We’ve finally made it to the end of a unique NFL season and this year’s Super Bowl has an abundance of storylines. Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs visit Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in first the Super Bowl in which the host team advanced to the final game.
Super Bowl Sunday also marks the biggest gambling day of the year in North America.
With legalized sports betting becoming more prevalent by the year, we thought we’d get you set for the big game.
Odds will fluctuate depending on which sportsbook or website you use and on what time/day you place your bets, but with that in mind here’s an overview of what to consider if you’re looking to put down some money (responsibly of course).
KC -3.0: -115 | KC moneyline: -170TB +3.0 -105 | TB moneyline: +150
The spread initially opened at 3.5 but quickly moved to an even 3.0 where it held steady until Wednesday when the line began toggling between 3.0 and 3.5.
The Super Bowl underdog is 12-7 against the spread (ATS) in the past 20 years, winning nine of those games outright – the Patriots-Seahawks matchup in 2015 was a pick ’em and doesn’t factor into the record.
We haven’t seen a push since Super Bowl XXXIV when the Rams beat the Titans by seven points (or one yard depending on how you look at it). If the line stays at a field goal then a push is a possibility. The Chiefs beat the Bucs 27-24 in Week 12.
Chiefs ATS this season: 8-10 overall (7-9 regular season, 1-1 playoffs); 7-9 as a favourite; 3-4 as a road favourite; 7-5 in non-division games; 2-7 ATS in past nine games.
Bucs ATS: 11-8 overall (9-7 regular season, 2-1 playoffs); 4-1 as an underdog; 2-0 as a home underdog; 7-5 in non-division games; 5-1 ATS in past six games.
Kansas City is a -170 favourite to win the game straight up and Tampa Bay is at +150 to pull off the upset. KC was 7-0 as a road favourite this season. TB went 5-3 at home in 2020, 1-1 as a home underdog and 3-2 overall as underdogs.
Futures odds for Kansas City to repeat as champs were +600 before Week 1 and anyone who placed a pre-season bet on the Bucs at +1500 to win it all find themselves in an envious spot heading into Sunday.
Over 56.0: -110Under 56.0: -110
The total dropped a full point from where it opened at 57.0. It’s a huge number but does fall in line with recent Super Bowl over/under trends. In fact, the average Super Bowl total the past five seasons, including this year, is more than 54 points.
The over/under is 27-26 all-time in Super Bowls (meaning 27 games went over the total and 26 games went under). There have been 12 Super Bowl matchups with a total of more than 50 points and the under has cashed in eight of those games.
Chiefs O/U record this season: 9-9 overall (8-8 regular season, 1-1 playoffs); 4-4 as road team; 4-3 as a road favourite; 5-7 in non-division games.
Bucs O/U record this season: 11-8 overall (9-7 regular season, 2-1 playoffs); 4-4 as home team; 0-2 as a home underdog; 6-6 in non-division games.
The O/U is 4-5 in Brady’s nine Super Bowl appearances (3-3 in wins, 1-2 in losses). The Chiefs’ team total is set at 29.5 and the Bucs’ is 26.5, so the bookmakers are preparing for a shootout.
If you expect this to be a high-scoring game you might want to also look at the first half total of 27.5. KC and TB ranked third and fourth, respectively, in first-half scoring in the NFL in 2020 and both teams had 21 points at halftime in their respective conference championship games.
Patrick Mahomes: -120Tom Brady: +200Travis Kelce/Tyreek Hill: +1000Leonard Fournette: +2500Mike Evans: +2800Chris Godwin/Tyrann Mathieu/Devin White: +3000Clyde Edwards-Helaire: +3500
If you don’t like the individual MVP odds, you can also widen your net and guess which position will win the award.
Quarterback: -400Wide receiver: +500Any defensive player: +650Tight end: +950Running back: +1000Kicker: +5000
Basically, if the winning quarterback finishes the game with more than 250 passing yards and two or more touchdowns it’s more or less a lock they’ll be named the MVP and the odds reflect that.
In the past 20 Super Bowls, the winning QB has been named MVP 12 times, including in eight of the past 11 years. There have also been four wide receivers and four defensive players earning the honours during that stretch. The last running back to win was Terrell Davis in 1997.
Mahomes won last year’s MVP going 26-of-42 for 286 yards with two passing TDs, one rushing TD and a pair of INTs. Brady has been named MVP in four if his six Super Bowl wins (2002, 2004, 2015, 2017) – WRs Deion Branch (2005) and Julien Edelman (2019 won the MVP the other two times.
Heads: -105Tails: -105
If you’ve ever asked yourself how does Vegas “always win?” you needn’t look beyond the listed odds of a coin toss – a 50/50 game of chance. Does that stop people from betting on the pre-game flip? Absolutely not! Let’s look at some history.
Since 1967, there have been 54 champions crowned and 54 coins tossed prior to kickoff. Heads has won 25 times, tails 29 times. If you’ve employed the “tails never fails” approach to Super Bowl coin tosses then you’re on a serious heater. Tails is 15-8 dating back to Super Bowl XXXII and 7-1 over the past eight Super Bowls. Does this mean heads is due?!
The Chiefs lost the toss to the 49ers last year but won the game. In fact, the team that wins the coin toss loses the Super Bowl more than 50 per cent of the time. Some of that can be directly attributed to Brady’s remarkable success.
Brady has played in nine Super Bowls, winning six and losing three. His pre-game coin toss record in those games is the complete inverse, losing six and winning thrice. Brady’s teams also happen to be 1-0 in Super Bowl overtime coin tosses (sorry, Falcons fans).
Brady’s career Super Bowl coin toss record…SB XXVI – NE 20, STL 17 (heads, lost toss, won game)SB XXVIII – NE 32, CAR 29 (tails, lost toss, won game)SB XXXIX – NE 24, PHI 21 (tails, lost toss, won game)SB XLII – NYG 17, NE 14 (tails, lost toss, lost game)SB XLVI – NYG 21, NE 17 (heads, won toss, lost game)SB XLIX – NE 28, SEA 24 (tails, lost toss, won game)SB LI – NE 34, ATL 28 (tails, lost toss, won game)*SB LI overtime coin toss (heads, won toss, scored TD on opening drive)SB LII – PHI 41, NE 33 (heads, won toss, lost game)SB LIII – NE 13, LAR 3 (tails, lost toss, won game)
RANDOM FUN STUFF
Our pals at OddsShark put together an overview of popular annual Super Bowl prop bets involving the anthem, halftime show and Gatorade shower. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though.
The more obscure wagers are called exotic prop bets and there are some doozies this year. Here are some that stand out:
🏈 Will Tom Brady attempt to high-five an official during the game?Yes: +600No: -1500
🏈 Will either kicker hit an upright or crossbar on a FG or XP attempt?Yes: +315No: -530(Odds for a Double Doink not listed)
🏈 Will any player get ejected for throwing a punch/fighting?Yes: +750No: -2000
🏈 What type of design will Andy Reid’s face mask be?Chiefs branded/logo: -2000Single colour without logo: +350Hawaiian-themed: +700Side note: Andy Reid wearing a Hawaiian-themed mask would be delightful. Oh, and speaking of masks…
🏈 Which coach’s nostrils will be seen first during the broadcast?Bruce Arians: -200Andy Reid: +150
🏈 Will the price of Bitcoin go up during the Super Bowl?Yes: -150No: +110
🏈 Which word or phrase will be said by Tony Romo on the broadcast first?“Read” +100“Penetration” +200“Blitz” +225“A-Gap” +300“Trick Play” +750
🏈 How many times will the chains be used for a measurement?Over 1.5 times: +140Under 1.5 times: -180
🏈 How many commercials during the broadcast will have a dog or dogs in it?Over 4.5 commercials: -250Under 4.5 commercials: +170
PLAYER PROPS TO CONSIDER
While exotic props like the ones above can add some panache to your Super Bowl gambling experience, player props add an entirely new level of intrigue because unlike anthem length and Gatorade colour they can have a direct impact on the outcome of the game.
There’s no shortage of player props to consider. Here are six I’ll have on my card.
🏈 Tyreek Hill Over 93.5 receiving yardsThis is a “don’t overthink it” pick at -120. The one-of-a-kind talent put up 203 yards on seven receptions and two TDs against the Bucs in Week 12…in the opening quarter. Hill finished the game with 13 catches, 269 yards and three trips to the end zone. Will anyone be surprised if Hill breaks 100 yards for a fourth consecutive playoff game and second straight Super Bowl?
🏈 Leonard Fournette Over 48.5 rushing yardsThe fact this number is so low to begin with is a red flag considering “Playoff Lenny” has averaged more than 70 yards on the ground over the past three games. Yes, his rushing attempts have declined in each of those games, but Fournette has been running well lately and only needs a bit of space to bust loose so I don’t mind taking a chance at -120.
🏈 Patrick Mahomes Over 0.5 total interceptionsBetting on Mahomes to throw a pick is usually the wrong choice considering he has thrown an INT in just 18 of his 46 regular-season games and in one of his seven playoff games. In saying that, he did throw two picks in last year’s Super Bowl. KC’s O-line banged up going against an imposing Tampa defence. At +140 I’m taking a shot that the Bucs D will force Mahomes into a couple throws he might regret.
🏈 Mike Evans to score a touchdownThe amount of talent involved in this game is staggering and no one would bat an eye if both teams scored four touchdowns each, so getting Mike Evans at +105 to catch his 16th TD of the season is a bet I’m happily willing to make. Evans had two TDs against the Chiefs in Week 12 despite only catching a third of his targets.
🏈 Tyrann Mathieu Over 4.5 total tackles and assistsBruce Arians said earlier this week Mathieu was his “favourite draft choice of all time” when reflecting on their time together in Arizona. I see the Bucs being able to move the ball and the Honey Badger is going to be all over the field making plays against his former coach’s team. I like that at -120.
🏈 Scotty Miller longest reception Over 11.5 yardsThe diminutive speedster has at least one catch in seven straight games. Miller has 10 receptions during this stretch and six of them have been at least 12 yards. Miller’s playing time diminished in the second half of the season but he played 43 per cent of Tampa’s offensive snaps in the NFC championship and I’m trusting Brady to connect with Miller on at least one meaningful throw.