Betting the Bucs is a new segment that focuses on the gambling lines for each Bucs game during the season. We’ll take a look into different aspects of the game to help make your decision on whether to bet for or against the Bucs. We’ll also take a brief view at the slate of Sunday games around the rest of the league.
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The Line: Chiefs -3.5, Over/Under 56
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Well, we made it. Betting on the Super Bowl is a thing that even the most casual of gambling fans get into. Whether you’re part of a Super Bowl box or like to go a little bit further into the prop bets, it’s arguably the biggest gambling night of the year, and it makes it all that much better that the Bucs are playing in Super Bowl LV. We’ll get to the props in a second, but let’s focus on the game first.
Out of the last eight Super Bowls, this is the third biggest line between the two teams as the Bucs sit as 3.5 point underdog. The only bigger ones were both 4.5 when the Carolina Panthers were the favorite over the Denver Broncos and when Tom Brady’s Patriots were the favorite over The Philadelphia Eagles. In both cases the underdog won outright, so this is a good sign for the Bucs. Another thing that Tampa Bay has going for them besides the fact that they’re playing the game at home is that teams wearing the white uniform is 13-3 over the last 16 Super Bowls, however, the Chiefs wore red last seasons and were victorious, so they were the exception to the rule.
The most important thing for the Bucs is that they can’t go three-and-out often and they must force the Chiefs to methodically go down the field if they’re going to score. Last time they met, they were torched by the big play. Tampa Bay is going to need to reach at least 30 points to win this game, but when Tom Brady is your quarterback, that’s definitely possible. You can’t doubt the GOAT in these situations. Now Kansas City has fallen behind in many of their postseason games, only to storm back at a rampant pace. Tom Brady is different, though, and I don’t see him letting things get out of hand if the Chiefs do go on their run.
Look for Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul to have a big day defeating the back of tackles for Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes is so tough to get to, but Tampa Bay is the one team that can do it. If the pass rush can get home and the Bucs implement a two-deep safety look, they won’t completely stop the Chiefs, but they’ll slow them down and keep them in the game.
The Bucs have done a great job offensively all postseason of exploiting the opponent’s defensive weakness. For this game, it’s the middle linebackers that Tampa Bay must attack against. I plan to see tight end Rob Gronkowski and recover Chris Godwin over the middle, and then Brady will start to hit the seams to Mike Evans once Kansas City starts pinching in.
As dominant as the Chiefs have been, they’re only 1-8-1 against the spread in their last 10, while the Bucs have went 4-1 over their last five. Meanwhile, both teams have hit the over in four of the last six games. I think it comes down to a late field goal to decide this one, and with two great offenses, we’ll have both teams hitting it big.
The Pick: Bucs +3.5, Over 56
This is the fun part where we look at the individual performances of players in this game along with other potential bets that can be made. I normally like to take the over on something and stay away from the under. Let’s see what we got for the biggest game of the season.
Coin Toss: Tails As the saying goes, tails never fails. People will bet on anything.
Devin White Over 9.5 tackles
White has had double digit tackles for four games in a row, including 15 in the NFC Championship. That’s not stopping now.
Antonio Brown Longest Reception Over 18.5 yards
Since Brown really started showing improvement in Week 12, he’s only had two games where his longest reception was less than 18.5 yards. One was 15 in a blowout against Detroit and the other was in the playoffs against the Saints where he caught one pass for 10 yards and got hurt early. He always looking to go downfield.
Fournette Over 50.5 yards
Playoff Lenny has had at least 55 rushing yards in every postseason game he’s ever played. I’m just playing the odds here.
Brady Over .5 Yards On 1st Rush Attempt This prop bet comes down to whether you think Brady will try a QB sneak at some point in the game, or his first rush will be a kneel down in victory formation. Brady is a guru at the QB sneak, and he’ll implement it to gain a first down or touchdown.
Brady Over 2.5 Passing Touchdowns
I’m calling this one the “Scott Reynolds Special” because he said on the Pewter Report Podcast that Brady needs to throw three touchdowns for the Bucs to win. I agree with him.
Tyreek Hill Under 99.5 Yards
The Bucs will be determined to not allow Hill to go off again. They’ll blanket him a lot so he doesn’t make the big play.
Clyde Edwards-Heliare Under 58 Total Yards
We know the Bucs can stop the run and CEH was used sparingly in their game against Buffalo in his return from injury. I think the Chiefs go with Darrel Williams for most of the game, so Edwards-Healire won’t get many yards.
Mahomes Over 41 Pass Attempts
If the Bucs are stopping the run, that means Mahomes will have to air it out. The most amount of passes his thrown in a game this season was 49 against……you guessed it, the Bucs.
Bucs First Team To Score Touchdown
As stated before, the Chiefs have fallen behind many times in the playoffs before coming back, including their last game. Continuing with that trend, the Bucs take the lead first.
Bucs Shortest Touchdown
I’m banking on Brady, Jones, of Fournette to run one in from the one. They’ve had one rushing score in each game.
Mike Evans Anytime Touchdown
Evans has score a touchdown in each of the last two games and I expect him to keep doing so, especially after scoring two touchdown in the last match-up against Kansas City.