Thankfully Hurricane Ian did not make the kind of impact on the city that was anticipated, and after some deliberation, this Sunday night matchup between the Buccaneers and Chiefs will remain in Tampa. Mayor Jane Castor assured the NFL that the only disturbance in Tampa will be when the Bucs kick ass. That's not a joke, as she did actually say that, but will she be proven correct?
This is the sixth head-to-head meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, and the first since Super Bowl LV -- where Brady and the Bucs emerged victorious. Mahomes can tie the all-time series between the two legendary quarterbacks at three apiece with a win on Sunday night, and he is surely looking for some revenge, as he posted the worst passer rating of his career in Super Bowl LV.
Below, we will break down this matchup from a gambling perspective and examine the line movement, Over/Under and player props to consider. First, here's how you can watch Sunday night's matchup.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
- Chiefs: DE Michael Danna (calf) OUT; K Harrison Butker (left ankle), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (abdomen), DE Joshua Kaindoh (illness) QUESTIONABLE
- Buccaneers: DE Akiem Hicks (foot) OUT; WR Breshad Perriman (knee/hamstring) DOUBTFUL; OT Donovan Smith (elbow), WR Julio Jones (knee/rest), WR Chris Godwin (hamstring/rest), WR Russell Gage (hamstring/rest) QUESTIONABLE
Butker got a "we'll see" from Andy Reid in regards to his playing status on Sunday. He's a game-time decision. Valdes-Scantling was limited in Friday's practice, but so was Mecole Hardman who was not given an injury designation. Skyy Moore could be in line for increased snaps this week.
For the Buccaneers, Brady could be down plenty of his top targets again. Head coach Todd Bowles said Godwin will be a game-time decision on Sunday, and he will make sure his receiving corps is healthy and 100% before having them all (Godwin, Evans, and Gage) out there. With Perriman doubtful, the Buccaneers' top-three receivers could be Evans, Cole Beasley, and Scotty Miller. Jones is expected to be on a pitch count if he's cleared to play.
The line opened at TB -2 on May 16. On June 30, it received a bump up to TB -3. On Aug. 2, it fell back to TB -2. Last Wednesday, we saw a major change, as the line flipped to KC -2, but ultimately ended the week at KC -1.5. Sunday night, the line reopened at KC -2.5. The line then began to fall, as it ended Tuesday KC -2, Wednesday KC -1 and Thursday at a pick'em.
The pick: Chiefs PICK. The Chiefs had no business losing to the Indianapolis Colts last week, and I think that was just one of those weird matchups where everything went wrong for one team. Just look at the second half. The Chiefs tried a bad fake field goal instead of just kicking one, Matt Ammendola missed a 34-yarder the next drive and then Chris Jones decided to run his mouth and kept the Colts' eventual game-winning drive alive. A bizarre series of unfortunate events.
Overall, the Chiefs look like the better team at this point. They have both a top-10 offense and defense, and while the Buccaneers have an elite defense (No. 1 in scoring with nine points allowed per game), we all know this K.C. offense has everything it needs to outscore Brady. Speaking of the Bucs offense, it has struggled out of the gate. There's no doubt the injuries at wide receiver have hurt, but it's still jarring to see that Tampa Bay has the sixth-worst offense in terms of yards per game. Additionally, the New York Jets, New York Giants and Chicago Bears have scored more points than them this season. With the weird week due to the hurricane and the wide receiver problems still ongoing, give me the Chiefs.
The total opened at 52.5 on May 16. On Sept. 21, it fell to 48.5. From there it began to fall again -- to 47 on Sunday night, and 45 by Monday's end. We actually saw a bump up to 46 on Thursday, but it fell to 45.5 on Friday morning and sits there as of Saturday.
The pick: Under 45.5. The Chiefs are 1-2 to the Under while the Buccaneers are 0-3. Both teams are coming off of surprisingly low-scoring affairs, and I'm not expecting fireworks on Sunday night either. No best bet here, but the lean is to the Under.
Patrick Mahomes props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -204, Under +146)
Passing yards: 266.5 (Over -115, Under -119)
Passing attempts: 37.5 (Over -119, Under -115)
Passing completions: 25.5 (Over -113, Under -121)
Longest passing completion: 35.5 (Over -121, Under -113)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -109, Under -125)
I don't see a ton of value on Mahomes' passing touchdowns number, but I'll take the Over. I'll take the Over on passing yards and attempts as well. The Chiefs didn't run the ball well last week, and they shouldn't expect to on Sunday night. Mahomes has attempted 35 passes in each of the last two contests, but threw the ball 39 times in Week 1. Mahomes to throw an interception at -109 is something I would take a flier on as well.
Tom Brady props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -166, Under +120)
Passing yards: 268.5 (Over +102, Under -139)
Passing attempts: 36.5 (Over -129, Under -106)
Passing completions: 25.5 (Over -106, Under -129)
Longest passing completion: 37.5 (Over -119, Under -115)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over +104, Under -142)
I'm staying away from Brady's passing touchdown number. He's thrown one in each game this season, so it feels like he's due for two. At the same time, his wide receivers are banged-up and I'm expecting the Chiefs to win, so the Under is in play as well. Brady completed 18 passes in each of the first two games this season, but then completed 31 last Sunday. I'm not sure what to make of that. I'll take the Under on his passing attempts, and won't play his interception prop. We all know Brady is the best quarterback of all time, but with who he's throwing the ball to always changing, the game plan is adjusted as well.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushing yards: Over 35.5 (-111). Does this number feel low to anyone else? I get that Edwards-Helaire finished with a grand total of zero rushing yards last week, but he crossed this number in each of the first two weeks of the regular season. Like the Colts, the Buccaneers have a stout run defense, but this number is so low that one decent gainer could guarantee the Over for us. Plus, if you have the Chiefs winning this matchup, CEH will have opportunities to run some clock. As I stated earlier in this piece, I'm not expecting the Chiefs to rack up yards on the ground, but this number seems a tad low.
Travis Kelce receiving yards: Over 67.5 (-115). Kelce has crossed this number every time he has played the Buccaneers in his career -- regular season or postseason. After exploding for 121 yards in Week 1, Kelce's yardage has remained in the 50s for the past two weeks. But with Valdes-Scantling questionable to play, could that bode well for Kelce? He's Ol' Reliable.
Ryan Succop made field goals: Over 1.5 (-117). Succop has made at least two field goals in each game this season. The Buccaneers getting stopped in the red zone a couple times also fits my narrative with the Chiefs winning, and the Under hitting. Rooting for kicking props is both fun and nerve-racking.