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Written Thursday January 28th, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed) We lost our lone official pick in the Conference Championship round, which dropped our postseason record against the spread (ATS) from 5-1 to 5-2. That’s still a great record! During the regular season, the picks went 36-31-4. So, overall, we now boast a 41-33-4 ATS record, a 55.4% win rate. Yay! It’s time for our final betting prediction of the season with the defending champions Kansas City Chiefs facing the Tampa Bay Bucs in Super Bowl LV. Let’s do this! SUPER BOWL: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-3 or -3.5) VS TAMPA BAY BUCS Sharp bettors often place their bets not very long after the odds hit the board. Once the Conference Championship games were over, the line opened at 3.5 in favor of Kansas City. Early money went to the Bucs, which led the point spread to drop to three points. Since then, most of the action has gone on the Chiefs. From what I’ve read, the number of bets has seen a 3:1 ratio favoring Kansas City, while the total money wagered is even more tilted with a 4:1 ratio. All of this betting action tells me one thing: the wise guys took Tampa Bay, while the general public is hammering the Chiefs. Here is another interesting note: over the past 13 Super Bowls, the early action turned out to be right on 10 occasions. That’s right: sharp money has been a winner in 10 of the past 13 Super Bowls! That makes me want to side with the Bucs even more. I thought Tampa’s defensive line was super impressive in Green Bay. They sacked Aaron Rodgers five times, despite facing one of the top pass protecting offensive lines in football. They will now face a patchwork OL that will now be without their starting left tackle, Eric Fisher, who got hurt against the Bills during the AFC Championship game. The Chiefs were already missing their right tackle, Mitchell Schwartz, who has little chance of suiting up for the Big Game. And they have had to deal with the absence of their starting left guard, Kelechi Osemele, since October. All of those losses are a big blow when facing such a ferocious Bucs pass rush that finished 5th in sacks this season. The Bucs will be looking to avenge a 27-to-24 loss back in Week 12. In that game, the Chiefs stormed out of the gate by grabbing an early 17-0 lead through the first quarter. In that quarter alone, Tyreek Hill caught 7 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns. What an incredible performance over just one quarter of play! Here are some noteworthy trends for you: The Chiefs are 2-7 ATS over their last 9 games as favorites, but 4-1 ATS as playoff favorites; Kansas City has beaten the spread just once over their last 9 games played on grass; Both teams have done well recently when squaring off with a team with a winning record: the Chiefs are 11-5 ATS and the Bucs 5-2 ATS under such circumstances; Tampa has beaten the spread the last four times they have been underdogs. In light of all of this, I am putting my money on Tampa against the spread. The best spread currently available after looking at 10 different online sportsbooks on January 28 is Bucs +3.5 at -115 odds (bwin). Official pick: Bucs +3.5 at -115 odds FIRST QUARTER TOTAL In the Super Bowl’s first quarter, we often see both teams studying each other. They take small jabs at each other, but rarely hit a knockout punch. Also, you see more often receivers dropping catchable balls or QBs throwing less accurate passes. It usually takes a bit of time before guys settle down. On defense, you see a lot of intensity. Players have been waiting two full weeks to finally hit somebody. For these reasons, I am leaning towards betting the “under” in the first quarter. Lean: Under 10.5 first quarter at -120 odds CRUSHING SUPER BOWL PROPOSITION BETS To me, the Super Bowl is like Christmas, but maybe not for the reasons that you might think of. Every year, the Super Bowl comes with a wide array of proposition bets. There are so many of them that there is NO WAY the sportsbooks can hope to have each market priced adequately. There will always be many soft lines. Last year, I traveled to Las Vegas so that I could place bigger bets. I spent three full days tracking the lines from many sportsbooks. I was the nerdy guy sitting on the floor of casinos, doing his calculations via a huge Excel spreadsheet. I ended up placing 11 bets, most of which having positive odds (which means they were underdogs to win). And yet, I finished with a 9-2 record and racking up $8,330 US in net profit. I will be at it once again this year, but from the comfort of my home. Unfortunately, COVID-19 will prevent me from heading to the sin city. I will spend countless hours tracking the lines from at least 10 sportsbooks and looking for the best edges. I am going to share a few picks on prop bets next week via a YouTube video, but you have the opportunity to receive ALL bets offering great value directly in your mailbox. Simply follow this link for details: https://www.professormj.com/products/super-bowl-lv-proposition-bets A big, big thank you for following my weekly NFL column every week, I appreciate you! Enjoy the Super Bowl my friend!!! Professor MJ https://youtu.be/hLvOVzufsgE