SUPER BOWL LIV PREVIEW

While last year’s Super Bowl, or LIII to put it into Roman terms, had its highlights — especially in terms of strategy and defensive game-planning — it certainly wasn’t the game to sweep the casual viewer of his/her feet. Luckily, the 49ers and Chiefs are solid bets to provide a more spectacular style of entertainment this Sunday.

It’s common (sports) knowledge that the two weeks of preparation leading up to a Super Bowl allow the teams additional time to find ways to counter their opponent’s strengths. And while the total amount of points scored in SB LIV might be lower than during the Conference Championship games, the vastly potent offenses of both Kansas City and San Francisco will all but guarantee an exciting match.

An epic 49ers-Chiefs clash awaits – con Sportswire / Getty Images

The main thing that Andy Reid (KC) and Kyle Shanahan (SF), the teams’ two Head Coaches, have in common is that they’re known for continuously evolving and pushing the envelope on the offensive side of the ball. Both coaches have never played pro football themselves but possess the rare ability to communicate their forward-thinking philosophies to their players clearly. At 13.34 and 13.32 mph, respectively, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers are the two fastest teams in the NFL this season, and with additional time to prepare, their Head Coaches will go extra deep into their bag of tricks.

Three Key Players On Each Team

Kansas City Chiefs:

Patrick Mahomes is the best individual player to take the field in Miami this Sunday. To put pressure on last year’s MVP without sending extra help will be a key for San Francisco’s defensive line.

To put the speed of wide receiver Tyreek Hill into perspective: The 25-year old casually aims at qualifying for the US’ Olympic roster of 100m sprinters for this summer’s games in Tokyo once his season is over.

The key to the Chiefs’ defense lies in the hands of defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. The ‘honey badger’s’ ability to eliminate Jimmy Garoppolo’s first reads will be crucial.

Mahomes' infamous no-look heroics - Peter G. Aiken / Getty Images
Mahomes’ infamous no-look heroics – Peter G. Aiken / Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo, the quarterback known for some brow-raising dating choices, has been labeled as a game manager amidst his team’s heavy reliance on running the ball in recent games. But to keep pace with the high-octane offense of the Chiefs, Jimmy G needs to summon his passing qualities from previous games of this season (e.g., against the Saints).

We’ve just learned that tight end George Kittle has been playing through a torn labrum for an extended period. However, the injury has not kept him from blossoming into the league’s most complete blocking and receiving tight end. He truly is Gronk 2.0.

If the 49ers hope to reign in the reigning MVP, the newly-crowned defensive rookie of the year is an excellent place to start. Nick Bosa’s matchup against KC’s Eric Fisher is among the most interesting to watch on Sunday.

What’s in it for …

… the 49ers? Their last title came in Super Bowl XXIX, twenty-five years ago. A victory would give San Francisco its sixth championship, tying the record held by the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.

… the Chiefs? After winning Super Bowl IV against the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City has not managed to return to the big game. A win on Sunday will end the 50-year drought.

Best Bets

The Super Bowl means Mardi Gras-level exciting times for two groups of people: TV commercial enthusiasts (which, apparently, is a thing) and sports bettors. As we’ve said previously, we’re not betting men at BSTN. But, for the sake of argument, here are some of the more fun wagers among the over 500 prop bets you can drain your money into at the Las Vegas sportsbooks:

The hardest over goes to 0,5 mentions of Super Bowl LI, in which Kyle Shanahan and the Falcons infamously gave up a 28-3 advantage to the Patriots. With the same FOX announcer crew doing both games, these are the lowest-hanging of fruits.

Starring in a toothpaste commercial near you, 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo - Ezra Shaw / Getty Images
Starring in a toothpaste commercial near you, 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo – Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

From the ‘random as hell’ department come several bets that might excite the hoop heads at BSTN. For example, you can put money on whether Ben Simmons’ game against the Celtics on Saturday will net more points, rebounds, and assists than the Super Bowl’s first field goal does yards. We’re not sure why you would, but you can!

While we won’t tell you who to be on, it’s noteworthy that a SB MVP from the defensive side of the ball is an exception (Malcolm Smith, wadup?). And while Patrick Mahomes is the odds-on favorite to win the award, the following three players are all 49ers in Garoppolo, Kittle and RB Raheem Mostert. So if you feel like the Chiefs are going to win, doubling-down on a parlay featuring KC’s three most likely MVP candidates (Mahomes plus Kelce and Hill) might be worth a thought.

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