I like the Bucs 1Q. There are a variety of lines you can bet on the 1Q depending on the book, 1Q lines vary a lot between juice and number from a PK at plus odds to +2.5 at (-138). The +2.5 is what I went with. I hate PK… if the game is tied I want to win so I would bet this at the best possible vig as long as it is +0.5 or better. I would really try to get +1.5 or better because I think it’s worth the juice to win if it’s a 7-6 or 10-9 game. Also, the Chiefs almost exclusively defer the kickoff when they win the kick but the Bucs have actually taken the ball a lot this season when winning the coin toss so the odds are higher than 50% that the Bucs will get the ball first which helps a lot.
To the reasoning: in 7 career playoff starts, Patrick Mahomes has trailed at the end of the 1Q in four of those 7 games despite being 6-1 outright in those games. In this playoff run, the Bucs have led in 2/3 first quarters with a 16-6 aggregate 1Q score. In the playoffs, the Bucs have been really good at controlling the clock with long 1Q drives and good 1Q defense, the Bucs have had 55.7% of 1Q time of possession in their 3 playoff games. When it comes to the season-long numbers, the Chiefs and Bucs averaged a near-identical 5.6 to 5.5 PPG in the 1Q and their defenses allowed only a point different.
I also like the 1Q under. In Brady’s 9 Super Bowls, the 1Q total points were less than 10 in 8 of those 9 games. Also in the Bucs and Chiefs combined 5 playoff games this year, they had less than 10 points in all 5 games. In the last 15 years, only 3 Super Bowls have had more than 10 points in the first quarter. I am betting the 1Q u10.5 (-118) at Fox Bet. Make sure you get a 10.5, not a 10, and then just find the line with the least possible juice at 10.5.
Picks: 1Q +2.5 (-138), 1Q u10.5 (-118)