Super Bowl LV (55) Betting Preview: Chiefs vs. Bucs

Super Bowl LV (55) is happening on Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 ET. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs make their second straight appearance in the NFL championship game, facing off against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Six-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady left New England in the offseason and headed south to Tampa, Florida, where he joined the Buccaneers. It has been strange to see Brady in a Bucs uniform this season, but it won’t be strange to see him playing in the Super Bowl, where he will be making his 10th appearance.

This is the place for everything you need to know about betting on Super Bowl LV, including best bets, who is performing at halftime, keys to the game for each team, updates on the latest injury news, and we even preview who is favored to win next year’s championship. Away we go!

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Super Bowl 55 Basics

Let’s go over all the Super Bowl basics before getting into the fun stuff. Here are six things you need to know about the big game.

  • Super Bowl LV will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Feburary 7, 2021. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT/1:30 p.m HST
  • Kansas City is playing Tampa Bay. The Chiefs are currently 3- or 3.5-point favorites, depending on the sportsbook, and the game total (over/under) was a fairly high 56.5 earlier in the week but has since drifted down to 56 at most sportsbooks. The lines have shifted very little since opening at Chiefs -3.5/57.5.
  • Tampa Bay had a much harder path to the Super Bowl, winning three straight playoff road games (at Washington, at New Orleans, and at Green Bay) to get the big game. As the #1 seed, Kansas City had a first round bye and defeated Cleveland and Buffalo at home to make it to Tampa.
  • The Weeknd is the highly anticipated halftime performer. Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan will sing the National Anthem as a duet, and Amanda Gorman, the young woman who impressively delivered a moving poem at the recent presidential inauguration, will recite an original poem during the pregame ceremonies.
  • Super Bowl LV will be broadcast nationwide on CBS. Unfortunately, due to production limitations as a result of COVID, the game will not be available in 4K. Sadly, that new TV you just bought will not be utilized to its full potential.
  • Kansas City is playing in its second straight Super Bowl. You may recall that they are the defending champions, defeating San Francisco, 31-20, in last year’s big game. This is Tampa Bay’s second trip the Super Bowl. The Bucs’ last appearance and only championship was back in 2003, when they cruised past Oakland, 48-21, as 4-point underdogs.

Super Bowl Odds

SportsbookTeamSpreadMoneylineOver/Under
DraftKings SportsbookChiefs-3 (-120)-167Over 56 (-112)
Buccaneers+3 (-103)+145 Under 56 (-109)
FanDuel SportsbookChiefs-3 (-120)-166Over 55.5 (-115)
Buccaneers+3 (+100)+144Under 55.5 (-105)
BetMGMChiefs-3.5 (-105)-167Over 56.5 (-110)
Buccaneers +3.5 (-115)+140Under 56.5 (-110)
PointsBetChiefs-3 (-115)-170Over 56 (-110)
Buccaneers+3 (-105)+145Under 56 (-110)
BetRiversChiefs-3.5 (+102)-175Over 56 (-112)
Buccaneers+3.5 (-122)+140Under 56 (-109)

What kind of bets can you make on the Super Bowl?

What kind of bets can you make on the Super Bowl? The better question is what kind of bets can’t you make on the Super Bowl. Each sportsbook has hundreds of prop bets available, from the result of the pre-game coin flip (tails is getting a majority of early action) to whether the last play of the game will be a QB kneel (Yes -180/No +140). For more information on the different types of NFL bets, please go here.

Props are available on any mobile betting app if you live in one of the 15 states that has legalized mobile sports betting. For this article, we will be looking at props offered by FanDuel and BetMGM, two popular sportsbooks operating in many states. All the prop bets can be found either on the home page or the Football/NFL tab in the browser version. Look for even more prop bets becoming available as we get closer to the game.

Fun Super Bowl Bets (Extensive Football Knowledge not Required)

  • Over/Under 56.5 (-110) – This one is easy. Will the combined score of the game (including overtime) be more or less than 56.5? Yes, 56.5. You’re right that there are no half-points in the NFL. Sportsbooks list many bets as half-numbers (56.5 instead of 56) because there is a guaranteed winner and loser. The game will either have a final score of 57 or more (Over) or 56 and fewer (Under). If the O/U was 56 and the total ended up being 56, at most books all bets would be refunded because the result would be a push. So will the game be Over 56.5? It’s certainly a high number; in fact, it is only 2 points from the highest O/U ever (58.5 in 2016). With Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes throwing to their talented receivers, the potential for a lot of scoring clearly exists. Expect the final to be close to 56. Sportsbooks are usually spot-on with their O/U prediction.
  • Most Passing Yards, Mahomes (-155) or Brady (+120) – This one may look complicated, but don’t be intimidated. All you have to do is pick is which QB will throw for more yards. Mahomes is the current favorite (-155), so there is value in picking Brady at +120. This one may be close: Mahomes passed for 4,740 yards on 588 attempts in the regular season (#2 overall), while Brady passed for 4,633 yards on 610 attempts (#3 overall). That means that Mahomes threw for more yards but Brady threw the ball more often.
  • Missed Field Goal in Game (Yes +110/No -140) – Both teams have very good kickers. Ryan Succop, the Bucs’ kicker, went 28 for 31 this season, missing just three field goals, one of which was blocked. He didn’t miss any field goals shorter than 40 yards, which means he made all the kicks he was expected to make. Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker was just as good, going 25 for 27, missing just two kicks, both of which were over 40 yards. That is why it is expected that neither kicker will miss a kick during the game.
  • Points in First 6:00 (Yes -125/No +100) – There are many bets related to when teams will score and who will lead at a certain time. This one is simple: Will anyone score in the first six minutes of the game? Tampa Bay averaged 30.7 points per game in 2020, while Kansas City averaged 29.6. Both teams score a lot and run a lot of plays, so it makes sense that Yes is favored. Interestingly, Yes is +140 for points scored in the first 5 minutes, so Yes switches from underdog (+140) to favorite (-125) in just one minute. That is a significant minute in the game!

Some other bets for consideration

  • Tampa Bay Moneyline (+140) If you think Tampa Bay has a good chance to win outright, you may want to take them “on the moneyline” instead of betting them to cover the spread. However, the value of this bet varies depending on the sportsbook. Experienced sports bettors will often talk about the need to “shop the line.” This means that you should look at different sportsbooks to find the best line for the bet you want to make. Of course, this means having multiple accounts, which many people may not want, but each sportsbook has their own prices for the bets they offer, some of which offer better value for the bettor. If you want a bet like the Bucs’ moneyline, you should shop around for the best price the same way you look up the Amazon price on your phone while checking out patio furniture at Target. As an example, on February 4, the Bucs moneyline bet was +144 at FanDuel and +140 at BetMGM. That is $4 difference on a $100 bet. Not a huge difference, but it’s not nothin’ either. Shopping the line is more important if you’re making very large wagers, but every bettor needs to be aware that sportsbooks often have different prices and should pick accordingly.
  • Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans each to record 50+ receiving yards (+160) Now we’re getting into some serious prop bet action. Hill and Kelce are the best receivers for the Chiefs; Godwin and Evans are the best receivers for the Bucs. Any of them are capable of having a breakout game and catching for way over 50 yards. But will all 4 of them have solid games and be targeted enough to gain 50 receiving yards? There is a decent chance the answer is yes.
  • Kansas City Chiefs First Touchdown (Passing TD -220/Any Other TD +170) – Picture the Chiefs driving toward the end zone on their opening drive. Mahomes is passing a lot and they are making some great progress. They end up inside the 5 yard line. Coach Reid calls a run or end-around and they break through the excellent Bucs defensive line and score a TD. Is it likely? Maybe not. You could also easily picture Mahomes throwing a dart to Kelce or Hill in the middle of the end zone. But this bet is about value. Any Other TD is certainly possible, especially if the Chiefs want to establish the run early. At +170, it may not be the likely outcome, but it has a lot of value as a prop bet.

The Coin Toss

The coin toss is the beginning of the gambling day for most Super Bowl bettors. It is a very popular betting option, but you are paying a vig, or premium, for an outcome that is inherently 50/50. It’s either heads or tails. There is no skill involved. This turns off bettors who handicap their bets, which means that they use their skill and knowledge to try to gain an edge in the bets they make. If you bet on the coin toss, you’re paying up to a 10 percent fee (-110) for a bet that cannot be handicapped.

That aside, the coin toss is obviously an important part of the game. But does the team that wins the coin toss go on to win the game? The answer lately has been no. The winner of the coin toss hasn’t won the game since 2014 when the Seahawks won the coin toss and then went on to dominate the Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVII. Going back 10 seasons, the winner of the coin toss has a 3-7 record in the game. Additionally, tails has hit in six of the last 7 Super Bowls, which may be why the early money is leaning toward tails at some sportsbooks. Yes, they track and report on the action related to the coin toss. Everything related to Super Bowl betting is big news.

So what is the best coin toss bet? Part of betting is entertainment, so the one that may offer the best “value” and entertainment is Coin Toss Correct Call (-105). Rather than just predicting the outcome of the coin toss, this bet asks whether the player making the call will choose correctly. In the Super Bowl, everything is a huge deal, and the coin toss is a great way to start the excitement of game day prop betting.

Keys to the Game

The stars of this matchup are obviously the quarterbacks. Mahomes and Brady are superstars and can often determine the outcome of a game by themselves. They are why this matchup is so intriguing. The veteran field general in his 10th Super Bowl going against the guy in all the commercials who can find any open receiver or run the ball himself. But, as either QB would tell you, they are only as good as the players around them. Both teams have great offensive lines, outstanding receivers, and stout defenses. There is a reason they made it to the Super Bowl: Their teams have leaders at QB but are also stacked at almost every position. Let’s break down the matchup by going over two keys to victory for each team.

Tampa Bay

Defense – The Bucs’ defense has been nothing short of superior in the postseason. Bucs LB Devin White has had a tremendous postseason, with 26 total tackles, one interception, and two recovered fumbles in three games. These guys may not be household names, but they are a big reason why the Bucs made it to the big game. They have stopped Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers in consecutive postseason games. Can they make it three in a row and stop, or at least slow down, superstar QB Patrick Mahomes? If they do, they have a good chance to win the game.

Receivers – One of the reasons Brady has been great in Tampa Bay is that he has a solid offensive line and a terrific corps of receivers to throw to. Any team would love to have WRs Mike Evans or Chris Godwin on their roster. Tampa has both, along with TE Cameron Brate. The three players have combined for 35 catches and 6 TDs so far this postseason (3 games). Brady thrives on quick passes, and his receivers have managed to get open and make plays throughout the season. Expect lots of catches and few mistakes from this talented group of receivers.

Kansas City

Patrick Mahomes – Mahomes doesn’t have very many bad games, which is why the Chiefs went 14-2 in the regular season and breezed into the Super Bowl, winning their two home playoff games by an average of 9.5 points. In fact, the only time the Chiefs  struggled in the postseason is when Mahomes was out with a concussion in the Divisional game against the Browns. He will be totally healthy for the Super Bowl, as will his receivers. Expect him to have a great game and possibly win Super Bowl MVP if the Chiefs win.

Head Coach Andy Reid – Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has been an NFL coach for decades. He has seen it all, which is reflected in his creative and gutsy play-calling. Coaching is often an overlooked aspect of playoff success, but a closer look at recent Super Bowl coaches shows either an established coach (Reid, Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick) or a coach that created an offensive-focused, innovative approach to the game (Doug Peterson, Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan). Reid is both. He is an established coach that continues to innovate his play-calling. With his plays and Mahomes’ execution, it will take a heck of a defensive performance to slow down the Chiefs’ offense.

Betting on Brady: Tom’s Super Bowl History

This is Tom Brady’s 10th Super Bowl. His record is 6-3, and his Patriots were favored in 8 of his previous 9 appearances. The only time he was a Super Bowl underdog before this year’s game was in 2001, his first season as a starter. That year his Patriots upset the heavily favored St. Louis Rams (-14), winning 20-17. The Under is 5-4 in his 9 previous Super Bowls. His most recent appearance, the memorable defensive battle against the Los Angeles Rams that the Patriots won 13-3, was a big under, far below the predicted 58-point line.

Home Field Advantage

As you may have heard, this is the first time a team is playing in the Super Bowl in its home stadium. Fifty five years of Super Bowls have never resulted in a “home” team. Will it result in an advantage for the Bucs? Possibly. Normally, teams arrive in the Super Bowl city 6-7 days beforehand to acclimate to the time zone and get comfortable in their hotels. There are also a great deal of media obligations in addition to other logistical concerns. This year, because of COVID-related precautions, teams aren’t allowed to arrive at the Super Bowl facilities until Friday, two days before the game. This may advantage the Bucs since their players will be at home all week and won’t have to fly anywhere. With the Chiefs already having experienced the pressure of a Super Bowl last season and obviously being supremely talented on the field, any advantage the Bucs have as the “home” team will likely be minimal.

Home teams went 6-6 in the postseason this season, but there was a limited home-field advantage because of capped crowd sizes. Some teams, including the Bucs and Chiefs, played in front of fans at their home games this season. Many other teams played without fans due to COVID concerns. This will be helpful for both teams, because the NFL announced that 22,000 total fans will be in attendance at the Super Bowl. They will not have to adjust to the noise and atmosphere of fans at the game. This number includes 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who will be given free tickets to the game as a thank-you for their hard work and sacrifice. A limited number of fans of both teams will be at the game, in addition to the regular corporate executives, NFL players, celebrities, and other bigwigs that normally attend the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl MVP Betting

Unsurprisingly, quarterbacks are most often named Super Bowl MVPs. They are usually the stars of the game, and the winning QB is often responsible for leading their team to victory. This is not always the case. One recent example is the historically great 2015 Denver Broncos defense, which led their team to victory over the Carolina Panthers. Linebacker Von Miller, the star of that defense, won the MVP award.

Brady himself has won the MVP award four times, and Mahomes won it last year. Over the past 10 Super Bowls, Quarterbacks have won the MVP seven times. Linebackers have won it twice, and Julian Edelman, the star Patriots WR, won it in 2019 with a 10-catch, 141-yard, dominant performance. This means that either Mahomes or Brady is statistically the most likely person to win the MVP award, but there is value in other MVP betting options.

Here are seven options for MVP that offer the most value. All odds taken from FanDuel on February 2.

  • QB (-440) vs. Any Other Position (+300) – A QB may the most likely to win the award, but at -440, taking the QB side offers little value. A WR or RB could have a great game and end up winning MVP. +300 is a good price for any player outside of Mahomes and Brady.
  • WR +650 – Both teams have outstanding receivers. It’s possible one of them could have a monster game and end up winning MVP. At +650 this bet is a long-shot, but it offers good value.
  • Tom Brady +200 – If the Bucs end up winning the game, it stands to reason that Brady will be a big reason why the team was victorious. If you think the Bucs have a good chance to win, this is a great bet to make.
  • Patrick Mahomes -105 – Not much value here, but there’s a reason he is favored. The Chiefs are favored to win the game and he is clearly the best player on the team.
  • Mike Evans +3400 – Don’t bet the house on Mike Evans, but a small wager ($1 would win $34) might be a good play. He has been excellent this year, and Brady may go to him a lot in the Super Bowl. If he ends up with two TDs, you never know. +3400 is a great value.
  • Tyreek Hill +1400 – Speedy WR Tyreek Hill has been lighting it up all season. He will likely do well in the game, and, like Evans, if he ends up with 10 catches and 2+ TDs, you never know.
  • Travis Kelce +1500 – Outstanding TE Travis Kelce has long been a favorite target of Mahomes. He will be targeted throughout the game and could end up being the most dominant offensive player.

Note: Here is a good example of line shopping. As we discussed earlier, different sportsbooks offer different lines. The above MVP options were featured on FanDuel. BetMGM also offers MVP betting options, but their prices are a lot different. For example, also on February 2, Tyreek Hill was +900, Travis Kelce was +1000, and Mike Evans was +2000 on MGM. These prices are lower than FanDuel and offer far less value.

Injury News

Kansas City

The biggest injury news for either team is Chiefs Left Tackle Eric Fisher missing the game with a torn Achilles tendon. He has been a dependable star for the team, and is part of the reason Mahomes has had enough time to find open receivers. When he was hurt last season, the team went 4-4 without him. The Chiefs are being coy and haven’t revealed who will end up starting in which offensive line position. Whoever starts on the line will be significantly tested against the dominant Bucs’ defensive line

Patrick Mahomes battled turf toe earlier in the playoffs, but he will be good to go on Sunday and shouldn’t be affected by the nagging injury. Linebacker Willie Gay sat out Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury and star Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins was “limited” in practice, but should play on Sunday. Running backs Le’Veon Bell and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (CEH) were both listed as questionable on the February 3 injury report, but they are expected to play. The Chiefs’ running backs will likely split time with CEH leading the way.

Tampa Bay

Antonio Brown has been hampered by a knee injury all season. The wide receiver missed the NFC Championship game and was listed as questionable on the February 3 injury report. More significantly for the Bucs, star safeties Jordan Whitehead and Antoine Winfield were also listed as questionable on the same injury report, as was linebacker Lavonte David. All three will likely end up playing, but they may not be 100 percent by game time. Linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul did not participate in the February 3 practice with a knee injury; his status is a game-time decision. Everyone else should be healthy and ready to go on Sunday.

2022 Super Bowl Favorites

It’s never too early to talk about next season. BetMGM has already posted odds on next year’s championship game. Six teams are the betting favorites to win Super Bowl LVI, which will take place in Los Angeles.

  • Chiefs +600
  • Packers +900
  • Ravens +1200
  • Bills +1200
  • Bucs +1200
  • 49ers +1400

Now that the L.A. Rams traded for former Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford, many people will likely take them at +2000 to raise the trophy in their home stadium. Other dark horse teams include Pittsburgh +3000, Indianapolis +2500 (if they can find a good fit at QB to replace Philip Rivers), and Arizona +4000. Please, please, please don’t bet on the Jaguars +10000 or the Jets +8000 to win it all. Spend your money on literally anything else. The only way they will be at the Super Bowl is if they buy a ticket.

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