The Super Bowl is still two weeks away, but lines have already been released for the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. Let’s take a look at the early line and total and what we should make of them at this point.
Points Spread: Chiefs -1
The Chiefs enter the Super Bowl a league-best 12-5-1 (70.6%) against the spread this season. Getting healthy to close the season, Kansas City is on a scorching eight-game winning streak that has seen them win all eight games by seven or more points.
They haven’t faced a top-flight defense in the postseason yet, but facing stout defenses hasn’t been a major obstacle for this Kansas City team this season. The Chiefs have played seven games against defenses that rank in the top-12 in terms of expected points added defensively (San Francisco ranks second). In those games, the Chiefs have posted a 6-1 record heads up and against the spread, with the lone loss and failed cover coming in Week 8 without Patrick Mahomes under center.
On the NFC side, the 49ers were also one of the best bets this season, going 11-6-1 against the spread so far this season. That 64.7% mark against the line is good for fourth in the league. The 49ers have faced seven playoff teams over their past 10 games played. In those games, they’ve posted a 5-2 record heads up while going 6-1 against the spread. San Francisco also enters the Super Bowl as a slight dog, where they were a perfect 5-0 against the spread this season.
These teams are no strangers to scoring points. The Super Bowl features a 49ers offense that ranks second in the league in points scored per game (30.2) while the Chiefs rank third (29.8). Games featuring Kansas City this season have averaged 50.0 combined points per game (fifth) while San Francisco games have averaged 49.1 combined points (10th).
Chiefs games averaged an implied game total of 49.8 points this season, the highest in the league. Despite those lofty settings, Kansas City games still managed to go 10-8 towards the over (55.6%), a mark good for 10th in the league. The 49ers also slightly favored the over (9-8-1) this season while their games averaged an implied game total of 45.8 points. Playing a slew of games against other playoff teams, eight of the past 12 games involving the 49ers have featured 51 or more combined points scored.
The opener for this line appeared to be heading towards a 51 point game total, which would’ve been right on that line. Despite both teams being high-scoring clubs, this initial line is set high for a Super Bowl, while game totals in this area have typically fallen short in the small sample we have of them.
From a point total stance, this 53.5 point total is tied for the fifth-highest mark for a Super Bowl overall and the seventh Super Bowl to have a total set this high. Of the previous six Super Bowls to have a 53.5 total or higher, the under has gone 4-2.
Since 2007, we’ve had a total this high five different times. In 2007, the Patriots versus Giants had a 54.5 point total (31 combined points scored), 2009 Saints versus Colts a 56.5 point total (48 points), 2011 Patriots versus Giants a 53.5 total (38 points), the 2016 Patriots versus Falcons a 57.0 point total (62 points), and last year’s matchup of the Patriots versus Rams had a 55.5 point total (16 points).
If you are a 49ers backer, however, you should be looking at this game total. In the eight career losses Mahomes has had under center, the opposing team has needed 29 or more points scored six times with 25 or more points in seven of those games. Just once have the Chiefs lost a game with Mahomes under center in which the opposing team scored fewer than 20 points.