With the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all set for Super Bowl 55, we preview the NFL odds and serve up the value plays to spot for NFL picks.
The NFL storylines converging for Super Bowl 55 set up one of the most memorable showdowns in Super Bowl history. It’s a game that pits Tom Brady against Patrick Mahomes in a battle of the old vs. the new, the Goat vs. the kid. It has the Chiefs attempting the Super Bowl double for the first time since the Patriots accomplished the feat in 2003-04. It has the Buccaneers seeking only their second franchise Super Bowl title. It has Mahomes looking to become one of few quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowls. It has Brady seeking an incredible 7th Super Bowl victory in his 10th appearance. It has Brady attempting to become only the second quarterback after Peyton Manning to win Super Bowls with two different teams. It also sees the first home Super Bowl as the Bucs are the first-ever team to reach a home Super Bowl in fifty-five years of the Super Bowl era…
And that’s just scratching the surface. One could go on and on because at every turn, the many players and staff members involved, there is a noteworthy NFL storyline or backstory that’s likely to add another dimension to this historic finale that’s set to bring down the curtain on the 2020 NFL season and all its challenges in the midst of a global pandemic.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, February 07, 2021 – 06:30 PM EST at Raymond James Stadium
Chiefs vs. Bucs, The Dream Game Everyone Wanted
Although the Kansas City Chiefs enter SBLV betting markets as the firm road faves, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are technically the home faves and they’ll be looking to defy the NFL odds on Sunday as they welcome the defending champions to Raymond James Stadium.
Since Patrick Mahomes won his maiden Super Bowl last February, the Kansas City Chiefs were deemed the team to beat in NFL futures for 2020. However, since Tom Brady stunned the league a month later, quitting his long-time home in New England for the sunnier, greener pastures of Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers captured the imagination of many NFL bettors. Indeed, by signing Brady, Tampa Bay rocketed from a postseason outlier to a bona fide contender in the betting.
At the start of the season, many hoped that the pair would navigate a successful course to the big game, for what would be a showdown of the ages between Mahomes and Brady. When the Chiefs and Bucs met in week 12, a game the former won narrowly, 27-24 at Raymond James Stadium, more than a few called it a potential Super Bowl preview game. And so, it was..
Mahomes and Brady are tied 2-2-0 SU lifetime, but Mahomes has the last two wins over Brady spanning the last two seasons. Mahomes upset Brady in 2019 as he led the Chiefs to a win over the Patriots. He then upset Brady and the Bucs this season. Overall, Mahomes has outscored Brady 121-120 lifetime.
Both Mahomes and Brady are coming off stellar seasons, riding the momentum of their positive form and solid play into SBLV. Mahomes is riding a 12-game winning streak, and in the playoffs he led the Chiefs to comfortable wins over the Browns and Bills. In the meanwhile, since losing to Mahomes in week 12, the Bucs have gone 7-0 SU. Their most impressive run includes dispatching the Saints and Packers on the road in the last two rounds of the postseason.
Of course, while much of the hype and buzz is focused on Mahomes and Brady, it’s not just about these two elite quarterbacks. There are 52 other players to consider in both camps that will add to this much anticipated duel. Top to bottom, the teams as a whole are playing some of their best football. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are some of Mahomes’ biggest weapons that are tearing up a storm in 2020, while Mike Evans, Chris Goodwin, Robert Gronkowski, and Leonard Fournette are some of Brady’s best offensive weapons to watch. At the same time, both defenses are playing well down the stretch.
In the first meeting between these two sides, Tyreek Hill torched the Buccaneers defense as the Chiefs jumped out to a commanding 20-7 lead in the first half. In the second half though, the Buccaneers defense really stepped up, holding Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs offense scoreless in the fourth quarter. At the same time. Brady and the offense perked up to outscore the Chiefs 17-7 and only narrowly take the defeat.
NFL Predictions and Picks
Can Tom Brady deliver on his GOAT credentials or will Mahomes “The Kid” prove to be his heir apparent as many are predicting? If the writing were on the wall…..not only are online sports betting sites unanimously cornering SBLV in Kansas City’s camp, but also the wider public is betting the Chiefs to win and cover at the expense of the Buccaneers.
At first glance, this makes a lot of sense given the fact that the Chiefs are undeniably the team to beat. Their track record of success under Andy Reid and with Mahomes as the signal caller speaks loudly. In 53 games as a starter, Mahomes is 44-9 SU lifetime, which is quite a remarkable record for a young player. This season, Mahomes has lost just one game (14-1-0) in his 15 starts, and he has gone 23-1 SU since week 11 of 2019.
One can trot out more stats to press the case for Mahomes and the Chiefs and why they are the smart NFL pick. However, games aren’t played on paper but on the field.
Tom Brady undoubtedly is the X-factor for Tampa Bay, having been to the big game on nine previous occasions and winning it six times. One need only to consider the fact that the Bucs didn’t even register on anyone’s radar until Brady signed the dotted line to get a sense of his impact. That alone should make the Bucs the toughest ask for the Chiefs in the playoffs. Put it this way, Brady is unlikely to wilt under the pressure of the occasion.
The last time Mahomes and the Chiefs lost in the playoffs it was to …drumroll….Tom Brady (2018 AFC Championship game l. to Patriots in overtime). To look at Kansas City’s magical run to SBLIV is to notice one tiny weeny detail, and that is the fact that Mahomes didn’t have to face a quarterback of Brady’s quality or experience. The Chiefs came from behind to beat Deshaun Watson and the Texans, Ryan Tannehill and the Titans, and Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners. Similarly, thus far in this year’s playoff run, they faced Baker Mayfield and the Browns and Josh Allen and the Bills.
To all intents and purposes, this is going to be a different matchup for the Chiefs, and it may not be as straightforward as many are predicting it will be. If anything, the possibility for a Bucs win – which shockingly few experts and analysts seem to be considering – exists. Brady is THE GOAT for a reason. Put it this way, if the Bucs actually pull off the feat and upset the Chiefs, will anybody be really that surprised?
NFL Picks: Bucs +3.5 (-115) with Bet365