Super Bowl Recap

What a tough game. As a Chiefs fan I spent 24 hours or so processing the difficult loss, but now I’m going to put on my neutral analysis hat on and (painfully) tackle my bets in a recap. We had our first losing week of the season, going 2–4 for a net of -6.25 Units.

TB Under 26.5 (-105) (4 Units) Loss 4 Units, TB 31–9
KC -3 (-115) (2 Units) Loss 2 Units
Mahomes MVP (-106) (2 Units) Loss 2 Units
Mahomes > Brady Complete Passes (-167) (1.67 Units) Win 1 Unit
Ronald Jones Over 37.5 Rush yards (-118) (1 Unit) Win 0.85 Units
KC win by 13–18 (+650) (0.1 Units) Loss 0.1 Units

First, let’s talk about what I got wrong, because there are two huge lessons to learn here. In my write up I said I wasn’t sure how the Chiefs’ offense would be able to handle the Bucs’ strong defensive front with a makeshift offensive line. Then, over the course of the week I talked myself into backing the Chiefs based on the idea that the coaches would figure out a game plan that would neutralize the disadvantage. This was wishful thinking. We had evidence in the Bills game that they could use motions and roll outs and quick passes to neutralize the pressure. But for some reason the game plan in this game was vanilla and it absolutely failed. The drops didn’t help, but the players looked unfocused and nothing was sharp. You can’t rely on a game plan to overcome that significant of an advantage, and I was wrong to think the Chiefs could overcome it.

The second big lesson is to stick to the bet sizes that reflect my confidence level. With the KC -3 2 Unit bet and the Mahomes MVP 2 Unit bet I essentially had 4 Units on the Chiefs, which projects way more confidence than I truly felt going in given the offensive line questions. I should have just put 1 Unit one each or just left my 2 Unit play as is. Lesson learned.

Now for my favorite play of the week: TB Under 26.5 points. I definitely missed on my KC -3 and Mahomes MVP picks, but I still believe I had the right side of this one. Everything that could go wrong for the Chiefs’ defense went wrong, and the Bucs still only cleared the over by 4.5 points. The first half was an onslaught of errors and penalties that just destroyed any hope they had. A quick recap:

  • After two straight quick defensive stops, the third drive looked like another one as Brady threw incomplete on 3rd down, until a defensive holding penalty kept the drive alive.
  • After KC had a massive punt called back on a holding penalty, the punter shanked it and gave TB the ball on the KC 38 yard line. Still, Brady threw a pick on 3rd down, which was called back on another holding penalty.
  • After that first down, the Chiefs made another defensive stop. Then on the field goal try (4th and 5) someone lined up offsides. Another first down. Unforgivable. Led to a touchdown.
  • At the end of the first half, the Chiefs called a terrible timeout with less than a minute left to give the Bucs a chance to convert a 3rd and 2 in their own territory and keep the drive alive. They did. And then a long PI call took them to the red zone.
  • In the red zone, another PI call on an uncatchable ball where Evans ran straight into Mathieu sets up a 1-yard touchdown before the half.

Typing all that out was cathartic. And that doesn’t even account for the psychological toll that these sequences had on an already struggling team. I won’t quibble about whether any of the penalties were the right call. That’s irrelevant. They were called, and it affected the outcome of the game. You don’t get bonus points for questionable calls. But I just don’t know how I could have predicted (1) just how undisciplined the Chiefs defense would play, (2) how poorly the Chiefs would be coached, and (3) how much the refs would impact the game. My general theory was right, but it’s a game with a lot of variance. This one bounced against me.

As for the statistical prop bets, I managed to go 2–0. Both of the bets were angles I believe in independently that were only strengthened if I was wrong about the rest of the game. Turns out they were both excellent hedges, although game flow is the only reason Mahomes had more completions than Brady. Still, on a night full of unfortunate things I’ll take the win.

With that, I’ll wrap up for now and let you know what I’m doing in the offseason soon.




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store