The stage is set for Super Bowl 54, as the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff is set for 6:30 EST at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami (home of the Dolphins). The game will be televised nationally on FOX.
Taking a look at the Super Bowl Odds, oddsmakers opened up the line at Chiefs -1 and that’s where it currently sits at most books, though some have moved it to KC -1.5.
Given the small spread, the money line is definitely a legit option here, especially for those thinking about take the 49ers. Right now the Chiefs are anywhere from -118 to -122, while the 49ers are at anywhere from +100 to +108.
As for the total, it opened up at 53 and was quickly bet up to 54 and some places are even sitting at 54.5. This will be the seventh time since 2000 that there’s been a total north of 50. Surprisingly, only one of those went OVER and that was Super Bowl 51 when the Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28 in OT.
New England vs Los Angeles Super Bowl 53 Vegas Betting Preview
Kansas City Chiefs (15-3 SU, 11-6 ATS)
The Chiefs won their 4th straight AFC West title with a 12-4 mark in the regular-season. It also mark the 7th straight winning season for KC since they brought in Andy Reid to be their head coach (double-digit wins in 6 of the 7).
It was no surprise to see the Chiefs as one of the top teams in the AFC, as they were so close to making it to the Super Bowl last year. If not for Dee Ford lining up offside they would have beat New England and faced off against the Rams. Many also feel that had KC won the coin flip in OT they would have won (Pats scored a TD on first possession).
That’s not to say their path to the Super Bowl was easy. The biggest break the Chiefs caught was in Week 17 when the Patriots shockingly lost as a 17-point home favorite to the Dolphins, which propelled KC into the No. 2 seed and a first round bye.
Chiefs didn’t exactly get the playoffs started off with a bang, as they trailed 24-0 just a few minutes into the 2nd quarter against the Texans. KC didn’t just rally to win, they had a 28-24 lead going into the half and closed out the game on a 51-7 run, scoring a TD on a record 7 straight possessions.
Thanks to the Titans upsetting the No. 1 seeded Ravens, the Chiefs got another gift and got to host the AFC Championship Game. Again it looked bad early, as KC fell trailed 10-0 early and 17-7 midway through the 2nd quarter. As they did the previous week, the Chiefs rallied to take a lead (21-17) at the half and ended the game on a 28-7 run.
Not only did the Chiefs rally in both of their postseason wins, they covered the spread in both and are headed into the Super Bowl having cashed 8 straight wins against the number.
San Francisco 49ers (14-4 SU, 13-5 ATS)
While it’s no a huge surprise to see the Chiefs playing in the final game of the season, not many people could have predicted the 49ers would be the ones representing the NFC in Super Bowl 54, especially prior to the season starting.
For starters, San Francisco went just 4-12 in the 2018 campaign, a mark that was tied for the 2nd worst record in the league and landed them the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Only one team in the Super Bowl era had made the big game after winning 4 or fewer games (1999 St Louis Rams).
With that said, there was reason for optimism. A huge reason they went 4-12 in 2018 was due to the fact that they lost starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3. Still, they weren’t expected to even win their own division, as the Rams were the consensus pick after making it to the Super Bowl the previous year. Not to mention Seattle had a lot coming back from a 10-win team.
It didn’t take long to realize that the 49ers weren’t just improved, but one of the best teams in the league. San Francisco started out the season 8-0 with arguably the league’s best defense leading the way. The would end up going 13-3 with all 3 losses coming on the final play of the game.
Much like the Chiefs, San Francisco caught a big break in Week 17, thanks to a goal line stand by their defense in a game at Seattle, where they stopped the Seahawks inches short of the goal line on 4th & Goal. Had the 49ers lost that game they would have went from being the No. 1 seed to the No. 5 seed and had to win 3 straight on the road to make the Super Bowl.
Unlike the Chiefs, San Francisco left little doubt in either of their playoff games. The 49ers did lead the Vikings just 14-10 at the half, but wound up winning 27-10 with a massive 308 to 147 edge in total yards. They then absolutely dominated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 37-20 in the NFC Championship Game, jumping out to a 27-0 lead.
Super Bowl LIIV Free Pick & Predictions: Chiefs -1
My early lean here would be to the lay the short number with Kansas City. I just don’t think there’s anything getting in the way of Mahomes and the Chiefs. A lot of people see the fact that they fell behind big in both of their playoff games as a negative, but I actually think it works in their favor. There’s a special kind of momentum and confidence you get when you come from behind to win a game.
I just don’t think there’s any slowing down Mahomes and this KC offense, which I believe is a problem for a 49ers team that would prefer to beat you with their running game and defense (Garoppolo attempted just 8 passes against GB in NFC Championship Game).
There’s simply not a defense in the NFL that can stop Mahomes with the weapons he has at his disposal. Not to mention mobile quarterbacks have given that great 49ers front a lot of problems this year and no one is better at making plays on the run than Mahomes.
No disrespect to Jimmy Garoppolo, but I just don’t think he’s going to be able to win this game for the 49ers. Not to mention the Chiefs defense is drastically improved. Not just from last year, but from the midway point of this season. They certainly aren’t going to be intimated by the 49ers ground game after limiting Derrick Henry to 69 yards on 19 attempts.
Say what you want about Andy Reid and his inability to win the big game, but there’s arguably no one outside of Belichick better with an extra week to prepare than Reid. As a head coach, Reid’s teams are 18-3 ATS off a bye in the regular-season and 4-1 in the playoffs.
Lastly, I know there’s a lot of different factors and faces in play from last year, but these two teams did play in Week 3 of last season. A game in which Garoppolo started for the 49ers. The Chiefs won that game 38-27 and were up 35-7 in the 1st half. Mahomes went 24 of 35 (just 4th career start) for 314 yards and 3 scores. He’s even better and so is KC’s defense. Give me the Chiefs -1!