the Kyle Shanahan offensive system. Not to mention the great talent around him.

But something must give at some point with Purdy.

If he throws for 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in the Super Bowl against an elite defense and outduels Mahomes, then he must be at least very good, if not great.

However, the anti-Purdy sentiment and this matchup present better value for running back Christian McCaffrey. It is shocking to think no running back has won Super Bowl MVP since Terrell Davis for the 1997 Broncos. That means 25 straight Super Bowls without a back winning after they won 7 of the first 32 Super Bowl MVP awards.

If anyone can end that streak, it is McCaffrey. He has rushed for at least 90 yards and 2 touchdowns in both playoff games so far while also catching a few passes to get him over 125 yards from scrimmage.

To win Super Bowl MVP, McCaffrey would probably need those numbers again at the bare minimum (125 yards from scrimmage and multiple touchdowns). He’d probably need a long touchdown score and potentially the game-winning score.

McCaffrey’s Potential Dominance

The Chiefs got off a bit easy last week when the Ravens shockingly fed their running backs just 6 carries for 23 yards. But we saw the Ravens have some success with passes to their backs, and the Bills did that a week earlier while also feeding their backs carries.

It would not be crazy to see McCaffrey rush for 90 yards, have another 60 or 70 yards as a receiver, and score multiple touchdowns in this game. It’s not like Purdy is going to pull a Jalen Hurts or Josh Allen and sneak in 2-to-3 touchdowns. Those are CMC’s plays.

If you like the 49ers to pull it off and win this game with a good offensive showing, then McCaffrey for MVP might be the right move given how little credit Purdy ever gets in this offense, and how the Kansas City defense is built to make quarterbacks look bad. Running the offense through McCaffrey might be key to the whole night, and that sounds like an MVP effort to me.

NFL Pick: Christian McCaffrey to Win Super Bowl MVP (+475) at Bovada

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.