Note: These numbers are available at SPREADS.CA as of Saturday night. However, check the latest updates before making any final decisions. Recommendations for your consideration:
GAME BET: TAMPA BAY +3
MONEYLINE BET: TAMPA BAY (+140)
The road to get to the Super Bowl was much tougher for Tampa Bay. I'm giving that some added weight. They beat two legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the playoffs and won three straight games on the road. That's impressive. That's the sign of a team that plays as a unit. Meanwhile, Kansas City had an easier route beating the mediocre Browns and admittedly winning impressively versus Buffalo. But both of those games were at home. I grabbed the +3.5 the night of the championship games two weeks ago and got it at minus 125. The line is now +3, so I'm happy with the number. You can go elsewhere and read thousands of reasons to bet both sides in this matchup, but I think if it's played 100 times, Tampa wins very close to half the trials. So, I'm pouncing on the perceived value here. I also like the way this Bucs' defense has played, which will factor into numerous proposition bets.
PLAYER PROP: Chris Godwin/Receiving Yards -- UNDER 79.5 (-150)
PLAYER PROP: Chris Godwin/Receptions -- UNDER 5.5 (-115)
This is one of the props touted by analytics expert Rufus Peabody. The Bucs offense is loaded with attractive targets for Brady to throw to, and with WR Brown back in the lineup, that's likely to be fewer passes heading Godwin's way. Also, add a higher than average drop rate for this receiver, and this becomes a smart bet.
PLAYER PROP: Darrel Williams/Rush Attempts -- UNDER 7.5 (-110)
I would have preferred to get on the UNDER rushing yardage, but the sharps quickly pounded this into shape before I could get down. Opened at 32.5 yards, and then was listed at 26.5 rush yards by the time I woke up to reality. So, I skipped boarding and opted instead to take a similar prop which still has some value. Kansas City's RB's only rushed 20 carries combined in their last game, and that was a contest where they led by a comfortable margin most of the time. With three RBs likely to get the ball, plus Mahomes as a serious running threat, I see a drop here in attempts for Williams, whose props are inflated because of the recent playoff games and him getting the ball more than was expected. In short, this is somewhat counterintuitive based on the expectation we will see Mahomes throw more than an average number of passes. I also like the Bucs run defense, which was quite successful in shutting down recent opponents.
PLAYER PROP: Pat Mahomes throws an interception -- YES (+130)
QB Mahomes doesn't turn the ball over much, but he now faces an above-average secondary that successfully badgered both Brees and Rodgers in the previous two games. If forecasts of rainy weather materialize, that should also help the chances of a pick to the Bucs. Mahomes is likely to throw more passes in this game than Brady, and often moves out of the pocket, unlike his counterpart who isn't as mobile. If Bucs can apply a similar degree of pressure as we've seen down the stretch and in the playoffs, with some outstanding defensive line play, and at least one key offensive line omission on the Chiefs does make this more likely, Mahomes is probably going to toss one pass to the wrong team. Note that the plus-money price at +120 pulled me in. I wouldn't bet this at even money.
PLAYER PROP: Leonard Fournette/Rush Attempts OVER 11.5 (+102)
PLAYER PROP: Leonard Fournette/Rush Yards OVER 46.5 (-115)
Tampa Bay RB Fournette has become more of a workhorse in the playoffs, with 48 rushing attempts in three games – each contest easily clocking in at over 11.5 attempts. So, given the Bucs won all three games he is likely to get a similar number of carries here. The last thing the Bucs want is a shootout and Brady being forced into 60 pass attempts in the game, and veteran ball carrier Fournette should factor into that game plan. Moreover, one way to keep the Chiefs' offense off the field is by generating long drives and burning the clock. This all factors into Fournette getting the ball. If he gets the ball 12+ times, one expects he can eclipse 47 yards (need about 4.2 YPC).
GAME PROP: The Lowest Scoring Quarter/Total Points will be OVER 6.5 (-130)
Translation: We need a touchdown and a successful extra point in each quarter for this to cash. Two high-scoring teams that are aggressive in the red zone and with a tendency to go for it on 4th and short-yardage should tilt this towards the OVER 6.5. I'm slightly wary about the vig priced at -130. But there's enough value for me to bet the OVER.
GAME PROP: Will a 2 point conversion be attempted -- YES (-115)
In a nigher-scoring game (see the total at 56) that creates more likelihood of a team trailing in the second half ATTEMPTING a 2-point conversion. Note this is an attempt. The successful conversion is priced at +205. that might have some value, as well.
GAME PROP: Will a coach's challenge call be overturned -- YES (-135)
Both coaches are experienced and smart when making on-the-field decisions. With so many cameras on the field from so many angles, we're likely to have plays scrutinized more closely and coaching staffs will have someone watching replays (remarkably, some NFL teams still don't have anyone doing this). With more passing and likely more completions than an average game, that also creates more close calls on the field subject to a challenge. I think if the coach challenges a call, it's more likely to be overturned with these experienced coaches.
GAME PROP: Total Penalties/Made in Game both teams (accepted) -- UNDER 10 -- (-115)
I looked up average penalties in regular-season games for these teams and KC is 12 and TB is 11. So, the number is jaded slightly lower than average, which might lead bettors to lean OVER this number. However, playoff games tend to be officiated differently. Both QBs know these offenses well and veterans in the lineup aren't likely to commit the dumb motion penalties and false starts that contribute to flags being thrown. We've also seen in this particular year's playoffs a tendency to "let them play" which is healthy for the game and should carry over here on the field. Pass interference calls were up in the NFL this season but were not called nearly as frequently in the playoffs. I think that continues here.
GAME PROP: Will Kansas City convert a 4th down -- YES (-140)
Head coach Andy Ried likes to go for it on 4th down and short, especially around midfield. He's done some very aggressive moves in this regard, even calling pass plays on 4th and short. I don't see Reid and the Chiefs changing their style in this game, especially not against Tom Brady. Add some chance of being behind in the 4th quarter and this becomes an even stronger wager.
GAME PROP: Will Tampa Bay convert a 4th down -- YES (-140)
Much of the same logic applies here to the Bucs. When a drive stalls around the opponent's 30-45 yard line, Bruce Arians is going to let Brady be Brady. We saw this happen in last week's Green Bay game.
NO BET YET/BUT CONSIDERING:
Game Prop: Will the game be tied after 0-0 (NO at -105) – Case Keefer at the Las Vegas Sun makes a compelling argument here that a high-scoring game means less likelihood of a tie after kickoff. The total is 56.5 points (but dropping), which is still the third-highest in Super Bowl history. More points mean more potential score variations. For example, a 7-7 tie is far more statistically probable in a game with 42 projected points than one with 56.5 projected points. Some see two evenly matched teams and assume the game will be close throughout, but it doesn’t usually play out that way.
Game Prop: Longest field goal made (UNDER 46.5 yards at -110) -- Both head coaches tend to be aggressive decision-makers. They go for it on 4th down at midfield more often than other coaches. They also know it’s going to take lots of points to win this game, so they aren’t going to settle for long field attempts, figuring drives need to end in touchdowns. Besides, long field goal misses give the ball over to dangerous offenses with great field position. Possible rain in the forecast also decreases the likelihood of longer FG attempts.