Super Bowl 55 – Over-Under Total Predictions

Feb. 4, 2021

NFL Expert

Super Bowl 55 Over-Under Totals Analysis

Similar to the parlay piece from earlier in the week, touching on the total for Super Bowl 55 is an extension of this piece from a season ago, and while most of that information is pretty useless relative to this year's game, there are still some general numbers in there for the Super Bowl in general.

I didn't think there was much of a need to go the usual historical route for Super Bowl 55 for two reasons.

The first of those is that in terms of seeding, only two previous No. 5 seeds made it all the way to the Super Bowl like Tampa has, and coincidentally enough, the New England Patriots are 0-2 straight up in those Super Bowls.

There was the blowout loss to the 1985 Chicago Bears when it was New England as the fifth seed, and then the 2007 “Perfection Lost” season Tom Brady remembers all too well when the fifth seeded New York Giants, who pulled off the huge upset over Brady's Patriots.

What good is a two-game sample size?

The Patriots-Brady connection does lead into the second reason I don't think the historical route is needed here and that's because it's already done to overkill everywhere else in the marketplace with Brady's 1st quarter Super Bowl numbers that obviously stick out.

A grand total of three points (Super Bowl LII vs Philadelphia) for Brady's teams in the first 15 minutes of all those nine games combined, as that was also the only time any "Brady Super Bowl" had 10 or more points scored in the first quarter.

It's an 'under' trend everyone, everywhere, is quick to point out and want a piece of, so what's the need to break it down further?

So let's just jump right into a bunch of the numbers offered on various totals for the game and let's see if there isn't a play or two to be had.

Super Bowl 55 - Most Viewed Stories

Super Bowl 55 Over-Under Total Odds

1st Quarter: Over 10 (-120) or Under 10 (-110)
1st Quarter Team Totals: Kansas City 6.5 (-140) vs Tampa Bay 6.5 (+100)

1st Half: Over 27.5 (-105) or Under 27.5 (-115)
1st Half Team Totals: Kansas City 14.5 (-110) vs Tampa Bay 13.5 (-110)

Full Game: Over 56 (-110) or Under 56 (-110)
Full Game Team Totals: Kansas City 29.5 (-110) vs Tampa Bay 26.5 (-110)

Odds per BetMGM - Subject to Change

Super Bowl 55 Over-Under Total Stats

Looking at the points per game (PPG) for both teams, the offensive units are ahead of the defense and there are some numbers to watch.

For instance, the majority of points for both the Chiefs and Buccaneers came from their offense in the second and fourth quarters.

2020 Chiefs vs. Buccaneers - Points Per Game (PPG)
Scoring KC Offense TB Defense TB Offense KC Defense
Overall 29.6 22.3 30.7 22.4
1st 5.6 5.6 5.5 4.6
2nd 10.2 7.4 10.2 6.7
3rd 5.8 5.6 6.6 2.1
4th 7.9 3.7 8.5 9.1

Super Bowl 55 Over-Under Total Best Bets

Tampa Bay 1st Quarter Team Total Over 6.5
1st Quarter Total Over 10

For the better part of 48 hours I struggled with how to approach this piece and it's probably got a lot to do with the idea that from a betting perspective for the game (side and total) there isn't much I particularly like.

Football fatigue this time of year may have hit harder than in other years, and I've almost resigned myself to going the route of taking Tampa ML for a recreational unit pregame, look to get KC at plus-money in-game and leave it at that for full game action.

I'm comfortable enough to live with the Tampa position should the right hedging opportunity not come up, and move on to the next day.

That still might end up being the approach, but the frequency of these 1st quarter totals in Brady's Super Bowl in consumable content everywhere during these two weeks continued to scratch the contrarian side of my brain until the scab couldn't be ignored any more.

For those that haven't heard about 1st quarter results in Brady's past nine Super Bowls here they are:

Super Bowl - Tom Brady 1st Quarter Scoring
Super Bowl Brady Opponent
SB LI 0 0

The 0-9 O/U run on team totals for Brady's teams in the Super Bowl is going to be ridden until the end by the market, with the total for the 1st quarter getting boatloads of 'under' support right behind it. The public nature of those plays on top of the extreme public nature of the Super Bowl itself, picking this as a possible streak-breaking spot is something I can get behind.

My disagreeable nature will always find it as a challenge to take these streak-breaking spots like this. But when something becomes overly popular and overly promoted I can't help but want to take the other side of the equation.

For example, I can only assume that all these meal kits that are littered in the advertising today are highly popular and as a new parent, I understand and can get behind the logic, practicality, and ease of them. But the more I see meal kit commercials in the middle of game or somewhere, I can't help but be more and more shaded to the perspective that they are the embodiment of The Lego Movie coming to life. Everyone out there ordering the same handful of products (meals), in the same boxes, with the same multi-colored pieces (food) inside, following the same instructions, and having to construct the same end product.

Not the best perspective of meal kits I know, but if the general consensus behind the meal kit explosion has those using them having little issue with living like it's the Lego Movie and everyone singing the same tune, that's a life that's a little too square (pun intended) for me. And after the past year the world has had, I'm not about to apologize for not wanting to join in on a rousing rendition of “Everything is Awesome.”

With how frequent the 1st quarter totals discussion has been these past two weeks on Brady's Super Bowl, the frequency reminded me of these meal kit commercials that sports games seem to always have. That's where the comparison comes from, but an outreaching conceptual market-based play can really only hold weight if there is also some hard data behind that route as well. We all know the hard data against a 1st Quarter 'over' and Tampa 1st Quarter team total 'over' play, but let's throw away those instructions and look at the other side.

For one, Brady's got a new coach with him for this Super Bowl, and Arians has said from the outset of the season that he always wants Brady's reads to progress from deep to short if possible. It's been all systems go from the outset of games for Tampa basically all year, as the Bucs have scored 7 or more points in the 1st quarter in 11 of their 19 games this year.

Buccaneers 1st Quarter Performance (H) - Home (R) - Road
Game 1st Quarter Score
1 7-0 (R)
2 14-0 (H)
3 10-0 (R)
4 7-14 (H)
5 10-0 (R)
6 0-10 (H)
7 7-7 (R)
8 3-7 (R)
9 0-14 (H)
10 7-14 (R)
11 0-7 (H)
12 0-17 (H)
13 0-0 (H)
14 0-7 (R)
15 13-0 (R)
16 10-3 (H)
WC 9-0
Div 0-6
Champ 7-0

Not one of their playoff wins would have cashed an 'over' 10 ticket for the opening 15 minutes, but all three of those games were on the road too.

Classified as a neutral site or not, it's a Tampa home game here, and six of Tampa's eight games at home this year saw a 1st quarter finish with at least 10 points. The game they hosted KC in Tampa, a Bucs 'over' 1st quarter team total play wouldn't have gotten there, but a 1st quarter 'over' on the game total would have cashed with ease. Keep that in mind too as a split here isn't the worst result if that result were to duplicate.

That's still only half of the puzzle though, as the Chiefs 2020 history has to be incorporated as well.

Chiefs 1st Quarter Performance (H) - Home (R) - Road
Game 1st Quarter Score
1 0-7 (H)
2 0-7 (R)
3 6-3 (R)
4 6-0 (H)
5 7-3 (H)
6 7-3 (R)
7 10-6 (R)
8 14-3 (H)
9 3-7 (H)
10 7-14 (R)
11 17-0 (R)
12 3-3 (H)
13 0-7 (R)
14 7-0 (R)
15 0-0 (H)
16 7-7 (H)
Div 6-3 (H)
Champ 0-9 (H)

KC allowed a 1st quarter TD in seven of their 16 regular season games this season and did so in one of their two playoff games (vs. Buffalo) en route to this point.

Combine those two totals – 11 of 19 games Tampa's got a 1st quarter TD and 8 of 18 games KC's allowed one – suggests a 51.5% chance we see that outcome in this game (19 of 37 total games), and it suggests that using that number as an implied probability any plus-money price tag alone on a Tampa team total over in the 1st quarter is worthy of investment.

Convert that 51.5% to a projected ML price and the odds should be somewhere around -105.

Add the overwhelming public sentiment for expecting to see another sluggish start in a Tom Brady Super Bowl on top of that, and those are two very easy 'over' plays for me to make for the 1st quarter.

Remember, at least regarding the overall 1st quarter total at 10, I'm happy taking that 'over' expecting Brady to put up at least seven of those points.

The fact that it's Mahomes on the other side may not have garnered any discussion, but it's not lost on me that having him as the option on the other side of the field when points are needed isn't bad at all.

KC scored a TD themselves in 1st quarter action in 12 of their 18 games this season (66.67%), and their highest output in that opening 15 minutes was the 17 points they hung on this exact same Tampa Bay Buccaneers team.

Two full weeks to script plays against an opponent you've already seen when you've got the quality of weapons these two teams have, smells like a 7-7 start off the bat for these two and they'll be off and running from there.

I just hope those aromas aren't that of “picking season” and a 1st quarter INT in the red zone (from Brady say) doesn't cost both plays.

Daily Newsletter - Sign Up Today!

Sign up to get daily betting columns and advice delivered directly to your inbox.
by submitting your data, you agree to Privacy Policy

Where to place a bet this NFL Season?

  • Use our exclusive BetMGM Bonus Code VIBONUS1500 to unlock BetMGM’s welcome offer for new sportsbook users!
  • Compare the latest NFL Odds from the best sportsbooks before placing a bet on this week's games.
  • Check out the North Carolina Sportsbooks just before they launch legal online sports betting.