Super Bowl LV is upon us with the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs attempting to defend their title against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sunday’s game will be the first time a team playing in the Super Bowl is the game’s host. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. EST inside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FL. Kansas City is a 3-point favorite against the Bucs in the finale, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs took care of the Cleveland Browns (22-17) and Buffalo Bills (38-24) to earn their spot in the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season. Kansas City will try and become the first team to win back-to-back championships since Brady and the New England Patriots accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004.
After exiting the AFC divisional round against the Browns with concussion-like symptoms, Patrick Mahomes bounced back to throw for 325 yards and three touchdowns against the Bills. Mahomes was the MVP in last season’s Super Bowl win, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for one against the San Francisco 49ers.
Mahomes is the Chiefs’ high-powered offensive attack leader, but he could not do it without his complement of toys. Wideout Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce have each tallied over 100-yards receiving in both playoff games. Kelce scored a pair of touchdowns in the AFC Championship against Buffalo.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay returns to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2003 when they routed the Oakland Raiders for the team’s first championship. The Buccaneers won three close contests over their playoff run to get here, behind a stout defense and Brady’s play.
Brady threw four touchdowns over the first two playoff games before tossing three in the NFC Championship along with three interceptions. The 43-year old veteran quarterback will be appearing in his 10th Super Bowl appearance and aiming to win his seventh ring.
Leonard Fournette, initially rushing as the team’s backup running back, has taken over the playoffs accounting for 313 yards and three touchdowns in the three playoff wins. Chris Godwin (14 receptions, 223 yards, one touchdown) and Mike Evans (10 receptions, 173 yards, two touchdowns) have been Brady’s primary targets at receiver. Still, Brady has thrown touchdown passes to six separate targets this postseason.
Wideout Antonio Brown, who missed the AFC Championship due to injury, is expected to be back in the Bucs lineup for the Super Bowl LV.
The Pick is In
It seems every expert is siding with Kansas City, and all the numbers point to the Chiefs covering the spread. Mahomes versus Brady will provide fireworks and a storyline within the game itself. The Bucs defense contained Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ potent offense, and we think that same unit will have a gameplan ready to stop Mahomes and company. Tom Brady is the x-factor here, as he has always risen to the occasion on the NFL’s biggest stage and will keep Tampa Bay close. I believe Brady’s experience on the big stage might be enough to stave off the high flying offense of the Chiefs led by Mahomes.
The Pick: Tampa Bay +3