Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3)
It’s pretty amazing that we’ve seen Tom Brady for 20+ years in the NFL have the success throughout his career that he has had and still be considered an underdog. Playing the games' toughest position, nobody has done it better than Brady. To say "TB12" is in a class of his own would be a massive understatement.
At age 43, Brady threw for 4,633 yards (5th best of his career), 40 touchdowns (2nd best of his career) and had a 102 QB rating (tied for the 5th best in his career). The biggest reason I believe Brady came to Tampa was because of the talented weapons he’d be surrounded by on offense, in addition to a young, talented defense filled with playmakers at every level. And that’s what you need in order to beat Patrick Mahomes.
The Buccaneers defense is ranked 5th in DVOA (5th vs. the pass, 1st vs. the run) and should have a big advantage in the trenches with the Kansas City Chiefs missing both of their starting tackles. Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett could be even more of a factor for this matchup than Brady himself if they can lead their defensive line in keeping pressure on Mahomes without having to blitz. The Bucs also have the type of offense that can keep up with the Chiefs, as well as exploit their biggest weakness (stopping the run).
The Buffalo Bills' rush attack ranked only 22nd overall, according to DVOA, and even though they rushed for 129 yards against the Chiefs in the AFC Conference Championship round, 88 of those yards came from scrambles by Josh Allen. And the Bills were also without their best running back in Zack Moss. The Bucs rush attack, on the other hand, ranks 10th in the league. Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones should therefore be able to move the ball on this Chiefs defense that ranks 31st of 32 teams in stopping the run.
Antonio Brown is expected to be back for the Bucs on Sunday, but even if he isn’t, they’ll still have plenty of weapons available and at Brady's disposal. This game also marks a rare Super Bowl instance in being a home game for the Bucs. Tampa Bay was 5-3 SU and ATS at home this season, including 2-0 SU and ATS as a home underdog with a margin of victory of +12.5. Since Brady became a stater back in 2001, he has gone 38-17-1 ATS as an underdog with 33 wins SU in 56 tries, including a 6-3 SU & ATS record in the playoffs and overall winning nearly 60% of the time SU as an underdog for his career. As I mentioned on the Betting Predator's NFL Preview podcast, I'm riding Brady 'til the wheels fall off. Give me the Bucs.
Like: Buccaneers (+3) & Buccaneers ML (+143)