Oct 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Jim McIngvale of Mattress Mack delivers the first pitch before game one of the 2017 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

DraftKings takes $3.4M bet on Buccaneers +3.5

One of the largest single wagers in Super Bowl betting history, $3.4 million on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cover the 3.5-point spread, was placed with DraftKings in Colorado on Wednesday night.

DraftKings said Thursday morning that Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale wagered $3.46 million on the Bucs to cover against the favored Kansas City Chiefs.

“Tampa Bay is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and led by the greatest football player of all time in Tom Brady, so I’m betting big on the Bucs who have overcome tough matchups throughout this postseason,” McIngvale said. “The NFL has only seen eight instances of back-to-back champions and none in the past 16 years, so I like my chances going into Super Bowl LV for this trend to continue. DraftKings has been amazing; providing a safe, legal and fantastic customer experience.”

The 69-year-old McIngvale owns and operates Gallery Furniture.

McIngvale flew into Colorado Springs and placed the wager via DraftKings mobile from the airport, the sportsbook said. He placed a $3.5 million bet on the Houston Astros to win the World Series in 2019.

“Mack has been a great customer and is someone we have history with after taking his sizeable wager on the Astros to win the World Series a couple seasons ago. For Super Bowl LV, Mack is handicapping the game out of pure belief that the Buccaneers can either win or at least cover the spread,” Johnny Avello, director of race and bookmaking at DraftKings said. “We are not strangers to taking significant action, particularly on one of the biggest sports events in the country. Looking at the way we have booked the Super Bowl so far, bettors are laying 3 on the Chiefs and taking the Buccaneers at +3.5 as fans try to get the best possible line.”

FanDuel moved the over-under from 56 to 55 on Wednesday as the Sunday evening forecast turned from sunshine to a 75 percent chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

PointsBet revealed Thursday morning that more than 70 percent of all bets are being placed on the Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

Feb 1, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady speak during Opening Night for the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.  Mandatory Credit: NFL via USA TODAY Sports

QB battle for ages takes center stage at Super Bowl LV

Just two years ago, Tom Brady sought out Patrick Mahomes after the AFC Championship Game to console the youngster and provide encouragement.

Mahomes hasn’t lost a playoff game since that conversation, and he will look to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to their second straight title when they face Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV on Sunday in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.

The Buccaneers will be the first team in Super Bowl history to play in their home stadium, while the Chiefs are looking to become the first repeat Super Bowl champs since Brady’s New England Patriots were the victors after the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Kansas City defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in last season’s Super Bowl for the franchise’s second-ever title. That victory came just more than 12 months after Brady entered the Chiefs’ locker room in search of Mahomes.

“It was important because it showed I was doing things the right way,” Mahomes said while reflecting on the conversation. “As a young quarterback in this league, you show up early and you try to put in the time and put in the work. …

“Him saying that he respected what I was doing and how I was playing on the field and the type of person I was, it kind of put a stamp on me that I needed to go in and even be better in order to get to the Super Bowl.”

Now Mahomes stands in the way of Brady’s hunt for his seventh Super Bowl ring. Sunday will mark Brady’s record 10th appearance in the big game.

Brady won six Super Bowl crowns with the Patriots but departed after last season as a free agent and signed with the Buccaneers.

The 43-year-old enjoyed a big season as he passed for 4,633 yards and set a franchise record with 40 touchdown passes in the regular season. And his motivation level is high as he looks to help Tampa Bay win its second Super Bowl title.

“My life has taken certainly a lot of different directions,” Brady said. “I’m obviously older now. I’ve got a family. A lot of incredible blessings in my life. Fast-forward 21 years, sitting in Tampa and trying to win a Super Bowl in our own home stadium would be pretty sweet.”

Mahomes, 25, passed for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns this season. His top yardage total was the 462 he piled up in Kansas City’s 27-24 road win over the Buccaneers in Week 12.

Brady passed for 345 yards and attempted to lead his team back from a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit in that contest.

Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill had a game for the ages with career bests of 269 receiving yards on 13 catches. He also matched his high of three touchdown receptions.

Hill had an astounding 203 yards in the first quarter as Tampa Bay cornerback Carlton Davis struggled to cover him.

Davis expects to fare much better in the high-stakes rematch.

“I’m going to bring the same mentality,” Davis said. “I’m always going to be myself. It didn’t work out the first game as far as what we did and our game plan, but we’ve corrected it and we’ve got a great game plan going in. But I’m going in with the same mentality and that’s to dominate.”

Davis, who had four regular-season interceptions this year, is one of the better players on a defensive unit that features linebackers Devin White (140 tackles, nine sacks) and Lavonte David (117 stops), elite pass rushers Jason Pierre-Paul (9.5 sacks) and Shaquil Barrett (eight sacks) and long-time run stuffer Ndamukong Suh (10.5 tackles for loss).

Brady also has talent to work with on offense, especially wide receivers Mike Evans (1,006 receiving yards) and Chris Godwin (840) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (623).

Pierre-Paul (knee) missed practice Wednesday while David (hamstring), safeties Jordan Whitehead (shoulder/knee) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) and receiver Antonio Brown (knee) were limited.

Kansas City running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle/hip) and Le’Veon Bell (knee) were limited as were receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) and cornerback Rashad Fenton (foot). Linebacker Willie Gay (ankle) sat out.

The Chiefs will be without left tackle Eric Fisher (Achilles) after he sustained a serious injury during the AFC title game against the Buffalo Bills. Mike Remmers will move from guard to start in place of Fisher.

Among other Kansas City standouts are Travis Kelce — who set a record for tight ends with 1,416 yards in the regular season — safety Tyrann Mathieu (six interceptions) and defensive end Chris Jones (7.5 sacks).

Meanwhile, Chiefs coach Andy Reid (age 62) is looking to become the oldest coach to win back-to-back Super Bowls while the 68-year-old Bruce Arians is looking to become the oldest to win a Super Bowl. New England’s Bill Belichick (66, two years ago) set that mark.

“I’m still part of the ‘Geritol Crew’ and we are a little bit older, and there is experience that comes with that and I guess they say wisdom with age,” Reid said this week. “By chance, a few of the older guys have gotten to this point. I attribute that to good players and then a little bit of experience there.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates with wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) against the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill are an elite receiving duo

Travis Kelce is the only tight end in NFL history with five 1,000-yard seasons but he appears to have more on his mind than being the best at his position.

The Kansas City Chiefs star feels he and teammate Tyreek Hill can become known as the best tight end/receiver combo in NFL history.

They certainly make for a highly productive tandem, and Kelce was up for discussing the subject on Wednesday as the Chiefs prepared for Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa.

“Without a doubt,” Kelce said during his availability session. “It’s something that’s never been talked about between me and him, but we know what we’re both capable of and how much we feed off each other’s success.”

Kelce and Hill each had huge outings when the Chiefs dispatched the Buffalo Bills in the AFC title game on Jan. 24.

Hill set a Kansas City postseason season record with 172 receiving yards while making nine receptions. Kelce had 118 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and his 13 receptions tied the NFL postseason record for catches by a tight end — matching Hall of Famers Kellen Winslow (Jan. 2, 1982 for the Chargers) and Shannon Sharpe (Jan. 9, 1994 for the Broncos).

Kelce’s five 100-yard postseason outings are also a record for a tight end. He has 73 receptions for 859 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 postseason games, marks that rank second behind Tampa Bay’s Rob Gronkowski (83 catches for 1,206 yards and 12 scores).

The six-time Pro Bowler set an NFL record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards this season. He also had a career-high 105 catches — his second time with more than 100 — while making 11 scoring receptions.

Meanwhile, Hill has been a Pro Bowl selection in all five of his NFL seasons. He set a career best with 15 touchdown receptions this season, matched his career high of 87 catches and accumulated 1,276 yards.

Hill has topped 1,000 yards three times during his career, missing out on a fourth such season in 2019 due to missing four games with a shoulder injury.

Hill is on board with the all-time greats chatter but cautions that winning is a much more important ingredient to himself and Kelce.

“Kelce, for him to be his size (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) and he’s very nimble and very light on his feet for a guy of his stature,” Hill said. “When I first got here, I was like, ‘Man, this big guy can run routes, are you serious?’ But the dude is crazy good. Kelce is crazy good.

“We don’t too much get into stats. I feel like we try to pride ourselves on winning the game. “Now, granted … we want to make the big play. … But as far as looking at stats, we just want to win the game and just be the best and just help each other out.”

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes appreciates having such talents at his disposal.

“I think what makes each of them great really is how they complement the other well,” Mahomes said. “The fact that Tyreek can beat man coverage, catch over the top, be able to make big plays happen, opens up the middle for Travis. And so to be able to have guys that complement each other so well, and individually are such great talents, I think is what makes them such a dynamic duo and a group of guys who I’m glad are on my team.”

Certainly, the Buccaneers haven’t forgotten how Hill racked up 269 receiving yards and three touchdowns against them in a 27-24 victory in Week 12.

In fact, Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians sounds like the nightmares from the earlier meeting have never stopped.

“I’m not really excited playing Tyreek Hill and Kelce and Mahomes,” Arians said. “That’s a formidable challenge, but our guys will be up for it.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 11, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Masked Kansas City Chiefs fans show their support during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Dr. Allen Sills: Playing 2020 season kept NFL players, public healthy

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said playing the 2020 season kept players and the general public healthier, with a fractional positivity rate since testing began in August.

“We feel that our club facilities truly were some of the safest possible locations,” Sills said in a teleconference four days before Super Bowl LV is scheduled to kick off in Tampa, the conclusion of a tumultuous season played entirely during a pandemic.

The NFL positivity rate was .08 percent — 262 COVID-19 cases were among players and 463 positive tests were for team personnel.

There are currently no positive cases for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have two players, reserve interior offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, quarantined for close contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19.

“At this point, we feel like we’re in a good position with that. And we’ll just continue to monitor it,” Sills said.

ESPN reported at least 20 players and coaches were scheduled to visit the barber before the team learned of the positive test while Kilgore was in the middle of his haircut.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said even if those cases and others become positive tests, there is no fallback plan or alternative game date for the Super Bowl.

Sills said the NFL, which invested in daily testing and gene tracing of positive COVID-19 tests to find where the virus originated, did not uncover evidence of any player-to-player transmission during games. Most cases were traced to players gathering, sometimes without masks, away from the 32 team facilities in which strict COVID-19 protocols were in place and vehemently enforced.

Sills helped co-author a report with the CDC released last month. The CDC said the NFL plan was worth publication because it can be applied to the public.

“Implementation and evolution of mitigation measures, testing, and contact tracing in the National Football League, August 9-November 21, 2020” was made public on Jan. 25.

“The paper is a summary of our testing experience — what we learned from testing everyone throughout our entire season on a daily basis, but also what we learned from our contact-tracing process,” Sills said. “Through our daily investigations of positive tests, we began to have a much better understanding of when transmission of the virus could occur, and, most importantly, what steps could be taken to prevent transmission and keep everyone as safe as possible.”

Most NFL games were played with limited attendance. The Super Bowl is expecting an audience of around 25,000 at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday night.

Sills said masks and social distancing remain part of the plan for fans, who will not occupy much of the lower bowl, which is covered and reserved for digital advertising.

–Field Level Media

Jan 31, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; A general view of signage for Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dr. Anthony Fauci warns against Super Bowl parties

Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a warning against attending Super Bowl parties, appearing on the “Today” show Wednesday to implore Americans to watch Sunday’s game at home.

“Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people of your household,” Fauci said on NBC’s morning program.

“Every time we do have something like this, there always is a spike — be it a holiday, Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving … Super Bowl is a big deal in the United States,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “As much fun as it is to get together at a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that.”

Fauci’s comments echo the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The safest way to celebrate events is at home with the people who live with you,” the CDC said.

The NFL has capped attendance in Tampa for Sunday’s Super Bowl LV at 22,000 to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

–Field Level Media

Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (90) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first quarter of their NFC Championship game

Bucs’ Jason Pierre-Paul overcame a double dose of adversity

Most people remember Jason Pierre-Paul’s fireworks incident from the Fourth of July in 2015 and the pictures that circulated around social media with his right hand badly burnt and mangled.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians recalls the serious car accident from May of 2019 in which Pierre-Paul’s Ferrari slid on a wet surface and smacked into a concrete well and left him with a fractured neck.

Either of those injuries could have been career-ending, but the 32-year-old Pierre-Paul made it through both doses of adversity and is one of the top defensive players on a Tampa Bay squad that will battle the powerful Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

“It’s amazing,” Arians said during his media availability on Tuesday. “He’s a medical, genetic freak, the way he can bounce back from severe injury. That car wreck, I was just hoping he was going to be able to walk. Football was the furthest thing from my mind.

“He told me, ‘I’ll be back.’ He is a rolling ball of energy every single day. He’s the best guy at playing injured and being tough that I know.”

Pierre-Paul, in his 11th NFL season, racked up 9.5 sacks this season to earn his third career Pro Bowl selection — and his first since 2012 with the New York Giants. He also recorded a career-high four forced fumbles and had two interceptions after having a total of two through his first 10 seasons.

He also was one of the stars of the NFC Championship Game as he recorded two sacks of Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers in the Buccaneers’ 31-26 victory over the Packers.

Pierre-Paul has 30.5 sacks in three seasons with Tampa Bay — he has 89 overall — after it appeared his career was in decline.

The big-time force who posted a career-best 16.5 sacks with the Giants in 2011 had just a total of 16.5 over 36 games in his last three campaigns (2015-17) with New York.

That swoon was after the gory fireworks accident in which the player known as JPP lost his index finger and parts of two others.

But this season, Pierre-Paul didn’t miss a single game. He also is fresh and vibrant during Super Bowl week.

“Resiliency means no matter how hard it seems, just don’t quit,” Pierre-Paul said. “It’s easier said than done. I never quit at anything in life I did. I’m going to give it everything I got, until I can’t.”

Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David was a junior-college teammate with Pierre-Paul at Fort Scott Community College (Kan.) in 2008.

Ten years later, they were teammates again when the Buccaneers acquired Pierre-Paul from the Giants. What David noticed quickly was that Pierre-Paul was still as dependable as ever.

“I think JPP has been the same guy since I met him — energetic guy, happy-go-lucky guy, a free-spirited guy,” David said. “JPP used to do my haircuts in school, in junior college. JPP is a jack of all trades. He’s somebody you count on, somebody you can trust. He’s definitely somebody who I can trust to come out, be somebody, be a friend on and off the field. You can expect him to be where he’s supposed to be and doing what he’s supposed to do.”

Pierre-Paul already owns one Super Bowl ring. He earned that one in the 2011 season when the Giants defeated the New England Patriots and now-Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady.

Now he is teamed with Brady while trying to earn one for the Bucs. He also is accidentally creating waves due to not knowing the identities of Kansas City offensive linemen.

Pierre-Paul heard Chiefs standout left tackle Eric Fisher would miss the Super Bowl with an Achilles injury, but he was unaware of who Mike Remmers was when informed Remmers would move from guard and have the assignment of blocking him.

Remmers is in his ninth NFL season and has started 88 of 92 games played.

“I didn’t even know who that was,” Pierre-Paul said. “Man, I’m not going to lie to you. Is this a tackle that you’re talking about? Like I said, I don’t care too much about it. They got to figure that out.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 31, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; A general view of signage for Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs: Cannons to stay silent at Super Bowl

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not hear the familiar sounds of cannons firing at Raymond James Stadium when they play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl LV.

Tampa Bay is the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. But the Buccaneers announced Tuesday that they would keep the cannons silent during the upcoming big game.

“The firing of the cannons after big plays is a tradition that defines what it means to be a Buccaneer fan and serves as a signature element of our home game experience at Raymond James Stadium,” the team said in a statement. “However, we also acknowledge and understand the NFL’s position with regards to maintaining the integrity of a neutral site atmosphere for Super Bowl LV. While the cannons may not fire in their typical fashion, we look forward to showcasing parts of our tradition while working within the league’s guidelines.”

The cannons are located within a pirate ship in one of the stadium’s end zones. They typically fire every time the Buccaneers score.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  A view of the Betting Area sign at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

AGA: Super Bowl betting expected to drop 37 percent

More than 23 million Americans plan to wager approximately $4.3 billion on Super Bowl LV, a decrease of 37 percent from last year.

That’s according to survey research published Tuesday by the American Gaming Association, which attributes the vast majority of the drop to pandemic-led issues leading to a decline in wagers at retail sportsbooks and social settings, such as office and square pools.

The research did find that a record 7.6 million will bet with online sportsbooks, up 63 percent from 2020. That is the result of 36 million American adults gaining access to regulated betting markets in their home states.

“This year’s Super Bowl is expected to generate the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said. “With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers.”

Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C. have added regulated betting markets since last year’s Super Bowl. That brings the United States total to 20 states and the District of Columbia.

The online survey of 2,198 adults was conducted on behalf of the AGA by Morning Consult. It found that 1.4 million Americans plan to bet at an in-person sportsbook, down 61 percent from last year. Meanwhile, 1.8 million Americans plan to place a bet with a bookie, down 21 percent.

A similar study last year estimated that 26 million Americans planned to wager a combined $6.8 billion on Super Bowl LIV.

Despite the significant drop overall betting, this year’s study did find that 65 percent of Americans who plan to wager on the game feel it is important to do so with a regulated sportsbook.

“This data is an encouraging sign that our efforts to ground the expansion of sports betting in responsible gaming is taking hold,” Miller said. “Responsible gaming is core to legal sports betting’s long-term success, and this is borne out by continued demand for consumer protections only available in the legal market.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (left) and coach Andy Reid react during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Andy Reid guides with Golden Rule, goal of greatness

One year after Andy Reid won his first Super Bowl, his players continue with the same message: the Kansas City Chiefs want to get one for their coach, Big Red.

Reid said Tuesday at his early morning press conference his approach to players is likely the reason his charges continue to trumpet his cause.

“We all want to be treated a certain way. If not, I know how I like to be treated. That’s (what) tells me what I need to do to get better at what I’m trying to get accomplished. You don’t necessarily have to yell and scream at me to get me to do something better. I kind of go about it that way, going to treat people the way I want to be treated.

“We’re here as teachers, and that’s what I do. That’s how I look at myself is a teacher of, in my case, men. Whether it’s on the field or off the field if I can give them any experience to become better players, husbands, fathers, that’s what I do.”

Reid is 17-14 in the playoffs and 1-1 in the Super Bowl. He’s in position to become only the seventh head coach to win back-to-back Super Bowls. At 65, Reid is the younger head coach in Sunday’s game but points to experience as a critical element in his own growth.

Prior to winning the Lombardi Trophy last season, Reid was a .500 coach in the playoffs and was 1-4 in the conference championship game. High-profile clock management mistakes and January shortcomings were enough to get Reid fired by the Philadelphia Eagles.

If not for what Reid now calls that “learning experience” he might not be here.

“I’m still part of the geratol crew, we are a little bit older,” Reid said. “There’s experience that comes with that and I guess they say wisdom comes with it. A lot of good young football coaches out there I look forward to seeing continue to grow in this league. By chance a few of the older guys have gotten to this point. I probably contribute that to good players and a bit fortunate there. In my case, I have a heckuva staff.”

Reid said his greatest asset as a coach is communication.

“If you tell the person the truth — a positive with their play or negative with their play — communication becomes important,” Reid said. “It’s not different than raising a child or being in a marriage. If you just keep it open, and real, that’s the best way to roll with it. That’s how I feel. That’s how I’ve been with Patrick (Mahomes). I know he wants to be great. I’m in a business where that’s what these guys do. They want to be the best. … The thing I’ve found with great players is they want you to give them one more thing. That’s the way I approach it.”

Part of being great for Reid and his players is contributing to making others better. Mahomes could become a 25-year-old two-time Super Bowl champion this weekend. The $503 million quarterback said Tuesday he uses Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James as a sounding board about helping others off the field.

“There’s a lot of great athletes that are doing things the right way. LeBron is one of them, I can bounce things off of him,” Mahomes said Tuesday. “But there’s so many others. They’re using their voice to make things right in this world. I try to use my voice to make a difference in my community.”

Reid said Mahomes has more than an interest in being great — as a player and person — and more of an insatiable drive.

“He’s got a way about him where he understands people,” Reid said. “They are interested in things he has to say or back and believe it. That presents yourself with a good combination, whatever platform you want to support or take.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 24, 2021; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates during the fourth quarter in the AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs by less than 3? Sportsbooks exposed by Super Bowl action

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to be the heavy favorite among wagers on the 3-point spread in Super Bowl LV, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ moneyline is bringing in more action.

The mix could prove costly for sportsbooks come Sunday.

The Chiefs are being heavily backed on the spread line, including 89 percent of the handle at PointsBet, 78 percent at DraftKings and 76 percent at BetRivers as of Monday. However, the Bucs are being backed by 58 percent of the moneyline handle at PointsBet (+145).

The Chiefs (-162) are still being backed by 57 percent of the moneyline handle at BetRivers, where the largest bet has been $25,000. It would pay out $62,000 if Tampa Bay wins. The moneyline handle is an even split at DraftKings.

PointsBet Director of Communications Patrick Eichner said the best current result for the book is for Kansas City to win by less than three points. The largest bet so far is a $75,000 wager on the Chiefs -3, which would pay out $62,500.

The book is also facing biggest exposure on the 65-point Over/Under, with the Over being backed by 82 percent of the handle and 80 percent of the total bets.

The Over/Under is 56.5 points at DraftKings, with the public backing the Over at 74 percent in handle and total bets as of Monday.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains the overwhelming favorite to win MVP honors. He’s being offered at -110 at PointsBet, which has attracted 10 percent of the total bets. However, counterpart Tom Brady leads the way with 21 percent of the bets backing the Bucs’ quarterback at +200.

–Field Level Media