This season’s Super Bowl has no shortage of interesting storylines as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers in a repeat of the big game four years ago.
The Missouri outfit won that contest 31-20 in Miami and were also successful in 2023 when they staged a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35.
Now they are looking to become the first team since the New England Patriots in 2004 and 2005 to win in back-to-back campaigns. The action will unfold at the Allegiant Stadium in Nevada on Sunday night (11.30pm GMT kick-off).
Super Bowl betting tips
Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.
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Chiefs can become first team for 19 years to retain title
The Kansas City outfit have proved in the play-offs this season that they can never be written off. For much of the campaign they have not looked like the prolific outfit who reached the Super Bowl in three of the past four seasons, and their offence became a problem at times rather than the basis of their success.
They have looked stronger than at any point this term during the play-offs, however, and have defied the odds in each of their previous two games.
After a comfortable home win over the Miami Dolphins in the wild-card round, the Chiefs were made underdogs for their trip to face the Buffalo Bills, but won a classic encounter 27-24 to give quarterback Patrick Mahomes the first true road play-off win of his career. The second came just a week later as the Chiefs again shrugged off the underdog tag to overcome AFC top seeds, the Baltimore Ravens, and return to the Super Bowl.
After a tough period in the middle of the season when they went 3-5 in weeks 8-16, head coach Andy Reid’s men have won five consecutive games.
They have conceded more than 17 points only to the Bills in that run as their defence has really stepped up and carried the team to another Super Bowl.
The 49ers fell one game short of a return to the big game in each of the past two seasons, losing to the Los Angeles Rams and the Eagles in the previous two NFC Championship games, but they made it to the final challenge this time.
After securing the NFC top seed with a 12-5 record, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s men have led a charmed life in the play-offs, despite being strong favourites for both their home games.
They trailed the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers 21-14 after three quarters before a late rushing score from running back starman Christian McCaffrey gave them a 24-21 success. Then the 49ers had to stage an even more remarkable comeback to overcome the Detroit Lions, who raced into a 24-7 half-time lead. This time they were grateful for a second-half collapse from the visitors as the Niners came back to win 34-31.
They will find it hard to make the same kind of recovery if they fall into another hole against the Chiefs – and the big-game experience of the champions could also become a key factor.
The 49ers defence does not look as sturdy as it did early in the season either. While this is a battle of two of the sharpest offensive coaching minds in the NFL, it could be the Chiefs defence that keeps the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Missouri for another 12 months. The reigning champions are slight underdogs on the handicap but are worth backing to win outright at 21/20.
Tip: Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl @ 21/20 with BoyleSports
Kelce can thrive as the centre of attention
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has dominated the headlines this campaign, at times as much for the blanket media coverage of his relationship with pop icon Taylor Swift as his play on the field.
In fact he was having a relatively mediocre time by his standards for much of the season, but has been in sensational form in the play-offs. He could put the offence on his back again and have another 100-plus-yard receiving game in the Super Bowl.
Kelce has posted returns of 71, 75 and 116 yards in the play-offs – and after catching all 11 of the passes that came his way against the feared Ravens defence, he will be looking forward to being in the thick of the action again in the big game.
He had six catches for 81 yards in last season’s Super Bowl and in his other appearances in the big game he had 133 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (in a 31-9 loss) and 43 in the first showdown with the 49ers, although again he caught all six passes when he was targeted.
While Kelce’s regular receiving yards line for the game is 70.5 (5/6 to go over), it is worth targeting the extra return and taking 14/5 for another 100-yard game.
Tip: Travis Kelce 100+ receiving yards @ 14/5 with BoyleSports
Rice becoming key target for Mahomes
The first leg of the Super Bowl bet builder is Rashee Rice to score a touchdown for the Chiefs. The rookie receiver has been a rare bright spot in their passing game this season and looks to have a huge future in the league.
Rice is the team’s second leading receiver behind Kelce, but he was not far behind with 938 yards compared with Kelce’s 984 in the regular season. Rice reached the end zone seven times in the regular campaign, the most of any receiver in the team, and added another against the Dolphins in the play-offs.
Justin Watson is a receiver who can occasionally make a big play for the Chiefs, when defences understandably focus their attention on Kelce and Rice, and his receiving yards are going cheap at just 16.5, which he could achieve with just one catch.
Watson had 17 or more receiving yards 10 times in the regular season and could be the man to get Mahomes out of a tight situation or two again.
Complete a three-leg bet builder that would pay 6/1 if successful with 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to have over 61.5 receiving yards.
While more attention goes to Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle, the talented Aiyuk was the 49ers’ leading receiver this season with 1,342 yards, at an average of 83.9 per game.
Even allowing for a less prolific day against the strong Chiefs defence, there is plenty of scope for Aiyuk to clear his receiving yards target.
Tip: Bet builder – Rashee Rice anytime touchdown, Brandon Aiyuk over 61.5 receiving yards and Justin Watson over 16.5 receiving yards @ 6/1 with BoyleSports
Super Bowl odds
Odds are correct at the time of publication and subject to change.