It’s finally here — Super Bowl LV. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes.
For sports bettors, the country’s most exciting game is double as exciting. We can win money! The day when I lay out my picks for the biggest game of the year has finally arrived, and I promise not to bore you with shop talk about a four-man rushes or Mahomes’ ankle. The dudes at the networks can do that for you.
Before we get started, all odds in this article are sourced from our sports betting partners at the FanDuel Sportsbook. Right now, they have an incredible promotion for Super Bowl LV, valid for new users. Bet $5 on either the Bucs or Chiefs to win outright, and profit $275 if they succeed. It represents an unbelievable 55-to-1 odds boost. You can lock it in by clicking this link.
If you’re new to sports betting, take a look at our Gambling 101 guide. Some of the betting jargon and concepts in this article may be unfamiliar, so our guide helps you get up to speed.
First, let’s preview one of the most intriguing Super Bowls of all time. Kansas City looks to win the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to win their first since 2002.
For Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it’ll be his second appearance in the big game, while Buccaneers quarterback and greatest player to ever live, Tom Brady will compete for a seventh Lombardi Trophy in ten appearances.
As a bonus, Sunday will be the first time a Super Bowl finalist plays the big game in its home stadium. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play the game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.
These two teams last met in Week 12, when the Chiefs beat the Buccaneers on the road, 27-24. The game wasn’t all that close, with Kansas City outgaining Tampa Bay 543-417. That was until a late offensive surge in the fourth quarter almost led to a Bucs comeback.
Will history repeat itself on Sunday? Let’s dive in.
(Current odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; subject to change.)
Super Bowl LV: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Kickoff @ 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
- Moneyline: KC: (-172), TB: (+144)
- Spread: KC: -3 (-120), TB: -3 (-102)
- Total: 56.5 – Over: (-105), Under: (-115)
Against the Spread: Buccaneers (+3)
Stocks have ruled the news cycle over the past few weeks, right? So let me ask you a question: if you were to invest in one player over the last two decades, who would it be?
Investing in other elite QBs such as Peyton Manning or Troy Aikman certainly would have given you a decent profit, but investing in Brady would have yielded more than any other player in history. He already has six Super Bowl rings, and I believe Brady captures his seventh on Sunday. This hunch comes one week after Brady made me look silly when I bet against him and the Bucs in the NFC Championship. I won’t make the same mistake twice – not when the sportsbook is giving me points.
Brady isn’t my only determining factor though. To say the Chiefs’ offensive line is banged up would be a severe understatement. Kansas City is at a significant disadvantage on the line, going up against a completely healthy Tampa Bay front four that gets Vita Vea back in the mix.
So many games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage. The Bucs, who had the sixth-highest sacks per game in the NFL this season, go up against a Chiefs offensive line missing its top two linemen. Three of Kansas City’s five starting offensive linemen to start the season won’t play in the Super Bowl. This spells disaster for last year’s Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes.
The Bucs’ defense is rolling. In the NFC Championship alone, Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul combined for five sacks. While the potent Chiefs’ offense is undoubtedly great enough to mask some O-line flaws (and they will), I ultimately side with one of the NFL’s hottest defenses. I expect the Bucs to keep the game close, force stops, and allow Brady and the offense the chance to control the time of possession.
Speaking of the Bucs’ offense, they were the second-highest scoring offense in the NFL this season. The Chiefs’ defense ranked dead last in red zone defense, allowing a touchdown over 74% of the time. While Tampa’s offense is undoubtedly mistake-prone, I see a concrete path to victory if Brady protects the football.
The early sharp money came in on the Bucs, moving the initial line from +3.5 to +3. The public is backing the Chiefs with 80% of the money. While it’s unclear so far which position the sportsbook will take, the fact that the line rests on a key number might be telling. This game likely won’t be a Chiefs blowout win, as many pundits predict.
That analysis leads me to my favorite pick of the weekend – the Buccaneers moneyline.
Moneyline: Buccaneers (+144)
If you like them to win, consider taking the moneyline instead of the spread. This bet represents by far the best value of Super Bowl Sunday, in my opinion. The game will take place in Tampa Bay, and while the Bucs may not necessarily get a home crowd advantage, they will feel more comfortable. That comfort and familiarity with the venue should be taken into account.
While Chiefs backers may argue that the hometown stadium means little because Super Bowl crowds are mostly corporate and not die-hard fans, I’d say there are perks to spending the last two weeks sleeping in your own bed, training in your home facilities, and having pre-game in your regular locker rooms.
Additionally, many fans in attendance will be Tampa’s first responders, local heroes who will undoubtedly back the hometown squad. And although the Chiefs beat the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium earlier this season, it’s challenging to beat a home team twice. It behooves me as a sports bettor to factor in these intangible elements.
Some may say I’m buying into the narrative. I say I’m playing it smart. If this game comes down to the wire, you bet I’m backing the home team — and the GOAT — to prevail.
At plus money, this is the situational play I want. The Buccaneers covered both times they played as home underdogs this season, including a game against the Chiefs in Week 12. While they didn’t win that game outright, they kept the game within three points during their worst stretch of the season. I’m backing Brady & Co. to get their revenge.
That leads me to my favorite parlay of the weekend – the Bucs moneyline paired with the total.
Total: Under 56.5
I wrote about sharp money earlier in this piece. “Sharps” are essentially the folks who make their living betting on sports, and they’re hammering the under on this game. The total opened at 57.5 and dropped a point to 56.5, despite 75% of the handle on the over (according to numberFire). The movement signals that sportsbooks are taking a position.
And for good reason – 57.5 would tie Super Bowl LI for the highest total in Super Bowl history. While that total hit the over, it only did so because of an epic collapse from the Atlanta Falcons. Yes, the 28-3 game and the over still needed overtime to hit. That represents the most improbable Super Bowl comeback of all time, and we shouldn’t use it as a basis for backing the over.
In the last three weeks, Tampa Bay has averaged 22.3 points per game, while Kansas has City averaged 22.4. These low averages make sense since teams face tougher competition in the playoffs and therefore have to scheme for games differently. The Super Bowl typically features a more conservative approach, with an emphasis on protecting the football. This Sunday should be no different.
While the public gets caught up in the love affair with betting overs, follow the sharps’ lead and take the under.
I think we have an awesome opportunity to win some cash on Sunday. That said, it is the Super Bowl, which means all bets will be hard to win. That doesn’t mean we can’t win though!
No matter which side you pick, be disciplined. Don’t bet more than you’re willing to lose. Keep an eye out for more Super Bowl articles in the coming days. Our team will release our favorite prop bets soon.
Most importantly, have fun!
If you’re in need of a plan, take a look at the betting guide I published here. It’s a fool-proof way to stay disciplined with your Super Bowl bets to make sure you don’t overextend your reach.
For a look at Super Bowl LV betting trends, take a look at my market analysis here. You’ll see some of the concepts I put in this article explained further in depth.
Best of luck and enjoy the game.