The two best teams in the NFL will meet in Super Bowl 54. It doesn’t always work out this way, but this season, the Chiefs and 49ers were the two most complete teams in the league. Unsurprisingly, Vegas is handicapping this matchup as a pick ‘em, as the point spread stands at Chiefs -1.5.
This is a difficult contest to predict, and as we advised earlier in the week, the wise play might be to stick with the prop bets. But then again, what fun is that? You’ve spent all season betting the spread. It would be anti-climactic to stop now.
So without further ado, our official Super Bowl 54 pick is below. Don’t get upset if we are wrong, because remember, it’s a pick ‘em!
Chiefs vs. 49ers
Spread: Chiefs -1.5
This game constitutes the ultimate battle of offense versus defense. San Francisco possesses a ferocious pass-rush, with Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford torturing quarterbacks all season long.
The Niners have a dominant defense that can take over any game, regardless of its opponent. They finished with 27 takeaways this season, which was sixth most in the league and 20 more than 2018. Their front seven also pressured opposing quarterbacks more than any other team in the league besides the Steelers, according to Pro Football Reference.
On top of that, the 49ers can put up points. They were second in the league in total points this season, led by an incredible running game and Kyle Shanahan’s brilliant motion offensive scheme. Previous journeyman Raheem Mostert put forth one of the best postseason performances a running back has ever enjoyed in the NFC Championship, rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
Oh, and don’t sleep on Jimmy Garoppolo, either. He was the only QB in the NFL this season to be in the top five in touchdowns, completion percentage and yards per completion. Contrary to conventional wisdom, he’s more than a game manager. He can win games with his arm when needed.
HOWEVER, the Chiefs will win, because they’re unstoppable. Patrick Mahomes put up otherworldly numbers in January, throwing for 615 yards with eight touchdowns and a passer-rating of 127.5 — with no interceptions to boot. Kansas City’s receiving corp could double as a track team, as they are always just one streak away from breaking the contest open.
Think of it: Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardmen, Demarcus Robinson and Damien Williams all possess playmaking ability. Travis Kelce remains an elite pass-catcher, too, grabbing 97 receptions for 1,229 yards this season.
You cannot stop the Chiefs; you cannot hope to contain them. While they’ve been outscored 38-7 in the first quarter this postseason, they’ve outscored their opponents 79-24 the rest of the way.
KC possessed the fourth-worst run defense in the league this season, but it showed it can stop the run against the Titans. Derrick Henry was eventually stymied, and didn’t attempt a single run past the 8:00 mark in the third quarter. Don’t sleep on the Chiefs’ defense, either. Tyrann Mathieu, Daniel Sorensen, Frank Clark and Chris Jones are all capable of disrupting games.
Six of the last nine Super Bowls have been decided by one possession, and this will be a close game as well. But expect the Chiefs to win, and by slightly more than one point.
Verdict: Bet Chiefs to cover