Super Bowl Odds & Picks: How We’re Betting the Chiefs vs. Buccaneers Spread
Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: Buccaneers WR Mike Evans
Super Bowl Odds & Picks
Super Bowl 55 is set — and our staff already has early betting angles. Find their analysis below, complete with what they’ll be looking to bet over the next two weeks.
Sean Koerner: I’m in line with the total of 57.5, but I’m projecting the Buccaneers as only 2-point underdogs, so they’re worth locking in +3.5 as I envision that getting bet down to +3.
The Chiefs could have both offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz and wide receiver Sammy Watkins return in time for the Super Bowl, which would be huge. However, offensive tackle Eric Fisher is now out with an Achilles injury, which is bad timing considering they will be going up against a stout Buccaneers defensive line.
Tampa Bay will technically have home-field advantage with Raymond James Stadium hosting the Super Bowl, but I doubt crowd noise will be a big enough factor. I expect more of a “corporate” crowd, so I’m giving the Buccaneers only 0.25-0.50 points for home field (as of now) considering they won’t have to travel.
Either way, the play is to lock in Tom Brady and the Bucs at +3.5 — which is already available at DraftKings — because the spread will likely get bet down to the key number of 3.
Chris Raybon: I would be surprised if a Bucs +3.5 line lasts long, but I would place a wager at that price as my initial projections make this line around +2.5. The Buccaneers did suffer some injuries in the secondary and the status of wide receiver Antonio Brown (knee) is up in the air, so it’s possible my projections move in favor of the Chiefs by a few tenths of a point.
I’m already assuming Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher, who left the AFC Championship Game with an Achilles injury, will not play. He’s worth roughly 0.15 points to the spread. Patrick Mahomes didn’t scramble much in the AFC Championship Game, but he looked fine moving around in the pocket, so I don’t think his turf toe is enough of an issue to warrant any adjustment.
I’m also not giving Tampa Bay any home-field advantage, though it’s worth noting the reason my number has the Bucs inside a field goal is because their three playoff road wins were impressive — especially back-to-back ones in the Superdome and then at Lambeau Field. In other words, Tampa Bay has a “not being on the road” advantage baked into its power rating, but as of this time, I’m not adding any further adjustment for the Bucs being at home as I would for a normal home game.
As far as the total, my initial projections have it at 57.5, which looks to be in line with the market.
The bottom line is that the Super Bowl market will be very efficient so the biggest edges (and most of my action) will end up being on player props.
What We’re Looking To Bet
Brandon Anderson: I’ll be watching injury updates very closely for two position groups over the next two weeks. The right (or wrong) update could swing the Super Bowl.
For Tampa Bay, I’m watching the secondary closely, particularly its safeties. They were a big question mark coming into the season but really settled in, thanks in large part to the addition of stud rookie, Antoine Winfield Jr. He was a late scratch for the NFC Championship and I was quite worried against Aaron Rodgers. But Rodgers does not have the fastest man in football, Tyreek Hill.
Now the Bucs could be missing Jordan Whitehead, too, after he left Sunday’s game injured. You need your safeties to tackle tight end Travis Kelce over the middle against the Chiefs. You need them to cover Hill and Mecole Hardman deep when Patrick Mahomes decides to take the top off.
Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy will hunt Tampa safeties mercilessly if there’s a hole there.
On the other side of things, I’ll be watching the updates on Kansas City’s offensive line. It’s not particularly sexy, I know. But as good as Mahomes looked, we know he’s still dealing with that turf toe which limits his mobility some, and we all saw what Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett did to that poor Packers line.
The Chiefs line has not played as well as it did last year, and the team was down a starter heading into the season and then another midseason. Now Kansas City saw injuries to two more linemen in the AFC Championship, including former No. 1 pick Eric Fisher, out with an Achilles with a ton of teammates consoling him.
The Chiefs offense always looks unstoppable but we know everything changes if the quarterback doesn’t have time to throw. Just ask Aaron.
If Tampa is missing safeties, that favors Kansas City and the over. If the Chiefs are missing offensive linemen, that favors the Bucs and the under. In a game with few edges, that could be enough to swing things.