Does history tell us anything? If so, some of this information might be useful, as Super Bowl 55 approaches at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (Sunday, 6:30 PM ET).
Then again, history will be MADE as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the first team to actually play a Super Bowl game inside their own home stadium.
Does this “home field advantage” really work for the Bucs? That's a good question. Usually one would think that having to go through all the pressure of Media Week for the Super Bowl would be a little easier for the team that doesn't have to headquarter in one place.
The Kansas City Chiefs don't have to go through that the same way other teams have because they are going to stay home until traveling to Tampa the day before the game. So the Bucs are going through a lot of the same Zoom conferences and such.
We WILL say that the Buccaneers are able to go through this process without having to travel. They are at their own facility preparing, and they will be contesting this in a familiar surrounding.
Here are the odds on Super Bowl 55 (LV) as they are posted by the folks at BetOnline:
Kansas City Chiefs -3 (-117)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3 (-103)
Over 55.5 points -116
Under 55.5 points -104
And don't forget all the props that are available on this Super Bowl – more than a thousand!
There is a certain allocation of the tickets for a Super Bowl – would that play to the advantage of the Bucs much more than it would be under “normal” circumstances? As participant teams, the Chiefs and Bucs would usually each get 17.5% of the total tickets.
Then the host team gets 5%. So at most, the Buccaneer franchise would have 22.5% of the tickets for the game, with the rest going to various places, including distribution to each of the other franchises.
But this year, things are different. Just 14,500 tickets are available for fans to purchase, with 7,500 going to health care workers who have been vaccinated already. Social distancing is in effect.
The majority of health care workers will come from the Tampa area, as well as other parts of central Florida. We are not going to make assumptions about those fans actually buying tickets, except to say that they are expensive and that travel restrictions may have an effect on who is going to be able to come from outside of the area.
So it could be altogether possible that the Bucs could be playing in front of a higher percentage of fans who are actually rooting for them than otherwise may be the case.
So how much did that home field benefit this team during the season? Well, at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs were 5-3 straight-up, with losses to three of the four best teams they hosted – the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and the Chiefs. They were 5-2-1 against the spread on their home field.
We mention all of this information because you might want to consider it in determining how much to designate as a home field “edge” for them.
Tampa Bay actually experienced more success on the road, going 9-2 straight-up (and 6-5 ATS). This included three straight road wins in the playoffs. Of course, it's ironic that a team which, as a wild card entry, had to battle through road trips for all three of its post-season encounters would be able to host the biggest game of all.
And we should point out that the last eleven teams that have taken the same path as the Bucs have – winning three games out of a wild card slot – have gone 10-0-1 against the spread in the Super Bowl.
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