Super Bowl DFS Breakdown Updated Friday, Jan. 31st, 2020
@MagicSportsGuy’s Super Bowl DFS Breakdown has everything you need to know ahead of Super Bowl LIV. Don’t set those DraftKings or FanDuel lineups without it!
Opening Super Bowl Odds & Betting Lines:
Opening Spread: Pick
Opening Money Line: SF (-102), KC (-118)
Opening Over/Under: 51
Current Super Bowl Odds & Betting Lines:
Spread: KC Chiefs -1
Public Bets: (KC, 60%)
% of $$: (KC, 56%)
Money Line: SF (+112), KC (-120)
Public Bets: (KC, 39%)
% of $$: (KC, 55%)
Public Bets: (OVER, 80%)
% of $$: (OVER, 84%)
Pace and Play Calling
Unless you live under a rock, you are aware these teams are very different in terms of play-calling and the overall pace of play. KC is never too far down, as they can score in a flash from anywhere on the field, where SF isn’t really built for a big-comeback, which means they need to score early to keep them in their comfort zone.
KC comes out fast, ranking in the top-10 in first-half pace (6th in neutral situations). Andy Reid will then slow it down considerably if they do go up, with KC finishing 26th in second-half pace, which had them finish 18th in overall pace (they won lots of games). This could be something to follow for hitting in-game or halftime totals, as KC would like to slow things down late if they are in control.
The similarities of what TENN did to win two playoff games and SF (offensively) are shockingly similar, with SF running it at an 82% & 69% rate in two playoff wins, which both were in the top-5 of team’s rush rate in a game this season. 49ers RBs averaged 31.5 touches per game this season (3rd) for 175.3 total yards p/g (2nd). That spiked to an AVERAGE of 40 touches for 214.5 total yards per game in their two playoff games. Just like Ryan Tannehill before his meeting with KC, Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown FOUR COMBINED passes in the 4th quarter of two playoff games.
Super Bowl Trends
I like to make fun of all the ridiculous splits that have no predictive value, so remember these are for entertainment, informative value only. Stats and history are fun, so there is nothing wrong with observing what has happened. If nothing less, they will give you something to talk about at your SuperBowl party.
- Favorites are 35-18 in the SuperBowl, but that trend has suffered lately, with underdogs winning in six of eight and covering in five of seven.
- The NFC West is 3-0 vs. the AFC West in the Super Bowl, but the AFC (thanks NE) have won the last five of seven overall.
- Andy Reid has gone 4-5 against the spread in playoff games since coming to KC in 2013, but 3-1 ATS with Patrick Mahomes under center.
- Reid has gone just 5-4 to the OVER in playoff games since coming to KC in 2013, but 3-1 to the OVER with Patrick Mahomes under center.
- Reid is 9-6 overall when given an extra week to prepare. Expanding it further, he is 16-9 ATS in 25 career games with 11 or more days of rest.
- Kyle Shanahan has only had six situations with extra prep-time, but two have come this season with the current group and the results have been impressive. They steamrolled CLE 31-3 after their week four bye week and smashed the Vikes 27-10 in the Division round of the playoffs.
- This game is tied for 5th highest TOTAL in the “Big Game” and the 7th with a 53+ total. In those six games, they have gone UNDER the total in four of six.
- The 2016 New England Patriots and 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers are the only two teams in the last 14 years who had a better regular-season record than their Super Bowl opponent and went on to win the game.
KC Betting Trends
- Kansas City is 7-0-1 against the spread in its last eight games, which landed them with a league-best 12-5-1 (70.6%) ATS this season.
- They are 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven games as a favorite and 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- However, KC is just 5-3 SU and ATS versus teams with a winning record this season (NE, BAL, HOU, TENN, MINN).
SF Betting Trends
- The 49ers are 11-6-1 against the spread so far this season, 4th best. That 64.7% mark against the line is good for fourth in the league.
- SF was an underdog a surprising five times this season and ended up 5-0 ATS in those situations. They also went 7-2 against the spread versus teams with winning records this season.
- I outlined the string of high-scoring games the 49ers got into to close the season many times in the Breakdown, with SF going 8-3-1 to the OVER to close it out. Over that stretch, their games combined for the most points in football.
- Their last 10 regular-season games averaged a combined score of 51.9 PPG, compared to 44.3 combined points per game for KC.
DVOA is not perfect, but most agree it is the best or at least most recognized advanced measurement available to us for predicting on-field matchups. I have to credit Rich Hrabar at Sharp Football for this research from his “Does Offensive or Defense matter more” article he put out for Sharp Football. I don’t normally (ever) just copy/paste someone’s data, but it is so good I felt I had to share it. Technically, it is just Football Outsiders’ data, but he needs to get the credit for breaking it all down so systematically.
KC – 3rd Offensive DVOA (2nd Pass/14th Rush)
SF – 7th Offensive DVOA (8th Pass/13th Rush)
KC – 14th Defensive DVOA (6th Pass/29th Rush)
SF – 2nd Defensive DVOA (2nd Pass/11th Rush)
To repeat, everything in the outline below is from his article.
- (Last 17 seasons) Super Bowl teams ranked higher in offensive DVOA have a 4-13 record.
- Teams with the higher-ranked offense have lost nine straight Super Bowls.
- Teams ranked higher in defensive DVOA have an 11-6 record.
- Teams ranked higher in defensive DVOA have won four straight Super Bowls.
- Top-5 defenses have an 8-5 record in the Super Bowl.
- Those teams have a 6-3 record when not facing another top-5 defense.
- Top-5 offenses are 5-11 in the Super Bowl.
- Those teams have a 3-9 record when not facing another top-5 offense.
- Top-5 ranked offenses have a 1-5 record when facing a top-5 defense.
- Top-3 offenses have a 3-7 record when not facing another top-3 ranked offense.
- Those teams have a 1-3 record when facing a top-3 ranked defense.
- Teams with a defense outside of the top-10 have a 3-5 record in the Super Bowl when not facing another defense outside of the top-10.
- Those teams have a 2-4 record when facing an opposing offense ranked in the top-10.
KC struggled in Football Outsider’s adjusted line yards (28th, 4.82) and “open field rush yards” metric (.89, 25th). SF finished 8th in offensive adjusted line yards per carry (4.53) and 3rd in open field rank/open field yards per carry (1.16). GB and KC’s rush defense metrics are very similar, so I (everyone) will be surprised if we don’t see SF come out with a similar smash-mouth game plan as they did in those matchups. The 49ers have faced six other defenses in the bottom-10 of that category in Cincinnati (36-244-3 rushing), Minnesota (42-180-2), Cleveland (34-245-2), Washington (33-117-0), Carolina (33-206-4) and Green Bay (19-111-2 and 36-243-4).
The big difference between MINN (10th offensive DVOA), GB (8th Offensive DVOA) and KC is Mahomes and the KC offense, who will have to score early and often to have some chance of slowing down the machine that is the SF running game. I think it is this, along with a soft schedule to close out the regular season, that has their DVOA splits looking better (Weeks 1-11: 31st – Weeks 13-20, 17th).
Before going into strategy and roster construction, I first want to give a macro overview of playing the showdown slate. First thing you should ask and answer, what is your goal? Are you playing $50-$100 as a supplement to all of your prop bets, parlays, boxes, etc.? Or are you a DFS grinder that is approaching this slate as you do with every other slate? When you figure that out, you will need to let those goals lead you to proper contest selection.
DK Millionaire Maker – Got an extra $5300 to play for a Milly on a one-game slate? DK is rolling out a 12-team max ($63,000) Milly Maker, which is currently 194/400. I imagine most will only submit one lineup, and in a game where superstars should dominate, it is very likely the top score in this one will be shared by more than one player. That said, those who are submitting multiple lineups will have a nice edge by being able to mix it up in this smaller GPP. Like with most Milly Makers, there is a massive, $850,000 fall-off from first to second place, which could be decided by a ½ point or less.
DK is also featuring a 150-Max, NFL $4M SUPER BOWL LIV MILLIONAIRE MAKER [$1M TO 1ST, $4,000,000 guaranteed prize pool], which is currently at 173,000 of 450,000 entries. I realize a lot of ME players won’t enter their 150 LUs till Sunday AM, but I still can’t see this thing selling out. That said, I have been wrong about overlay in the past, so I won’t be surprised if I am again. These 150-max LU showdown slates are usually won by players submitting the full 150 lineups, so I think it is best to go that route or just fade it all together.
NFL $250K Power Streak (3-Entry Max) – I prefer these 3-max contests, as they bring solid upside ($50k to first) without having to invest four or five figures to max it out (1543 total entries).
Another contest to focus on is the 20-Max, $3 “Play-Action” GPP. Here you can max out entries at only $60. There is also a good amount of single-entry double-ups for a one-game slate, which (when you cash) make a nice compliment to the lower (expected) ROI tournaments.
Finally, I want to point out the Q’s they are running for their National Betting Championship (SBSC). With these contests currently at 16% capacity, there could be some overlay since most casual players will not be looking to invest in a contest that only gives you a ticket for a future contest (and not even a DFS contest at that). Regardless of the overlay, expect these to be filled with the sharks of the DFS industry, so proceed with caution.
I, and everyone else in the industry, have talked about getting correlating plays in the showdown contests. You want your lineups to fit a script because the way the game plays out will determine what the “optimal lineup” is. This has never been more evident than in the last two 49ers playoff games, where George Kittle was essentially an offensive lineman. Those who paid up for him were dead on arrival, as it was all about pounding their opponents into the ground with the running backs. That made the RB-DST-K stack the way to win.
In this game, the “chalk” script is very obvious. We have a game that has already moved up to 54, putting it in the top-5 of all-time Super Bowl OVER/UNDERS. It is also combined with a very close point spread, which is the formula for a shootout. With that in mind, you get Mahomes at 75% and Jimmy G at 70% ownership, along with three more Chiefs over 45% ownership. This is the correct build, despite the high ownership, IF the game flows like the public thinks it will.
If the game ends up 30-27, you better have both QBs and both of the team’s top-scoring receiving options on the team (together), or you won’t even sniff that Million.
Looking back at some historical trends in these contests, it looks like putting the WR1 in the captain spot is a way to get some leverage, as most tend to put the QB or RB1 there. The tricky thing about this particular matchup and nailing the “WR1” is the TE factor. Both teams have absolute monsters playing TE, and both have finished as their team’s top-scoring receiver more than any other players in this game. Kelce, for example, has a receiving yards prop just three yards off of Tyreek Hill, yet Hill is $1400 more as well as being +5% in projected ownership.
Of course, stacking Mahomes-Kelce-Hill together seems fun, but they are so pricey you really have to sacrifice on the other three spots. To squeeze them in, consider punting the captain spot with a WR3 type (Hardman, Bourne), which will allow you to fill out your roster with solid options. The other way is to use a Blake Bell on this roster as a punt, with the mindset of you nailing all the top, expensive fantasy scorers.
DK Cash Core – Jimmy G, Mahomes, Kittle, Kelce
Build 2, KC Dominates the game: Kelce – Mahomes – DWill – KCD
Build 3, SF Dominates the game: Gould – 49ers – Mostert – Mahomes
Build 4, Game goes UNDER, DWill is the MVP: DWill – KCD – Butker – Gould
Build 5, Mahomes goes OFF: Hardman – Mahomes – Hill – Kelce – Jimmy G
**I am guessing you get the point by now; play out a game script and mix and match the captain, etc.**
Other players I will be using (in order of exposure):
Deebo – BEAST, my favorite SF player when factoring in price, ownership, and upside.
Gould – Gould has been hot; if we can get 10 FP again, he will likely be in the optimal at $4k.
Sanders – Best value WR if this turns into a shootout.
Mostert – Ownership is low considering his last performance. He should eat again regardless of Tevin Coleman returning. SF D and Gould make sense to use with him, but I also think he can be a run-back on your KC stacks, as he has the highest (SF) TD probability.
Sammy Watkins – Everyone (myself included) is on the UNDER Sammy props, which has spilled over to his DFS ownership. Yes, he should see a good amount of Richard Sherman, but Andy Reid moves all of his WRs around – both via formations and pre-snap motion – so expect him to end up in the slot quite often (45% this season).
Hardman – I love this guy, can post 10 FP on one play.
Coleman – Mostert doesn’t get many targets, so if KC goes up big/this is a shootout, Coleman will be the SF back to own.
Bourne – Seems like he catches TDs or does nothing; makes a lot of sense in the “this game shoots out” scenario.
Robinson – I won’t be shocked to see him or Hardman play a role in the Milly.
Butker – I am overweight Gould and under Butker. I also hate kickers, and they seem to hate me, so take that into account, please.
The Defenses are always a big factor on DraftKings. Players tend to shy away from DSTs in high-scoring affairs, which is actually the opposite of what the numbers say. Games with high play volume and heavy pass rates often create more opportunities for sacks, fumbles, interceptions, and consequently, TDs. With SF only $3600 and KC $3000 while averaging 10.3 and 8.7 FPPG respectively this season (+1.8 & +1.2 above the league average of 7.5 FPPG), both are VERY solid plays, especially when factoring in their low ownership.
I get the fade and low projected ownership, with all the betting $$ going to the OVER, but these games are actually BETTER for DST scoring (on average) than low scoring games with rush heavy offenses. SF-DST has had two-straight with 10+ FP, making it 10 of 18 for overall. We have seen them score 14 & 19 FP in a couple of high-scoring affairs with AZ and SEA, but the majority of their big performances have come in games they dominate. That is unlikely against Mahomes and company, but if you are going to fade him/the KC offense, I would want the SF D, an SF RB (or 2) and Robbie Gould as a correlation play. Again, you want these showdown rosters to fit a particular game script, with this one being an SF beat-down.
On the other side of that is a KC blowout, which would force SF into a higher pass rate and potentially more sacks and INTs. In this script, we want KC to run away with it, so we can put the KC D in the captain spot and then have enough cash to stack Damien Williams, Mahomes and Harrison Butker along with Kelce or Hill.
GPP Punts – Blake Bell is just $800, which means one catch could be enough, with a lucky TD being the stuff showdown dreams are made of. Kyle Juszczyk could be that guy on SF if he lucks into a one-yard FB dive TD. Both of these guys have a 0.0 floor.
Matt Brieda seems to be completely phased out in SF, failing to get any run while Mostert ran for 200+ in a blowout. Now, we expect Coleman back, which makes his chances to play even less likely. Still, he is projected to be 8-11% owned, which is high enough for me to take a stand and fade outright.
DK Ownership Projections
- Patrick Mahomes – 75%
- Tyreek Hill – 52%
- Travis Kelce – 47%
- Damien Williams – 45%
- Jimmy Garoppolo – 43%
- George Kittle – 42%
- Raheem Mostert – 35%
- Deebo Samuel – 34%
- Sammy Watkins – 26%
- Emmanuel Sanders – 25%
- Tevin Coleman – 20%
- Harrison Butker – 16%
- Kendrick Bourne – 15%
- Robbie Gould – 14%
- Demarcus Robinson – 13%
- Chiefs – 13%
- Kyle Juszczyk – 12%
- Mecole Hardman – 11%
- Matt Breida – 11%
- 49ers – 9.7%
- Darwin Thompson – 9%
- Blake Bell – 8%
FanDuel’s flagship GPP is the $9 “Big Game Bowl” with One Million to first ($3,000,000 guaranteed prize pool). Like DK, these GPPs are more for marketing than anything else. Being about advertising/crowning a “millionaire” sounds/looks good on commercials, but these are not “+E/V” investments. If you have $$, fuck it, it’s the Super Bowl so what’s another $1,350 to max it out…if that is not you, find a better place to invest your sports entertainment dollars.
With FD having five roster spots and not having DST – compared to six on DK – I feel like duplicate lineups are even more of a problem. With just five spots and the high-variance of DST removed, we often see a HUGE train of identical lineups share the top prize. I think that is VERY likely in this game, so if you want to get weird and try to create a unique lineup, you will have to leave some $ on the table. The thing I don’t like about the FD product is they don’t even make you pay more for the CAPTAIN spot, which makes me want to just mix and match all my players from my “optimal” or favorite lineup. This (again) creates more overlap in rosters.
They are running a $54, 150-max LU with $100k first prize. That may seem fun at first glance; then you see that second place is only $15k. I will be avoiding this tournament.
My FanDuel CASH CORE: Mahomes – DWill – Deebo
Don’t miss my Cheat Sheet for Super Bowl LIV!