(CBS Detroit) — Super Bowl LV, between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is shaping up to be a game for the ages. Each of these evenly matched teams features a high-powered offense led by a quarterback playing near the top of their game. Patrick Mahomes, last year’s Super Bowl MVP, has his Chiefs vying for their second consecutive title. Tom Brady already has six Super Bowl titles under his belt from his two decades with the New England Patriots. The GOAT is looking to add another, while the only player with a chance to catch him gives chase.
Oddly enough, despite all the attention paid to the quarterbacks and their offenses, one of these defenses could end up determining the outcome of this game. The Bucs defense isn’t expected to shut down Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and company, even with their fierce pass rush facing the Chiefs’ reshuffled offensive line. Likewise, a Chiefs defense that raises its level of play to the moment still isn’t likely to slow the greatest quarterback on the biggest stage. But one defensive play at a critical moment could yield enough of an advantage. That may be all it takes.
What do all these swirling storylines mean for Vegas and sports bettors looking to wager on the big game? SportsLine’s Wizard of Odds Kenny White takes a look at the action surrounding Super Bowl LV.
The Chiefs are favored by three points over the Buccaneers. And the betting line has hovered around there pretty steadily all week. More bets are coming in on the Chiefs, but the value of bets on either side is pretty equal. The over/under for points scored is 56 points.
“The ticket handle has been about 65 percent Kansas City Chiefs, two-to-one edge for the Chiefs in the ticket count,” says White. “But the money is very equal. There’s been a lot of money on Tampa +3 1/2. The bookmakers fear that number of 3. So their hope is… they’re balanced with the books right now. As long as the Chiefs don’t win by exactly three points, they’re going to be in good shape. It will be a good Super Bowl for them. The total was 56 1/2. It is down a half a point to 56 right now.”
The general public favors the Chiefs to win and score a lot of points. And that extends to a lot of the prop bets. According to White, “they’re looking at this Chiefs team to continue this high-powered offense, and they’re betting Patrick Mahomes over passing yards, over touchdowns. They’re looking at Travis Kelce to score the first touchdown and the Chiefs win. Tyreek Hill the same. Score a touchdown at any point in the game, and the Chiefs win, you get +$1.30. They’re also betting Patrick Mahomes to win the MVP. He’s the big favorite -120, where Tom Brady’s the second favorite at +$2 right now. So a lot of the props have been a lot of Kansas City money, and a lot on over is what they’re betting right now.”
So what do the trends say about how one might approach the Super Bowl? “One is just pick the winner of the game, don’t worry about the point spread, whoever you like,” notes White. “Whoever wins this game is probably going to cover the point spread, because that’s what has happened in Super Bowl history. The winner of the game covers the point spread 45 times. Only six times did they fail, two, and three times it was a tie. So it’s about 85 percent, that if you pick the winner, you’ll cover the spread. Now the under and over, the last seven times the total was over 50 points. Six in the seven games went under, so there is a lot of pressure.”
White was even kind enough to share how he looking at the game. “I like Ronald Jones under 35 1/2 rushing yards,” says White. “I think Leonard Fournette gets the bulk of the snaps in this game for Tampa. I like Patrick Mahomes under the passing yards. I’m going to go against the general public there. I like a combo bet, Tom Brady most passing yards in the game to Travis Kelce most receiving yards. That’s +$8, 8-1 you get on your money if that one hits. I like Antonio Brown to win the MVP, just for a little bit of pizza money. He’s 50-1 to win the MVP. And then I like total players to attempt to pass. I like over 2 1/2. It’s +$1.50. I think there’s going to be a third person that throws a pass in this game. We might see a Philly Special, who knows? We might see a second-string quarterback come in the game. I’m going to say that three players will throw a pass in this game.”
Which Super Bowl prop is a must-back and pays almost 7-1? And which other prop bets do you need to jump on for the big game? Visit SportsLine now to see the top Super Bowl prop bets, all from the model that’s up almost $3,200 on prop picks this season.