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So, here is where I'm at on this game.  First, I expect this to be a good close game as inferred by the short spread.  When looking at this matchup I like to make a positional comparison at the most important position on the field and that is the QB.  There is no doubt who the better quarterback is.


Secondly, I favor the side with the better defense when it comes to high-pressure, high-profile games - no higher profile or higher-pressure game than the Super Bowl.  You've heard the saying "defense wins championships", you see those two words go hand in hand and for good reason.  Offenses can crack under pressure; whereas, in high pressure situations, good defenses can maintain a level of good defensive play more than a good offense can maintain good offensive play.  And the preferred defense is with KC.  


Then I like to compare coaching and I give the edge to Reid over Shanahan.  When it comes to defensive coaching, it is Spagnuolo by a mile over Wilks. When it comes to the offense, I give a slight edge to the Niners. If you look at the season overall the Niners by metrics and on paper is the better offense.  No doubt, the Niners have weapons everywhere, they have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but all that needs to come together, and it hasn't come together lately.  There is also a factor that cannot be ignored and that is the "been there done that" factor.  When it's time to shine, the Chiefs just seem to know how to put it all together when it counts the most.


You can never count out Mahomes even if trailing late in the game, there's always a good chance he can take the lead or tie it up in a one score game. However, if the Niners are trailing late, I just can't trust Purdy or Shanahan to produce the winning plays.  This is why I said earlier offenses have a higher propensity to crack in high pressure situations including the coaches.  And because of the "been there done that" factor with Mahomes and Reid, I just trust this team more than I do the Niners in late game situations.


The Niners have dominated the NFC, but when it comes to tough, physical, defensive teams in the AFC, they struggle. I expect KC to scheme out something similar to what the Ravens did to the Niners back in week 16.  I also see a higher potential for Purdy to throw an interception than Mahomes.  I see Purdy getting rattled more than I do Mahomes under pressure.  Mahomes is the better off-timing QB, whereas Purdy needs the timing for plays to develop to be just right. 


Also, I'd like to point out an overlooked aspect of the game, which is the kicking game.  The kicker is the highest scoring player in the NFL and the edge goes to Butker over Moody.  Many people overlook the kicker, but how many times has a game been decided by a missed or made PAT/FG; many times, and in close game these points can make an enormous difference.


Now let's look at this from a number's perspective - let's put a number on some of the edges that have been pointed out.  I give Mahomes 1 pt over Purdy, half a point for coaching advantages, a point for edge in defense, half a point for edge in kicker.  Special teams equal to zero, neutral field zero, and all other things equal.  Now, I know it's hard to quantify the intangible factors such as the experience, handling pressure, and the "having been there done that factor", but I can confidently add a point for that. Give the niners a half pt for the slightly better overall offense and that's a total of 3 pts.  And just for comparison purposes, if I factor that into the current line which is baked in at +2, I have the Chiefs as a slight favorite of -1.  If we start from zero, I have KC -3.  Remove the hypothetical intangible factor I give KC at 1, and then I have KC -2.  This is based on one of my own personal models and just one way to apply it. But however, you want to look at it, in my opinion, the wrong team is favored here. 


Now let's talk about my concerns. As I had mentioned at the beginning, I expect this to be a close game and my concern is just a small one, but it did make me re-visit all angles and compel me to further review.  And after another look, I still hold firm and arrive at the same conclusion.  This is no secret, but KC is the clear public side.  Most of the pros are on SF.  In fact, I know some guys personally who I have a lot of respect for, and most of them are on the Niners.  They have their opinions and I respect/understand theirs as they do my opinions, after all, I am 31-3 over the last thirty-four primetime sides.  The consensus that they share is that the Niners over the course of the season is better on paper, whereas the Chiefs appear to be the better team on the smaller more recent sample size.  My counter argument to that is that games are not played on paper, and it's not just lately, I say let's look at the larger sample size, which is the last 5 years, and you tell me which is the better team?  The Niners barely avoided disaster against the Packers and the Lions.  Fall behind to the Chiefs and it's not going to be that easy to come from behind vs this KC defense and the game management of Mahomes and Reid on offense.  Let's disrupt CMC and Deebo, let's get Purdy off timing, and we should be good. I think Spags will have the answer or at the very least make some effective adjustments along the way. The Niners are also not a heavy blitz team, they play predominantly zone, so we should be able to find some cracks in that defense.  Game plan and who can adjust better will be huge.  KC needs to come out fast and take the early momentum because SF is a momentum team and can steamroll when they have a lead.  We're going to need to lead the dance first otherwise we're going to face some real difficulties.  Now, there's been a lot of talk about how KC was not able to score in the 2nd half vs the Ravens.  In my opinion, they played to the current situation of the game - they were leading.  If they were trailing and needed to score, they would've stepped on the gas.  So, I'm not all that concerned about the 2h shut out, especially against that stout Raven's defense, but I can't ignore that scoring has been a bit of a challenge for KC at times which is why we need to come out fast and take early control of the game.


This game can go either way, and I would not be surprised.  It's as close to a 50/50 game as can be but there is something that is nice to know - we have the hot hand.  We are on fire when it comes to NFL Primetime sides.  So, with that said, let's just keep it going and close out the season with another primetime winner!


We're going to take a position for 15u on the Chiefs at +2 for now.  There is a possibility that I will upgrade and get 10 more units or even double it up with 15u more.  It just depends, should this line get to +2.5 we will, and if not or the lines goes to +1.5, we may take some on the ML.  I do have some props in mind but decided to wait closer to game time as I'm seeing some unders I like, and I expect late public money on overs that should push the lines a little higher for us. For now, play...


CHIEFS +2 X 15U 


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate.  








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