Does Tom Brady really need help winning a Super Bowl?
His Tampa Bay Buccaneers host Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl LV, the first time a team has played at its home stadium in the year’s biggest sporting event.
Still, the Bucs will likely exit their locker room as slight underdogs to the defending champions, who themselves enter with advantages that include Andy Reid with two weeks’ preparation.
It’s a matchup the NFL and its fans deserve after a taxing 2020.
But the question remains: How will you bet it?
After early movement, Super Bowl 55 lines settle down
After opening at Chiefs -3.5, enough action came in on Tampa to send most sportsbooks down to the always-influential 3-point figure. (Note: BetMGM and Unibet remain places to get the line at 3.5.)
The movement makes sense.
Sure, the Chiefs looked like a juggernaut in the AFC Championship game. But the Bucs hold the X-factor to attract public betting: Brady.
He may be 43 years old and coming off a three-interception second-half, but the idea of wagering against Brady remains a non-starter for most casual bettors.
That said, the Bucs have also attracted attention from sharps and seasoned bettors.
On a seven-game winning streak, the Bucs’ defense has in back-to-back weeks vanquished Hall of Fame quarterbacks and could be back at full strength on Super Bowl Sunday. Antonio Brown is also expected to return.
Compounding the issue, the Chiefs travel to Tampa with questions on the offensive line, a problem that also plagued the Packers against edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul.
The Chiefs have often lived on the edge this season. The team went just 7-9 against the spread during the regular season and nearly blew their divisional-round game to the Browns following Mahomes’ injuries.
But what do the Chiefs do better than anyone else? Win.
Eventually, the talent takes over, and Mahomes puts his skills to use. This is, after all, a team that in last year’s Super Bowl scored three touchdowns in the final seven minutes.
Waiting to flip a switch is a dangerous mindset in professional sports. But the Chiefs have mastered it better than anyone else.
Betting on a shootout in Super Bowl 55
Also worth monitoring is the over/under.
The line sits at 56.5 at most Indiana sportsbooks after opening at 57.5 – which if it stood would have been the highest closing number ever for a Super Bowl.
Alas, bettors saw early value, jumping on the under to drive it down a point.
Regardless, with the offenses that will be on the field, many are expecting Mahomes and Brady to live up to their reputations and engage in a shootout.
But remember, the two would have failed to cover this number in Week 12 when the Chiefs won 27-24 in Tampa.
The two sides also have penchants for slow starts.
Can Mahomes repeat as the Big Game’s MVP?
Mahomes is the favorite to win Super Bowl MVP, coming in on DraftKings at +100 to win the honor for the second consecutive year. He has already torched the Bucs this year, throwing for 462 yards and three touchdowns in Tampa in November.
Brady has the second-shortest odds, situated at +200 to hoist the award for the fifth time.
Quarterbacks have won MVP in seven of the last 10 Super Bowls. In one of the three times it didn’t happen, the award was won by someone Brady threw the ball to quite a bit: receiver Julian Edelman in 2019.
Linebackers were honored the other two years (Von Miller in 2016; Malcolm Smith in 2014).
So, while quarterback remains the safest option, there is value in placing money elsewhere.
Let’s take a look at others’ odds:
- Tyreek Hill (went for 269 yards receiving in Week 12): +1200
- Travis Kelce: +1300
- Leonard Fournette: +2500
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire: +2800
- Mike Evans and Chris Godwin: +3000
The top two defensive players are Bucs LB Devin White and Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, each at +4000.
Taking advantage of Big Game offers
As for promos, the best to emerge so far are on DraftKings.
For example, the sportsbook is offering new users +100 odds on whether a touchdown will be scored on Super Bowl Sunday. In other words: free money. The max bet is $50.
Existing users, meanwhile, can use the Early Bird Big Game Profit Boost, a 55% boost to celebrate the Super Bowl’s 55th edition. The max bet is again $50. Users must opt in by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28.
On PointsBet, bettors can find “twilight boosters” for the Super Bowl every night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Keep an eye out for additional promos likely to emerge on Indiana sportsbooks as the game creeps closer.
It will all be part of what many anticipate being a record-breaking betting day.
More than $12 million was wagered on the Super Bowl in Indiana last year; expect that number to grow.
Have fun with it!
While Super Bowl parties may be on the sideline in 2021, that doesn’t mean the game – and betting on it – needs to lose its fun.
One way to enjoy yourself: Take advantage of the novelty prop bets that emerge just once a year on Super Bowl Sunday. This includes the most traditional of all – the coin flip.
Tails never fails, right? Tails has won in six of the last seven Super Bowl coin flips. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing. But it’s fun to consider!
FanDuel is offering -103 odds on either heads or tails, and is even giving -105 on whether the coin toss will be called correctly.
Prefer to put your trust in the trench warriors?
DraftKings is giving long-shot +2000 odds on whether an offensive lineman will score a touchdown and +800 on any offensive or defensive lineman entering the end zone.
You can also bet whether more than 2.5 players will attempt a pass (+140 on the over). It wouldn’t be the first time Brady has seen a trick play like that.
The Gatorade bath color favorite? Orange opens at +140, with red/pink trailing at +300 on BetMGM.
And don’t worry: More novelty bets are on the way (national anthem length, anyone?).
It may be a strange one, but it will still be Super Bowl Sunday.
Have a good one.