Chiefs vs. Eagles Super Bowl LVII Win MVP Award Analysis: This Is Who I’m Betting On

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NFL Pick: Patrick Mahomes to Win Super Bowl MVP (+135) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Patrick Mahomes to Win Super Bowl MVP (+135)
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The Philadelphia Eagles remain a 1.5-point favorite over the Kansas City Chiefs at many of the Pennsylvania and Missouri betting sites. That would still close as one of the smallest spreads in Super Bowl history, so the game is close to being a toss-up at this point. 17 of the last 19 Super Bowls have been within one score in the fourth quarter, so it usually is a close game now unlike back in the day.

But the Super Bowl MVP award remains one of the most prestigious achievements in the game. Quarterbacks Jalen Hurts (+125) and Patrick Mahomes (+135) are the logical favorites for the award at Bovada and other Super Bowl LVII betting sites.

One thing we know is quarterbacks win 55.4% of the Super Bowl MVPs, and only one has ever gone to someone on the losing team. With that in mind, let’s decide once and for all who makes our NFL picks for Super Bowl LVII MVP.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, February 12, 2023 – 06:30 PM EST at State Farm Stadium

Why You Should Fade Jalen Hurts for MVP

While the Eagles can very well win this game, they just have too many options for MVP, including some defensive players if a corner like Darius Slay or James Bradberry were to make a pick-six, or if Haason Reddick disrupts the game entirely with some sacks and edge pressure much like Von Miller did for Denver when he won Super Bowl 50 MVP.

But this is also a reflection of where Hurts is at this season after suffering a shoulder sprain in Week 15 against the Bears. If an MVP was given out for every game, Hurts would not have even sniffed one in his last four outings for the Eagles:

  • Hurts has failed to throw touchdown passes in three of the last four games.
  • He has failed to average 6.6 yards per pass attempt in his last three games, including an abysmal 4.84 YPA against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
  • He has not rushed for 40 yards in any of his last three games.
  • He has not passed for 160 yards in either playoff game.
  • He has not thrown for 160 yards and a touchdown in the same game since Week 14.
  • He has passed for 250 yards in 5-of-17 games this season.

The Chiefs seem to be peaking at the right time defensively, and they were able to intercept Joe Burrow twice in the title game and hold him to 20 points. Hurts is not coming into this one hot, and his rushing value has not been great enough lately to justify giving him the award.

Too Hard to Justify

Hurts has scored a rushing touchdown in 11 games this year, but if he only scores one short one in this game without throwing for multiple touchdowns, is that really enough to win MVP? In the three games where Hurts scored multiple rushing touchdowns, he threw either zero or one touchdown passes too.

The Eagles also have several options to score rushing touchdowns with Miles Sanders scoring two of them in the title game against the 49ers. Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell are also options in the red zone.

The Chiefs allowed eight quarterbacks this year to average at least 7.0 yards per attempt in a game, but only Josh Allen (Week 6) and Joe Burrow (Week 13) would have won an MVP award for their performances. The Chiefs have only allowed 30 points once this season and that was Tom Brady’s Buccaneers playing catch-up for the entire game.

Based on his recent play, it just does not look that great for Hurts to win this with a dominant offensive performance. We also know if the Eagles dominate in the trenches to win this game easily, those Super Bowl MVPs often go elsewhere than quarterback as demonstrated by the 2015 Broncos (Von Miller), 2013 Seahawks (Malcolm Smith), 2002 Buccaneers (Dexter Jackson), and 2000 Ravens (Ray Lewis).

The Difficulty of Anyone But Mahomes Winning for Kansas City

If the Chiefs are going to win this game, it is going to take a special performance from Patrick Mahomes.

That does not mean statistically dazzling or even highly efficient. That means more like in Super Bowl LIV against the 49ers when he threw two interceptions and trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter before converting on third-and-15 and leading three straight touchdown drives to win 31-20. He was named Super Bowl MVP with 286 yards and 3 total touchdowns, including a rushing score.

It could be that kind of game again, but it is really hard for anyone on the Chiefs to overshadow their quarterback, who is expected to win MVP in the regular season by a landslide this year.

Is Anyone in Defense a Realistic Option?

Chris Jones, who led the Chiefs with 15.5 sacks this year, had a nice AFC Championship Game with his first two playoff sacks, but he would have a hard time getting any love for this award.

Even when a defensive back gets a huge interception (pick-six or game-clinching takeaway) in a Super Bowl, he is often denied MVP over the quarterback as we saw in Super Bowl 36 (Tom Brady over Ty Law), Super Bowl 41 (Peyton Manning over Kelvin Hayden), Super Bowl 44 (Drew Brees over Tracy Porter), and Super Bowl 49 (Tom Brady over Malcolm Butler).

How About the Offense?

No running back has won Super Bowl MVP since Terrell Davis for the 1998 Broncos, if you can believe that.

If someone on the Chiefs has the star power to take the award from Mahomes, it would be Travis Kelce, who is making history by being the first player to face his brother (Jason) in a Super Bowl. He is also one of the greatest tight ends in history and has had monster games this year as the undisputed leading receiver of the Chiefs.

But Kelce had just 23 yards against the Eagles last year, and they should do their best to lock down on him with several of the Chiefs being injured at wide receiver. There is also the fact that no tight end in NFL history has won Super Bowl MVP.

What Would Kelce Have to Do?

To do it, Kelce would likely have to repeat his Week 11 performance against the Chargers where he had 115 yards and all three of Mahomes’ touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter, and the game-winning touchdown (mostly all YAC) with 31 seconds left. If Kelce did that, then he could probably bring the award home, but that is a tough thing to do against a pass defense few have cracked this year.

In the rare instances where a receiver wins the Super Bowl MVP over his quarterback, it often involves doing big things in the fourth quarter and on the game-winning drive while the quarterback likely had a turnover or two earlier in the game.

That’s what propelled Cooper Kupp over Matthew Stafford last year, Santonio Holmes over Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl 43, and Jerry Rice over Joe Montana in Super Bowl 23.

But even a vintage Kelce performance may still be overshadowed by the narrative of Mahomes winning his second here against the defense with 70 sacks.

Why Mahomes Can Do This

Hopefully, the bye week will give Mahomes enough rest time to be as healthy as possible on his ankle he sprained against the Jaguars. The Chiefs insist he did not take a pain-relieving injection for the AFC Championship Game, and that he will not carry an injury designation into this game.

According to Next Gen Stats, Mahomes was able to do positive things against the Bengals when extending the play. He was 6-for-6 on passes thrown outside the tackle box, 6-for-6 on passes thrown on the run (going at least 8 miles per hour), and 6-for-6 when holding the ball over 4.0 seconds.

Mahomes was able to reach 18.1 miles per hour on the third-down scramble that led to a hit out of bounds and the game-winning field goal, his fastest speed on any play this postseason. That even came after he appeared to aggravate the ankle injury in the third quarter.

Healthy Mahomes Means Danger

If we can assume reasonable health and protection for Mahomes, then he has a chance to expose this Philadelphia defense that has feasted on an easy schedule filled with bad quarterbacks and backups.

The Eagles have only allowed two quarterbacks to throw for 225 yards this year, but one was Dak Prescott of the Cowboys, who completed 27-of-35 passes with six drops in Week 16. That is the closest example to an offense that the Eagles have faced this year that can compare with facing Mahomes and Kelce.

Despite the easy schedule and 70 sacks, the Eagles finished No. 5 in yards per drive allowed and No. 11 in points per drive allowed. Good numbers but not that elite.

Trends Are on His Side

In his career, Mahomes is 11-2 vs. top 5 defenses in points per drive and 11-4 vs. top 5 defenses in yards per drive – he threw for at least 249 yards in every game. Historically, Mahomes tends to do a lot of his best work away from Arrowhead:

  • In his career, Mahomes averages 7.71 yards per attempt and a 100.5 passer rating at home.
  • Mahomes averages 8.46 yards per attempt and a 110.4 passer rating on the road.
  • Seven of the eight Kansas City games with 30 points scored this year have been on the road, including a season-high 44 points in Arizona in Week 1.
  • In Week 7, Mahomes shredded the top-ranked San Francisco defense for 423 passing yards and 43 points.

With a banged-up receiving corps around him, Mahomes may not have a stellar stat line in this game, but he knows how to fight his way back into games, only losing 3-of-93 career starts by more than 8 points.

We will also see if the Chiefs attack the Eagles the way they did last year when Mahomes threw five touchdowns and got rid of the ball in 2.32 seconds, the fastest game of his 93-game career.

Chiefs vs. Eagles: Super Bowl MVP Pick

If you are so confident in the Eagles winning this game, then maybe you should just throw something on Haason Reddick to win Super Bowl MVP (+2800) and focus most of your bets on the spread and moneyline for Philadelphia. You could even take Eagles -6.5 at NFL odds of +190.

But if you had to pick one player to win Super Bowl MVP, the best bet should still be on the best player in the game, and that is Mahomes.

  • He knows what it is like to win and lose a Super Bowl.
  • He has a history of shredding highly-ranked defenses.
  • The Eagles have not been challenged much this year.
  • He has a healthier offensive line than he did two years ago.

If the Chiefs win this game, the narrative is going to be that Mahomes pulled it off on a bad ankle against the defense with 70 sacks. If they gave out an MVP for the AFC Championship Game, he would have won that too with a 300-yard passing performance.

Betting against Mahomes, who is 7-1-1 ATS as an underdog, has made many of us look foolish in the past. Why bet against him here in another legacy-shaping game? We’ll take Mahomes for Super Bowl MVP.

NFL Pick: Patrick Mahomes to Win Super Bowl MVP (+135) at Bovada

*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.