Super Bowl 2021 Prop Bets & Specials: Bucs vs. Chiefs Predictions

It's time for the big one, Ben Gretch breaks down the best prop bets for the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV
Ben Gretch
Fri, February 5, 7:30 AM EST

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chiefs Prop Picks

It’s impossible not to love the Super Bowl prop market. It feels like you can bet on almost anything, and while I’ll shy away from the coin flip or Gatorade shower markets here, there are so many options you can find unique ways to play almost any lean you have in the game. Here are some of my favorite props.

Chiefs to win comfortably but not huge

Earlier this week, I wrote up a full-game preview including my spread pick, which breaks down all the reasons I like the Chiefs. But Kansas City has been willing to sit on leads a bit this year, controlling the game but not necessarily blowing teams out. Meanwhile, the Bucs are likely to get very aggressive with their pass-first tendencies if they trail by a substantial margin.

In the first matchup between these teams, the Chiefs led 27-10 through three quarters, but the Bucs scored touchdowns on each of their fourth quarter drives to make the final score look a lot closer at 27-24. That type of outcome was fairly common for the Chiefs this year, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tampa score late in a game the Chiefs otherwise control. Conversely, if it’s a tighter contest into the fourth quarter, a late Chiefs touchdown could push them to the key numbers 7 or 10.

Winning Margin — Kansas City Chiefs 7 to 12 @ +490

Can a non-QB win MVP?

The MVP market is always fun, but this year seems pretty straightforward and offers an easy option for how to play it. Eight of the last 11 Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks, which stretches back to before the league’s major passing revolution. The three other winners in that span were a pair of defensive players and one wide receiver, and the quarterback wasn’t integral in any of those games.

In Seattle’s dismantling of Denver, Russell Wilson threw his first of two touchdowns late in the third quarter with the Seahawks already up 29-0. The two other times a non-QB won — the Broncos’ win with late-stage Peyton Manning and the Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Rams two years ago — the winning quarterback didn’t throw a touchdown at all.

In other words, if the winning quarterback has a solid game, he’s the heavy favorite. And in this particular matchup, we have two of the biggest faces of the league at quarterback on either side, with both teams featuring a pass-heavy approach in a game with a massive total that makes it hard to imagine either side winning without their quarterback notching at least a pair of touchdowns along the way. If the Bucs win, Tom Brady will get deference in what might be his last Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes won the Super Bowl MVP last year so maybe he gets knocked with voter fatigue, but he’s likely to have been a key part of any victory. It’s not sexy to take a bet with a ton of juice, but DraftKings is offering a reasonable number to lock in both of them.

Position of MVP — Quarterback @ -305

Betting on the big play Chiefs

Here’s a fun prop: Combined length of touchdowns. Kansas City scored five touchdowns in the AFC Championship and they totaled just 16 yards. There are certainly ways a team can score a lot of points but not a lot of long touchdowns.

But we know the Chiefs can score from anywhere, and if we look back at these teams’ last meeting, Tyreek Hill scored three touchdowns from 75, 44, and 20 yards. He totaled a massive 226 air yards in that game, and on top of that, Mecole Hardman had another 105 air yards, among the top single game totals for both all season. All the success was through Hill, but the Chiefs clearly wanted to attack the Bucs vertically all game.

Add in that Tampa gave up a 50-yard touchdown to Marquez Valdes-Scantling last week and a 56-yard score to Tre’Quan Smith the week before, and it’s clear the Bucs can allow big plays, despite a pretty solid rate of explosive pass plays against this season (ranked fifth in the NFL). The juice is on the under over at FanDuel, but I like the plus money.

Total Yardage of All Kansas City Chiefs Touchdowns — Over 66.5 yards @ +110

Kelce’s longest reception

This one seems to contradict the last a bit, but out of 14 touchdowns (playoffs included), Travis Kelce’s longest score this year is 22 yards, so he’s not really the key to Kansas City racking up a bunch of touchdown yardage. But over at William Hill, the over/under on his longest reception for the game is 25.5 yards. We can easily envision Kelce catching a pass over the middle and going for longer than that, but even in a season where he set the all-time receiving record for a tight end, he only had a catch of this distance in seven of 17 games.

And the Bucs seem to have more defensive leaks among their defensive backs, while covering wide receivers. While Hill was winning vertically the last time these teams met and Hardman was also getting some deep looks, Kelce caught eight passes with a long of 20. Most tight ends aren’t anywhere near the class of Kelce, but the Bucs allowed a TE to have a 26-yard or longer reception in only five games this year, and only once since Week 10 (Logan Thomas had a 29-yarder in the Wild Card Round).

Then there’s the reality that key offensive tackle Eric Fisher is out, and while Kelce is a receiving tight end, it wouldn’t be surprising if they used him to chip a bit more on the Bucs’ strong tandem of defensive ends before releasing into shallower routes. Kelce’s a beast, but I like the under here.

Travis Kelce Longest Reception — Under 25.5 yards @ -110

The fun longshot

Five times this season, Tom Brady has gotten through a game without taking a sack. And five times this season, Patrick Mahomes has as well. These two quarterbacks both had sack rates in the top five of 36 qualifying passers, and while they are likely to drop back plenty, you can get 40/1 over at FanDuel that there won’t be a sack in this game.

Kansas City knows they are down Fisher and will be gameplanning ways to get the ball out quickly to protect Mahomes. The Bucs do a pretty great job of protecting Brady, and Kansas City was a middling 18th in adjusted sack rate as a defense this regular season. The last time these teams met, they combined for three sacks for a total of only 9 yards lost, which is to say they weren’t all that far off from being recorded as rush attempts. The odds on this should probably be half of what they are.

Player to Record First Sack — No Sack @ +4000

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How to play the Chiefs over

I’ve noted I like the Chiefs here, but the over on their 29.5-point team total is at -124 at DraftKings. But DK offers a fun alternative — a first to X points market that includes odds for first team to 30. Here, the Chiefs are +120, with the only difference in the two bets being a scenario where both teams go over 30 and it’s the Bucs to get there first. I noted in the intro you can play these markets how you like — I think the Bucs have run hot with their scoring over the past few games thanks to advantageous turnovers in plus territory, so I’m willing to sacrifice the potential they beat the Chiefs to 30 to get a better number on KC.

First to 30 Points — KC Chiefs @ +120

One more to back the Chiefs

I don’t love the rushing yardage props for either team, because both are committees and it’s hard to expect a lot of rush attempts on either side. But I do like the team comparison.

I’m going to dig into the last meeting yet again. The Bucs have the better rush defense, but in that Week 12 matchup, despite Tampa averaging 5.8 yards per carry to Kansas City’s 4.4, the Chiefs ran for 87 yards to the Bucs’ 75. Why? Because rushing yardage is often a product of volume, and winning teams run more. The Chiefs controlled the script in that game, so they wound up rushing 20 times, while Tampa Bay trailed, abandoned the run, and totaled just 13 attempts.

But the matchups lean Tampa’s way, so the line gives 6.5 yards to the Bucs. With Kansas City favored, our neutral expectation — not considering matchups or team strength — should naturally lean Kansas City’s way. I think that line’s off.

Team With Most Rushing Yards In Game — Kansas City Chiefs +6.5 @ -110

Super Bowl Props Expert Picks

Winning Margin — Kansas City Chiefs 7 to 12 @ +490

Position of MVP — Quarterback @ -305

Total Yardage of All Kansas City Chiefs Touchdowns — Over 66.5 yards @ +110

Travis Kelce Longest Reception — Under 25.5 yards @ -110

Player to Record First Sack — No Sack @ +4000

First to 30 Points — KC Chiefs @ +120

Team With Most Rushing Yards In Game — Kansas City Chiefs +6.5 @ -110

Ben Gretch
@YardsPerGretch
Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.
Jan 2021
Record
Wins
4
Losses
7
Push
0
ROI
-29.79%
0Betslip

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