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Super Bowl tips: Best bets for 49ers v Chiefs

02 Feb | BY Phil Agius | MIN READ TIME |
Super Bowl tips: Best bets for 49ers v Chiefs

Phil Agius' tips for Sunday night's NFL season finale include a pick against the spread, the total and a player prop.

The Chiefs are in the Super Bowl for the fourth time in the last five seasons, a sequence which began with their win over the 49ers.

They lost to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following season, but the combination of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes claimed their second title together with a 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles last year.

Now they are seeking to become the first team to win the big prize in back-to-back seasons since the New England Patriots in 2004 and 2005.

Standing in their way are the 49ers, who have been considered to have a championship-calibre team for several years, but went out in the NFC Championship game in each of the last two seasons.

The 49ers are two-point favourites on the point spread and 10/13 to win the game, while the Chiefs are 11/10 to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Kansas City Chiefs +2 /

The Chiefs have been made underdogs for the third successive game in the playoffs, but the standard of their performances has been improving each time they have taken the field in the postseason.

Mahomes showed in their road wins at Buffalo and Baltimore that he is not a quarterback you want to oppose in the playoffs and he has a great chance of lifting the famous trophy again at Allegiant Stadium in Nevada. 

Even so, taking the small two-point start for the Chiefs on the point spread is just preferred to a straight win bet and provides insurance in the case of a heartbreaking narrow defeat. 

Super Bowls had generally been games in which one team dominated, but the last two went down to the wire and the odds suggest another close contest is expected.

The Chiefs began the season as favourites for the Super Bowl, although they didn’t quite play up to their usual standard for much of it as they were plagued by costly drops from their wide receivers.

They won the AFC West for an eighth consecutive season, but their 11-6 regular-season record was actually their worst performance for seven years.

Reid’s team have looked stronger as the playoffs have progressed and it may well be that they have timed their challenge just right.

The 49ers have had spells when they have looked dominant this season, starting the season with a five-game unbeaten run and winning six-straight games after their bye to claim the top seed in the NFC.

In between they had a rough patch in October, losing successive games to the Browns, Vikings and Bengals. More alarmingly, their championship credentials were called into question when they were thumped 33-19 by the Ravens in Week 16.

The 49ers have been heavy favourites at home for both of their games in the playoffs, but they got themselves into bad positions in both games.

They trailed the Packers 21-14 at the end of the third quarter before rallying to win 24-21 and fell behind 21-7 to the Lions in the first half of the NFC Championship Game before winning 34-31. 

They did not cover the spread in either of those games and it may pay to oppose them again in the Super Bowl.

Under 47.5 points /

This season’s Chiefs are a different team than we have seen in recent years. Previously a gung-ho offensive outfit that would seek to outscore teams due to a suspect defence, the Chiefs’ defence has been the star of the show this season. 

They held the potent offences of the Dolphins and Ravens to a combined 17 points in the playoffs and the 49ers are unlikely to find it easy to move the ball against them either.

The Chiefs offence have not been anything like as prolific as they have been in recent seasons and they have reached 30 points in only three of their 20 games this year. 

The 49ers’ defence has been exploited in the playoffs at times, but only the Chiefs and Ravens allowed fewer points than they did in the regular season.

This looks set to be another relatively low-scoring game.

Travis Kelce over 69.5 receiving yards /

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been in the headlines for his off-field relationship more often than his performances on the field this season, but he has burst into life in the playoffs and can have another big game in the Super Bowl.

Kelce was still the team’s leading receiver in the regular season with 984 yards and five touchdowns, but his stats have gone through the roof in the playoffs with 71, 75 and 116 yards in three postseason appearances.

The 49ers allowed the Lions’ rookie tight end Sam LaPorta to register 97 receiving yards in the NFC Championship game and, like most teams, should be vulnerable to the Mahomes-Kelce partnership.