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Read on for our NFL tips and best bets for the Conference Championship games of the 2019/20 season.
Super Bowl LIV (Mon 3rd Feb: 10.30am)
Super Bowl LIV will see the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs. The game features two starting quarterbacks, neither of which can be viewed as rock-solid dependable in the big moments. With KC, Patrick Mahomes is young and still inexperienced. With San Fran, Jimmy Garropolo has seen these big games before but only as a back-up QB with the Patriots.
It may be telling that San Francisco has favoured a running game in their recent contests. Garoppolo had just six completions against Green Bay in the conference championships. In the divisional round, Garoppolo was just 11 for 19 on passing. San Francisco isn’t in the Super Bowl behind their QB’s arm but behind their defense and rushing.
That’s an interesting point to note because you always want to look for the QB that will approach the game as if his destiny was on the line. If you were to pick a generational kind-of QB playing in Super Bowl LIV, it would be Mahomes for sure. He threw for eight touchdowns the last two playoff games combined and no interceptions. Garoppolo threw for one TD the last two weeks combined and he did get picked off as well. For the QB position, you have to like the Chiefs.
You also have to like Andy Reid’s coaching experience much better than his counterpart Kyle Shanahan. Reid has been in the Super Bowl before and he has been in the late stages of the NFL playoffs on many occasions. For Shanahan, this year’s experience is all new. Coaching experience is something players can ground themselves in should they feel any kind of self-doubt.
Both teams feature interesting ground attacks and there is not much between the two teams defensively. KC gave up 19.2 points per game and ‘cisco gave up 19.4 during their regular seasons.
Special teams, like any game, could be big in this game but big plays on special teams are hard to see coming. When you look at this game’s bullet points, you have to see Reid as the chess player that’s been on the big stage before. You also have to see Mahomes as the hot-shot 24-year-old that might make the Hall of Fame someday. You wouldn’t really say that about let’s-play-it-safe-with-Jimmy-and-hand-the-ball-off Garoppolo.
Take the Chiefs to win or to cover -1.5. They could be placed at -5.0 favorites in this game for true odds.