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Whose Stock to Bet on: Championship Sunday
Whose Stock to Bet on: Championship Sunday

Associated Press

January 25, 2023

And then there were four! Luckily for NFL fans, arguably the best four teams in the league remain. The 49ers, Eagles, Bengals, and Chiefs have consistently been at the top of the Power Rankings all season long. And with more football comes more opportunity to make some money! 

It’s time to dive into Mojo and make some money betting on your favorite players. Go Long if you think their stock price will increase. Go Short if you think their stock price will decrease.

What’s even more enticing now is that we’re getting awfully close to crowning an NFL champion. On Mojo, members of the winning Super Bowl team get a one-time 5x Mojo Value bonus for that game. 

Below I’ll highlight three guys playing in the Conference Championship Games this weekend. I’m Going Long on two of them and Short on the other. Remember to use their respective unique Multipliers to supercharge your bets to exponentially increase your earnings. Let’s go!

Jalen Hurts, $58.46 (5x Multiplier)

Hurts currently has the 19th-highest share price of all quarterbacks on Mojo. However, his Future Value of $42.92 is seventh-highest. That means the market expects Hurts to accumulate another $42.92 before he retires. To compare, Patrick Mahomes leads all quarterbacks with a Future Value of $90.23. Joe Burrow is third, with a Future Value of $63.72. Believe it or not, Deshaun Watson ($47.04) has a higher Future Value than Hurts right now. 

So, now that we know Hurts is undervalued in the market, it’s time to Go Long on his stock ahead of the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers have been masterful against the run all season long, giving up just 3.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs. That’s why I’m bullish on Hurts this week, his dual-threat ability should help open up the field and his arm will be much needed against this stout run defense. 

On the flip side, you can attack the 49ers through the air. They’ve allowed the 11th-most passing yards this season. And adding on, they’ve allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, so DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown could also eat this weekend.

The 49ers are very good, but the Eagles are at home and fully healthy on the offensive side of the ball. They have an implied team total of 24.2 points as of Wednesday morning and Hurts is sure to be their catalyst. 

Betting on Hurts now can pay off in the short term with the Eagles so close to the Super Bowl, but the true upside is long term, as the 24-year old currently has a Future Value less than that of 27-year old Deshaun Watson. Make sure to use that 5x Multiplier as well. 

Jerick McKinnon, $8.80 (10x Multiplier)

This is more of an under-the-radar bet this weekend. However, it can be especially lucrative, especially given McKinnon’s 10x Multiplier. Check this out, courtesy of 4for4 Football’s Connor Allen:

So, why does this help McKinnon? He’s far from your typical running back, more so used in high-value situations and gets most of the targets out of the backfield. With Isiah Pacheco likely to struggle against a DJ Reader-led Bengals front seven, McKinnon could find himself on the field a ton for pass down work. He will also likely be a valuable safety blanket for the hobbled Patrick Mahomes.

Since the Chiefs’ bye in Week 8, McKinnon has averaged 11.5 opportunities per game in games decided by six points or less. There’s a real likelihood we see him on the field for almost 60% of the snaps in this one. 

Incredibly, McKinnon’s Future Value of $0.81 is somehow less than that of Kenyan Drake($1.14) and Gary Brightwell ($1.05). Even at 30, he’s shown enough this season to warrant opportunities in 2023 and possibly even beyond if he can stay healthy. So, Go Long and make sure to supercharge your bet with his astronomical 10x Multiplier this weekend. 

Should McKinnon’s share price increase by even 1% this weekend, you would return 10% with that Multiplier. And then should the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, his earnings in that game would be multiplied by 5x. There’s certainly lots of juice in betting on Jerick McKinnon ahead of the AFC Championship Game. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster, $15.48 (5x Multiplier)

Smith-Schuster’s high share price is beyond me. After banking $8.13 so far in his career, the market expects him to earn another $7.35 before he retires. That would mean he’d have to produce at a similar level for another five years. The market expects him to earn more than guys like Stefon Diggs ($5.90 Future Value) and Terry McLaurin ($6.73 Future Value). Meanwhile, Christian Watson, who just had a highly productive rookie season, is expected to earn $7.39 in Future Value. 

Lots of people expected Smith-Schuster to fill a bigger role in Kansas City as Patrick Mahomes’ de facto WR1. He failed to eclipse 1,000 yards and scored just three touchdowns. Additionally, he had a target share of just 17.4%. That’s not WR1 production.

Every season that passes, it becomes clear that Smith-Schuster’s 2018 season, in which he had a 24.5% target share, was an outlier. Outside of that season, he’s never eclipsed a 20% target share in any other season. 

Additionally, Smith-Schuster has been an afterthought over his last four games averaging just 2.3 catches for 28 yards on 2.8 targets. He’s set to become a free agent next season as well, which makes his outlook even worse. If he can’t even put together a top-25 season with the Chiefs, how is he going to look as the third or fourth option in a lower scoring offense?

For these reasons, I’d recommend Going Short on Smith-Schuster’s stock. In order to increase your ROI from this move, I’d also recommend using his 5x Multiplier ahead of the AFC Championship Game. I’m banking on this being a heavy Travis Kelce and Jerick McKinnon game against the Bengals. And if Smith-Schuster manages to have a good game? Hold onto your shares through next season and watch that Future Value fall.  

Prices are current as of 1/25/23 at 11:30 AM
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