The Super Bowl is here, one of the most-watched spectacles on the planet. I wonder if viewership will be up this year due to worldwide lockdowns and the fact that two of the best quarterbacks will go toe to toe. The Super Bowl is in uncharted territory as it is in the Buccaneers home stadium. Will most of the 22,000 fans allowed in be die-hard Tampa fans? If so, will that make a difference? Usually, Super Bowl tickets get spread to fans from all cities. But I get the feeling there will be less traveling to the big event this year. Which has me assuming most fans will be Tampa fans. Now, 22,000 won’t usually make a difference. But 22,000 die hard fans could sound like 65,000 everyday fans; that might create some problems. Of those 22,000 fans, 7500 will be vaccinated Health Care workers. The NFL wants to honour them. So they should!
Along with it being one of the most-watched sporting events, it is one of the most gambled on. As of February 1st, one gambler placed $520,000 on Kansas City to win -3. That would net them $433,333. Not a bad payday. If you think that is big, get ready for this: Someone bet $2,300,000 on Tampa Bay, but they got the line at +3.5. So Tampa could lose by up to a field goal, and that person would cash in $2,000,000 profit. One thing is for sure people’s hearts will be racing. So, who is going to win? Well, this game will come down to executing simple as that; whoever plays for the full 60 minutes will probably win. In some games this season, Tampa started slow. That can’t happen here. Kansas City may have won 16 games this season. But they struggled to put games away; they started fast but had to hang on for many wins. Patrick Mahomes threw for 462 yards against the Buccaneers in week 12, but they only won 27 to 24. Since that particular game, Tampa Bay has not lost, winning seven games in a row; scoring 30 or more points in six of those seven. What I am trying to tell you here that Kansas City may seem to be intimidating. But they aren’t. Their defense certainly won’t intimidate Tom Brady, who just faced three of the better defenses in the NFL playoffs.
We often talk about confidence in life, but our arrogance also blinds us. I am reminded of a Superbowl a little over a decade ago. Where it was David vs. Goliath, it was a Super Bowl that had an undefeated team. Winners of 18 straight games that year, the New England Patriots were very intimidating, breaking just about every offensive record one could think about. The Patriots were led by a young man named Tom Brady. He honestly believed they could not lose. The Patriots hosted a mediocre 10 win, New York Giants team. New England had also beat the Giants in the regular season, scoring close to 40 points. If one needs a reminder, the Giants won that Super Bowl. It may have taken a literal 4th down miracle catch, but it happened. History could repeat itself here.
Most professional sportswriters will tell you the Chiefs are a lock and a cinch to cover three points. Patrick Mahomes may be incredible, but just like last week. I am going to go against conventional wisdom. Tampa Bay wins this game by four points! If they do, it won’t be because of Brady. He is merely a piece in this machine now. It will be a total team effort; pedal to the metal the entire way!
Enjoy the offseason; it’s almost time to turn our attention to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Pick (7-5 ATS playoff total, 10-2 SU)
Super Bowl LV
Sunday, February 7
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
ATS: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.0
SU: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Six of the last eight Super Bowl winners have been from the AFC. Not going to lie; this is one of the reasons why I think Tampa Bay wins!
• The Weekend will put on the half time show • Always worth a watch is the Puppy Bowl. It will air at 2 pm EST before the game on Discovery+. If you miss that, I am sure the announcers discuss it on the pre-game show.