Super Bowl Predictions: Expert Super Bowl LIV Tips

After sharing their NFL Tips all season, Champion Bets will be providing their expert Super Bowl Predictions for the big match on February 3.

The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will be the two sides taking part in Super Bowl LIV, with the Chiefs looking for their first title in over 50 years, while the 49ers seek their sixth championship and their first since 1994.

For a range of Super Bowl odds and markets, head to the Betfair Exchange.


San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs

Monday, Feb 3 at 10:30am AEDT

The Niners made easy work of Green Bay for the second time this year with a 37-20 victory on home soil last week. On their way, they rushed for 285 yards on 6.8ypr and added another 77 yards on nine pass attempts.

Meanwhile, in a similar narrative to the week prior, The Chiefs fell behind again, this time 10-0 and then outscored Tennessee 35-14 the rest of the way on their way to a 35-24 victory.

This season the 49ers were successful on 47% of their plays on offence. Whilst allowing a 43% success rate on defence. This highlights their strength as a defensive unit. Further, this San Fran outfit is plus-seven in turnover margin for the year.

On the slip side, when Mahomes starts under centre, the Chiefs had a success rating of 50% of their offensive plays and a 48% success rate on defence. While they finished the season with a plus-10 turnover rating with 2018 MVP at Quarterback. It’s safe to assume that a clash between Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs offence and the 49ers defence will go a long way to deciding this game.


Assessing the 49ers

San Fran ran the ball on 52% of their plays this year and they’ll look to leverage that as much as possible here as keeping Mahomes off the field will be key. Their heavy running can also be attributed to game scripts this season, getting ahead early and running the clock, but are more than capable of making big plays through the air when needed.

In games that were decided by four points or less the 49ers passed the ball 58% of the time. They were behind in most of those games and although I think they will win this game there’s a huge chance that they fall behind early. I simply do not see how the Chiefs make the mistake of starting slowly for the third consecutive week.

I also believe that the Niners will need to score at least 27 points to likely win this game.

The 49ers scored about 38% of their potential points this year (assuming each drive is worth seven points – ignoring the two-point conversion). When the Chiefs played teams that scored at least 33% of their points they allowed 35 and 24 to Tennessee, 31 twice to Houston, 28 to Baltimore, 31 to Green Bay and 23 to Minnesota. In other words, they allowed about 29 points per game to those teams. In short, San Fran will have their chances here and capitalising early will undoubtedly be key.


Assessing the Chiefs

Kansas City scored 45% of their potential points this season. When San Fran played those types of offences (over 40%), they allowed Baltimore 20 points (weather impacted game) and 46 to NO. Given that the sample size is just two games, which averages out to 33 points, I’m not reading much into it.

What we can read more into, is that the 49ers only allowed teams to score about 23-24% of their potential points this season. Against teams close to that profile, the Chiefs scored 26 against Chicago, 30 and 23 against Denver (weather and Mahomes injury impacted those games), 26 versus Minnesota and 23 versus New England. That averages out to about 26 points.


Final Verdict

This is a pretty simplistic way to look at the game, but it gives me a final score around 29.5 to 29.5. A more sophisticated model which considers the injuries on both sides of the ball, their opponents and ignores defensive scores gives me San Fran, 27.1-26.5. The oddsmakers have done a good job of making this line about right.

The most damning angle among all this is that against the best defences they faced this year; Kansas City failed to score more than 26 points (they did score 30 vs Denver but there was a defensive score in that game although Mahomes missed the 2nd half). You can backdate this to the year prior and the trend is still there. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, this is been a common flaw of this Chiefs outfit.

On top of that, I always prefer to side with the better defence over the better offence. When I take into account the injuries, my numbers on San Fran show they averaged 30 points a game this year against teams allowing 24 points a game. The real significant difference is on defence where, when healthy, they allowed just 13 points per game against teams averaging 22 points per game. Kansas City, after adjusting for injuries, averages 33 points per game against teams allowing 21 points per game and allow 19 points per game against teams averaging 21 points per game.

In a game that the 49ers will look to scrap their way to the finish line, I’m siding with the better defensive outfit.


BETTING STRATEGY

 BACK – 49ers +1.5

 BACK – Highest Scoring Half – 2nd Half

16 of the last 21 Super Bowls have scored as many or more points in the 2nd half vs the first half.

 BACK – Team that scores last wins the game

Game figures to be close and if so the last score is likely to win the game. The Yes has covered in each of the last ten SB’s.

 BACK – Jimmy Garoppolo Completetions – Over 19

In close games (games decided by four or less + Atlanta and Arizona that were within four points prior to a last second turnover and score) SF has thrown the ball much more, as described above. Garoppolo has averaged 19.2 completions on the year but in close games he has averaged 23.5 completions. Anything less than 20 is a bet.


Get the best odds for Super Bowl LIV on the Betfair Exchange.


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