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Super Bowl 2021 odds, line: Chiefs vs. Buccaneers picks, predictions from SN experts

A Super Bowl billed as Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes — a quarterback battle of the ages, the GOAT against his rightful heir — figures to be a close and thrilling coin-flip.

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

That’s not exactly how Sporting News’ NFL experts see it, though. Super Bowl 55 between the Chiefs (14-2) and Buccaneers (11-5) is likely to be competitive, according to our predictions, but SN’s writers are unanimous in their picks to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in 2021.

Kansas City opened as a 3.5-point favorite over Tampa. That line has since shifted slightly toward the Bucs, resting at -3 as of Monday, as the “home team” awaits the defending champions at Raymond James Stadium. The SN staff also sees an offensive showcase surpassing the Vegas point total (56.5), with five of six writers projecting the over.

Below are all of our expert picks for Super Bowl 55, complete with explanations for each pick and score predictions for Chiefs vs. Buccaneers. Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

MORE SUPER BOWL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight-up predictions

Super Bowl 2021 predictions: Expert picks for Chiefs vs. Buccaneers
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
Kickoff time: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: CBS
Point spread: Chiefs -3
Over/under: 56.5
Moneyline: Chiefs -167, Buccaneers +145
Vinnie Iyer: Last year in this space, I somehow went with a pick against Patrick Mahomes. Let’s correct that now, because the Chiefs are playing as complete Super Bowl reigning champions.

Tom Brady has done great work leading the Buccaneers and raising their offensive efficiency. The “home team” also has a pretty good overall defense. But the Chiefs counter well and have QB play, pass defense, coaching and experience all on their side on top of that unstoppable, intimidating feeling. Although Brady will have his typical Super Bowl moments, Mahomes will have a lot more of his to ensure the Chiefs repeat, keeping himself on a special trajectory to rack up rings.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 27

Bill Bender: Patrick Mahomes passed for 462 yards in the regular-season meeting, and at one point it looked like Tyreek Hill would set the single-game receiving record. Tackle Eric Fisher’s injury is a major storyline given how Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul were able to combine for five sacks in the NFC championship game, but Mahomes presents more of a challenge because of his mobility.

Look for a similar game to emerge the second-time around. Kansas City will build a first-half lead behind TD passes to Hill and Travis Kelce, but Tom Brady — as he so often does — will lead a comeback in the second half. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski will make their share of plays in the passing games, and Leonard Fournette will be more involved this time around.

In the end, however, the Chiefs don’t give Brady a chance to lead the game-winning drive. Mahomes wins Super Bowl MVP honors again, and Andy Reid starts thinking about a three-peat.

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Chiefs vs. Buccaneers odds, line, spread: NFL picks, 2021 Super Bowl predictions from simulation on 120-78 run

Andy Reid became the third-oldest head coach to win his first Super Bowl at 61 years, 320 days when the Kansas City Chiefs won the title last year. But he could slide down to fourth if his team is unable to repeat with a victory in the 2021 Super Bowl on Sunday. The 68-year-old Bruce Arians has the chance to become the oldest first-time championship-winning coach in history when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

Arians already will be the oldest head coach to make his first Super Bowl appearance, earning the distinction when Tampa Bay (14-5) knocked off Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. The Chiefs (16-2) will hope to keep him without a title win after posting a 38-24 victory over Buffalo for the AFC crown. Kansas City is a three-point favorite in the latest Chiefs vs. Buccaneers odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under has dropped to 56. Before locking in any Buccaneers vs. Chiefs picks, see the latest NFL predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven model.

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers Live

The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,900 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago. It is a sizzling 24-14 on top-rated NFL picks this season, returning well over $800. The model also enters Championship Weekend in the 2021 NFL Playoffs on an incredible 120-78 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.

The model ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now, the model has set its sights on Chiefs vs. Bucs in the Super Bowl 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Now, here are the latest NFL odds and trends for Bucs vs. Chiefs:

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers spread: Kansas City -3
Chiefs vs. Buccaneers over-under: 56 points
Chiefs vs. Buccaneers money line: Kansas City -165, Tampa Bay +145
KC: Covered twice in the last 10 games
TB: Buccaneers are 4-0 against the spread in their last four playoff games as underdogs

Why the Chiefs can cover
Facing a team with a quarterback who is seeking his seventh Super Bowl title in his 10th appearance may seem daunting, but Patrick Mahomes has proven to be unflappable. The 25-year-old already is about to complete just his third NFL season and already has been named league MVP, won a championship and claimed Super Bowl MVP honors. Mahomes had a strong regular season, throwing for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns to finish second and fourth, respectively.

Mahomes has one of the top wideouts in the NFL in Tyreek Hill at his disposal and could get back the services of receiver Sammy Watkins, who hasn’t played since Week 16 due to a calf injury. Mahomes has also formed a dangerous connection with tight end Travis Kelce, who has 21 catches for 227 yards and three touchdowns this postseason.

Why the Buccaneers can cover
While Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady is making his record 10th Super Bowl start, Patrick Mahomes knows exactly what it takes to be a champion. The 25-year-old earned MVP honors in Super Bowl 54 after throwing for 286 yards and two touchdowns while also running for a score in a 31-20 comeback win over San Francisco. In just three postseasons, Mahomes has gone 6-1 while amassing 2,054 passing yards with 17 TDs and only two interceptions.

Mahomes has done most of his damage in the 2021 NFL Playoffs through the air, relying primarily on two players. Tight end Travis Kelce has been targeted a team-high 25 times and has hauled in three of Mahomes’ four touchdowns.

\Wide receiver Tyreek Hill has yet to find the end zone this postseason but has caught 17 of the 21 balls thrown his way for 282 yards. He had 172 yards on nine receptions against the Bills.

How to make Chiefs vs. Buccaneers picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under based on the latest 2021 Super Bowl odds, with the simulations showing the teams combining for 56 points. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see which side to back here.

So who wins Buccaneers vs. Chiefs in Super Bowl 55? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Buccaneers vs. Chiefs spread you need to jump on, all from the model on a 120-78 roll.

Ranking every Super Bowl QB matchup: Where Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes stands on all-time list
Ranking every Super Bowl QB matchup: Where Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes stands on all-time list

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Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

Super Bowl: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers odds, picks and prediction

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs meet in Super Bowl 55 with kickoff set for Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET. Though the Bucs are the first team to ever play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium, the Chiefs will be the official home team as the representatives of the AFC. Below, we preview the Chiefs vs. Buccaneers Super Bowl LV odds and lines and make our NFL picks and predictions.

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers: Super Bowl odds, spread and lines

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers: Super Bowl game notes
The Chiefs are attempting to win back-to-back Super Bowls after topping the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 last year.
Kansas City went 14-2 in the 2020 regular season and got past the Cleveland Browns (22-17) and Buffalo Bills (38-24) in the AFC playoffs.
The Buccaneers are in The Big Game for the first time since winning Super Bowl XXXVII 48-21 against the Oakland Raiders. They’re in the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 campaign.
Tampa Bay went 11-5 in the regular season and beat the Washington Football Team (31-23), New Orleans Saints (30-20) and Green Bay Packers (31-26) in the NFC playoffs.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, the MVP of Super Bowl LIV, completed 66.3% of his passes for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns against just 6 interceptions in 15 regular-season games. He has thrown for 4 TDs with zero interceptions in two playoff games.
Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champ who’s in his first season with Tampa Bay, passed for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns with 12 picks in the regular season. He threw for 860 yards with 7 TDs and 3 INTs in three playoff games.
The Chiefs and Bucs met at Raymond James Stadium in Week 12 with KC winning 27-24. Mahomes threw for 462 yards and 3 touchdowns – all to WR Tyreek Hill. Brady went 27-for-41 for 345 yards with 3 TDs and 2 picks.
Kansas City was a 1.5-point favorite against San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV. The game played to the Under on a projected total of 52.5 points.
The Bucs defense ranked seventh in the NFL with 5.1 yards allowed per play. The Chiefs were 16th with 5.6 yards allowed per play.
KC was 16th with 30:14 of possession per game; Tampa Bay was 21st at 28:58.
The Buccaneers were plus-8 in the turnover margin, while the Chiefs were plus-6 with fewer takeaways and giveaways.
Chiefs vs. Buccaneers: Key injuries
Chiefs

OT Eric Fisher (Achilles) out
RB Le’Veon Bell (knee) questionable
CB Rashad Fenton (foot) questionable
LB Willie Gay (ankle) out
WR Sammy Watkins (calf) questionable
WR Demarcus Robinson (COVID-19 protocols) questionable
C Daniel Kilgore (COVID-19 protocols) questionable
Buccaneers

WR Antonio Brown (knee) questionable
LB Lavonte David (hamstring) questionable
S Jordan Whitehead (shoulder, knee) questionable
S Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) questionable