NFL SUPER BOWL LV ODDS
It doesn’t get much better than this. Super Bowl LV features the greatest QB of all-time against the best current quarterback in the game.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady versus the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is a dream matchup for most football fans, and our final Bovada Power Rankings of the season break down who’s got the edge in a game that should become an instant classic.
The odds for the Super Bowl winner are in, so let’s check out what to look for as we head towards Super Sunday.
#1 Kansas City Chiefs (-165)
Tyreek Hill, 9 catches for 172 yards. Travis Kelce, 13 catches for 118 yards. Perennial MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City just has too many weapons for other teams to handle. Factor in that Mahomes will have two weeks’ rest for his injuries, and it could be considered a surprise that oddsmakers only have the Chiefs favored by 3.5 points.
The Packers’ run defense was only 14th in the league during the regular season, so a hidden weapon might be the Chiefs’ one-two punch of RBs Darrel Williams and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. With the Bucs’ secondary proving tough to beat in the conference championship game, Kansas City coach Andy Reid might have some tricks up his sleeve that involve more running plays featuring wide receivers like Mecole Hardman, who can fly coming out of the backfield.
The only downside that might slow down the Chiefs is left tackle Eric Fisher’s injury, which is a big blow for any quarterback. It’s his blind side protection, so a tough pass rush from the Bucs could cause problems.
On defense, the Chiefs held red-hot Josh Allen to under 300 yards passing, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs to only 77 yards receiving. The front four, led by DE Frank Clark with two sacks, showed up all game long and often forced Allen into bad decisions and 20 incompletions.
Then again, Josh Allen is no Tom Brady.
#2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+145)
But which Brady from the conference championship weekend will show up in Tampa for the big game? The first half TB12 was throwing darts and leading the team to 21 points, including a clutch deep TD pass to WR Scotty Miller at the end of the half. But second-half Brady threw 3 interceptions and looked a little more like someone who was acting his age.
Either way, nobody can discount Brady’s nine – 9! – Super Bowl appearances and six wins. He can still read defenses and handle blitzes like nobody else, and if his receivers drop a few less balls in the Super Bowl than they did in the NFC championship game, it could be trouble for KC.
The Buccaneers defense is a big part of the story heading into the big game. They sacked Aaron Rodgers five times, which normally spells doom for any QB. LB Shaquil Barrett and DE Jason Pierre-Paul both had monster games against the Packers, and they’ll need to come up big again to contain Mahomes.
If the Chiefs are gearing up against Brady’s passing as they should, they might overlook RB Leonard Fournette. He was lightly used – only 12 rushes – in the NFC championship game, but he averaged 4.6 yards per carry and can be a threat catching screen passes too.
• The Chiefs and Bucs faced off in Week 12 this season, with the Chiefs squeaking out a 27-24 win. Mahomes had 462 yards passing in that game.
• Brady and Mahomes have played each other 4 times in recent years, and they’re tied 2-2.
• Besides last year’s Super Bowl, Mahomes has never played a playoff game away from home, while Super Bowl LV will be played on the Buccaneers’ home field.
It should be a tight game any way you slice it. Which way will you go? Your pick depends mainly on whether you’re going for excitement over experience, and straight-up skills over savvy.
And finally, if you can’t decide between the players on the field, consider the coaches. Chiefs coach Andy Reid is heading into his 25th career postseason game, while Tampa’s Bruce Arians only has six playoff games under his belt.
Got your popcorn ready? We do too. Enjoy the game!
Odds as of January 27