San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Point Spread Pick
The San Francisco 49ers battle the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on February 2 in Miami. With each team putting together a pair of double-digit playoff wins to get here, we clearly have the best teams of their respective conferences. Kansas City comes into Miami with eight straight wins, coming off a 35-24 win over the Titans in their conference title game win. The top seed in the NFC San Francisco has been no less impressive in the playoffs, running their way to two big wins, including a 37-20 win over Green Bay last Sunday to get here. With one of the tighter point spreads in Bowl history, bettors have their work cut out picking a winner in this one.
Why Chiefs Backers Should Worry
Looking at both of the Chiefs’ playoff wins, the final scores don’t really tell the whole story. In both games against the Texans and Titans, things got sideways before the Chiefs righted the ship. In a way, it's even more impressive that they won two playoff games going away when down 24-0 to Houston and dealing with another double-digit deficit to Tennessee the next week. While the Chiefs also certainly realize this, they won't be given the luxury of warming up to the game in this one. And any sort of early-game collapse could easily take them right out of the game. Sure, they are the more explosive team, but there's a flip side to that coin, as they aren't quite as solid overall, with a defense that has played with a wide range this season, even within the same games.
This doesn't mean a Chiefs' backer doesn't have a lot of reasons to be optimistic. The defense is, in fact, able to play well, just not always for a full 60 minutes. The "D" is capable of making big plays, and when they get rolling, it plays in concert with the offense, ratcheting up the intensity. Even if they fall behind, they won’t panic. With the explosive Patrick Mahomes and a full cast of weapons, there’s a lot to like on this sideline, even if they are going up against a great Frisco defense—one that can rush the passer with gusto, galvanized by the top-ranked secondary in the league.
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The Niners Not as Shiny
We've been conditioned to think that all that glimmers is gold. And while the Chiefs certainly shine brighter on the surface, don't be misled by the general lack of San Fran star power. When compared to the Chiefs, with their defending MVP quarterback and some of the best in the biz in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the Niners' offense looks a bit subdued. You have a QB in Jimmy Garoppolo who threw a measly eight passes last week and barely has thrown for 200 yards in this postseason. They are led by running backs like Raheem Mostert, guys who have an anonymous, somewhat understated vibe. But let's not confuse Q-rating with effectiveness. With the crisp play-calling, varied cast of contributors, and top-notch ground attack, they've looked every bit the part of a Super Bowl contender. And with how they finished the regular season to muscle into the top seed, they've shown they can win the tough game.
Defense Wins Championships?
It might be a played-out and outdated sentiment, especially in today’s age where offense rules. But in a game where you see two offenses doing what they want to do, gauging the levels of resistance each offense will face is crucial. Any potential SF backer should admit ample fear of Mahomes and the capabilities of that offense. Watching them at full-flight makes one wonder if the quality of the defense even matters that much. But this San Fran defense is a peaking unit, with young players coming into their own like Nick Bosa and Dre Greenlaw. Two dominant additions to this "D" to go along with a bunch of other hitters in a unit that when fully healthy this season as it is now really showed its fangs. Having a pass-rush that deep with a stout and playmaking secondary should be enough to prevent a full-fledged Chiefs' track meet.
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49ers at Chiefs Prediction
Anyone who is too sure-headed about this pick has likely missed the boat. It’s good to feel confident about your pick, but the tight point spread truly attests to a hard-to-pick game where any number of different eventualities are plausible. It’s hard to go against a Chiefs team that has won 8 straight games with the most bankable QB in the business. I just see the 49ers taking advantage of the Chiefs’ defense to a greater degree, with enough big plays from their own defense to secure the big Super Bowl win. I’ll take the Niners.