Zach’s Betting Picks – Super Bowl – Chiefs vs Bucs

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte February 7, 2021 04:31

Zach’s Betting Picks – Super Bowl – Chiefs vs Bucs

The Pick: Chiefs -3

After two long weeks of waiting, Super Bowl LV is finally here and I could not be more excited (lies, if the Vikings actually ever made it, I’d be out of my mind right now) for the match up between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. The playoffs have been a little on the disappointing side so far so we are due for a great game before heading off into the cold, dark abyss of February when we enter the doldrums for about a month until we can start the countdown for the Masters over on the PGA side of the world.

This game is a rematch of an earlier season game where the Chiefs got out to a big early lead before the Bucs rallied late to make it a game with the Chiefs prevailing, 27-24. This game pits the top offense in the NFL against a resurgent Tampa Bay defense that has found ways to win three games with one key turnover after another in taking out Drew Brees and season long MVP, Aaron Rodgers with a return to the pressure defense that helped to create the types of opportunities that helped them to rise in the ranks early in the season before getting picked apart by a handful of teams in the middle of the year.

The key to the game is whether or not Tampa Bay can stop the passing attack of the Chiefs. Jamel Dean is a very solid CB, but the rest of the secondary is a little suspect. The Bucs decided to try to let Carlton Davis cover Hill on his own. That could not have gone any worse. Hill torched the Buc the first time around catching 13 passes for 269 yards and 3 TDs, most of which took place in the 1st quarter of the game with Hill going over 200 yards in the first frame alone.

This game could go a little different than the first in that the Chiefs are missing three key players on its offensive line with Mitchell Schwartz, Eric Fisher and Kelechi Osemele. The Bucs also have Vita Vea back in the middle of its defensive line, providing run stopping power and controlling a lot of real estate. Fortunately for the Chiefs, they still have future Hall of Famer, Travis Kelce to patrol the middle of the field and while Hill was the star the first time around, I think that this will be a Travis Kelce game as Mahomes will have a little extra heat on him forcing him to throw underneath more often this week. Though he had a good game, catching 8 balls for 82 yards, the focus was on Hill in the first game. My thought this week is that we get a 10-12 target game out of Kelce where Hill’s big plays come later on the game as the Bucs are forced to blitz and potentially use a safety to help in coverage on Kelce which should allow for some one on one opportunities as the game plays out. The Bucs need to hit Mahomes and force him to get the ball out quick, but he just does not turnover the ball that often and after a couple of weeks to heal, he should be his former mobile self, which makes even the best pass rushes struggle to contain him.

On the other side of the ball, the story is Tom Brady this week, but to be honest, he is not the reason that the Bucs won their last two games. The Saints turned the ball over four times and the Packers turned it over twice. Many of those turnovers turned into points almost immediately and others turned the momentum in situations where things could have gone badly for the Bucs. Meanwhile, the Bucs survived not one, not two, but three Brady INTs against the Packers. The Chiefs are not elite in pass defense, but they do have some playmakers in the secondary, especially Tyrann Mathieu. They managed to intercept Brady twice the first time around and in a game where Brady is going to need to throw the ball likely 40 times in a high scoring game, they are going to get him multiple times this week. Cameron Brate missed time this week with a back injury and though he returned to practice near the end of the week and is expected to play, he may not see the same number of targets as recent weeks. Though Antonio Brown did return to practice late in the week, my guess is that he is going to be limited, further diminishing Brady’s target tree.

I think this game will stay close early, but unless the Bucs get a couple of surprise turnovers and jump out to a lead, the Chiefs are going to wear the Bucs down and Brady is not going to have the firepower to overcome Mahomes.

Final Score – Chiefs 31 Bucs 21

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte February 7, 2021 04:31

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