Total Talk - Super Bowl 54
January 31, 2020
By Chris David
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Super Bowl 54 Total Analyis
Prior to last year’s 13-3 snooze-fest in Super Bowl 53 between the Patriots and Rams, the NFL finale had watched the ‘over’ cash in five of the previous six games.
Over/Under Trends and Angles
For this year’s Super Bowl 54 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, the oddsmakers are expecting fireworks and the betting public is buying that narrative.
After the matchup was set on Sunday Jan. 19, oddsmakers sent out an opener of 51 ½ and that total has been pushed up to 54 ½ as of Friday before the Super Bowl. The betting trends are leaning heavily to the ‘over’ and if that connects, the profits for the bookmakers will be cut drastically regardless of the 49ers or Chiefs winnings.
While many bettors love cheering points, the total results for the Super Bowl have had nice back-and-forth results. Through the first 53 Super Bowls with listed totals, the ‘over’ owns a slight 27-25 edge.
For my last and final “Total Talk” piece of the season, I’ve dug up plenty of nuggets that could help your Super Bowl total wagers for either the ‘over’ or ‘under’ come Sunday.
Advantage – Over
-- Kansas City averaged 29.6 points per game on the road, ranked third in the league while San Francisco owns the fifth best offense, averaging 27.5 PPG away from home.
-- Make a note that the Chiefs haven’t played outside of Arrowhead since Dec. 22 when they stifled the Bears 26-3 on the road.
-- San Francisco’s last road trip was a bit more recent and the opponent was much tougher as the 49ers outlasted the Seahawks 26-21 on Dec. 29 from CenturyLink Field.
-- The Chiefs went 5-3 versus playoff teams this season and the ‘over’ went 7-1 in those games, which includes a 2-0 record in the AFC Divisional Playoff and Championship rounds. Delving deeper into those games, Kansas City has allowed 27.7 PPG.
-- Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has appeared in four playoff games and the Chiefs have averaged 37 PPG albeit every contest was played at Arrowhead Stadium.
-- The total on those games were all listed in the fifties and the ‘over’ produced a 3-1 mark.
-- The two teams met in the 2018 regular season and the Chiefs defeated the 49ers 38-27 as six-point home favorites and the ‘over’ (53 ½) connected easily. Mahomes helped KC build a 35-10 lead at halftime and he finished the day with 314 passing yards and three touchdowns. In that game, Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season.
-- Including the aforementioned outcome, KC has watched the ‘over’ go 6-2 in its last eight games against NFC opponents and it’s never been held under 26 points.
-- Another angle focusing on Mahomes goes with games off rest. Since he took over as the signal caller in 2018, the Chiefs have scored 40, 31, 40 and 51 points in their last four games off rest.
-- While San Francisco wasn’t as explosive with rest, it’s been formidable this season. The club went 2-0 when playing with rest in 2019, averaging 29 PPG. The Niners defeated Cleveland 31-3 in Week 5 before humbling Minnesota 27-10 in the Divisional Playoffs round.
-- San Francisco has played in six Super Bowls all-time and the ‘over’ has gone 4-2 in those games. The 49ers have averaged 36.5 PPG in those finales and have never been held below 20 points.
-- One of those NFL championships occurred in Miami and the 49ers blasted the Chargers 49-26 in SBXXIX, which is still the highest-scoring Super Bowl of all-time.
-- San Francisco has played in two Super Bowls with totals listed in the fifties and the ‘over’ has cashed in both of those games.
Advantage – Under
-- San Francisco allowed 18.9 PPG on the road this season, ranked fifth in the league. Meanwhile, Kansas City isn’t known to be a defensive power but it only surrendered 20.2 PPG and the unit was actually better on the road (17.9 PPG) than at home (22 PPG).
-- The Niners watched the ‘under’ go 4-3-1 on the road while Kansas City watched the low side go 5-3 on the road.
-- Kansas City closed the season on a 4-1 ‘under’ record away from home and four of those teams were held to 17 points or less.
-- San Francisco has only had two totals close in the fifties this season and the ‘under’ cashed in both games. Each of those contests took place on the road and San Francisco captured 31-17 and 20-7 wins over the Buccaneers and Rams respectively.
-- Versus AFC opponents, San Francisco is on a 5-1 run to the ‘under’ and that includes a 3-1 mark to the low side this season. The defense only allowed 15 PPG this season versus AFC.
-- Travel is always a factor for the Niners, since they are one of five teams that play on the West Coast. When playing in the Eastern Standard Time Zone this season, San Francisco went 3-1 this season the average combined score of those games was 38. The defense held all four opponents to 20 points or less.
-- When playing with rest under head coach Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers have seen the ‘under’ cash in all four games. They’ve gone 2-2 in those games (both wins this season) but the defense surrendered a combined 13 points.
-- This nugget from VI handicapper Alex Smart is a good one and it focuses on Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and his success with rest. Per Smart “Reid is 20-5 to the ‘under’ when playing with 2 weeks or more of rest in all games he has coached since 1992 with the combined average score of those games clicking in at 39 PPG.
-- The Super Bowl has had 11 totals close in the fifties and the ‘under’ has gone 7-4 in those games. Diving deeper into those matchups, the low side has gone 5-2 in the last seven Super Bowls with a total higher than 50 points.
-- In the five Super Bowl wins for the 49ers, the defense has only allowed 17.8 PPG.
-- Kansas City averaged 16.5 PPG in its only two Super Bowl appearances.
Super Bowl 54 Best Bet
I was happy to produce a solid regular season mark (29-22, 57%) with my totals but my reckless 6-9 mark in the postseason certainly hurt the overall results. We’re still in the black (barely) on the season and while I don’t go nuts on Super Bowl wagers since it is just one game, I’m confident in these selections. You can hear more of my handicapping approach and analysis on the Bet and Collect Podcast with Kevin Rogers. Thanks for your feedback and support all season!
Total (Over/Under) Predictions
As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!
I believe we’re going to see plenty of scores in this game but I’m not sure how many points will be posted. Kansas City has proven that it can move the chains on anybody but this will be its toughest defensive test. San Francisco’s offense might not appear as explosive yet it had more big plays (106) than the Chiefs (75) this season. A big play is a pass completion of 25-plus yards and a running play of 10-plus yards.
Defensively, the 49ers have a huge edge and I believe the Chiefs will be exposed in this spot. In my opinion, I believe Kansas City has faced three solid quarterbacks on the road this season that have quality offensive talent surrounding them. Those teams were the Lions, Titans and Chargers. Yes, I’m leaving out the Patriots and Tom Brady because New England’s offense was a mess. In those games against Detroit, Tennessee and Los Angeles, the Chiefs allowed an average of 27.3 PPG and 418 defensive yards.
With all that being said, I believe Jimmy G and the San Francisco offense is more potent than those teams and that has me playing the San Francisco 49ers Team Total Over 26 ½.
Another wager that caught my eye was the 1st Quarter Over 10 Points. The 49ers averaged 6.7 PPG in the first 15 minutes of their games this season and that number went up on the road to 6.9 PPG. Per Matt Blunt’s Super Bowl Total Analysis piece, the 49ers and Chiefs both saw 10 or more points scored in 12 of their 18 games. If you aren’t a math wizard, that’s a 67 percent clip to get double-digits and I’ll place the buy order here.
San Francisco 49ers Team Total Over 26 ½
Chris David can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Quarter Over 10 Points