The Kansas City Chiefs are on the cusp of reaching the mountaintop again and will battle the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday for Super Bowl 57. The spread for this championship showdown at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., is interesting as the Chiefs will enter as a 1.5-point underdog on DraftKings Sportsbook.
This is a rare sight as the team has walked into nearly every game as the favorite during the Patrick Mahomes era. In fact, this will mark just the 10th time that the team has been an underdog with Mahomes as the starting quarterback. In the previous nine instances, KC has posted a 7-1-1 record against the spread and a 6-3 record overall.
Kansas City was an underdog during Mahomes’ first career start on December 31, 2017, against the Denver Broncos, a game which they won 27-24. This was a Week 17 game where the team was resting its starters ahead of the playoffs, so expectations were low for the then-rookie QB filling the role. The next four times they were an underdog came during Mahomes’ breakout season in 2018. They lit up the scoreboard to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers to open the season but fell to the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams later on in the year.
From there, the Chiefs would only be an underdog twice over the next two seasons combined. The first instance came when Mahomes and company went into Foxborough, MA, and beat Tom Brady and the Pats late in the 2019 season. The next instance came the following year in 2020, where the QB prevailed in a highly anticipated showdown against the Baltimore Ravens and then-reigning MVP Lamar Jackson.
After that, KC was a favorite in every single game throughout the 2021 campaign and would not experience being underdogs again until Week 4 of this season, where they hit the road to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After putting down the Bucs, Mahomes and the Chiefs were an underdog again two weeks later when falling in a highly anticipated showdown against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.
History suggests that Mahomes will get the job done more often than not when the oddsmakers are leaning the other way. However, he can be bested in a high-stakes showdown against an MVP-caliber QB and that’s what he’ll be up against when facing Eagles QB Jalen Hurts.
This article can also be found in our Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 57, presented by Frank’s Red Hot.