The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the first team in NFL history to host a Super Bowl at home, but Tom Brady’s crew are underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City is a three-point favorite over Tampa Bay in the opening point spread, per OddsShark. Some sportsbooks have the Chiefs as 3.5-point favorites and the over-under for the Super Bowl is set at 57 points.
The Bucs will get a rematch against a Chiefs team that topped them 27-24 in November. Prior to the championship games, DraftKings posted the projected point spread for the four possible matchups and the Bucs were slight underdogs against both of their potential opponents. The Bucs were a 3.5-point underdog against the Chiefs just like they were versus the Packers in the NFC Championship. The odds were slightly more favorable against the Bills as Buffalo was a 1.5-point favorite against Tampa Bay.
For the past two weeks, the Buccaneers were road underdogs by three points or more, and Brady led Tampa Bay to outright wins in both games. Washington was able to cover a spread that expanded late against Tampa after Alex Smith was ruled out from the Wild Card contest.
Heading into the AFC Championship, Kansas City was just 6-10-1 against the spread, per OddsShark. The Chiefs finally broke their losing streak against the spread with a blowout victory over the Bills. Tampa Bay is 11-8 against the spread, including covering in two straight playoff matchups as underdogs.
Kansas City Topped Tampa Bay 27-24 in November
The Chiefs jumped out to a 20-7 lead at halftime over the Bucs and were in control for most of their first matchup. Tampa Bay mounted a late fourth-quarter comeback to be within striking distance.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns picking apart the Bucs secondary. Brady had 345 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a losing effort. Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill had one of the best NFL performances of the season with 13 receptions for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
It would be the last game the Buccaneers lost as the team rattled off six straight wins after their bye. The Bucs have looked like a completely different team since the extra week of rest, and it will be interesting to see how they will stack up against the Chiefs in round two.
Super Bowl Prediction: Chiefs Edge the Buccaneers
This is a difficult game to call given the Buccaneers are a much different team than the one that played the Chiefs in November. The Bucs are making history by being the first team to play the Super Bowl at home. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, this is not an ordinary season and capacity will be limited to 22,000 people.
As with any Super Bowl, a good portion of those in attendance will be corporate sponsors and those close to the NFL. The league is also awarding tickets to first responders who have been working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. We can expect there to be plenty of Buccaneers fans but not to the level of a Super Bowl at full capacity.
One thing worth watching is the Achilles injury to Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher. The Buccaneers had a lot of success getting to Aaron Rodgers with their bevy of talented linebackers including Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David and Devin White.
While I think the Buccaneers will keep it close, the Chiefs’ offensive weapons are going to be difficult to slow down, especially with a Tampa Bay secondary that is less than 100 percent. We are getting a quarterback matchup for the ages between Brady and Mahomes. Look for the Buccaneers to keep it close, but the Chiefs offense should be enough to land Mahomes back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
Heavy’s Pick: Chiefs 30 Buccaneers 28. Bucs Cover +3 Spread. Over the Point Total.