UA-59049186-1 Super Bowl LV Pick - Good if it Goes

Super Bowl LV Pick

[Photo credit: comicbook.com]

Last time we met: 1-1 straight up, 1-1 against the spread
Playoffs: 8-4 straight up, 6-5-1 against the spread, 2-1-1 best bets, 1-0-1 lock of the week
Overall: 175-90-1 straight up, 125-132-8 against the spread, 28-30-4 best bets, 10-7-2 lock of the week

Super Bowl LV: Kansas City (-3) vs. well, actually, at Tampa Bay

Kansas City offense vs. Tampa Bay defense: Kansas City brings the league’s #2 DVOA offense to the table, led by the strength of their passing game, also #2 in DVOA. The run game is just good, not great, at 13th in the league. The Chiefs will have Clyde Edwards-Helaire available, though. The big issues here are how the Chiefs protect Patrick Mahomes with both starting tackles out and how the Bucs defend Tyreek Hill, who went for roughly eleventy billion yards the last two times these teams met. Tampa’s defense ranks 5th in the league in DVOA and passing DVOA with the unit #1 in the league against the run. The Chiefs haven’t seen a defense like this during the post-season, while in the NFC Championship Game, the Bucs took out the league’s #1 offense. There’s a big caveat here, though: the Packers rank 27th in the league in variance, meaning they’re one of the least consistent offenses in the league. The Chiefs rank 2nd.

Advantage: Kansas City. There are just too many weapons there. The Bucs won’t be able to contain Tyreek Hill easily an they still have to worry about Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman, and Sammy Watkins.

Tampa Bay offense vs. Kansas City defense: Tampa didn’t have a great day on the ground against a Packers defense that ranked 18th in rushing DVOA. Taking a 20-yard TD run out of the equation, Leonard Fournette ran for just over 3 YPC. Ronald Jones got nowhere, rushing 10 times for 16 yards. Kansas City’s defense ranks 31st against the run, though, so there should be at least a little more running room. And Tampa’s going to need that rushing attack going. Buffalo couldn’t get going on the ground against the Chiefs and that allowed the Chiefs pass rushers to pin their ears back and go get Josh Allen and Tom Brady, as great as he is, is far less mobile.

The Chiefs’ pass defense ranks 16th in the league, but the Packers were only 15th and Brady still threw three picks. However, the Bucs didn’t have Antonio Brown available in Green Bay. He’ll be active today and is one more weapon the Chiefs need to worry about, along with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, and, of course, Gronk.

Advantage: Tampa Bay, as long as they can keep Brady upright.

The Pick: I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to think of a way Tampa wins and I don’t see one. As good as the Bucs’ defense is, they’re also the second-least consistent unit in the league. If anybody can get them off their game, it’s the best QB in the league today. The Bucs can’t make the mistakes they made in the title game against the Packers – Mahomes and company will make them pay, unlike the Packers who refused to take advantage as Tampa spent the fourth quarter doing everything they could to lose. This space says the Bucs will put up a fight, but the Chiefs’ embarrassment of riches on offense will ultimately overwhelm as they go back-to-back.

Kansas City 41, Tampa Bay 28 (KC SU, ATS)

 

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

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