In just a few hours, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs will clash in Super Bowl LV from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, which makes the Buccaneers the first team to play the big game in their home stadium. It's the young, reigning Super Bowl MVP in Patrick Mahomes vs. the greatest of all time in Tom Brady, and it's a showdown that could come down to which quarterback can out-duel the other. Despite being underdogs, the Buccaneers were able to upset the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship, 31-26, and the Chiefs covered the three-point spread against the Buffalo Bills with ease in the AFC Championship, defeating them 38-24. Both teams went Over their total.
Super Bowl LV is almost here, and you can watch it for free on the CBS Sports App.
So, what does Vegas think about this matchup? If you're an experienced bettor, you know that it's best to get your bets in as early as possible before the lines can experience what could potentially be unfavorable movement, so let's take a look at these early odds and attempt to lock in our picks.
All NFL odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.
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When this matchup was put up on the board at William Hill two Sundays ago, the Chiefs were listed as three-point favorites with -165 on the moneyline, while the Buccaneers were listed as three-point underdogs with +145 on the moneyline. Those are the exact odds we have listed right now, but William Hill did bump the Chiefs up to 3.5-point favorites at a point last week. As for the total, the Over/Under has dropped a point from the 57 points it opened at. Six of the last seven Super Bowls with a total of 50-plus points have stayed Under dating to 2001.
These two teams actually faced off in Tampa in Week 12, and it was the Chiefs that came out on top with a 27-24 win. Kansas City jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, but they slowly allowed Brady and the Bucs to get back into the game. Tampa Bay scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, but Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Kansas City's offense were able to run out the clock and escape with a victory.
Mahomes threw for a whopping 462 yards and three touchdowns, while Brady threw for 345 yards, three touchdowns and was also picked off twice. Tyreek Hill exploded for 269 yards and three scores on 13 catches, which is worrisome because he has been on a roll as of late. In the AFC Championship game, the duo of Hill and tight end Travis Kelce was absolutely lethal. Hill recorded 172 receiving yards on his nine catches, and Kelce caught 13 passes for a total of 118 yards and two touchdowns. Mahomes looked fine after spending the last week in concussion protocol, and he completed 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills did score the first nine points of the game, but they didn't hold momentum for long, as the Chiefs rattled off 21 straight points and didn't look back from there.
As for the Buccaneers, we saw both good and bad in Tampa Bay's victory over Green Bay in the NFC Championship game. The Buccaneers secured a double-digit lead by the halftime break, but let the Packers get back into the game in the second half. A big reason for the comeback was Brady throwing three interceptions on three straight drives. Still, the defense was able to save them, and the Bucs held the Packers' three talented running backs to just 67 combined rushing yards on 16 carries.
Brady completed 20 of 36 passes for 280 yards, three touchdowns and three picks, and found some success throwing downfield. Chris Godwin finished with 110 yards on five receptions and Mike Evans caught three passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. Both gave Green Bay's secondary some serious issues -- especially in the first half. Arguably the most impressive part of Tampa Bay's victory is that the offense converted on 9 of 14 third downs, including their first five.
The pick: SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh says that his initial Super Bowl simulations have the Chiefs as a 55 percent favorite to defeat the Buccaneers with an average score of 28-26. While Oh doesn't have the Chiefs covering the spread at William Hill, my early lean is that they will. With how explosive that offense looked on Sunday, it's hard for me to bet against Kansas City. As for the total of 57 points, that's a bit trickier. The Bucs and Packers combined for 57 points on Sunday while the Bills and Chiefs combined for 62. I'm leaning towards the Over.