San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs
Line: Kansas City -1.5
Where: Hard Rock Stadium
When: Sunday, 2/2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest sports day of the year.
This year’s heavyweight fight features the dynamic Kansas City offense in one corner and San Francisco’s dominant defense in the other. The Chiefs opened as 1.5-point favorites and the line has remained steady.
Sunday’s total has been a different story, as the number opened at 52.5 points. Since then, several sportsbooks have reported as much as 99 percent of the action coming in on the ‘over,’ bumping the consensus up to 54.5.
The total has gone ‘over’ in three straight Kansas City games and has only gone ‘under’ in one of San Francisco’s last six.
Kansas City’s path to the Super Bowl included a few close calls, but the offense was enough to put its opponents away. The Chiefs fell behind 24-0 in the divisional round against Houston (+10), but they rallied with 41 consecutive points to pull off a 51-31 victory.
The AFC Championship started in similar fashion, as Tennessee (+7.5) led Kansas City 10-0 and 17-7 in the early going. The Titans could not keep pace, though, eventually squandering the lead in a 35-24 decision.
Kansas City has now won eight games in a row by an average margin of 16.1 points per game. The Chiefs have covered the spread in all eight games and they’re 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings against San Francisco.
San Francisco has breezed through the postseason, blowing out Minnesota in the divisional round and taking care of business against Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers did not allow the Vikings to pick up a first down for more than 27 minutes of game time, starting late in the second quarter.
They left no doubt in the NFC title game, jumping out to a 27-0 halftime lead against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Green Bay was able to tack on a few late scores to make the 37-20 final look more respectable than it was.
The 49ers have covered the spread in six of their last eight games and are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against a team from the AFC. Kansas City and San Francisco both went 6-2 ATS in road games this year.
Both teams are close to 100 percent for the Super Bowl, as far as injuries are concerned. San Francisco running back Tevin Coleman might return from a shoulder injury he suffered against Minnesota.
Patrick Mahomes is the engine of the Kansas City offense, passing for 615 yards and eight TDs without an interception in the playoffs. He has also rushed for a team-high 106 yards and one TD on 15 carries.
RB Damien Williams has added 29 attempts for 92 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins has caught nine passes for 190 yards and a score. Tight end Travis Kelce is Mahomes’ favorite target, reeling in 13 receptions for 164 yards and three TDs.
San Francisco’s offense, led by Jimmy Garoppolo, is not quite as dynamic. The 49ers’ quarterback has thrown for 208 yards with a 1/1 touchdown-to-interception ration this postseason.
Don’t let those pedestrian numbers fool you, though. With the 49ers racing out to huge leads early, the time and score dictated that they keep the ball on the ground and nurse clock.
Garoppolo’s ‘over/under’ prop for passing yards is 240.5 at many books. He threw for 241 yards or more in 10 of 16 regular-season games.
Running back Raheem Mostert has rushed for 278 yards and four TDs on 41 carries in the postseason. The 49ers’ offense is simply asked to complement the defense, which was No. 2 in yards per game allowed in the regular season and has taken the top spot in the playoffs.
Kansas City had the No. 17 overall defense in the regular season and has been the fourth-worst of the 12 playoff teams.
The Pick: Kansas City -1.5
There is not much between these two teams. However, Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in the league when it comes to an extra week of preparation. He is 23-4 straight up and 18-9 ATS all-time after a regular season or postseason bye. The Chiefs are going to want to make this game a track meet, while San Francisco is going to look to limit the overall possessions. I simply trust Mahomes more than Garoppolo in a game of this magnitude. Maybe the San Francisco defense can shut down Kansas City’s offense, but I will have to see it to believe it.