Jalen Hurts Betting: Can He Lead the Eagles to Glory?
History will be made this Sunday when Philadelphia and Kansas City meet in Glendale, and the Super Bowl betting is on fire at Bodog Sportsbook. This is a special game for many reasons. For one, it will be the first to feature two people of colour starting at quarterback, namely Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes. As for the former, the Jalen Hurts betting angle is a really interesting one.
Hurts is also the first quarterback from the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide program to start in the Big Game since Ken Stabler led the Oakland Raiders to victory at Super Bowl XI. Can Hurts do the same 46 years later? His chances are better than 50/50, with the Eagles favoured by 1.5 points at Bodog Sportsbook as we go to press.
The Jalen Hurts betting market has been buzzing since the first Super Bowl props hit the board at Bodog. He’s the +130 favourite to win Super Bowl MVP, just ahead of Mahomes (who earned this award three years ago after leading Kansas City to payday) at +135. Hurts is also –120 to go Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns, and –125 to go Over 48.5 Rushing Yards.
The Eagles definitely wouldn’t have made it this far without Hurts’s dual-threat skill set. Philly fans weren’t convinced he was the right man for the job – many still aren’t – when Hurts took over for Carson Wentz in 2020, after starting his rookie season as the team’s third-string quarterback. But Hurts has improved considerably since then, making the Pro Bowl for the first time this year and putting the Eagles on the verge of championship glory.
As a rule of thumb, it takes until Year Three for professional athletes (and coaches) to find their groove, and you could tell right away that 2022 was going to be a breakout season for Hurts. He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for September after leading Philadelphia to a 3-0 start (2-1 ATS). The last Eagles player to win this award before that was Carson Wentz in 2017, when the Eagles went on to win Super Bowl LII.
The winning wouldn’t stop there. Philadelphia finished the first half of the season at a perfect 8-0 (5-3 ATS) for the first time in franchise history; that eighth win came at NRG Stadium in Houston, where Hurts was born and raised, and while they didn’t quite cover as 14-point favourites, the Eagles had little trouble putting the Texans away 29-17.
Hurts earned more laurels in Week 12 when he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after racking up 153 passing yards and 157 rushing yards in a 40-33 win over the Green Bay Packers (+6 away) on Sunday Night Football. This was the quintessential Hurts performance, efficient and mistake-free through the air (16-for-28, two TDs, zero INTs) while at the same time both fleet and punishing on the ground (9.2 yards per carry).
Things nearly came off the rails in Week 15 when Hurts sprained his throwing shoulder in a win over the Chicago Bears; Gardner Minshew filled in admirably during his absence, but the Eagles dropped both his starts before Hurts returned for the season finale. They haven’t lost since.
The Eagles may be the only team Hurts has played for in the NFL, but to truly understand what Hurts brings to the table – and why Philly fans were skeptical at first – you have to look at his four-year college run at Alabama.
Hurts was a true freshman in 2016 when he arrived in Tuscaloosa, and not quite among the top-tier prospects for head coach Nick Saban. Blake Barnett was given the starting nod over Hurts, but Saban made the switch during the first quarter of their opener against No. 20 USC after two unimpressive drives. Hurts threw two TD passes and ran for two more as Alabama romped to a 52-6 win over the Trojans.
It was the start of a magical freshman year for Hurts – one that ended in disappointment when they lost to Clemson in the National Championship. The 2017 season was almost a carbon copy, with Alabama reaching the title game against Georgia and down 13-0 at halftime before Hurts was benched in favour of Tua Tagovailoa. The Tide came back and beat the Bulldogs 26-23 in overtime to win the title.
That looked like the end for Hurts. But after a year as Tagovailoa’s back-up, he found new life as a graduate transfer with the Oklahoma Sooners in 2019, breaking all sorts of school records and finishing second to LSU’s Joe Burrow in the Heisman voting. This pattern of defying expectations and overcoming adversity continues to this day.
Best Ever Season
As well as Hurts played for Alabama in 2016-17 and Oklahoma in 2019, his third year with the Eagles has easily been his best. Hurts has developed a level of comfort as a pocket passer that simply wasn’t there back in college; this is vital for someone with limited arm strength, allowing Hurts more opportunities to spread the ball around rather than scramble by default.
The numbers speak for themselves:
- 20 passing TDs, six INTs, 66.5% completion rate, 101.5 passer rating
- 13 rushing TDs, zero lost fumbles, 760 yards on 4.6 yards per carry
- 2nd Team All-Pro
- 1 NFC Championship
Super Bowl History
Unlike his opposite number in Mahomes, Hurts has never been to the Big Game, but he did play in multiple National Championship games for Alabama – and also made the College Football Playoff with Oklahoma. It’s highly unlikely that Super Bowl LVII will be “too big a moment” for Hurts.
Kansas City could definitely spoil things for Hurts and the Eagles this Sunday. They’re a worthy foe that’s only slightly worse than Philadelphia on paper. But Hurts has been in these situations before, and eventually, he finds a way to win. Make sure to include some intriguing Jalen Hurts betting props with your Super Bowl props picks at Bodog Sportsbook – your home for the world’s best NFL betting experience.