The Super Bowl ? perhaps you’ve heard of it?
And perhaps you’ve also heard of this man named Tom Brady, who on Sunday will play in an unprecedented 10th Super Bowl when he leads his Tampa Bay Buccaneers into action against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the process, Brady and the Bucs will become the first team in NFL history to host the big game.
Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are looking to become the first team since the 2004 New England Patriots to repeat as NFL champions. Brady might have had something to do with that one, too.
Obviously, in addition to being the biggest event on the American sports calendar, the Super Bowl is a bettor’s dream.
Here’s our Super Bowl LV betting preview.
(-3) Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Historically, the favorites unsurprisingly have won 34 of the 54 Super Bowls. But the betting line typically is spot-on; favorites are 25-25-3 against the spread (with one game settling as a pick ’em before kickoff). But here’s where Tampa Bay backers might be interested. The underdogs are 13-6 ATS over the last 18 years, and the higher-seeded team (Kansas City is the AFC’s No. 1 seed) is just 2-14-2 ATS recently, and the team with the better record is 1-10 in the last 11 Super Bowls.
The Chiefs haven’t been a good spread bet over the last two-plus months. KC is just 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games despite winning 12 of their last 13 outright. They failed to cover when these teams met in Week 12 despite jumping out to an early lead. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is on a seven-game winning streak and has been profitable in that stretch, covering four of its last five.
Brady’s teams are 4-5 ATS in his nine Super Bowl appearances.
(via FanDuel Sportsbook)
First-half line, total
Kansas City -2, 28.5
First touchdown scorer
Travis Kelce +600
Mike Evans +900
Tyreek Hill +600
Chris Godwin +1000
Leonard Fournette +1000
Clyde Edwards-Helaire +1200
Antonio Brown +1600
Rob Gronkowski +1600
Patrick Mahomes +1800
Tom Brady +2900
Patrick Mahomes over/under 329.5
Tom Brady over/under 294.5
Darrell Williams over/under 28.5
Leonard Fournette over/under 46.5
Clyde Edwards-Helaire over/under 29.5
Ronald Jones over/under 37.5
Travis Kelces over/under 98.5
Chris Godwin over/under 73.5
Mike Evans over/under 62.5
Tyreek Hill over/under 94.5
Tampa Bay +3
You easily could make the case the Bucs have been the NFL’s best team over the course of their seven-game winning streak — and that’s despite some occasionally shaky play from the defense. The defense, though, has been fantastic, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Todd Bowles’ unit is a top-five defense by DVOA, which historically bodes very well for Tampa Bay.
Bowles has done a tremendous job of deploying an elite front seven, and he should be able to get them home Sunday against a Kansas City offensive line missing its two starting offensive tackles. Eric Fisher going down last week for the Chiefs might be the biggest injury of this season when it’s all said and done. Just ask the Green Bay Packers what it’s like to go up against this Bucs pass rush without an all-world offensive tackle.
The Bucs, obviously, are more than just a defensive team. With Antonio Brown on track to play, Tampa Bay will have its full arsenal of offensive weapons at Brady’s disposal. So even if the Chiefs solve the Tampa Bay defense, do you really want to bet against Brady and that offense?
Don’t be surprised if No. 12 is hoisting Lombardi Trophy No. 7 on Sunday night in his new home.