By Matthew Nereim
I could not be more excited for a Super Bowl matchup, between two worthy, healthy and hot teams! But, before we delve into this big game, a quick recap of last week. I was not crazy about laying 7 points, but I did believe the Tennessee Freight Train would finally “run out of coal” in Arrowhead, which is exactly what happened. Looking good early, midway through the 2nd quarter, the Titans seemed to FINALLY run out of juice. No shame, and congrats on a great season to them. So my 1-unit play on KC covered after a slow start. The 9ers on the other hand, I was “ALL IN” on, just as I was when they met the Packers back in November, for a 5-unit play. It did get a little dicey after being up 34-7 with 20 minutes left, as they tried to “let the air out of the ball” enough for the “backdoor cover”, which I did say was my only worry. But they covered (37-20), and there was no doubt who the better team was. I felt confident that both teams would win outright...hence I also made a 2-unit teaser parlay on KC & SF which also hit for a perfect +8 out of 8 unit day. A nice day...but you always want to peg the Super Bowl and finish on a winning note!
So here we go…
49ers vs Chiefs -1.5 (In Miami)
57% of the bets are on Mahomes and the Chiefs, and the line which opened at KC -1 meandered to -1.5. I can say, I will not be all in on this game, as both teams are stacked and more than capable of a blowout win if most of the bounces and key plays go their way. The Chiefs have dynamic talents all over the place on offense with 2 speed-burners (T. Hill/M. Hardman)...and it’s not like Sammy Watkins is slow. And then there’s this guy Travis Kelce...who is the best tight end on the field every week, except for when he plays the 49ers and their All World TE George Kittle. The much-maligned KC defense has improved significantly of late, holding D. Henry to just 69 yards on 19 carries last week. But, Henry did just manage 3 carries in the 2nd half where he usually has his way. But, the run defense has tightened up to the tune of 4.2 YPC allowed over the last 3 games...down almost half a yard per tote.
The 9ers on the other hand, boast a defense that’s been downright scary for much of the year, when healthy most specifically which they will be Sunday. The last time that they had 2 weeks to rest and prepare for an opponent it did not go well for the opposing team (Vikings), AT ALL! What makes this 9ers team sublimely dynamic is that they have an offense that is incredibly difficult to figure out as so many of their plays both pass and run are from similar formations. It is nearly impossible to get a read on what’s coming. They had a guy (Mostert) who has bounced around and been cut too many times to mention who ran wild to the tune of 220 yards last week against the Packers.
And I mean absolutely no disrespect to him, but just about any back would have looked good running through those holes. The running games prowess has reduced “Jimmy G” to a supporting role...which is pretty scary because when he does throw he has 3 terrifying to dangerous at worst weapons to throw to (Kittle/Sanders/Samuel).
The key to this game from my perspective is going to be:
1. Can the Chiefs stop the run, enough?
2. Can they get pressure on the QB when they pass?
I think the Chiefs must do both of those in order to win (when breaks/bounces are even). And even if they do (which I just don’t see happening)...if the 9ers defense can get after Mahomes (which I think they will) all night, & get a couple of turnovers (they might), they can still possibly win. I love Mahomes and the way he plays, the weapons that he has...and I am never crazy about trying to beat him. But this 9ers team matches up well and then some with anybody. And I am buying what Coach Kyle Shanahan is bringing to the table.
Bet: 3 Units 49ers +1.5.
As always, if you’re going to bet, make it be with money that you can afford to lose. Have a safe Super Bowl Sunday...and I will see you next year collecting at the windows!