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Why I like the Kansas City Chiefs ATS vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV

We break down the best picks against the spread for the Super Bowl in the 2021 NFL Playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes before the snap against the Cleveland Browns during the second half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, February 7, in Super Bowl LV. The Chiefs came into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a 14-2 record, a bye and home games throughout, while the Buccaneers were the No. 5 seed at 11-5, and had to win every playoff game on the road. But they will get a home game in the end, as the Super Bowl is in Tampa Bay and there will be approximately 22,000 fans on hand.

DraftKings Sportsbook opened the Chiefs as 3.5-point favorites with a healthy over/under of 57.5.

ATS Pick: Chiefs

The last time these two teams met was in Week 12 when Kansas City won 27-24. The Chiefs were up 27-10 in the fourth quarter behind an explosion of offense from Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill, as Hill went for 13 receptions, 269 yards, and 3 touchdowns. But, Tom Brady did make it a game, throwing two touchdown passes to Mike Evans in the fourth quarter.

We just saw the Chiefs slow down the Bills potent passing game while averaging a crazy 7.2 yards per play. The Buccaneers didn’t slow down Aaron Rodgers, but their defense came up big to bail out Tom Brady who threw three third quarter interceptions.

The Chiefs also look to have lost their starting left tackle Eric Fisher to an Achilles injury, which seems extra tough after watching the Buccaneers pass rush get to Aaron Rodgers five times. The only way to slow down Mahomes is to get to pressure him all game.

The question is, can you truly stop an Andy Reid offense led by Mahomes after two weeks of preparation? It doesn’t happen all that often. Two weeks of rest for Mahomes’ turf toe is another plus, and he will also get Sammy Watkins back by then, who was huge in the playoffs last year.

There’s no doubt that Tampa Bay can win this game, but I’m sticking with the extreme efficiency and quick-strike capability of Kansas City to get the job done.

Over/Under Pick: Over

Wow, 57.5 total points is a big number and both defenses have played well this season. But we also have two of the best quarterbacks of all time going head-to-head. If we look at what these teams averaged, the Bucs were at 30.7 points per game while the Chiefs were at 29.1 points per game. That gets us over our total, but it isn’t quite as easy as that.

The likely loss of Fisher looms large in my mind at the moment, but I believe in Mahomes’ ability to avoid the pass rush and make plays. But could the extra pressure slow down the scoring enough to hit the under?

A few missteps is all it takes to go under such a big number. But, we did just see the two Conference Championship game hit 57 and 62 points and now the winners of those games face off. This matchup isn’t going to somehow degrade into a truly low scoring affair, so if we’re taking the under, we’re probably still looking at a total in the 50s. I’ll bet on these teams doing their usual offensive damage with two weeks rest.

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