Each year, 30 of the 32 NFL fanbases are forced to watch a Super Bowl without their favorite team. But even if you don’t have a dog in this year’s fight between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, do not fret.
Super Bowl 54 — at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Feb. 2nd – projects to be a close, hard-fought matchup that will leave all football fans satisfied.
The point spread for Super Bowl 54 is currently at Kansas City -1. The moneyline odds – i.e. the odds to win the game, no point spread involved – have Kansas City at around -125 while San Francisco is +105. The game total (projected number of points score) is a rather high 54.0, meaning we should see fireworks on offense.
The narrow gap in the odds continues a trend for the Super Bowl, which hasn’t seen many heavy favorites in recent years. Dating back to 2008, every game has had a point spread lower than a touchdown, and five of the last seven games have had a point spread of just three points or lower.
The moneyline odds have been similarly narrow. The biggest favorites in the last seven games were Carolina (-205 to beat Denver) in 2016 and San Francisco (-195 to beat Baltimore) in 2013. The favorites in the other five games in that span have all been -140 or lower.
Side note: Ironically, both the 2016 Carolina Panthers and the 2013 San Francisco 49ers lost in the Super Bowl.
Of course, a narrow point spread doesn’t guarantee a close game; on any given NFL Sunday, field-goal underdogs wind up losing by double digits, and the recent trend for Super Bowl results suggests one team may wind up dominating. Over the last ten years, the average margin of victory is 10.4 points per game.
Whether that trend will continue in 2020 remains to be seen. What we do know is that this particular matchup will be on of strength-on-strength.
The Chiefs bring arguably the most-dangerous offense in the NFL, lead by 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes. While they only ranked fifth in points per game in the regular season at 28.2, Mahomes missed 2.5 games to injury and, even when he was on the field, was noticeably limited by a dislocated kneecap in the middle of the year.
Since coming back he’s been just as good as his MVP season.
Three weeks ago Patrick Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap.
Today he’s making jump passes. pic.twitter.com/cZ4imV7o5k
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 10, 2019
In the playoffs, Kansas City has torched Houston and Tennessee for 51 and 35 points, respectively.
Mahomes and company will be facing a 49ers defense that ranks second in the NFL in efficiency, has piled up 32 turnovers in 16 games, and had the fifth-most sacks in the league with 48 (plus another nine in two playoff games). The last time Kansas City played a defense on this level, they were held to 23 points (their second-lowest total of the season) by the New England Patriots.
The matchup between KC’s electric attack and San Francisco’s havoc-wreaking defensive unit should be enough to keep even them most casual NFL fans riveted to the screen.