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Chiefs Remain 1.5-Point Super Bowl 54 Favorites vs 49ers

It's been a long two weeks, but just three days remain before Super Bowl 54's kickoff.

Aside from San Francisco running back Tevin Coleman's shoulder injury, both the Chiefs and 49ers head into championship Sunday healthy. With both squads at relative full strength, odds to win Super Bowl 54 haven't budged much, if at all, off their opening.

Super Bowl 54 - San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs

Opening Odds Analysis

Nearly 14 days after the Chiefs opened as 1.5-point Super Bowl favorites, Kansas City remains 1.5-point favorites. Some books we monitor saw a slight dip to Chiefs -1, but the consensus is KC -1.5 with a few days to go. As for the point total, that opened at 52.5, but crept as high as 55.0 at one book before Thursday's consensus settled at 54.5.

The OVER is 4-1-1 in the 49ers’ last six games and has hit in three straight Chiefs games.

As of January 30, 53 percent of the public consensus are backing the Chiefs -1.5 and 61 percent are on the OVER 54.5.

Both teams are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS away from their home stadiums this season.

The Chiefs have won eight consecutive games by an average margin of 16.13 points.

The 49ers were 8-1 SU when Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 248 or more yards during the regular season. The OVER hit in six of those nine games.

The Chiefs were 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS when Patrick Mahomes passed for 275 or more yards in the regular season and postseason.

In his 15th season, referee Bill Vinovich will head the Super Bowl 54 officiating crew. Since 2012, favorites are 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS in playoff games reffed by Vinovich.

San Francisco News & Notes

Update 1/30/20: Tevin Coleman (shoulder) says he's good to go and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Coleman, Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida could all be San Francisco's No. 1 running back at anytime Sunday.

After rushing for a team-high 105 yards in the win over the Vikings two weeks ago, Coleman suffered what appeared to be a serious and painful shoulder injury in the 49ers’ win over the Packers. He was carted off and was to undergo an MRI on Monday.

Before we jump in and analyze specific 49ers-Chiefs matchups, I wanted to highlight San Francisco’s season-to-date metrics and see how those stacked up against averages posted in the Niners’ three regular-season losses, to the Seahawks, Ravens and Falcons.

Stat CategorySeason-to-Date AverageIn SF’s Three Losses
Yards Per Play6.05.1
Pass YPG221.3188.3
Rush YPG154.2 (199.7 L3)127.0
Red Zone %54.29% (TD Only)50% (All)
3rd Down %44.59%35.89%
Turnovers1.4 / game2.0 / game
Pass YAPG173.8165.0
Rush YAPG104.7 (69.3 L3)138
Opp. 3rd Down %32.39% (ranked 2nd)44.7%
Opp. Red Zone %61.36% on 2.4 att. per game75% on 2.6 att. per game

As you might expect, the 49ers were statistically “worse” in every category with the exception of their bread-and-butter pass defense. They allowed nearly nine fewer pass yards per game in their three losses vs the season-to-date baseline.

However, the one area of concern that jumps off the stat sheet is that opposing offenses converted 17 of 38 third downs in San Francisco’s three losses. The Chiefs boast the league’s second-best third-down rate as they’ve converted 47.3 percent of them to date and better than 53 percent over the last three games.

After he needed just 17 total completions to win the divisional and conference championship rounds, some may undervalue Jimmy Garoppolo’s potential impact heading into Super Bowl 54. That would be a mistake. Though improved, the Kansas City pass defense has allowed 272 yards per game over its last three.

Plus, and this is important, opposing tight ends have thrived against the Chiefs secondary. Kansas City ranks in the bottom five against opposing tight ends. The position averaged 6.1 receptions and 61 receiving yards per game during the regular season. George Kittle averaged nearly eight receptions and 97.3 receiving yards the last four games of the regular season. Jimmy G. and his tight end were one of the most consistent tandems in football and, if the trend holds, will rekindle that connection in the Super Bowl.

The 49ers pass rush sacked Aaron Rodgers three times in the NFC championship game. San Francisco has averaged 3.3 sacks per game over its past three. Thanks in part to Patrick Mahomes’ mobility out of the pocket, the Chiefs allow just 1.6 sacks per game, third-fewest in the NFL.

San Francisco is 11-1 SU and 8-3-1 ATS when it finishes with three or more sacks this season.

Kansas City News & Notes


Andy Reid’s teams are 23-4 straight up and 18-9 against the spread all-time after a regular-season or postseason bye. Since joining the Chiefs, Reid is 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS with an extra week to prepare.

While you’ll hear about this resume bullet point often over the next two weeks, remember the Texans dropped 24 consecutive points on Reid’s squad after the Chiefs enjoyed a wild-card round bye.

So, how does a team rally back to win after spotting the Texans 24 points and the Titans 10 in back-to-back playoff games?

For one, you take care of the football. Kansas City has turned the ball over just once in eight quarters. Next, the Chiefs (eventually) got their defense off the field. The Texans and Titans were just 8-for-25 (32 percent) on third downs. How did they get off the field? The Chiefs pass rush has posted 12 hits on the quarterback and eight sacks in its two postseason wins. Garoppolo was sacked 2.2 times per game this season.

The Chiefs were 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS this season when they finished with three or more sacks.

The scariest part of the Chiefs’ 35-point effort against the Titans is that Travis Kelce was held to three receptions for 30 yards and Kansas City’s lead running back averaged 2.6 yards per carry. Mahomes has averaged 53 rush yards per game this postseason.

Kansas City’s recipe for success is quite simple. They want a track meet. If the Chiefs take care of the football and limit the 49ers pass rush, they’re in business because for as good as San Francisco’s secondary is, they can’t cover Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins forever and it’s when Mahomes extends the play that he’s most dangerous. As cliched as it sounds, the Chiefs O-line vs the 49ers pass rush and its ability to get pressure on Mahomes may be the difference in this game, because if Mahomes has time to throw or roll out and make something out of nothing, San Francisco’s offense doesn’t have the horses to keep pace.

The Chiefs escaped the AFC championship game without any notable injuries. It’s worth noting that LeSean McCoy was a healthy scratch against the Titans. Damien Williams rushed 17 times for 45 yards in the starting role.

Betting Pick: 49ers ML & OVER 53.5 

I'm sticking with my original lean.

Original Lean Analysis 1/20/20

We have two weeks until Super Bowl 54 and to lock in a pick right now isn’t ideal. However, my initial lean is to back the 49ers and OVER 53.5. If Kansas City’s two previous wins didn’t cause me first-half indigestion, perhaps I’d lean the other way. With the front seven healthy again, San Francisco’s defense possesses few flaws, while I believe Jimmy Garoppolo can flip the offensive script and pass for 250+ with a couple of touchdowns in a 49ers’ Super Bowl 54 win.

* Fowler’s season-to-date ATS record is 144-114 (55.8 percent, all games). You can reach out to him on Twitter @FreelanceFowler.