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When the 49ers and Chiefs meet in Super Bowl 54 on Sunday in Miami (6:30 p.m. ET, FOX), it will be a battle of two franchises trying to end very different championship droughts.
San Francisco is looking for its elusive sixth Super Bowl ring, something it couldn’t get seven years ago in New Orleans. The last time the Niners raised the Lombardi Trophy, it was with quarterback Steve Young in Miami 25 years ago. Kansas City’s one and only Super Bowl ring came 50 years ago, as a member of the AFL.
The matchup is much anticipated given the how well both the 49ers (15-3) and Chiefs (14-4) followed strong regular seasons with impressive playoff performances. While the 49ers did it with consecutive blowouts over the Vikings and Packers, the Chiefs did it with big comebacks against the Texans and Titans.
Here’s everything to know about betting on 49ers vs. Chiefs in Super Bowl 54, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the big game.
Super Bowl 2020 odds for 49ers vs. Chiefs
- Spread: Chiefs by 1
- Point total: 54
- Odds: 49ers -105, Chiefs -115
The Chiefs opened as 1.5-point favorites right after the AFC and NFC championship games. Super Bowl 54 has pretty much become a pick ’em game. The point total has kept creeping upward as everyone’s been taking the over hard.
49ers vs. Chiefs all-time series
The 49ers hold a 7-6 edge against the Chiefs. The Chiefs won the last meeting in Week 3 of the 2018 season in Kansas City, 38-27. In that Sept. 23. game at Arrowhead Stadium, Garoppolo suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs overall have won the 5 of the past 8 meetings going back to when former 49er Joe Montana outdueled Young in Sept. 94. Before then, the 49ers started 4-1 in a series that dates all the way back to 1971 — or two seasons after the Chiefs won Super Bowl 4.
Three trends to know
— The 49ers were 11-6-1 against the spread before Super Bowl 54. The Chiefs were 13-5. 53 percent of bettors are siding with the Chiefs ATS in the Super Bowl.
— The 49ers had 9 of 18 games go over. The Chiefs had 10 of 18 games go over. A whopping 70 percent of bettors like the game to over the extremely high total.
— The 49ers have won and covered in straight big games and have covered or pushed in 7 of their past 9 games. The Chfes have won and covered in 8 straight games and 9 of their past 10.
Three things to watch
Who gets off to a fast start?
The Chiefs got away with early stumbles against the Texans and Titans simply because those teams had zero defensive answers and didn’t capitalize as much as necessary on mistakes. The 49ers came flying out of the gate to dominate the Vikings and Packers. The Chiefs are an excellent rallying team because of Mahomes’ quick-strike ability, but the 49ers also can create a snowball effect with their running game and defense when playing with a lead.
Should either team jump out to a double-digit advantage in the first quarter, it will be in good position to relentlessly pour it on to pull away. There are more indications the game will be a back-and-forth affair, however.
Who can be more explosive?
The Chiefs are known for speedy playmakers, including Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman. But the 49ers have plenty of their own around Garoppolo, including Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders and Raheem Mostert.
Both the 49ers and Chiefs are built defensively with good pass rushes and tough secondaries. Whoever has the most lapses over the middle or on the back end to give up more plays that go for 25 or more yards is bound to lose the game.
Who gets more out of their tight end?
Kittle and Kelce are the two best tight ends in the NFL, in that order. The Chiefs gave up on average 6 catches for 60 yards to tight ends during the regular season. The 49ers gave up on average 4 catches for 35 yards to the position.
Kittle should have the bigger impact after being quiet and not needed as a receiver much in the first two playoff games. Kelce was unstoppable in the divisional round but a limited factor against in the AFC title game. Kittle also will give the 49ers the run-blocking edge.
Stat that matters
The Chiefs had the No. 26 rushing defense in the NFL during the regular season, allowing an average of 128.2 yards per game at 4.9 yards per carry. The 49ers had the No. 2 rushing offense, averaging 144.1 yards per game at 4.6 yards per carry.
The Chiefs have been much better against the run in the playoffs, notably in containing the Titans’ Derrick Henry in the AFC championship game. In two postseason games, they have allowed 179 rushing yards total, at 4.1 yards per carry. At the same time, the 49ers have rumbled for ridiculous 471 yards at 5.3 yards per carry.
Kansas City stood on its head against Tennessee and must do the same against an even more prolific and versatile ground attack.
Super Bowl 54 prediction
There’s not much that separates the teams. Their offenses can light up the scoreboard and their defenses can also deliver timely big game-changing plays. The 49ers are the better defensive team with the better overall coaching and swagger. They’ll need all of that to outlast the charge of Mahomes and the Chiefs, winning a classic high-scoring one-possession game that comes down to the waning moments of the fourth quarter.
49ers 34, Chiefs 31