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San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Point Spread - Pick

San Francisco 49ers (15-3 SU, 10-7-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (14-4 SU, 12-5-1 ATS)
Super Bowl LIV
Date/Time: Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 6:30PM EST
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: SF +1/KC -1
Over/Under Total: 54

It all comes down to this, as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in Miami on February 2. Both teams have distinguished themselves as the class of their respective conferences, both winning two games decisively to land in this spot. For the Chiefs, it's been a half-century drought, seeing their first Bowl appearance since 1970. The Niners have seen a lot of greatness in that same period, but with their last Bowl triumph coming against the Chargers in Super Bowl 29, it's been 25 years since they last tasted championship champagne. Who will come out ahead in Super Bowl 54?

While both teams have managed to get here on the basis of conclusive wins, their paths here haven't been the same. Let's just say it's been the Chiefs who had to overcome more to be here. Not that the Niners didn't overcome, as well. First, they overcame in turning this thing around so dramatically, following a 4-year run where they went 17-47, including a 4-12 season in 2018. After an 8-0 start, it looked as though they may have peaked too early, looking ragged at times in going 3-3 in their next 6 games, But two regular season wins to close the season that were very important and two thorough playoff wins once again has them at their peak.

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For the Chiefs, though, they have really been living on the edge. First was the big midseason swoon where they lost 4 of 6 games. But with 6 straight wins to close the season, they righted the ship, adding two more in the playoffs to bring their win streak to 8 as they head into Miami. They had the injury earlier in the season to Patrick Mahomes to overcome, in addition to a defense that appeared to threaten the entire team operations. In the playoffs, they first had to overcome a 24-0 deficit to the Texans, before twice facing a double-digit deficit to the Titans last Sunday before seeing their offense once again explode. It's fair to say with what both teams had to overcome this season that we have two battle-tempered teams heading into this high-stakes matchup.

With the early line being very tight, we have what is actually a rare Super Bowl event. Looking at Super Bowl spreads over the years, most of them aren't that tight. In other words, deciding who will win this game is basically handicapping who will cover the spread, which is a more-organic way to break down a game. And with two weeks to do it, we should be able to come up with a good pick. And while this pick is being made early, don't be afraid to let the pick breathe a bit before pulling the trigger.

One of the more-compelling matchups in a game filled with them is the Kansas City offense against the San Fran "D." Late in the season and certainly through two postseason games, the Chiefs have shown to be a high-octane offense with a ton of weapons at their disposal, led by one of the best in the business in Patrick Mahomes. The run-game might be more of an afterthought overall, but it can still do damage, particularly in the red zone. Aerially, the damage can come hard and quick. With Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, Mahomes works with two of the best at what they do. Add in Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Damien Williams, Demarcus Robinson and others and it's a full cast that can really bring the noise.

But San Francisco might have some answers on the other side of the ball. The combination of a fierce pass-rush, along with having the top-ranked secondary in football is a tough hurdle to overcome, even for a force like Mahomes. The Frisco "D" took a big step forward this season. Signings really resonated and all the key pieces are in place, including former Chiefs standout Dee Ford. Add in guys like Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Dre Greenlaw, Fred Wagner, and others, the front-seven is a robust force. All the guys in the secondary make plays. And it's hard to imagine a contest where this side of the ball doesn't do something big to help the team cause.

Still, we have to focus on the Chiefs' defense and their prospects against the run-heavy Niners. We've seen San Fran QB Jimmy Garoppolo have two games in this playoffs that hardly excite from a numbers-standpoint. I'm not sure I'd take comfort in that if I were the Chiefs or one of their backers. They've been able to run the ball to get here, getting an almost-otherworldly performance from Raheem Mostert in the title game. But they have other dimensions they can unveil, with a few other big-time backs along with aerial targets like Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Emmanuel Sanders.

The Chiefs story on defense is a complicated tale. On one hand, we've seen them look downright ragged at times this season. As they lost four out of six in the middle of the season, things looked bad. And even in the postseason, we have seen this KC defense not looking very crisp, especially to start the games, falling behind badly to the Texans and even facing a deficit against the Titans. But we also have to point out that this side of the ball has shown some good signs, as well. We see a major playmaking upside on this team. And we also see a unit that can make the right adjustments. In both games this postseason, they started off looking like a liability. By the end of the games, they looked a lot different—a stout unit that really goes for the gusto and contributes positively to the overall winning cause.

As the point spread suggests, this is not an easy one to call. You could be a spokesman for either side and come up with a pretty good case. I'm going to rely on my instincts. I think the combination of the dicey Chiefs' defense and the crispness of the San Fran offense presents a big problem. The Niners will be able to more fully exploit what the Texans and Titans couldn't quite fully take advantage of. I see enough big plays on the San Fran "D" to keep the Chiefs offense from fully detonating, as the 49ers' run-game and "D" wins the day. I'll take the 49ers.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the San Francisco 49ers plus one point. Bet Super Bowl LIV for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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