Sunday Night Football features a Super Bowl rematch, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcome the Kansas City Chiefs to town.
In the 2021 meeting with a Lombardi Trophy on the line, the Buccaneers rolled to a 31-9 victory over the Chiefs. But I have reason to believe Patrick Mahomes and company will get the better end of the regular-season matchup tonight.
Caesars Sportsbook, the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports, considers this game a toss-up. The Bucs are currently favored by a point with a moneyline price of -120. While the Chiefs +100 ML is worth consideration, I’m taking a different angle for my best bet.
I’m playing a team total, and betting under 23.5 points (-105) scored by the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers, who are dealing with plenty of injury issues at offensive line and receiver, have yet to score more than 20 points in a game this season. So, I could see this ticket cashing in a win or a loss.
The Bucs have been limited on offense due to injuries, but I also wonder if there is more at play here. The Buccaneers are leaning on the ground game, especially on early downs. As a result, they ranked 23rd in early down success rate via this article from Pro Football Focus. The Chiefs sit third in that same metric.
In addition, the big plays just haven’t been there for the Buccaneers so far this season. They ranked 28th in explosive play rate through three weeks, and are 29th with an average of 4.8 yards per play.
Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo can be creative with his blitz packages in the biggest games, and I would expect him to do just that against Brady. Per PFF, Brady has an offensive grade of 58.2 under pressure compared to 79.4 when kept clean. Brady is 7-of-15 for 49 yards when under pressure so far this season.
It is tough to bet against Brady, but it is much easier to do so in the regular season when the Buccaneers clearly have plenty of flaws. While I think the Chiefs are the right side tonight, I’m going to stick with the team total instead.
Pick: Under 23.5 points for Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-105)