The last game of the 2019-2020 season is upon us. You know what that means? Only 83 days until the only day on the calendar that the Giants are a relevant team, NFL draft baby. But seriously, the Super Bowl is finally here and I’m ready to eat pigs in a blanket, drink too much, lose money, and be miserable Monday morning. It’s America’s greatest tradition.
I’ve gone back and forth on who I want to pick for this game a hundred times since the NFC and AFC championship games finished. After the Chiefs two comeback wins, and combined 86 points in the divisional round and conference championship I thought there was no team that could stop Patrick Mahomes and that offense. They showed two weeks in a row that even if they spot the other team a sizable lead at the beginning of the game, they can still come down and score whenever they want and absolutely take over the game at any point. The take that they’re the Warriors of the NFL may be overused at this point but it really did feel like watching the 2015-2018 Warriors.
But then, I thought more about the 49ers. I thought about how they’ve definitely been the best NFC team all year long and it probably wasn’t as close as we thought it was during the season. Even though the Ravens were the best regular season team all year long, after their early exit from the playoffs I think you would have to say that the 49ers have been the consistently best team from week one until today. They have the more complete roster with the better defense. They have either the best or second best young head coach in football, depending on where you land on the Sean McVay vs. Kyle Shanahan debate. Also, I think the narrative that Jimmy G is the biggest problem for the 49ers and can’t win them games or make plays when he needs to has been a little bit overblown. He is certainly not Patrick Mahomes, but no one is. I think Garoppolo has shown enough times this year that he is a capable quarterback and can make plays if the team needs him to.
So even as I’m writing all this I’m still not totally sure who I want to pick for this game. The Chiefs have the better offense and quarterback. The 49ers have the better defense. The Chiefs have one of the best coaches of the last 20 years looking to capture his first Super Bowl victory. The 49ers have one of the best young head coaches to come into the league in a long time. I personally think Jimmy G is better than people give him credit for. I also think the Chiefs defense is better than people are giving them credit for. In some ways this is a good problem because the fact that it is so hard to pick and so much can be said about both teams means it will hopefully be a great game. We don’t always get the two best teams in the Super Bowl, and even though the Ravens were the number one team in the regular season, it does feel like both the Chiefs and 49ers deserve to be here, which is not something that can be said every year.
There is one last element that needs to be analyzed before I make my official pick: the storyline/historical element. It makes no sense and it’s not rational to base a pick off of this but it has to be taken into consideration. Does this feel like the Super Bowl where Andy Reid finally captures his championship and Patrick Mahomes establishes himself as THE guy who is going to be doing this for the next 15 years now that Brady is towards the finish line? Or, does it feel like the Super Bowl where Kyle Shanahan announces himself as the best young coach in football and the 49ers start a potential dynasty by having the most complete and talented roster in the league? (Essentially what Sean McVay was supposed to do last year.)
I have to be honest, my heart wants to pick Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. I think that is a sentiment shared by many others. People love watching that offense put up a million points in 30 seconds, and football fans everywhere are rooting for Andy Reid. The problem is, usually when I listen to my heart over my head, I lose. Which makes me want to go for the 49ers.
But, fuck.. that offense is so good. ONE time listening to my heart is going to work.
My Official Pick: Chiefs-1.5
Now, Let’s Take a Look At Some Props:
National Anthem O/U 2 minutes and 4 second: *Actual Research Alert* Demi Lovato has sung the National Anthem at an NFL Thanksgiving game in 2008, a World Series game in 2011, a Word Series game in 2012, a World Series game in 2015, and at McGregor vs. Mayweather in 2017. 4 out of 5 those performances were under 2 minutes. It may be anti-American but give me the under.
Result of the Coin Toss: Easy money. Stop it. Tails Never Fails, give me a hard one.
Total Donald Trump Tweets on February 2nd O/U 13.5: I’ll take over 13.5 at +125 all day long.
Will A Non-QB Throw a Touchdown: I don’t know if I would bet on this but Yes is at +315. I think that’s pretty good value for two of the most innovative and creative offensive minds in football.
Total Number of Players to Have a Passing Attempt O/U 2.5: O2.5 at +120. See Previous Answer.
Will There Be a Flea Flicker Attempt In The Game: Yes is at +175. I love a flea flicker, give me a flea flicker.
Team With More Time of Possession: Love the 49ers at -150 here.
Total Passing Yards for Jimmy G O/U 239.5: I like the over here. I think the 49ers throw the ball in this game more than a lot people are expecting them to after the NFC Championship game. I also think they can put together some good drives against the Chiefs D.
Total Touchdown Passes for Mahomes O/U 2.5: The way these playoffs are going for the Chiefs I just think you have to take the over here.
Will The First Offensive Play Be a Run or Pass: I like Pass Play at +110. Obviously, there is a much better chance of this happening if Chiefs get the ball first, but I think both of these coaches come out firing.
Will There Be a Score In The First 5 Minutes: Always one of my favorite props to bet. I’m going to go with No here. Two young quarterbacks in the biggest games of their life and a lot of talent on defense for both of these teams.
First Touchdown Scorer: Both of the tight ends are solid picks here with Kelce at +850 and Kittle at +1000. I also like Tevin Coleman at +1600 and Mecole Hardman at +2000.
Super Bowl MVP: The QBs are currently at Mahomes+115 and Garoppolo+275. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone besides Mahomes wins this if the Chiefs win. Other options that are slightly intriguing are Kelce+1500, Bosa+1800, and Coleman+7000.