Deebo Samuel Super Bowl prop bets: Betting on 49ers wide receiver to have a big game against Chiefs – The Athletic
By Jay FelicioFeb 11, 2024
Technically, the San Francisco 49ers are favorites going into Super Bowl LVIII. But the underdog mentality has gotten them back to the big game against the team they lost to four years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers’ X/Twitter account posted a hype video on February 2nd with the caption “against all odds,” which has rubbed some the wrong way. Maybe it is their starting quarterback, Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Perhaps it’s the mid-season three-game losing streak. It could be going down 24-7 to Detroit in the NFC Championship before a historic comeback. Regardless, the 49ers must keep the Chiefs’ defense on their heels to avenge their Super Bowl LIV loss. Everyone expects a heavy dose of Christian McCaffrey. But Deebo Samuel is the guy flying under the radar who could significantly impact the game’s outcome.
All odds from BetMGM.
Rushing Yards (1st half)
While 2024 saw Samuel have the third-fewest rushing attempts of his five-year career (37), he produced when given the chance. His 6.1 yards per carry led him to have eight or more rushing yards in 10 of 15 games played. In the ten games Samuel surpassed eight rushing yards, he did so the first half 60 percent of the time. Samuel has just seven rushing yards on three carries so far this postseason, which doesn’t look good for his prospects of hitting the over at first glance. But this is where context is critical. Samuel was injured on the first drive of the 49ers divisional game against Green Bay, logging just nine snaps. There was initially concern that Samuel wouldn’t be able to play in the NFC Championship due to the shoulder injury sustained the previous week, but he was able to suit up. Seven yards on three carries isn’t necessarily anything to make you feel frisky. However, it’s a positive sign he was still given backfield touches while battling injury. With two weeks to heal before the big game, I expect Deebo to be involved early, often and used out of the backfield. Please give me the over on rushing yards in the first half.
Some may shy away from 49ers reception props thanks to the Chiefs’ stingy defense versus wide receivers. Kansas City allowed the sixth-fewest receptions to wide receivers during the regular season. However, they were targeted in the middle of the field, allowing the fifth most slot targets to wide receivers during the regular season. Samuel can line up at any wide receiver position or in the backfield but has also been in the slot for 31.7 percent of his snaps this postseason. He only played nine snaps in the Division Round versus the Packers. Still, he was targeted six times on that single drive, coming down with three receptions. Against the Lions in the NFC Championship, Samuel hauled in eight receptions on a team-leading nine targets. Yes, the Chiefs shut down teams’ top wide receivers. But Deebo Samuel is a versatile weapon that Kyle Shannahan will use all over the field. I like over 4.5 receptions.
Outside of wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who led the way for the Miami Dolphins pass catchers in the Wild Card round, slot receivers and tight ends have been the most productive this postseason versus the Chiefs. In their Divisional Round matchup, tight end Dalton Kincaid and wide receiver Khalil Shakir paced the Buffalo Bills. They didn’t have big games by any means, five catches for 45 yards for Kincaid and seven catches for 44 yards and a touchdown for Shakir, but they were the Bills’ top producers. Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers exploded for five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown in the AFC Championship. Samuel is the type of player who can turn a bubble screen into a big play. The recipe is there for Samuel to have a big game. Give me over 58 receiving yards.
Super Bowl MVP
Quarterbacks have been named MVP in 32 of 57 Super Bowls, so Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy are the obvious favorites. The two positions to take home the most MVP honors after quarterback are wide receivers at eight and running backs at seven. For another position to win, they have to impact the game in such an undeniable way that you can’t tell the story of the Super Bowl win without them. Who better to take a chance on than a superstar who can line up anywhere on the field, take it to the house on any given play, and even be involved in the return game?
If you want to take a long shot for MVP, look no further than Deebo Samuel.
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(Photo of Deebo Samuel: Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
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Jay Felicio is a Fantasy Football analyst and contributor for NFL/College Football betting at The Athletic. His work has been showcased on FanDuel, PlayerProfiler.com, and numerous other outlets. Jay is an Advanced Data Charter with FTN.com and a Fantasy Sports Writers Association member. He is a native of New York but was raised in North Carolina, where he currently resides with his beautiful wife and three kids. Jay’s off-field interests include the Marvel Cinematic Universe, professional wrestling, and classic Simpsons humor. Mark 12:30-31. Follow Jay on Twitter @GMenJay