The two things I like most about my job at the New York Post are hindering NFL games and writing the headlines. However, the two occupations are very different.
Disability is largely a cognitive exercise. You compile as many relevant facts about the teams and the market as possible, weigh them up for their importance and let your betting principles guide you to your selection. Writing headlines is a talent. You can either describe a three-hour game in three or four dynamic words, or you cannot.
Another difference is that all picks count. They are published every week. If things go badly, you cannot hide from your records. When you bet you will find that your wallet feels lighter. Stupid headline suggestions are simply snapped and discarded.
Sometimes you can be very good at one of these challenges and very bad at the other – at the same time. Six years ago I selected the Broncos over the Seahawks (27-23) in the Super Bowl XLVIII at the MetLife Stadium on these pages. As Joe Benigno of WFAN could say, "What a disaster!" The game's first offensive snapshot went for security in Seattle. After Peyton Manning threw a pick six against Malcolm Smith at the end of the second quarter, it was 22-0. My selection went straight to "L", but my suggestion for the heading – MANN SLAUGHTER – went to the back of the next morning.
What does that have to do with the 49ers and Chiefs in the Super Bowl LIV? We'll see on Sunday whether it's something or nothing. What made me think of this game that ended 43-8 was a comment from my colleague Mark Hale. He said San Francisco-Kansas City reminded him of Seattle-Denver, and that immediately worried me because my main reason for choosing these chiefs was the same as that for taking these Broncos: the quarterback.
My thought was then that Manning, who had been thrown for 5,477 meters and 55 touchdowns this season, would be able to win a "Legion of Doom" defense that had 28 interceptions because he made his way into favorable Situations made audible. Just “Omaha! Omaha! "Quickly turned to" Oh my god! "
So let's try to do it differently and dissect the 49ers chiefs more clinically.
The 49ers are 15-3 including postseason, 12-6 against the spread. The line is a lean point, but that still makes them outsiders, and they were 5-0 ATS in that role this season. Jimmy Garoppolo is 17-10-1 ATS in his career as a quarterback, including 9-2 ATS as an outsider.
The chiefs are 14-4 straight up and 13-5 ATS. They covered 11 out of 15 games in which they were preferred. Patrick Mahomes is 22-11-2 ATS in his career and 17-11-1 ATS as a favorite.
Regarding the points per game in the regular season and in the postseason, the average score of the 49ers is between 30.1 and 18.9, slightly better than that of the chiefs between 29.7 and 20.1. But Kansas City is the hottest team to have won eight games in a row, including a playoff game in which it failed at one point 24-0.
The 49ers didn't have to throw the ball to defeat Green Bay, but that doesn't mean they can't. Garoppolo is more than a game manager and has a number of dangerous targets in George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. The chiefs' defense isn't statistically very good, but during this surge, it has quite often brought a sack or turnover at the end of the ride at the right time.
Honestly, I can't make a selection based on that. It's all as close to razors as spread.
That brings me back to Mahomes, who has the talent to write headlines all night at Hard Rock Stadium, even against the fast and physical 49ers.
With the help of Tyreek Hill and his other great recipients, Mahomes & # 39; creativity, vision and legs can't do anything, sometimes big. Once Mahomes has found a defense, he can score even more points. Ask the Texans who saw him put the ball into the end zone seven times in a row.
It's never your turn in the NFL, but I think it's time for Mahomes to raise the Lombardi Trophy in my Super Bowl prediction:
The picks: Chiefs -1; Over 55.
Chiefs 33, 49ers 30.
Championship Sunday: 2-2 (1-1 versus spread, 1-1 over / unders).