NFL betting: Can Kenneth Gainwell continue his playoff success in the Super Bowl?
We still have over a week to go until the Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs kicks off. The betting numbers will be all over the place in this next week, so if you like an over on a player prop, it might be best to lock in early. There's way more props for the Super Bowl than the average NFL game, but today, I'm looking at two regular, boring rushing props.
Kenneth Gainwell has broken out in the playoffs
The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Kenneth Gainwell in 2021. He's spent the majority of his first two seasons as a third-down back who plays limited snaps behind Miles Sanders. However, in these playoffs, Gainwell has gotten more of an opportunity and has had a bit of a break out.
In the divisional round against the New York Giants, Gainwell rushed the ball 12 times for 112 yards and a touchdown. In the conference championship against the San Francisco 49ers, Gainwell rushed 14 times for 48 yards. More importantly, he was on the field for 42% of offensive snaps as he worked into Sanders' workload.
Currently, Gainwell's rushing prop for the Super Bowl is set at over/under 18.5 rushing yards. He's gone over this number in three straight games, including both games in these playoffs. In the Giants game, he broke off a 35-yard rush. Against San Francisco, Gainwell broke off a 17-yard run. Even if he doesn't get double-digit carries again, he has the potential to get over this number on just one run. He's got serious speed and juice.
The Chiefs are mediocre against the run, ranking 15th in rush defense DVOA and 19th in yards allowed per rushing attempt. With Gainwell's breakout in these playoffs, I love him to go over 18.5 yards. I would lock in that bet as soon as possible, as this number has already moved up a little from 17.5 and will likely go up even more next week as the game nears.
Fade Jalen Hurts' legs?
Bettors love rushing quarterbacks. Anytime a quarterback has even average mobility, bettors love betting their rushing props. The Philadelphia Eagles have one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL with Jalen Hurts.
However, since returning from his shoulder injury, Hurts hasn't been his usual self when it comes to rushing the ball. In the three games he's played since returning, Hurts has posted 39, 34 and 13 rushing yards. Hurts' rushing prop for the Super Bowl is currently set at over/under 49.5 yards. Overall on the season, he's gone under this number in 10 of 17 games.
Unlike the Gainwell prop, I would be more willing to wait before placing this bet. As mentioned, public bettors love rushing quarterbacks and big name stars. I'm sure there will be plenty of action on the over for his rushing yardage prop. By waiting, we might be able to squeeze a few extra yards out of the line.
I would envision the Eagles attempting to attack the Chiefs through the air. Both Sanders and Gainwell have had great playoffs on the ground, meaning Philadelphia hasn't needed to put their potentially still compromised franchise quarterback in jeopardy. I would envision that the Eagles will continue to run Hurts in mostly short-yardage and goal-line situations.
It's a scary proposition, but I'd lean towards Hurts failing to reach 50 rushing yards.