Starting quarterbacks with Super Bowl MVP honors on their resumes have faced off in the big game just once, with Tom Brady going up against Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLVI. The winning signal-callers from the previous two Super Bowls never have done battle in the NFL's marquee event. That will change on Sunday, when Patrick Mahomes and the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs face Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2021 Super Bowl. Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.
Kansas City (16-2) ended a 50-year drought last year by defeating San Francisco for the title. Brady, who captured the Lombardi Trophy with New England the previous season, is making his 10th career Super Bowl appearance and first in his initial season with Tampa Bay (14-5). Kansas City is a three-point favorite in the latest Chiefs vs. Buccaneers odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under has dipped to 56. Before locking in any Buccaneers vs. Chiefs picks, see the latest NFL predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,900 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago. It is a sizzling 24-14 on top-rated NFL picks this season, returning well over $800. The model also enters Championship Weekend in the 2021 NFL Playoffs on an incredible 120-78 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
The model ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
- Chiefs vs. Buccaneers spread: Kansas City -3
- Chiefs vs. Buccaneers over-under: 56 points
- Chiefs vs. Buccaneers money line: Kansas City -165, Tampa Bay +145
- KC: Covered twice in the last 10 games
- TB: Buccaneers are 4-0 against the spread in their last four playoff games as underdogs
Why the Chiefs can cover
Tampa Bay had no answer for Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill when it hosted their regular-season meeting. The 25-year-old Mahomes threw for 462 yards in the victory, the second-highest total of his career. He accumulated 359 of those yards in the first half, the second-most by a player before halftime in the last 30 years (Peyton Manning, 361 in the 2005 wild-card round).
Hill had 13 catches for 269 yards and three touchdowns, racking up 203 yards in the first quarter. His total was the second-most in a game in team history, behind only Stephone Paige's 309-yard performance in 1985 against San Diego. Hill became the fifth player since 1950 to record 260 yards and three TDs in a game and the first since Jimmy Smith accomplished the feat in 2000 with Jacksonville.
Why the Buccaneers can cover
Mahomes may be forced to run more often than he wants to with both of Kansas City's starting offensive tackles sidelined. That could open the floodgates for Tampa Bay's pass-rushers, notably linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Including the playoffs, Barrett has registered 30.5 sacks in his two seasons with the Buccaneers, the most in the NFL over that span. The 28-year-old from Colorado State was kept in check in his first two games this postseason but erupted for three sacks at Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. Pierre-Paul led Tampa Bay during the regular season with 9.5 sacks and added two against the Packers, while both linebackers brought down Mahomes in their Week 12 matchup.
How to make Chiefs vs. Buccaneers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over based on the latest 2021 Super Bowl odds, with the simulations showing the teams combining for 56 points. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see which side to back here.
So who wins Buccaneers vs. Chiefs in Super Bowl 55? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Buccaneers vs. Chiefs spread you need to jump on, all from the model on a 120-78 roll.