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How To Bet Super Bowl 2020 49ers-Chiefs From ATS To Totals

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

How To Bet Super Bowl 2020 49ers-Chiefs From ATS To Totals

If recent Super Bowl betting history tells us much, it’s to expect a relatively close game and a decent amount of points — from each team.

Six of the last nine Super Bowls have been decided by single digits, including one in overtime. Only one of the last 16 Super Bowls has been decided by more than 14 points.

Last year’s 13-3 Patriots win over the Rams in Super Bowl 2019 was an anomaly in terms of scoring. The game featured the third-highest Over/Under in Super Bowl history but by far the fewest amount of points scored.

The previous six Super Bowls averaged 56.3 ppg and the showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers should fetch a few points as well, with the NFL’s second-ranked offense (SF, 29.9 ppg) and fifth-ranked offense (KC, 28.2) facing off.

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PICK 1: 49ers ATS

Patrick Mahomes is going to get his, but the 49ers have allowed 205 yards passing just five times all season — and they’re 5-0 in those games. They rank No. 1 vs. the pass and No. 1 in fewest big pass plays allowed. Nobody can keep up with Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill, but with Richard Sherman on one side of the field, that allows for help on the other side and in the middle of the field with Travis Kelce.

Conversely, the 49ers rank No. 2 in rushing (144 ypg). The Chiefs have allowed more than 130 yards rushing five times, and they’re just 2-3 in those games. When the Chiefs go all-in on stopping the run, that sets up Jimmy Garoppolo, who ranked only behind Jared Goff in play-action passing production.

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Kansas City also has struggled to contain tight ends, ranking 30th in TE receptions and 28th in TE yards allowed. That’s not good news for Kansas City, which needs to corral George Kittle, who had 85 receptions on 107 targets, with 1,053 yards in just 14 games.

Mahomes is a difference-maker, but the matchups put the 49ers in position to be successful. In addition, they’re 5-0 ATS as an underdog and 6-1 ATS against above-.500 teams. In what could be a down-to-the-wire game, the 49ers’ kicking game has been more reliable. Getting more than one point on San Francisco is of value.

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Pick 2: Under 54.5 Points

How To Bet Super Bowl 2020 49ers-Chiefs From ATS To Totals 1
Limiting big plays by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be key for the 49ers. The San Francisco defense has been able to limit big plays all season.

Mahomes and the Chiefs offense have been simply awesome in the postseason, but consider the opposition. The Titans ranked 26th against the pass this season, the Texans were 29th. In their four previous games Kansas City’s offense faced pass defenses ranked No. 3 (Chargers), No. 8 (Bears), No. 9 (Broncos) and No. 2 (Patriots) and managed 23-26 points in those games. The 49ers rank No. 1 against the pass.

The Chiefs went all-out in slowing Derrick Henry in the AFC Championship and it worked, holding Henry to just 69 yards rushing after he had amassed 159 ypg the previous eight weeks. Expect a similar game plan in Miami against the second-ranked run game of the 49ers, especially after what Raheem Mostert did to the Packers.

When the 49ers rush for under 150 yards, they’re still 8-2 but the average number of points in those games is 45.9.

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Kansas City has dominated the opposition in the second quarter of games, leading the league with 12.2 ppg, including 16.3 ppg the last three games. But the 49ers rank No. 3 in points allowed, further weakening — to some extent, anyway — one of Kansas City’s key scoring strengths.

Simply, this number — 54.5 points at William Hill — has climbed too high. Just two of the Chiefs’ last eight games have reached 54 total points, and the same goes for the 49ers. The 49ers’ defense and the Chiefs’ likely defensive game plan should make things challenging enough (at least for a half, anyway) to hit this high NFL betting total.

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PICK 3: 49ers ML

How To Bet Super Bowl 2020 49ers-Chiefs From ATS To Totals 2
The defense of the 49ers is ranked No. 1 against the pass. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has not been pressured a lot this season, but the 49ers can bring the heat without blitzing.

Mahomes is Mahomes, but the 49ers match up better against the Chiefs’ strengths than any other team, and San Francisco’s strengths match up well against Kansas City’s issues, too.

This essentially comes down to whether you think Mahomes and the Chiefs will do what they want against the 49ers like they did against the Texans and Titans. I don’t think they will. But even if they do, the 49ers are 4-0 when they’ve allowed 290-plus passing yards, including wins over the Saints, Rams and Packers since Week 14 alone.

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While the 49ers’ No. 1-ranked pass defense will be challenged by Mahomes, Kelce and Hill, San Francisco possesses one of the top front-four defensive units as well. It has nine sacks and 26 QB hits/hurries in two playoff games. Mahomes hasn’t seen a lot of pressure this year, and his QB rating this season was 33 points lower when hurried. The 49ers rank 29th in blitzing — they haven’t needed it to get to opposing signal-callers, ranking No. 1 in QB hurries percentage.

For what it’s worth, No. 1 seeds in the Super Bowl have fared OK when facing No. 2 seeds. The Niners were the No. 1 in the NFC, the Chiefs No. 2 in the AFC. Since 1975, in Super Bowl matchups featuring a No. 1 vs. No. 2, the No. 1 team is 8-5 straight-up. The underdog has covered in five of the last seven Super Bowls (discounting a Seahawks-Patriots pick’em spread in 2015).

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.