The Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers collide in Super Bowl 55 on February 7. Can Patrick Mahomes lead the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Bowl victories, or will Tom Brady lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy for a record-setting seventh time by guiding Tampa to victory on their home turf? Read on for four free Super Bowl betting tips & predictions.
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Super Bowl Betting Tips & Predictions: Winner
12 months ago the Kansas City Chiefs were standing on top of the world. Head coach Andy Reid had finally got his hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy after decades of trying, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes had completed his rise to NFL superstardom, leading his team on a three-touchdown fourth-quarter surge as they came from behind to beat San Francisco. The NFL had witnessed the birth of a new dynasty that could dominate the league for years to come, but as the Chiefs try to win back-to-back titles on February 7 they will come up against a man who knows quite a lot about forging a dynasty in the National Football League.
Tom Brady’s run with New England was legendary – nine trips to the Super Bowl and six successes in the biggest game of them all, but in his final few seasons with the Patriots there was always chatter about just how long he would stick around with the team, and we got that answer last April when TB12 announced the end of his time in New England. Brady had plenty of options in the offseason and when he settled on Tampa Bay he immediately turned the Buccaneers into contenders in the eyes of fans, pundits and bookmakers. But was this an over-reaction? Would ‘Father Time’ catch up on Brady in 2020? Would he be nothing without Bill Belichick? Over 17 weeks of the regular season we got our answer.
Brady’s run in Tampa started with a misfire against New Orleans, but as the season wore on the chemistry between himself and his receivers grew by the week and by the closure of the regular season the offense was firing on all cylinders. They overcame a gusty Washington team on Wildcard Weekend before reeling off 17 unanswered points in the second half to down the Saints in New Orleans, and although we saw a few miscues in the NFC Championship Game, the Bucs were able to see off the Packers in Green Bay to hand Brady his first NFC title and an incredible 10th trip to the Super Bowl. And just to make this matchup even more memorable, the game is being played at Raymond James Stadium so Tampa are the first team to ever play a Super Bowl on their home turf.
Brady’s name is all over the NFL history books by this point, but could he add another first by leading the Bucs to a famous win over the Chiefs on February 7? Or will Mahomes take another step towards replacing Brady as the quarterback ‘G.O.A.T.’ in years to come by leading Kansas City to glory for the second consecutive season?
I have to go with the latter. The final score of the AFC Championship Game did not offer a true reflection of how dominant Kansas City were. They spotted Buffalo a nine-point head start and then reeled off 21 unanswered points during a 10-minute spell in the second quarter. From there they did not look back. Mahomes picked the Bills apart through the air with the help of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, and on the opposite side of the football the Chiefs defense did an outstanding job of slowing down the talented Bills offense and rising star Josh Allen. It was a complete performance from KC, one worth of defending Super Bowl champions, and it was a display that gives me plenty of confidence in backing them to beat Tampa for the second time on February 7.
You see, while Kansas City showcased their Super Bowl credentials, the Bucs kind of fumbled their way to victory at Lambeau Field. Winning at Green Bay deserves plenty of credit, but their success was largely down to a defense that forced a few turnovers and did an outstanding job of nullifying the impact of the three picks that Brady threw on consecutive drives. They hassled and harassed Rodgers throughout and they will look to do the same to Mahomes in the Super Bowl. But even if they do, it will be hard to slow the Kansas City QB down.
Despite being sacked twice and hit multiple times during the regular season meeting between the Bucs and the Chiefs, Mahomes was able to complete 37 of his 49 pass attempts for 462 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, while also adding 28 yards on the ground himself. He did cough up the football on one of those sacks, but there was nothing in that performance that could dissuade me from saying that Mahomes dominated Tampa on that occasion. He picked the defense apart as the Chiefs won 27-24 at Raymond James Stadium and I expect to see similar scenes in this rematch, albeit with a few more points put on the scoreboard. Brady & Co. will try to keep pace with Mahomes and this ridiculously stacked Kansas City offense, and while they will have some success, that KC defense will make some key stops and force a crucial turnover or two to ensure that Andy Reid’s men are crowned back-to-back champions.
Super Bowl Betting Tips & Predictions: First Touchdown Scorer
No Chiefs player has scored more touchdowns during this postseason run than Travis Kelce, but for me the man to back for the first touchdown of Super Bowl 55 has to be Tyreek Hill. Surprising Hill has not scored a touchdown in any of his last three games, but he was in almost unstoppable form during the AFC Championship win over Buffalo and he does lead the team with 17 touchdowns over the course of this season. He also torched this Tampa secondary back in November. Hill scored three touchdowns and racked up 269 yards off 13 catches as he ran riot in the regular season win, and while he may not reach the same heights here, it would not surprise anybody to see him find the endzone at least once in Super Bowl 55. Could it be the first TD though? He did score the first touchdown of that regular season win over the Bucs and in the last five games in which he has hit paydirt, Hill has scored either the first TD of the game or the Chiefs’ first TD of the game on four occasions. This makes him a hugely appealing First Touchdown Scorer pick here.
Super Bowl Betting Tips & Predictions: Anytime TD/Match Winner
Speaking of touchdowns, you have to like the chances of Travis Kelce scoring a TD in a victory for Kansas City. The tight end remains Patrick Mahomes’ favourite target and it is no surprise given how often he is rewarded for throwing the ball his way. Kelce is in red-hot form right now – his two-TD showing against Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game means he has now scored in each of his last six games, racking up seven TDs in total during that time, and in the 17 games that he has featured in this season, Kelce has failed to find the endzone on just five occasions. One of those came against Tampa in November, but lightning is unlikely to strike twice. Kelce could, and should, score in the Super Bowl for the second season running.
Super Bowl Betting Tips & Predictions: QB To Throw 1st Interception
I am just going to put it out there – I have absolutely no idea why Patrick Mahomes is odds-on to throw the first touchdown of the Super Bowl. Just look at the stats. Mahomes has thrown picks in only four of his appearances so far this season, while Brady has been racking them up since the opening game, never going more than four games without tossing the ball to an opposition player. The legendary quarterback has 15 interceptions on the season, with three of them coming in consecutive drives during the NFC Championship Game, and the Bucs’ tendency to take shots makes them prone to turning the ball over. The chances of that increase even further when the pass rush starts putting Brady under pressure. Mahomes, on the other hand, has the mobility to escape pressure and, as such, does not have to throw one up and hope. The stats say it all – of these two QBs it is Mahomes who takes better care of the football in the passing game. Therefore I have to recommend taking on the bookies and backing Brady for the first pick of Super Bowl 55. The odds are not huge, but at the time of writing they will do a little more than double your money if Brady does put up the game’s first interception.
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The Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers collide in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday night, and bookmaker 888Sport is offering new customers the choice of two special enhancements for the NFL’s showpiece game – get 11/1 on Tom Brady’s Bucs to be victorious on their home turf or 7/1 on Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs winning the Super Bowl for the second season running.
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