Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) shakes hands with offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy after a first quarter touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl 55 Betting Preview: KC vs TB pick

KC vs TB Pick

It’s one of the most highly anticipated and narrative-pleasing quarterback matchups in NFL history, but Super Bowl LV will involve 94 active players for the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are not named Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady. (Having said that, we do have an article on dozens of Mahomes and Brady prop bets).

The reality is the two offensive-minded head coaches, Kansas City’s depleted offensive line, Tampa Bay’s vaunted defense and a host of other factors deserve consideration as you assess what should be a close game between two red-hot teams.

The Chiefs have been laying a field goal since the start of last week, and the over/under is hanging out in the 56.5 range, which means this could be one of the closest and highest-scoring Super Bowls in history.

Where should you put your money? Which sportsbooks are best for your Super Bowl betting?

BetRivers (IllinoisIndianaColoradoIowa) and SugarHouse (New Jersey)

WHY THE CHIEFS WILL COVER the spread

The Chiefs don’t lose — they’ve won 25 of their last 26 games with Mahomes under center — and they’re only giving up three points here. If you’re unwilling to bet against them in general right now, it’s hard to justify taking three points with Tampa Bay.

That’s especially true considering that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is 25-5 in his career coming off bye weeks, including the playoffs and last year’s Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers. The dude has mastered game-planning and offensive football, and he has a blueprint for the Bucs after beating Tampa with 543 total yards on the road in Week 12.

One other factor favoring Kansas City? They can get critical natural inside pressure with game-changing defensive tackle Chris Jones, and we’ve seen time and again that that’s the key ingredient to beating Brady in the playoffs.

This defense isn’t loaded, but it matches up well with the Bucs offense, and Tampa Bay’s 43-year-old quarterback could be low on gas after throwing three interceptions in the second half of the NFC championship game.

WHY THE BUCCANEERS WILL COVER the spread

In their four career matchups, Mahomes and the Chiefs have only outscored Brady’s New England Patriots 121-120 in a 2-2 split. This Tampa Bay team might be better than at least some of those New England teams, and they’re in much better shape right now than Kansas City.

The Chiefs were already without Super Bowl LIV starting offensive linemen Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Mitchell Schwartz before losing left tackle Eric Fisher in the AFC title game. Now, they’ll likely be down 60 percent of that line in this game, which could be catastrophic against a fierce Bucs defense that sacked Aaron Rodgers five times in the NFC title game.

Mahomes might be a magician, but it could be difficult to overcome those losses, especially if the Bucs get safeties Jordan Whitehead and Antoine Winfield Jr. back from injury and Tampa Bay’s top-ranked run defense puts everything on a less-than-100-percent Mahomes.

Chiefs Bucs Super Bowl Picks

Despite the presence of Jones and All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu, the Kansas City defense is the worst unit in this game. It can be had by Brady, and his offensive line is strong enough to at least limit Jones.

Brady’s second-half picks against the Green Bay Packers were much more calculated and much less egregious than they looked, and he really is playing phenomenal football for his age. Before Tampa Bay’s Week 12 bye, he threw more interceptions (six) than touchdown passes (five) and had a sub-80 passer rating on deep attempts, but since then he’s thrown nine touchdown passes to only four picks and has a 110.2 rating on deep balls.

I understand if you want to insure yourself with that field goal, but Tampa Bay on the money line for +145 or better might be the best value bet on the table.

If you really want to bolster your parlay, consider going under 56.5. In a perfect world, you already got in with Tampa Bay +3.5 and under 57 on the night of the conference championship games, but sharp betting hasn’t chipped away too much at that total.

The reality is the Bucs will likely try to set the tone with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II against a weak Kansas City run defense, while Kansas City’s offense is likely to be limited by the fact the offensive line is banged up and Tampa’s D is loaded. It’s hard to see either team easily scoring 30 points in this game.

Super Bowl 55 Betting Pick: Buccaneers 27, Chiefs 24

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. He was a lead contributor to an earlier incarnation of NationalFootballPost.com and was happy to return when new management revived the brand in 2020. Based in Toronto, he's covered the NFL since 2008 and has been a national NFL writer at Bleacher Report since 2012. He despises all 32 NFL teams equally but remains a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors. He can be reached at Brad@NationalFootballPost.com

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