Super Bowl LIV Preview and Prediction

NFL
Written by John Ferguson
January 31, 2020
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Super Bowl LIV Pick'em

It's finally here! All season long teams are working their way to get to this point in the season, playing in the biggest game of all. The Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have led one of the most explosive offenses in the league this season and will be pitted against one of the toughest defenses in the league in the San Francisco 49ers. Not only is this the biggest game of the season, and perhaps in all of the professional sports, but it's also one of the most popular games of the year when it comes to sports betting. We will do our best here to breakdown all the details you need to know about the big game to help you put a little cash in the pot as we have done all season.

For more info see FantasyData's Latest NFL Odds page here.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) (O/U 54.5)

Matchup Notes:

  • The 49ers are 7-6 all-time against the Chiefs but have lost three of their last four matchups dating back to 2006.
  • These teams last met in Week 4 of 2018 at KC where the Chiefs won 38-27.
  • In their last meeting against the 49ers, Patrick Mahomes threw for 314 yards with three TDs, Travis Kelce had eight catches for 114 yards, and Sammy Watkins caught a TD.
  • In their last meeting against the Chiefs, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 251 yards and two TDs while Matt Breida rushed for 90 yards on 10 carries.
  • The 49ers are averaging 30.2 PPG this season.
  • The Chiefs have allowed 20.2 PPG overall this season and 25.3 PPG over their last three games.
  • The Chiefs are averaging 29.8 PPG overall this season and 39 PPG over their last three games.
  • The 49ers have allowed 18.9 PPG overall this season and 17 PPG over their last three games.
  • Favorites are 35-17-1 straight up all-time in the Super Bowl.
  • Underdogs are 12-6-2 ATS in the last 20 Super Bowls.
  • The Chiefs are 1-1 all-time in the Super Bowl.
  • The 49ers are 5-1 all-time in the Super Bowl.
  • The 49ers have covered the spread in each of their last three games and in all five games this season where they were the underdog.
  • The OVER is 4-1-1 in the last six games for the 49ers.
  • The Chiefs are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games
  • The OVER has it in each of the last three games for the Chiefs.

This season we have two teams with very different levels of success, not just in the playoffs, but in the Super Bowl in general. The Chiefs are making just their third appearance all-time in the Super Bowl and their first appearance since 1970. This will be the second Super Bowl for head coach, Andy Reid and his 29th game in the postseason. On the other side of the ball, The 49ers are making their seventh appearance in a Super Bowl and aiming for their sixth win in the big game which would put them in a three-way tie with the Steelers and Patriots for most Super Bowl wins in league history.

The Chiefs have been on fire through the playoffs starting with their bludgeoning of the Texans by a score of 51-31 in the Divisional Round. Mahomes carved up the Texans soft secondary for 321 yards and five passing TDs, three of which went to Travis Kelce who also racked up 134 yards on the day. The Chiefs didn't do a ton of damage on the ground between the 20s, but Damien Williams was also able to find the end zone twice in that game. On defense, the Chiefs gave up 388 passing yards to Deshaun Watson and allowed a big day to DeAndre Hopkins who caught nine passes for 118 yards. They were able to keep Hopkins out of the end zone. 

Tyreek Hill.jpgThe Chiefs had a tougher test in the Conference Round against a surging Titans team but did the unthinkable in stopping Derrick Henry from running away with the game. This was the biggest test for them and one of the biggest takeaways to think about when looking towards their matchup against the 49ers in the Super Bowl who have one of the more electric rushing offenses themselves. Mahomes continued to stay hot and Sammy Watkins stepped up as the leading receiver in this one with over 100 yards and a TD while Tyreek Hill found the end zone twice but was quieted between the 20s. 

The biggest takeaway from the Chiefs' postseason play was that the defense did bend a little in the first game early, but didn't break as Mahomes got the offense rolling. Neither of the teams they faced offer anywhere near the same defensive attack that they're about to see against San Francisco, however.

The 49ers have dominated through the playoffs by allowing just a total of 30 points combined to the Vikings and Packers. They held the Vikings to just 147 total yards in the Divisional Round and held both teams under 65 total rushing yards. They did allow Aaron Rodgers to throw just over 300 yards, but they also got him for two INTs and sacked him three times in the game. Davante Adams also had a big game going for nine catches and 138 yards. 

The biggest takeaway from the 49ers postseason thus far was the domination we saw from their running game, and specifically from Raheem Mostert against the Packers. We knew going into that game that the Packers run defense was a problem, and the 49ers not just took advantage of that, they completely exploited it. Mostert carried the ball 29 times for 220 yards and four TDs while Jimmy G sat back and passed the ball just eight times completing six passes for 77 yards. Before that game, Tevin Coleman carried the load for the Niners going for 105 yards and two TDs against the Vikes while Jimmy G again sat back and threw for less than 200 yards with just one TD in the victory.

A lot has been made about the offensive firepower that the Chiefs possess with Patrick Mahomes under center, but when it comes down to it, the 49ers have averaged slightly more points per game on average this season and offer by large the more elite defensive unit between these teams. The mid-season struggles the 49ers had on defense were all injury-related, and now back at virtually full health, they look like they can take on anyone. Patrick Mahomes is a talent like no other in this league, and he has the ability to destroy any defense in this league. But what we have seen from the 49ers this season is that they seem slightly more able of beating you through either facet of their offense. While Jimmy G has only thrown four TDs in his last five games, he showed that he was able to keep his team alive in a shootout when needed as evidenced by their 48-46 victory over the Saints in Week 14. 

This game has the makings of an electric performance with two of the league's top three scoring offenses going toe-to-toe. But, as the age-old mantra goes, defense wins championships, and I think that's what we're going to see here. You can easily make an argument for either of these teams to win, but I just think the 49ers defense gives them the edge.

My Final Prediction: 49ers win 31-27

My Picks: 49ers +1.5, Over 54.5


John Ferguson

John Ferguson is an avid Fantasy Football fanatic with 10+ years of experience in friends and family leagues, paying public leagues, and DFS Tournaments. Ferguson specializes in draft strategies, trade negotiations (Buy Low/Sell High) and DFS value picks amongst other parts of fantasy football analysis. When Ferguson isn’t spending time skimming over stats while at the beach, he follows the Oakland Athletics closely as a diehard fan and enjoys spending quality time with his beautiful wife and three children. A native of Monterey, California, Ferguson now calls Quintana Roo, Mexico home.