At the beginning of the 2020 NFL Season, many fans pegged the Week 12 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a potential Super Bowl preview. While neither team holds the No. 1 seed in their respective conference, both are still well-balanced teams with a solid shot to compete for a title.
The Chiefs are 9-1, leading the AFC West and trailing only Pittsburgh in the Conference. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are 7-4, a game behind the New Orleans Saints in the Division, though New Orleans holds the tiebreakers.
Kansas City is a 3.5-point favorite heading into the game. Kickoff is at 4:25 pm ET on CBS.
Kansas City Chiefs Betting Preview – The Best Got Better
The defending Super Bowl Champions are on a mission to win back-to-back titles. So far, the only blemish on their record is a 40-32 loss to the Raiders in Week 5. However, Kansas City got revenge last week, beating the Raiders 35-31 in Las Vegas.
After lacking a capable running game in recent seasons, the Chiefs drafted running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 draft. While he’s experienced some growing pains in his rookie year, the ups have far outweighed the downs. Edwards-Helaire has rushed for 655 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 232 yards and a receiving touchdown out of the backfield.
It’s hard to talk about the Chiefs without bringing up Patrick Mahomes. Entering Week 12, Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards with 3,035, with 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. As of this posting, Mahomes is -125 to win the MVP, with Russell Wilson (+250) and Aaron Rodgers (+500) as the closest competitors for the award.
Mahomes will add another weapon to his arsenal this weekend, as Sammy Watkins is no longer listed on the injury report. Watkins has missed the past five games with a hamstring injury.
Defensively, the Chiefs are allowing the seventh-fewest points per game this season, just over 21 per game. They ranked 17th in the same category a year ago. Part of the reason for the team’s success is the ball-hawking mentality of Daniel Sorenson, L’Jarius Sneed, and Tyrann Mathieu. The trio has combined for seven of Kansas City’s ten interceptions this year. The Chiefs also have a +8 turnover margin, third-best in the league.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Preview – How Much Does Brady Have Left?
Tampa Bay has been all over the board this season and are a tough team to predict. They’ve lost to good teams like the Saints and Rams but also took an embarrassing loss to the Bears in Week 5. They needed a pass interference flag picked up on a potential game-tying two-point conversion against the hapless Giants club to come away with a win.
At the same time, the Buccaneers throttled the Green Bay Packers 38-10. They’ve twice defeated their division rival Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately, the losses to New Orleans are the only thing keeping them from a No. 1 playoff seed.
Tom Brady was the talk of the preseason, his arrival in Tampa Bay launching the Bucs to Super Bowl Contender status in the eyes of fans and pundits alike. While he’s putting up Top 5 numbers in passing yards (2,955) and touchdowns (25), he’s also thrown the fifth-most interceptions and has fumbled three times.
When he’s on his game, he looks as dominant as ever, but when he’s off, it’s downright ugly. His arm strength has taken a noticeable hit, but the Buccaneers are finding ways to win without it.
In his third year, Ronald Jones has emerged into the capable running back Tampa Bay envisioned when they drafted him in the second round in 2018. Jones’ 754 rushing yards are fifth-most in the league. Leonard Fournette hasn’t found his footing just yet but has a respectable 261 yards and three touchdowns while spotting Jones.
Tampa Bay’s defense will make or break their season and will face arguably their toughest test of the year this week. The Buccaneers allow the fifth-fewest yards and tenth-fewest points per game and have forced 19 turnovers this year, trailing only the Steelers in that category.
Chiefs at Buccaneers Betting Odds & Lines
Mybookie has the Chiefs at -3.5.
Free Betting Pick
Without a doubt, when both offenses are clicking, the Chiefs and Buccaneers are among the most prolific teams in the league. While the score will be close, Kansas City will do just enough to cover the spread.