Super Bowl Odds 2021: Bold Predictions for Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2021

Super Bowl Odds 2021: Bold Predictions for Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

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    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    With the entrants set for Super Bowl LV, oddsmakers have spoken: Prepare for fireworks and don't be surprised if the Kansas City Chiefs become the league's first repeat champion in more than a decade.

    The Chiefs, powered by dynamic quarterback Patrick Mahomes, are 3.5-point favorites over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per DraftKings Sportsbook. The projected point total comes in at a healthy 56.5-point over/under.

    Since Tom Brady's Buccaneers will be the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium, it would be fascinating to know whether oddsmakers gave the club the customary three-point bump for home-field advantage. If that's the case, then the perceived talent gap between the two teams is wider than the spread might suggest at first glance.

    As the conversation shifts from how these clubs arrived here to what will happen when they finally meet at Raymond James Stadium on February 7, it's the perfect time to lay out a trio of bold predictions for the championship bout.

Tom Brady Throws for 400 Yards

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    Tom Brady is defining what it means to be 43 years young.

    The veteran signal-caller has been hyper-aggressive during his first season away from the New England Patriots and with the Buccaneers. He never hesitates to let it fly in head coach Bruce Arians' vertical passing attack, and the result has been his highest passing yardage since 2015 (4,633).

    Brady won't take his foot off of the gas pedal for this contest. He can't afford to with the quick-strike magic Mahomes can work. Plus, Kansas City's secondary isn't exactly elite. The Chiefs landed 14th in passing yards allowed per game (236.2) and 13th in passing yards allowed per attempt (7.1).

    Brady's receiving core is an embarrassment of riches: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Scotty Miller and Antonio Brown. Tampa's rushing attack is hit or miss, which is all the more reason to air it out.

    When the Super Bowl LV clock strikes zero, Brady's 10th Super Bowl appearance will be his third with 400-plus passing yards.

More Than 70 Points Will Be Scored

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Only two Super Bowls have featured a final combined score in the 70s. The Chiefs and Buccaneers are about to produce No. 3.

    There will be plenty of pre-game discussion around the quarterback spot, because...duh. Not only is this a quarterback-driven league, but this contest could feature two of the best to ever man the position. Brady punched his Hall of Fame ticket long ago, and Mahomes is well on his way to securing his spot.

    But there should be almost as much chatter with all the pass-catchers in the contest. Evans, Godwin, Brown and Gronkowski is a ridiculously loaded quartet. Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins is a stacked trio, and there's always a chance someone like Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson or Byron Pringle could break loose for a big game.

    Throw in some underwhelming rushing attacks and a pair of non-elite defenses, and this should be a shootout of epic proportions. Feel free to put this article on pause and go hammer that over, folks.

Tyreek Hill Wins MVP as Chiefs Repeat

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    Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

    NFL engines can't match Tyreek Hill's horsepower. He's not just fast, he's blink-and-you'll-miss-a-gargantuan-score kind of explosive.

    During Sunday's triumph over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship, the 26-year-old turned a six-yard reception into a 71-yard gain by hitting turbo boosts other players can't match. Specifically, he zipped to a top speed of 20.76 miles per hour, giving him an NFL-best 12 plays on the season with a 20-plus mph burst, per the NFL's Next Gen Stats.

    Hill has basically been unguardable this postseason. He's had 21 passes thrown his way in two games and corralled 17 of them for 282 yards. That's the kind of production that not only gets a wide receiver noticed, but it also potentially propels him to MVP status in a game featuring both Brady and Mahomes.

    To the surprise of absolutely no one, oddsmakers see the MVP going to either Mahomes (+100) or Brady (+200). Hill is technically third on that list (+1200), but the gap between him and the passers is wide enough for this prediction to meet the bold requirement.