Like everyone else, we’re excited here in the Tuley’s Takes home office for the Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Our underdogs split in Sunday’s conference championships, as we won with the Bucs and lost with the Bills. We also won with our Bucs Over teaser but lost our bigger play on the Bucs + 9.5/Bills + 9. In next week’s Point Spread Weekly, we’ll give our official takes on the Super Bowl side and total — leaning to Buccaneers at + 3 or better and the Under, though I’m sure that surprises no one — as well as my favorite proposition wagers.
In the meantime, here are my betting profiles for both teams as we look at how the Chiefs and Buccaneers have treated gamblers this season, including our betting recaps of every game they played.
Let’s break down the Chiefs’ season from a gambling perspective, including their future-book odds, Over/Under season win total and game-by-game breakdown. This is basically everything you should know if you're considering taking the Chiefs. After that, see our similar breakdown of the Buccaneers.
Kansas City’s Super Bowl LV future-book odds (plus odds to win AFC West and AFC championship
The Chiefs opened as 7-1 favorites for Super Bowl LV even before they won Super Bowl LIV when the Westgate SuperBook opened its futures on Jan. 13, 2020. They were also the 7-2 faves to win the AFC. The Chiefs were lowered to 9-4 to repeat as AFC champs and 9-2 to repeat as Super Bowl champs after their title run. Unlike the Buccaneers, the Chiefs’ future-book odds remained pretty constant through the offseason, and they entered the season about 2-1 to win the AFC and 4-1 to win the Super Bowl. They were also installed as prohibitive -450 faves to win the AFC West.
Season win total: 12
As the defending champs and clear-cut favorites to repeat, the Chiefs were also given the highest Over/Under win total of 12. That’s a huge number, and many people made a case that it would be hard to exceed their 12-4 record from last season with bull’s-eyes on their backs. However, the Chiefs started 4-0 before losing to the Raiders in Week 5 and then went Over 12 when they improved to 13-1 with their 33-27 Week 14 win at Miami. They went 14-2 and didn’t lose again until Week 17, when they rested most of their starters against the Chargers.
Record: 14-2 (AFC West winner, No. 1 record in AFC, No. 1 in NFL)
ATS record: 6-9-1 ATS, net loss of 4 units
The Chiefs consistently rewarded backers during the first half of the season despite usually laying a lot of points. They started 6-2 ATS, with their only non-covers being a 23-20 OT win at the Chargers in Week 2 and their Week 5 loss to the Raiders. But then they burned backers’ money the rest of the regular season as they went 0-7-1 ATS despite winning all but their Week 17 game. (Some people had the Chiefs -2.5 in their 32-29 win at New Orleans in Week 15 and thus have the Chiefs covering and going 1-6-1 ATS down the stretch and 7-9 ATS on the season.) Despite being a high-scoring team, the Chiefs were just .500 with Over/Unders as the oddsmakers consistently had them with high totals to overcome.
Record: 2-0 (AFC champions)
ATS record: 1-1 ATS, loss of 0.1 unit
Over/Under: 1-1, loss of 0.1 unit either way
The Chiefs earned the AFC’s lone first-round bye, so they opened their postseason run with a 22-17 win over the Browns but didn’t cover after closing as 8-point home favorites. In the AFC championship game, they were 3-point favorites over the Bills after Mahomes was cleared from concussion protocol, and they won and covered 38-24. Their first game stayed Under, and the second game flew Over.
Splits and trends
Kansas City as favorite
SU record: 15-1 (including playoffs)
ATS record: 6-9-1, net loss of 3.9 units
Over/Under (as faves): 8-8
The Chiefs were underdogs only twice all season — Week 3 at Baltimore and Week 17 at the Chargers while resting starters. Their only loss as chalk was the 40-32 loss to the Raiders in Week 5, but they have a losing record ATS. It should be noted that the 3-point spread in the AFC championship game was the lowest spread they were asked to cover except for the push in the Week 15 win at New Orleans.
Kansas City away from home
Away record: 8-0 SU, 3-4-1 ATS
Over/Under (road games): 4-4
Home/road records are usually considered irrelevant as Super Bowls are usually at a neutral site, but Tampa Bay is the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium, so some consideration should be given to the Chiefs’ performance on the road. And they pass with flying covers, winning all eight away games, though they were a more mediocre 3-4-1 ATS. Again, the Chiefs were 50/50 with Over/Unders. The Chiefs were also 8-0 SU away from home in the 2019 season on the way to winning the title in Miami, though they were a much stronger 7-1 ATS.
For those who want a closer look at all of the Chiefs' games from this season, these are our betting recaps from each week.
Week 1 (easy cover): Chiefs (-9.5) in 34-20 home win vs. Texans
The defending Super Bowl champs hosted the Texans in the traditional Thursday night season opener. Unlike last season’s divisional playoffs, when the Chiefs fell behind the Texans 24-0, they trailed just 7-0 before taking over with a 17-point outburst in the second quarter to lead 17-7 at halftime. The Chiefs extended the lead to 31-7 with 11:25 left on Mahomes’ third TD pass of the game, this one a 3-yard TD pass to Tyreek Hill, before the Texans tried to make a game of it. Houston QB Deshaun Watson threw a TD pass and ran for another with 2:38 left to make the score artificially close at 31-20. Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker booted a 19-yard field goal with 30 seconds left to put the game Over the closing betting total of 53.5 (earlier Under bettors who got 54.5 also cashed).
Week 2 (wrong side, non-cover): Chiefs (-9) in 23-20 OT road win at Chargers
Kansas City closed as the biggest favorite of Week 2, but it wasn’t easy — and the Chiefs never led by more than the spread. Rookie QB Justin Herbert (22-for-33, 311 yards), starting in place of late scratch Tyrod Taylor, nearly outdueled Mahomes (27-for-47, 302 yards). Herbert ran for the first TD of the game and threw for another as the Chargers built a 17-6 lead behind a defense that played great against the defending champs. However, the Chiefs rallied to tie at 17-17 with Butker’s 58-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 54-yard TD pass from Mahomes to Hill, plus a two-point conversion. After the teams traded field goals, they went to overtime, with Butker kicking another 58-yard FG for the game-winner. Despite all the excitement, the game stayed Under 47 points.
Week 3 (right side, easy cover): Chiefs (+ 3.5) in 34-20 road win at Ravens
The Chiefs took their act to “Monday Night Football” and fell behind once again as the Ravens took the opening drive 67 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 26-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. But the Chiefs responded with a 3-yard TD run by Mahomes, who went 31-for-42 for 385 yards and 4 TDs, and a 5-yard TD pass to Anthony Sherman for a 13-3 lead. The Ravens answered with a 93-yard kickoff return by Devin Duvernay, but Mahomes threw two more TD passes for a commanding 27-10 halftime lead. The Ravens cut the lead to 27-20 with 14:55 left in the fourth quarter, but Mahomes marched the Chiefs 75 yards in 13 plays to take 6:41 off the clock and go back up 34-20 and secure the victory. However, the game still stayed Under the closing betting total of 55 points.
Week 4 (right side, tough cover): Chiefs (-11.5) in 26-10 home win vs. Patriots
This game was pushed back to Monday due to COVID-19 issues that sidelined New England QB Cam Newton. The Patriots’ flight also didn’t arrive until shortly before game time, but they still made a game of it before the Chiefs pulled away in the second half. The Chiefs led just 6-3 at halftime and the first TD wasn’t scored until Mahomes hit Hill for a 6-yard TD pass with 42 seconds left in the third quarter. Jarrett Stidham hit N’Keal Harry with a 4-yard TD pass with 13:45 left in regulation to make it 13-10, but Mahomes hit Mecole Hardman with a 6-yard TD pass with 8:57 left to extend the lead. On the next play from scrimmage, Tyrann Mathieu intercepted a Stidham pass and returned it 25 yards for a 26-10 lead and the cover, though the game still stayed well Under the betting total of 48.5 points.
Week 5 (wrong side, loser): Chiefs (-10.5) in 40-32 home loss vs. Raiders
The Chiefs aren’t unbeatable after all. Derek Carr (22-for-31, 347 yards, 3 TDs) outdueled Mahomes (22-for-43, 340 yards, 2 TDs). The Vegas defense gave up more than 400 yards but forced the Chiefs into third-and-longs that stalled just enough drives and intercepted Mahomes for the first time this season. The game was tied 24-24 at halftime and after a scoreless third quarter, but Josh Jacobs (77 yards rushing) gave the Raiders a 26-20 lead as Daniel Carlson missed what could have been a critical PAT. But Carlson added a 43-yard FG to give the Raiders a 29-20 lead and put it Over 54.6 points, and Jacobs added another TD run. Mahomes did hit Travis Kelce with a 7-yard TD pass and added the two-point conversion to pull within 40-32 with 3:57 left, but the Raiders picked up two first downs to secure the + 400 upset on the moneyline (closed as high as + 475 at William Hill).
Week 6 (right side, cover): Chiefs (-4.5) in 26-17 road win at Bills
In a Monday nighter that proved to be a preview of the AFC championship game, the Bills led 3-0 on a Tyler Bass FG and 10-7 after Josh Allen hit Stefon Diggs with a 4-yard TD pass with 11:22 left in the second quarter. But the Chiefs took a 13-10 lead on Mahomes’ second TD pass of the game to Kelce. They extended their lead to 23-10 on a 13-yard TD run by Darrel Williams and a Butker FG. Allen connected with Cole Beasley on a 8-yard TD pass with 6:34 left to pull with 23-17, but then Butker capped a 12-yard, 75-yard drive with a 30-yard FG with 1:56 to play to put the Chiefs back up by two scores.
Week 7 (easy cover): Chiefs (-7) in 43-16 road win at Broncos
Mahomes was held to 200 passing yards and just one TD, but it wasn’t really due to dominance by the Broncos’ defense or the snowy conditions. His low stat totals had just as much to do with the fact that he barely saw the field in the second quarter as Daniel Sorenson scored a Kansas City TD on a 50-yard interception return and then, after Denver pulled within 17-9, Byron Pringle returned the ensuing kickoff 102 yards for another TD to take a commanding 24-9 halftime time. The Chiefs pretty much coasted from there, though Mahomes did connect with Hill for a 10-yard TD pass with 11:15 to play to put it at the Over/Under of 46, and then it went Over on Melvin Gordon’s 3-yard TD run for Denver.
Week 8 (easy cover): Chiefs (-19.5) in 35-9 home win vs. Jets
Mahomes (416 yards passing, 5 TDs) hit Hardman with a 30-yard TD pass to start the scoring and also hit Hill for a 36-yarder in the first quarter, but the Jets stuck around with three first-half FGs by Sergio Castillo. Mahomes hit Kelce with a 3-yard TD pass for a 21-9 halftime lead and then Demarcus Robinson with a 26-yarder with 2:15 left in the third quarter to make it a rout at 28-9, but the huge point spread was still in doubt as the Chiefs led by only by 19. The Jets managed just 221 total yards, and Mahomes put in the dagger to underdog bettors with a 41-yard TD pass to Hill to close the scoring, though it stayed Under the total.
Week 9 (wrong side, non-cover): Chiefs (-10) in 33-31 home win vs. Panthers
Everyone knows the game plan to beat the Chiefs: Keep the ball away from Mahomes & Co. (Panthers led 38:01 to 21:59 in time of possession) and convert red-zone possessions into TDs instead of FGs. The Panthers executed that game plan as much as anyone could expect but still led only 17-13 at halftime. The Chiefs took a 20-17 lead on a 4-yard TD pass from Mahomes (372 passing yards, 4 TD passes) to Clyde Edwards-Helaire with 4:42 left in the third quarter and went ahead 26-17 on Mahomes’ 28-yard TD pass to Hill early in the fourth quarter, but Butker missed the PAT to keep the Chiefs from ever being ahead by the point spread. Teddy Bridgewater nearly rallied the Panthers as he ran for a 4-yard TD to go with two earlier TD passes. After another Mahomes-to-Hill TD pass, Christian McCaffrey added a 1-yard TD run with 1:53 left. After a failed onside kick, the Panthers actually got the ball back for one last shot at the upset, but Joey Slye’s 67-yard FG attempt sailed wide right as time expired.
Week 10: Bye
Week 11 (wrong side, non-cover): Chiefs (-8) in 35-31 road win at Raiders
It was hard to live up to the drama of earlier NFL Sunday action, but the Sunday nighter did. The Chiefs and Raiders battled back and forth as both scored five times, with neither able to put up back-to-back scores. After trading two TDs apiece, Daniel Carlson’s 35-yard FG put the Raiders ahead 17-14 at halftime.
After that it was all TDs as the teams combined for five second-half touchdowns and the lead changed hands after each one. Le’Veon Bell scored on a 6-yard TD run to put the Chiefs ahead 28-24 with 5:54 left and set up the late-game drama. The Raiders drove down and took a 31-28 lead on a 1-yard TD pass from Derek Carr (23-for-31 for 275 yards and 3 TDs) to TE Jason Witten with 1:43 to play that also put the game Over the betting total. But they left too much time on the clock for Mahomes (34-for-45, 348 yards, 2 TDs), who drove the Chiefs into FG range and then hit Kelce for a 22-yard TD pass for the game-winner with :28 left. The Chiefs, however, were never leading by more than the spread.
Week 12 (right side, bad beat): Chiefs (-3.5) in 27-24 road win at Buccaneers
In what was considered a possible Super Bowl preview (and turned out to be correct!), Hill stole the show with TD receptions of 75 and 44 yards. He had 203 receiving yards in the first quarter alone, third-most receiving yards in a quarter, on the way to 269 yards on 13 receptions and all three of Mahomes’ TD passes. The Chiefs led 20-7 at halftime and extended the lead to 27-10 on the third Mahomes-to-Hill TD pass with seven minutes left in the third quarter. But Tom Brady rallied the Bucs with a 31-yard TD pass to Mike Evans with 12:44 to play and then a 7-yard TD pass to Evans to get within the spread at 27-24 with 4:10 left. The Chiefs picked up three first downs to run out the clock and secure the victory, but backers at K.C. -3.5 suffered a bad beat after being in control most of the game.
Week 13 (wrong side, non-cover): Chiefs (-13) in 22-16 home win vs. Broncos
The Chiefs were the biggest favorites in Week 13 but struggled and had to rally to just get the SU win on “Sunday Night Football.” The Broncos led 10-9 as their defense held the Chiefs to just three first-half FGs and then took the lead again at 16-12 on Drew Lock’s 10-yard TD pass to Tim Patrick, the second time they connected on the night, with 3:50 left in the third quarter. Mahomes hit Kelce for a 20-yard TD with 1:06 left in the third, but that was the Chiefs’ only TD. They were able to add only a late 48-yard FG by Butker as the final score was their biggest lead and a TD short of the point spread.
Week 14 (right side, non-cover): Chiefs (-7) in 33-27 road win at Dolphins
The Dolphins continued their run as the only team to get a turnover in every game so far this season, picking off Mahomes twice in the first quarter after he had thrown only two interceptions all season. The defense helped the Dolphins jump to a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, but then the Chiefs’ offense started clicking and ran off 30 unanswered points. Hill ran 32 yards for a TD, Mahomes (393 yards passing) threw two TD passes — one to Kelce and another to Hill — and Hardman returned a punt 67 yards for a TD. It looked like a K.C. blowout, but then Tua Tagovailoa rallied the Dolphins with a 29-yard TD pass to Mike Gesicki and a 1-yard TD run to pull them within 30-24 -- and within the spread, plus also putting the game Over 51.5 points.
Butker kicked a 46-yard FG to put the Chiefs back ahead by two scores at 33-24 and above the spread again, but the Dolphins had Jason Sanders kick a 44-yard FG with :16 left to get back within one score -- and cover the spread.
Week 15 (right side, push): Chiefs (-3) in 32-29 road win at Saints
This was the marquee game of the day with Drew Brees (234 passing yards, 3 TDs) returning to take on Mahomes (254 yards, 3 TDs). The Chiefs led 14-0, but the Saints pulled within 14-9 by halftime and nearly covered the first-half line of 0.5 points if they had been able to recover a fumble in the end zone for a TD instead of knocking it out of the back of the end zone with :03 left in the half. The Saints took the lead on their opening drive of the second half on Brees’ 24-yard TD pass to RB Latavius Murray, but the Chiefs regained the lead on Mahomes’ 5-yard TD pass to Hardman and then went ahead 29-15 on a 12-yard TD run by Bell with 13:44 left. However, the Saints wouldn’t go away. Brees hit Alvin Kamara on a 14-yard TD pass and then, after Butker put the Chiefs back up 32-22 with 4:18 to play, Brees hit Lil’ Jordan Humphrey on a 17-yard TD pass with 2:06 left to put the game on the closing line of 3 at 32-29 and cause just about all bettors to push, though some Chiefs -2.5 -120s were available.
Week 16 (wrong side, non-cover): Chiefs (-11) in 17-14 home win vs. Falcons
The Falcons were 11-point road underdogs but were in the game throughout, actually leading 7-0 and 14-10. However, they were unable to hold on for the big upset (+ 450 money line) as the Chiefs rallied once again. They had a chance to secure the upset with 2:01 to play, but A.J. Terrell dropped a potential interception and Mahomes hit Demarcus Robinson for a 25-yard TD pass on the very next play to take a 17-14 lead. The Falcons moved downfield only to have Younghoe Koo miss a 39-yard field goal with :09 left. The Chiefs improved to 14-1 SU (though only 7-8 ATS) and clinched the No. 1 seed and first-round bye in the AFC.
Week 17 (wrong side, easy non-cover): Chiefs (+ 6.5) in 38-21 home loss vs. Chargers
The Chiefs rested most of their starters with the AFC’s No. 1 seed secured, so not much can be gleaned from this meaningless Week 17 game. But it did provide Chiefs backup QB Chad Henne with some valuable real-game experience that would come in handy in the divisional playoffs when he was pressed into duty. Henne threw TD passes to WR Byron Pringle and RB Darwin Thompson, who also scored on a 1-yard TD run. The Chargers rolled behind QB Justin Herbert, who completed his rookie-of-the-year candidacy by going 22-for-31 for 302 yards and 3 TDs vs. the Chiefs’ backups. The game flew Over the closing betting total of 43 points.
Divisional playoffs (non-cover): Chiefs (-8) in 22-17 home win vs. Browns
Mahomes’ 1-yard TD run capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive to open the game. He added a 20-yard TD pass to Kelce in the second quarter along with Butker’s 50-yard FG for a commanding 16-3 lead with just over three minutes left in the first half. The Browns looked like they were going to pull within 16-10, but Rashard Higgins fumbled stretching for the pylon and the ball went out of the end zone for a touchback. Butker added another FG to put the Chiefs up 19-3 at halftime, covering as 5.5-point first-half faves as it stayed Under the first-half total of 28. The Browns pulled within 19-10 on Baker Mayfield’s 4-yard TD pass to Jarvis Landry on the opening drive of the second half.
Mahomes was knocked out of the game with a concussion on the Chiefs’ next drive. He was replaced by Henne, and the Chiefs settled for a 33-yard Butker FG to extend the lead to 22-10. The Browns got within the spread on Kareem Hunt’s 3-yard TD run vs. his former team with 11:07 to play, but they punted on their only remaining possession, and Henne converted enough third- and fourth-down plays to secure the victory. The Chiefs opened -10 and were bet down to as low as -7.5 before closing at a consensus -8, but they again failed to cover (0-8-1 ATS despite being 8-1 SU in their last nine games). The Chiefs did come through as a popular teaser play, especially when bettors were able to tease them down to -1.5 or -2 before game time.
AFC championship game (right side, easy cover): Chiefs (-3) in 38-24 home win vs. Bills
The Bills grabbed a 3-0 lead on a 51-yard FG by Tyler Bass. The teams exchanged punts, with Hardman muffing his first touch and the Bills recovering at the Chiefs’ 3-yard line to set up Josh Allen’s 3-yard TD pass to TE Dawson Knox for a 9-0 lead. Hardman was seen receiving encouragement from his teammates and bounced back by catching a 3-yard TD pass from Mahomes with 14:16 left in the second quarter. Williams and Edwards-Helaire added TD runs to put the Chiefs ahead 21-9 before Bass booted a 20-yard FG to make it 21-12 at halftime.
The teams traded field goals in the third quarter before Mahomes hit Kelce for a 1-yard TD pass for a 31-15 lead with 3:29 left in the third quarter. The Bills were driving to try to make it a one-score game, but Allen was intercepted and sportsbooks started posting opening lines for the Super Bowl. Mahomes connected with Kelce on another 5-yard TD pass for an even more commanding 38-15 lead with 7:36 to play. Allen hit Isaiah McKenzie on a 6-yard TD pass to put the game Over the betting total of 55.5 points