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Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

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Super Bowl LV betting odds and pick

Feb 1, 2021 at 9:39 PM0


Emerging from a year in which individuals and communities have been devastated by the effects of a global pandemic and political instability, the nation is due for a distraction and many will find it in one of the most anticipated weeks and sporting events of the year in Super Bowl LV. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

  • Who: Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • When: Sunday February 7th, 2020 at 3:30pm PST (CBS)
  • Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Line: Kansas City -3.5, over/under 56.5

Kansas City Chiefs
After failing to cover the betting spread for nine straight weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs flipped the switch and outclassed the Buffalo Bills to the tune of 38-24 in the AFC Championship Game, leading to speculation that the Chiefs may have played possum during the regular season, waiting until now to show the full capabilites of their power.


Kansas City's offense ranks 3rd in total weighted DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average), 2nd in pass DVOA, and 13th in rush DVOA.

The Chiefs defense ranks 24th in total weighted DVOA, 16th in pass DVOA, and 31st in rush DVOA.

Patrick Mahomes ranks 1st in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) and 2nd in total quarterback rating with 38 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 2 fumbles lost, and a 66.4 completion percentage.

Kansas City's offensive line is 14th in adjusted line yards and 4th in adjusted sack rate, while its defensive line is 25th in adjusted line yards and 18th in adjusted sack rate.

The Chiefs are 8-10 against the spread (ATS), including 1-8-1 in the last 10 games, and 9-9 to the over/under.

Kansas City's offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz remains on the injured reserve list, defensive back L'Jarius Sneed is questionable and wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been designated as probable for the Super Bowl. The Chiefs lost offensive tackle Eric Fisher to an Achilles injury in the AFC Championship Game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers punched the Green Bay Packers in the mouth on both sides of the ball in a 31-26 win at Lambeau Field that never seemed as close as the final score.

Tampa Bay's offense ranks 2nd in total weighted DVOA, 5th in pass DVOA, and 10th in rush DVOA.

The Buccaneers defense ranks 6th in total weighted DVOA, 5th in pass DVOA, and 1st in rush DVOA.

Tom Brady ranks 3rd in DYAR and 4th in total quatberback rating with 40 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, zero fumbles lost, and a 66.4 completion percentage.

Tampa Bay's offensive line is 9th in adjusted line yards and 3rd in adjusted sack rate while its defensive line is 1st in adjusted line yards and 6th in adjusted sack rate.

The Buccaneers are 11-8 ATS, including covering 4 straight as an underdog, and 11-8 to the over/under.

Linebackers Lavonte David and Jason Pierre-Paul, defenive lineman Vita Vea, safety Antoine Winfield Jr., and wide receiver Mike Evans are listed as questionable for the Bucs, while wide receiver Antonio Brown is listed as doubtful for the Super Bowl.

Prediction
The NFL has a match up for the ages in arguably the greatest quarterback of all time taking on the current best quarterback and reigning MVP, with both offenses loaded with playmakers.

Super Bowl LV will be a rubber match between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes as they are 2-2 against each other with Mahomes' Chiefs narrowly outscoring Brady's teams 121-120.

A single point difference in four games between these quarterbacks' teams exemplifies a razor thin margin and this season both quarterbacks have the exact same completion percentage for offenses with very similar offensive DVOA stats.


Given the similarities of the offenses, we see the difference in Super Bowl LV coming down to defense, where Tampa Bay has a statistical advantage.

The Chiefs defense may play better than its stats show, but ranking 24th in total weighted defensive DVOA and 31st in rush defense DVOA is a significant statistical discrepancy from Tampa Bay's elite run defense, and if defense wins championships then the Buccaneers have a decent chance to pull off the upset on Sunday.

Defense was the difference in Tampa Bay's wins at the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers, shutting down the running game in both games, intercepting Drew Brees three times and forcing a crucial Jared Cook fumble in the divisional round, and sacking Aaron Rodgers five times, intercepting him once and forcing a critical Aaron Jones fumble in the conference championship.


Todd Bowles has the Buccaneer defense peaking at the perfect time and it has appeared to be the hungrier squad in each of its last two playoff games. While Steve Spagnoulo's defense was able to sack Josh Allen four times in the conference championship, it conceded 5.1 yards per carry rushing to the Cleveland Browns and 7.2 yards per carry rushing to the Buffalo Bills.

Shaquil Barrett and Jason-Pierre Paul tallied five sacks in the NFC conference championship and they must be licking their chops to get at a Kansas City offensive line that has been without Pro-Bowl tackle Mitchell Schwartz and just sustained a season-ending injury to starting left tackle Eric Fisher.

In each of Tom Brady's wins against Patrick Mahomes, his offense leaned on the running game, going for 174 yards and three touchdowns in a 43-40 win and 176 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-31 overtime win. Brady's offense failed to rush for 100 yards in each of his losses to Mahomes.

The concept of beating Mahomes by keeping him off the field is easier said than done, but with the Chiefs ranking 31st in rush defense DVOA, Bruce Arians would be foolish not to try and exploit any weakness he can find, and with Leonard Fournette rounding into form as a runner and pass-catcher, and no slouch in Ronald Jones II as a change of pace, we see him having better success in establishing the run than Kyle Shanahan did in Super Bowl LIV and this being the difference in the game.



As far as intangibles go, Tampa Bay has chosen to wear its white uniforms and will be the first team in NFL history to play at its home stadium in the Super Bowl, and no one is more untouchable than Tom Brady in terms of greatness in this sport. Whether you love him or hate him, one cannot deny that his level of quarterback play and intensity of his competitiveness at age 43 is unprecedented and we think it is safe to say it's still not a good idea to bet against him.

We anticipate Tampa Bay's defense attacking the Chiefs' depleted offensive line, stifling the running game and applying more pressure than Mahomes has experienced recently, disrupting his offensive explosiveness to some degree and allowing the Bucs defense to get off the field.

On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady's ability as a thrower and the play-making ability of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans should keep the Kansas City defense honest enough for Tampa Bay to establish a successful enough run game and open up some spaces for Cameron Brate, Rob Gronkowski, and Scotty Miller.

Of course Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce will produce and getting Sammy Watkins back will be a boost for the Formula-1 offense of the NFL, but since Week 10, the Chiefs' margin of victory in wins has been 2 points, 4 points, 3 points, 6 points, 6 points, 3 points, 3 points, 5 points, and 14 points, and you're telling us we can still get 3.5 points with Tom Brady and the better defense in a revenge spot for the Super Bowl? While most books are hanging +3, Bet MGM is still offering +3.5 at the time of this post.

Brady suffered his most humiliating loss of the season, a 3-38 loss to the Saints in Week 10, and he and his team's defense came back with a vengeance when it mattered most in the playoffs. Kansas City is the last team to beat Brady and the Bucs this regular season. Do you think Brady might still have the taste of that Week 13 loss in his mouth? Will history repeat itself with another game in which the Chiefs dominate most of the game with a furious Bucs rally that falls just short, or does Tom Brady have another hit on his 2020 revenge tour? Pick: Buccaneers +3.5



Poll

  • What is your best bet for Super Bowl LV?
  • Bucs +3.5
    39%
  • Chiefs -3.5
    30%
  • Over 56.5
    19%
  • Under 56.5
    12%
  • 156 votes
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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