Super Bowl Odds & Preview -- Let's make a case for the Kansas City Chiefs

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sun, Feb 11th, 2024 11:18:19 am
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

It is altogether possible that the Kansas City Chiefs can complete an interesting journey and emerge triumphant in Super Bowl 58.

There weren't all that many customers at BetOnline who would have given the Kansas City Chiefs a real good chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions at the outset of this playoff "tournament." They were getting lackluster results out of the offense, with drops out of the wide receivers, questionable offensive line play, and interceptions by their quarterback. What held things in place was the defense, and that is one thing this club hopes to be able to count on as they take the field against the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's Super Bowl 58 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas (6:30 PM ET).

This is a rematch, in effect, of the Super Bowl from four seasons ago, when the Chiefs came back from a 20-10 deficit with a big rally, scoring 21 unanswered points to clinch the first world championship for Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. KC got back to the winner's circle last season, beating Philadelphia 38-35, and they did it without big-play receiver Tyreek Hill, who was dealt to the Miami Dolphins.

Now they return on a high note, seemingly finding their groove at the right time. The Chiefs kind of froze out the Miami Dolphins at Arrowhead Stadium in the first round of the playoffs, then haxd to go on the road to capture victories at Buffalo and Baltimore, both of those as an underdog. So this is all very real.

They've got even more of a challenge, however, facing San Francisco's high-powered offense, which is perhaps the best in the NFL. The Niners indeed appear to have almost all the statistical advantages. But the Chiefs have a genuine ace in the hole in quarterback Mahomes. Is he the key difference-maker in this matchup, enough to overcome the precocious youngster, Brock Purdy?

In the Super Bowl odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetOnline, the Niners are slight favorites in the contest:

San Francisco 49ers -2
Kansas City Chiefs +2

Over 47.5 Points -105
Under 47.5 Points -115

First of all, it should be mentioned that these teams may have different levels of momentum coming into the game. While as we mentioned, KC scored big as a dog against the Bills and Ravens (who were the #1 AFC seed, by the way), San Francisco looked pretty shaky against both Green Bay and Detroit, and you could argue that they were fortunate to have won either of those. Keep in mind that they were favored by a combined 18 points against those postseason opponents.

So are the Chiefs the better side at this point in time?

They can't claim to have an abundance of talent on the offensive side, at least compared to the Niners. Rashee Rice has been an outstanding rookie wide receiver, and there is Travis Kelce, who has seen 19% of the targets this season. But you have to offer a legitimate question as to what the Chiefs are going to do if the 49er defense does something to short-circuit either of those guys.

But Kansas City is very fortunate to have some things at their disposal. One is a sharp offensive arhcitect in Andy Reid. Another is Mahomes, who has remarkably been able to adapt to losing a game-changer like Hill by playing the short game. That helps him get rid of the ball quicker, thus mitigating the effect of most pass rushees, and takes advantage of what his team has.

And it is becoming evident that Isiah Pacheco is going to be an asset for them to put to use. Pacheco is one of those running backs who can really pound it between the tackles. And between the tackles is where the Chiefs are strongest along the O-Line, with guard Trey Smith and center Creed Humphrey opening holes for the ground attack. Yes, it is a concern of ours that Joe Thuney, one of the best guards in the business, is out with his pectoral tear. But they have a capable sub in Nick Algeretti, so they won't get hurt too bad.

But there has been some statistical evidence offered that the injury absence of safety Talanoa Hufanga from the Niners' secondary. We suspect that San Fran will try to limit what Travis Kelce can do, using linebackers Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw for that purpose. They do not blitz, and that is the kind of situation in which Mahomes has thrived more than any other QB in the league from the day he came into it.

Kansas City is a second-half team, at least on the defensivs side. They allow fewer points after halftime than anybody. This is a point in their favor, because we think they can move the ball on the ground, and that means they can assume control of things.

The Chiefs bring a better defensive unit than any of their previous three Super Bowl appearances under Reid. They have yielded more than 20 points in only one of their last eight games. And they are second in the league in points allowed. Will they shut down San Francisco? Maybe not, but they were not expected to keep Baltimore and their "MVP" Lamar Jackson out of the end zone either, yet they did.

No one should ignore Brock Purdy's glistening stats. But this is his first rodeo, so to speak. The word "clutch" isn't normally associated with analytics, but that's exactly what Mahomes is. He has engineered two come-from-behind fourth-quarter wins in the Super Bowl, and that counts for something.

He is 12-5 against the spread in postseason games. He hasn't thrown an interception in his last six postseason starts. His bad throw percentage is one of the lowest in the National Football League. And pay attention - he is a brilliant 10-1-1 ATS as an underdog.

That's something powerful to consider.

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