The 2019-20 season concludes in Miami on Sunday, as Super Bowl LIV sees a clash of styles between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. This game has been dubbed as the offense (Chiefs) versus the defense (49ers). However, that cheats two very good units out of the spotlight in the Chiefs defense and the 49ers offense. Where this game is a clash of styles is that offensively we have a predominantly passing offense facing off against a predominantly run-based offense. Defensively the 49ers are built to get pressure with their secondary serving as the lesser discussed element. Meanwhile, the focus on this Chiefs defense has been the names in their secondary. With all these talented elements this Super Bowl is set to be a stunner between two teams more than capable of lighting up the scoreboard, but equally able to force mistakes on defense.
San Francisco 49ers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Hard Rock Stadium, 6:30pm ET Sunday February 2nd, 2020
1u – San Francisco 49ers +1.5 @ -105
- Per Statschecker, both of these teams are very good against the spread, Chiefs 13-5 and 49ers 12-6
- Offensively the Chiefs have edge when it comes to DVOA, but the 49ers rank significantly higher on defense
This game is absolutely fascinating to try and pick. My instinct immediately when the line came out was that they had got it wrong. Personally, with the major defensive DVOA advantage the 49ers have, and having got their defensive line healthy, they should have been favorites. This line feels like one that has been influenced the quarterbacks in the matchup, with Patrick Mahomes being the more talented of the two.
However, the 49ers running game has demonstrated the last two weeks that they can negate the effect of a quarterback mismatch. Their running game has been a dominant force the last two weeks, and against a Chiefs defense which ranks 29th against the run this season according to DVOA they should be able to get their ground game going again. Additionally, the Chiefs passing game thrives on the ability to push the ball down the field to their speed-based receivers. The 49ers pass rush is simply not going to give them time. They will be pushing this line back into the face of Mahomes, and then they have the speed at linebacker and in their secondary to capitalize on any mistakes Mahomes makes.
The Chiefs defense is unlikely to be able to put the same kind of pressure on the 49ers’ offense, and I think we see the 49ers able to move the ball at will in this matchup. If the Chiefs start slow, in this game then I see the 49ers being able to suffocate them with their pass rush and their run game. I am taking the 49ers getting the points because I see them as the better all-around team.
1u – San Francisco 49ers Over 26.5 Points @ -117
- The 49ers have scored 27 or more points in eight of their last 12 games
- The Chiefs have allowed a combined 55 points across the last two weeks
I am very keen that this game is going to hit the over. My bet so far has been to tease the total down to around 48 and pair it with the 49ers getting 7.5 points. However, my belief is that the 49ers offense is going to have its way with the Chiefs. Four touchdowns feels like it is a very achievable number for a dynamic offense who will know they cannot take their foot off the gas. Kyle Shanahan has recent experience of being in a Super Bowl, while Reid and his coaching staff have been away from this situation for a while. I think that experience pays as Shanahan gets his team into the 30-point region.
By Ben Rolfe