What’s it like to play in the Super Bowl? We asked Niners legend Patrick Willis
49ers linebacker Patrick Willis explains how players approach the Super Bowl compared to the rest of the football season.
The 49ers head into Las Vegas seeking to avenge their Super Bowl 54 defeat and capture the organization’s first Super Bowl win since Super Bowl 29 nearly 30 years ago. A win would also put San Francisco in a tie for most titles in the NFL.
On the other hand, Patrick Mahomes and company are attempting to win Kansas City’s third title in five years and cement themselves as the next dynasty in the NFL. Who will emerge as champions of the 2023 season?
Chiefs vs. 49ers odds, moneyline, over/under
The 49ers are favorites to defeat the Chiefs, according to BetMGM NFL odds. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering NFL betting promos in 2023, including the new ESPN BET app and the Fanatics Sportsbook promo code.
- Spread: 49ers (-2)
- Moneyline: 49ers (-130); Chiefs (+110)
- Over/under: 47.5
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Super Bowl 58 early odds, predictions and picks
Here are our NFL expert picks based on the early odds for Super Bowl 58:
Lorenzo Reyes: 49ers 24, Chiefs 19
At this point, the greatness of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid cannot be denied. In six seasons as a starting quarterback under Reid, Mahomes is making his fourth Super Bowl start. And the Chiefs, despite a season full of offensive plodding, are peaking. Kansas City’s primary threats on offense — tight end Travis Kelce, receiver Rashee Rice and running back Isiah Pacheco — have become consistent weapons in the postseason. The issue is that the 49ers can match up mostly well with an uber-athletic defensive line and linebacker Fred Warner patrolling the middle of the field. The San Francisco secondary has been the defense’s weak link. The key matchup will be Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo going against 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. Spagnuolo has become one of the NFL’s top big game assistants and his defense has become Kansas City’s strength for the way he can disguise pressures and coverages and generate pressure through the middle of the offensive line. But, with this being a rematch of Super Bowl 54, I’m expecting San Francisco to have an edge in skill athletes and for Shanahan to learn from his mistakes in the previous matchup.
Tyler Dragon: Chiefs 23, 49ers 20
The 49ers were a top-two team all season long. The combination of Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Trent Williams and Brock Purdy is tough to beat when they are all on the field healthy. Plus, the 49ers defense is led by all-world linebacker Fred Warner. But the Chiefs have shown us they flip the switch come postseason time. Kansas City’s defense has only allowed more than 20 points once in three postseason games. The Chiefs defense enters the Super Bowl with a playoff-high four takeaways. But above all else, the Chiefs have the best player in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has picked teams apart with his arm and occasionally hurt defenses with his legs; furthermore, he’s played turnover-free football. All the hype and attention around the Super Bowl won’t faze the Chiefs. The Chiefs have earned Super Bowl berths four times in five seasons. Mahomes is seeking his third Lombardi Trophy. If Mahomes leads the Chiefs to victory, a legitimate case can be made that he’s the greatest quarterback of all time.
Safid Deen: Chiefs 30, 49ers 26
Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the Chiefs entered the postseason with the worst offense they’ve had during their time together in Kansas City. Yet, here they are, in the Super Bowl once again. Sure, Christian McCaffrey and Brock Purdy make the 49ers much more formidable than their last Super Bowl matchup in Miami, but the Chiefs will have enough offense while Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will have his fingerprints all over this one. Mahomes wins his third ring and takes another step in his chase of Tom Brady’s seven Super Bowls.
Victoria Hernandez: Chiefs 28, 49ers 24
The 49ers showed they can perform through adversity by coming back to win the NFC championship. But Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce have never been the underdog until this season and are playing with a new sense of hunger. The quarterback quieted criticism that he hadn’t proven himself on the road in the playoffs. And the tight end has broken records while stepping up for the Chiefs’ struggling receiving corps. The 49ers technically have the more well-rounded offense and Nick Bosa, Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw have done a great job bolstering the defense. But Kansas City’s defense has been a strong suit of theirs this year too. Ultimately, the championship experience and desire to quiet the naysayers will lead to another brick being laid in the Chiefs’ dynasty.
Jordan Mendoza: Chiefs 20, 49ers 17
San Francisco has been one of the most impressive teams all season, and on paper, they should be able to win this game for its first Super Bowl win in nearly 30 years. But the Kansas City defense has certainly been a ruthless force in this Super Bowl run. The Chiefs offense isn’t pretty, but if Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are in sync, they’ll be able to put some points on the board. The Chiefs’ defense can limit Brock Purdy and company and become the first back-to-back champions since the Patriots in 2003-04.
You can view the full list of USA TODAY’s NFL expert predictions here.
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