Super Bowl LV is almost here. As we prepare for the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to face off for the ultimate crown, let’s take a final look at how each team matches up and what to expect from a betting perspective.
The game will kick off around 6:30 P.M. Eastern. The Buccaneers, led by Tom Brady, will be the first team ever to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. Meanwhile, with Patrick Mahomes at the helm, the Chiefs are looking to become the first repeat champions since the 2004-05 New England Patriots.
The Chiefs are three-point favorites, with an over/under of 56 points.
Rematch of Week 12
The first place to start when preparing to bet on these teams is their first meeting this year, a 27-24 win for the Chiefs. That game was not nearly as close as the score suggests, with Kansas City quickly going up 17-0 thanks to Tyreek Hill’s historic first quarter performance.
The Buccaneers scored a couple of late touchdowns in what was essentially a blowout for most of the game. Hill finished with 13 catches, 269 yards, and three touchdowns, repeatedly torching Carlton Davis in the secondary.
Tampa Bay was forced to abandon the run early, and since then, they have established a strong running game led by Leonard Fournette.
Davis likely won’t be matched up on Hill for the Super Bowl, as Jamel Dean should get the call. Dean, a speedy corner, missed their Week 12 game.
How the Chiefs Will Win
Kansas City has been the best team in the NFL all season, often taking the foot off the gas and keeping games close. They flipped the switch against Buffalo, beating them by two scores in the AFC Championship.
This Kansas City core remains in place from the Super Bowl-winning team a year ago.
That experience should go a long way, and with the three best offensive players on the field on Sunday (Mahomes, Hill, and Travis Kelce), they should be in position to make plays.
Their defense has been stronger of late in this postseason, led by dynamic playmakers Tyrann Mathieu and Chris Jones.
How the Bucs Will Win
Tampa Bay is the more balanced team between the two, with a stronger defense at all three levels and a deep offensive attack. The Buccaneers pass rush should have chances to get to Mahomes with star left tackle Eric Fisher out with a torn Achilles, and the Tampa offensive line should hold up against middling Kansas City edge rushers.
If Tampa can establish the run with Fournette against this weak run defense, they can control the clock and game flow.
And one can’t overlook the impact of Brady, playing in his tenth Super Bowl. He has certainly helped his team prepare for the game and the added intricacies of playing on the sport’s biggest stage.
We should be in for a great Super Bowl. In the end, it comes down to experience. While Brady has the most individual experience on the field, this Chiefs team knows exactly what it takes to win the Super Bowl.
It was just a year ago they found themselves down to the San Francisco 49ers 20-10 with under eight minutes to play. They then scored 21 points in the fourth quarter thanks to their offense making big plays and their defense proving stout.
By obliterating the Bills, who many accepted as the second-best team in the AFC, Kansas City proved that we already took their greatness for granted.
Game Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-3).