• Bet on Brandon Aiyuk to go off: Take the over on eight receptions and 125 receiving yards for the speedy receiver.
• Target Brock Purdy to lean on an explosive passing game: While unlikely, Purdy has as good a chance as any quarterback to go under his completions line and over his passing attempts line while still reaching 300 passing yards.
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Story: WR Brandon Aiyuk wins matchup against man-heavy Chiefs
We spoke in our earlier column about reasons to be bullish on the over, and we can apply much of the same logic here to this single-game parlay.
The Chiefs are one of the man-heaviest teams in the NFL. And As PFF has studied, man coverage tends to be a true reflection of the talent on the field, where better wide receivers will typically beat worse cornerbacks and vice versa.
The Chiefs have been terrific in man coverage, where their cornerbacks usually have the matchup advantage. Sneed’s 85th-percentile separation rate allowed is one of the top marks in the league.
But facing the Shanahan scheme and Brandon Aiyuk is another beast. The Niners and Aiyuk have torched man coverage, and it is the 49ers who likely have the man-matchup advantage here.
Aiyuk has also been the dominating man-coverage work for the 49ers, with a 30% target share (9 percentage points higher than tight end George Kittle’s second-place mark) while maintaining a 3.66 yards per route run average against man coverage, which ranks fifth in the NFL.
Build: 28-1 on Fanatics/Points Bet
Story: QB Brock Purdy racks up yardage on few completions
It is the Super Bowl, after all, and that calls for some exotic longshots. While it is globally true that alternate overs on passing yards and pass attempts and an alternate under on completions are extremely negatively correlated, that relationship is slightly strong for Brock Purdy and the 49ers.
Most quarterbacks need many attempts and, as a byproduct, completions to put up large yardage totals. But for Purdy, much of his yardage comes off explosive plays (gains of 20-plus yards) with the highest explosive pass play rate in the NFL. More than 50% of his total yards come from explosive plays. This, to some extent, breaks down the usual correlation between our above three metrics.
Further, because the Chiefs play so much man and are effective in doing so, there is even more value in exploiting this correlation.
This graph shows a far wider distribution of outcomes for offenses in man coverage, meaning more explosive plays while also more negative plays and incompletions. While the mass of plays for the Niners might be struggling to generate as much offense against a solid Chiefs defense — leading to plenty of incompletions — considering the talent and the man coverage, there is a good chance the 49ers hit some huge explosive plays. That is exactly the angle we will attack.
This angle is far more likely to happen in a 49ers win than a loss. Should the 49ers need to be in comeback mode, Purdy’s attempts and completions will likely rise way above base rates and we’d lose on the completions, even if we get the correlation right.