For the first time in history, the host city has its own team playing the Superbowl as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Kansas City Chiefs. Ironically they’re officially the road team so won’t be playing in their red, but this should be a cracking game with 22,000 fans in attendance (7,500 of them vaccinated doctors and nurses)
The Chiefs opened as 3.5 point favorites, which’s already been snipped into a field goal according to the NFL lines with a total currently just over 56. The highest in NFL history was the 57.5 total between the Patriots and the Falcons 4 years ago and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this line rise to near that as well, the public loves to bet the overs.
The Old Guard or the New Buck?
I firmly believe that Patrick Mahomes will eventually end up being the best we’ve seen play the game, but he’s got a long way to go to topple Tom Brady’s incredible record in the league, he’s been involved in 23% of the Superbowls since he was born, and 18% of ALL Superbowls ever played. At 43 he’s taken his second team to the big game in his first season and will be confident in his ability to make it 7 rings. He’s now won as many NFC Championships as Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers have done in their careers.
On the other side of the ball is Patrick Mahomes who played in his third consecutive championship game last week and is looking to take his team to back-to-back titles. Even suffering from turf toe, he, Hill, and Kelce tore the Bills apart last week as they stepped up their game after coasting for much of the season. He’ll face a far tougher test here against this Bucs defense, but the Chiefs are the best team in the league over the last 3 years and I’ve been on them since April to repeat, I don’t see why they wouldn’t.
An Offensive Battle Then?
We all hope so! Both teams are easily capable of putting up 30+ points in any given game, the Bucs finished the season with 31,44,47 in the regular season and 31,30 and 31 against teams who are ranked higher than the Chiefs, online sportsbooks have the team total at 26.5 for them. They’re a balanced offense with Playoff Lenny (Fournette) and Ronald Jones on the ground and Evans, Godwin, and Brown through the air as well as other options.
We all know if the Chiefs feel like it they can put up 28 points in a single quarter on teams, the regular season game between these two saw Tyreek Hill top 200 yards and 2 TDs in the first quarter of the game, finishing with 3 TDs in that one as the Chiefs cruised to the end. He and Kelce are practically unstoppable.
Can Any Team Stop the Other?
The Bucs have the better defense on paper, DVOA ranks them 5th overall with them 5th vs. the pass, 1st in the league against the run, they gave up 9 yards per game fewer than any other team on the ground in the regular season and the Chiefs run-game isn’t prolific in any terms, so expect a lot of passing from the Chiefs, they’ll be fine with that.
The Chiefs defense doesn’t rank well but steps up when needed, they caused Josh Allen all kinds of issues in the championship game sacking him 4 times for around 50 yards and grabbing an INT from him. Tom Brady is obviously a little better than Allen but still threw 3 interceptions in their game. He can’t afford to do that here.
Best Early Bet?
I think the Chiefs win, and I don’t see how it’s not a high scoring game, but I think the line might drop under 3, so I’ll hold off backing them. I think the line goes up, so that’s my recommendation here.
NFL pick: Bucs vs. Chiefs over 56 points at -109 with Sugar House