The NFC’s best take on the AFC’s best when the San Francisco 49ers travel to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, February 2nd at 6:30 PM EST. This is the first time these two have met in the Super Bowl.
The 49ers have five Super Bowl rings with the last one coming in 1995. They last reached the big game in 2012 when they suffered their first and only Super Bowl loss vs Baltimore. A win would give them six and tie them with Pittsburgh and New England for the most in NFL history.
People seem to forget how good this organization is with the Patriots and Steelers having more recent success than the Niners. The Chiefs have been trying to get here and become one of the elite teams in the NFL the past few seasons. 1969 was the last time Kansas City won the Super Bowl beating the Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
San Francisco 49ers Betting Preview
San Francisco came into the playoffs as the number one seed in the NFC after winning the NFC West by three games over Seattle and earning a first-round bye. They beat Minnesota in the divisional round 27-10 covering the spread as 7 point favorites. Next up was the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game and they were surprisingly easy 37-10 winners covering the spread as 8 point favorites.
The 49ers after finishing the regular season with a 13-3 record, and moved to 15-3 after both post-season wins. The Niners are 8-2 at home this season and an impressive 7-1 on the road. San Francisco is 11-6-1 ATS this season going 5-4-1 ATS at home & 6-2 ATS on the road. The O/U has gone 9-8-1 this season.
The Niners have used a punishing rushing attack, Jimmy Garoppolo has done just what he has needed to do and the defense is as healthy as it has been in some time and playing like it did earlier this season when it dominated. That deadly combo has San Francisco one win away from being one of just three teams with six Super Bowl Trophies.
That defense held the Vikings to just 147 total yards and 7 first downs in their first playoff game. They followed that up by holding Aaron Rogers and the Packers to just 7 points through three quarters intercepting Rogers twice while Raheem Mostert ran wild for 220 yards and 4 touchdowns.
It has always been said that a great running game paired with a great defense wins championships. It sounds like the Niners have a real good shot at their 6th Lombardi Trophy on Sunday.
Let’s take a look at the 49er’s regular-season team leaders. QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards on 329/476 passing completing 69.1% of his passes with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The rushing attack was led by Raheem Mostert who ran for 772 yards on 137 carries averaging 5.6 yards with 8 touchdowns.
Matt Breida (623) & Tevin Coleman (544) combined for another 1,167 yards with Coleman 2nd on the team in touchdowns with 6. TE George Kittle led all receivers with 85 catches for 1,053 yards with 5 touchdowns. Deebo Samuel was 2nd on the team with 802 yards on 57 catches with 3 touchdowns.
More of the same in two post-season games for the 49ers. QB Jimmy Garropolo did not have to throw the ball as much with the running game working so well. He was 17/27 for 208 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
RB Raheem Mostert again set the pace running the ball 41 times for 278 yards with 4 touchdowns. TE Kittle was held to just 35 yards on 4 catches without any touchdowns. Deebo Samuel led the team with 5 catches for 88 yards but no touchdowns.
San Francisco is scoring 30.2 ppg while giving up 15 points per game. That offensive output has them ranked 2nd in points scored per game. They are 2nd in rushing yards per game but only 21 in passing yards per game. They are also ranked 4th in most yards per play this season.
Taking a look at the defense, they are ranked 5th in the fewest points allowed per game. The Niners are 2nd vs the pass and 11 against the run, while the defense is 2nd best in the fewest yards allowed per play.
Kansas City Chiefs Betting Preview
Kansas City came into the playoffs as the number two seed in the AFC after winning the AFC West via the tiebreaker over the Chargers who also finished with an identical 12-4 record and earning a first-round bye. They blew out Houston in the divisional round of the playoffs 51-31 easily covering the spread as 10 point favorites and earned the right to play upstart Tennessee in the AFC Championship Game. They went on the beat the Titans 35-24 covering their second straight game as 7 points favorites.
Kansas City finished the regular with a 12-4 record and moved to 14-4 after claiming two postseason victories. The Chiefs are 7-3 at home this season and 7-1 on the road. Kansas City is 13-5 ATS this season going 7-3 ATS at home & 6-2 ATS on the road. The O/U has gone 10-8 this season.
The Chiefs certainly have an improved defense this season but they have been in the habit this postseason of falling behind early. Fortunately, they have Patrick Mahomes as their quarterback and he has been nearly perfect during their first two playoffs games. After trailing 24-0 to Houston Mahomes threw four straight touchdowns passes to take the lead and led the offense to three more second-half TD’s in the come from behind win.
It looked like Tennessee was up to it tricks again when they took a 10-0 lead in the AFC Championship Game vs the Chiefs, but KC took the lead at 21-17 at the half and finally broke the game open scoring the first 14 points of the 4th quarter opening up an 18 point lead on the way to the 35-24 win vs Tennessee. Mahomes was not superhuman like the previous game but still managed to throw for 294 yards with 3 more touchdown passes and no interceptions for the second straight game.
Now looking at KC’s regular-season leaders, we find QB Patrick Mahomes throwing for 4,031 yards on 319/484 passing completing 65.9% of his passes with 26 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. The running game was led by Damien Williams rushing for 798 yards on 111 carries with 5 touchdowns. LeSean McCoy was right behind him with 465 yards on 101 carries with 4 touchdowns.
These two pretty much mirrored each other’s stats this season. Much like the 49ers, it was TE Travis Kelce who led the team in receiving with 1,229 yards on 97 catches with 5 touchdowns. They are deep at WR with T. Hill (860 yards), S. Watkins (673 yards), M. Hardman (538 yards) & D. Robinson (449 yards) having nice seasons and combining for an additional 20 touchdowns receiving.
So far in the post-season through two games, QB Patrick Mahomes was 46/70 for 615 yards with 8 touchdowns and no interceptions. The regular season leading rusher Damien Williams was held to 92 yards on 29 carries but scored three touchdowns.
It was QB Mahomes who led the team in rushing with 106 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown. Sammy Watkins stepped up in the playoffs with 190 yards on 9 catches averaging 21.1 yards per catch with one touchdown. TE Kelce caught 13 balls for 164 yards with three touchdowns
Kansas City is scoring 29.9 ppg while giving up 20.2 points per game. Kansas City is ranked 3rd in points scored per game. They are 4th in passing yards per game but just 22nd in rushing yards per game. They are a quick-strike offense that is ranked just 25th in the number of plays ran per game.
That is probably because they are 2nd in most yards per play. Taking a look at the defense we find that they are certainly improved over recent years and maybe a tad bit underrated this year. They are 10th in fewest points allowed per game. They are 14th vs the pass and 24 against the run.
San Francisco vs Kansas City Betting Lines
BetOnline has set this line at Kansas City -1 with an over/under of 54 points. The line opened at Kansas City -1
Free Betting Pick
It feels like forever since we had two teams play in the Super Bowl that we have not seen in a few years. Kansas City has a great passing game and a not so great running game. The strength of the 49ers defense is stopping the pass as they are ranked 2nd in the league, so who is going to win that battle?
The 11th ranked rushing defense should have no problem stopping the Cheifs 22nd ranked rushing attack. Kansas City needs to reverse it’s offensive & defensive strengths. They are 14th vs the pass but should not have much of a problem stopping the NIner’s 21st ranked passing attack.
The huge advantage of this game goes to San Francisco. Its powerful 2nd ranked rushing game goes up against the Chief’s 24th ranked rushing defense. That is what I feel will be the difference in this game. I look for San Francisco to run the ball and keep the ball away from Mahomes and the offense.
It feels like many people think Mahomes cannot be stopped and while that may be true, he needs to have the ball and I think that will be limited in this game. I think KC knows it must stop Mostert and with the defense keying on him, it may allow Garoppolo to connect on a few big plays.
I also like the history of the 49ers going 5-1 in Super Bowls while head coach Andy Reid of the Chiefs has a history of not doing so well in big games. The 49ers tie Pittsburgh and New England with six Lombardi Trophies when this game is finished.