Here’s a close look at the Chiefs’ Super Bowl point spread, how they’ve sputtered against the number, and projections on where the line is headed.
The Opening Line
Point Spread: Chiefs -3½ -120 | Buccaneers +3½ Ev (11-8)
Before the clock wound to zero as the Chiefs beat the Bills, the sportsbook posted odds for the Super Bowl. The Chiefs, in the position of favorite, would give a field goal to the Buccaneers.
That didn’t last long, as opening betting was swift. While bets came for both sides, they were dominated by early Kansas City support. The vig on their side adjusted to -125, and shortly after, the line moved to -3½ even.
More bets came for the Chiefs during the first full betting day, and the juice moved up to an impressive -120, still laying 3½.
Week 12: Chiefs 27, Buccaneers 24
Interconference matchups like the Super Bowl don’t line up often so the participating teams played each other earlier in the season. Fortunately, that’s the case back in Week 12 when the Buccaneers played host to the Chiefs.
Nothing radical changed between then and now with the teams’ rosters, and back then the line was also set with the Chiefs laying 3½ points. Tampa Bay backdoored the cover after trailing by as many as 17, but never regained possession after their touchdown that led to the 27-24 final.
Only .430 vs the Number
That failure to cover the number in Week 12 still left the Chiefs profitable against the spread up until that point. But it was the beginning of the end of Kansas City backers for pretty much the rest of the season.
The opening half of the Chiefs’ season saw them going 6-2 against the spread, culminating in a historic cover against the Jets as they laid three touchdowns. After that, it was point-spread loss after loss for pretty much the rest of the season, though you might have gotten a push in Week 15 depending on the number you bet. (They were either -2½ or -3 against the New Orleans Saints.)
Only last week did the Chiefs manage to clear the point spread at any number for the first time since that Week 8 stomping of the Jets. Oddsmakers stubbornly can’t seem to price Kansas City’s ability to underperform when they win.
Starting Left Tackle Lost
Left tackle Eric Fisher sat on the bench with a dismal stare, and even the announcers knew he was really done — like done for the year kind of done, confirmed by the tearing of his Achilles’ tendon. That will put his backup, Stefen Wisniewski, in place to start in the Super Bowl.
This is compounded by the loss of Mitchell Schwartz, who sustained a back injury in that same Week 12 win over the Buccaneers that landed him on injured reserve. Coach Andy Reid confirmed on Monday that it seems unlikely Schwartz could be ready in time to fill the new gap at the tackle position.
Follow all the aches and pains of the teams’ rosters with the BetUS NFL injury report as the long practice period progresses.
Predicting the Point Spread
With such a long lead time until the game, it offers a longer period in which guesses about line moves can be wrong. But without some kind of new development or dramatic NFL news report, it’s probably safe that the number here isn’t leaving the 3-3½ range.
With the kind of handle already bet, NFL point spreads like this are pretty unlikely to move through the key number of, and below, three. In fact, it seems reasonable to think that at the current price the Chiefs’ number is as bad as it will get.
So, if you’re leaning towards the Buccaneers, we’d guess that catching 3½ points at even odds might be the best of the number (again, not barring some injury, COVID, or arrest news).
On the other hand, if you’re thinking of laying the points with the Chiefs, patience in waiting for the line to improve should pay off. Taking a stab at where it bottoms out, we’d guess the best Chiefs’ price would be -3 flat (-110) but that may be optimistic.