Super Bowl LVII: Eagles v Chiefs could be a classic
Super Bowl LVII odds and preview
The cream has risen to the top and Super Bowl LVII will be a matchup between the two number one seeds from their respective conferences – the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.
Both teams finished the regular season with 14-3 records, and both have an MVP candidate under center – Jalen Hurts for Philadelphia and Patrick Mahomes for Kansas City.
The Eagles set the tone early in Philadelphia, winning their opening eight games, and after finishing top of the NFC East they romped through the play-offs with a 38-7 rout of the New York Giants and a lop-sided 31-7 win over the San Francisco Giants in the NFC title game.
Things were a bit more squeaky for the Chiefs, who needed a 45-yard field goal from Harrison Butker with three seconds left to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in the AFC Championship game.
There is little to separate the two teams in the Super Bowl LVII odds, with the Eagles slight favourites at 4/5 and receiving 1.5 points on the spread as we assess where the big game could be won or lost.
— NFL (@NFL) January 31, 2023
Mahomes v Hurts is a battle of experience against potential. Mahomes is a Super Bowl champion, a Super Bowl MVP and a league MVP, who has reached the AFC Championship Game in each of his five seasons as a starter.
He has led the NFL this season in passing yards (5,250) and touchdown passes (41) and is expected to be crowned MVP again, whether or not it comes with a second ring. Mahomes was battling an ankle injury in the AFC Championship game but still threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns.
Hurts, meanwhile, is in only his second full season as a starter, but his production is more than impressive. He has thrown for 3,701 yards and 22 touchdown passes but is also the Eagles’ leader in rushing touchdowns this season with 13.
Is Mahomes fit?
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid admits Mahomes is not fully fit but he will start the showpiece match despite a sprained ankle.
“I wouldn’t tell you he’s 100 per cent,” Reid told reporters on Wednesday.
“The training staff works with him endlessly. I guess it’s a tribute to both of them; Pat coming back for more and for those guys cranking on him.
“We’ve got all the latest stuff technology-wise. He’s used it all and he’s been able to make these jumps here where he can actually function and play in a game, which is pretty remarkable.”
Kadarius Toney is also back from an ankle problem and fellow receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is getting over a knee injury.
The Kelce Bowl
“My mom can’t lose,” said Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce after the win over Cincinnati set up a Super Bowl clash against Philadelphia and his brother Jason, the Eagles’ outstanding center.
You won’t see the Kelce brothers on the field at the same time given their positions, but it will be a constant subplot in Arizona. Both are arguably the best in the NFL at their respective positions.
.@TKelce caught his 15th career playoff TD (second-most all time)
— NFL (@NFL) January 31, 2023
Jason is the heart of an Eagles offensive line considered the best in the business, not only punching holes for his runners but charging upfield to become an effective blocker.
For the Chiefs, tight end Travis is a key part of their explosive offence thanks to his intelligence and his ability to gain yards after the catch.
The head coaches
When Kansas City won their second Super Bowl crown in 2020, Reid lifted the Vince Lombardi trophy for the first time in his 21 years as a head coach.
Before moving to Kansas City in 2013, Reid had spent 14 of those years with the Eagles, reaching the Super Bowl in 2005 but losing to the New England Patriots. He has suffered Super Bowl defeat again since – the Chiefs were trounced 31-9 by Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two years ago.
Reid is considered a players’ coach in contrast to the disciplinarian stereotype of most NFL bosses, but his methods certainly work.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 30, 2023
Sirianni is still relatively new to all this, named Eagles coach in January 2021, his first head coaching job after a spell as Indianapolis Colts offensive co-ordinator. The 41-year-old’s first NFL coaching jobs were with the Chiefs but he left in 2012 after Reid’s arrival.
A wide receiver in college, Sirianni has made his name on the offensive side of the ball, but he has also brought a man-management style of his own updated for Gen Z players.
Where there is Mahomes, there is always hope, no matter what the scoreboard says.
Kansas City are the 21/20 underdogs but have the recent pedigree and the experience in every department to make sure their third trip to the Super Bowl in four years ends brings a second title. But defensive struggles against quarterbacks – coupled with some niggling injuries – could open the door for an Eagles team that boasts balance throughout the roster.
Philadelphia led the league with 70 sacks during the regular season – the third most in NFL history – and will be coming for Mahomes. This one should be close.
When and where is Super Bowl LVII?
The 2023 Super Bowl will take place at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The match kicks off at 11.30pm (UK time) on Sunday, February 12 and will be live on ITV and Sky Sports.
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All odds and market correct at date of publication