Super Bowl LIV - 49ers vs. Chiefs - GreenZone Alert
[6.6 Units] San Francisco 49ers (+1.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
6.6 Units – SF pick ‘em or better
3.3 Units – SF -1
No Action – SF -1.5 or more
“Defense wins championships” is a staple cliché in all of our vocabularies for a reason. There have been nine times in the history of the Super Bowl that the #1 scoring team in the league faced off against the #1 scoring defense in the league. This happened most recently, in Super Bowl LI when the Falcons and Patriots played in Houston. In those games, the team that led the league in scoring defense has gone 8-1. The public loves the Chiefs offense, and we do to, but this is an extremely balanced 49ers team, who is arguably the best defense in the league. If we look at Football Outsiders DVOA rankings as a 3rd party unbiased source, the Chiefs have the #3 offense and #14 defense. On the flip side, the 49ers have the #2 defense and the #7 offense. Down the stretch, our money is on the 49ers having the best defense in the NFL, as the Patriots dominated the first half of the season before fading a bit the rest of the way. If defense wins championships and we are trying to decide who has the best defense on the field on Sunday, I think you’d be very hard pressed to find someone who says it’s not the 49ers.
The story all week has been this prolific Chiefs offense vs. the great 49ers defense, but what about what this 49ers offense has been doing to people?! The 49ers averaged 235 yds/g on the ground in the playoffs with a juicy 5.3 yds/carry efficiency. You know who didn’t have a lot of success stopping the run all season… the Chiefs. The Chiefs ranked #29 in rush defense DVOA which means they have been gearing up the last two weeks to try to clean that up. There was some talk and concern about the limited number of attempts Jimmy G has had in the two playoff wins, but the 9ers ranked in the top-10 over the full season in passing DVOA…they aren’t trying to hide any weaknesses, they simply were just having really good success running. There are plenty of great offensive minds in the league, with Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan being at the top of the list. That being said, Shanahan is in a dream scenario… His team just absolutely gashed the last two opponents running it right down their gullets for 8 quarters. They barely had to show any passing game wrinkles and the team they are facing this week is going to have to load up to try to stop the run. The list of play-action and riffs off the run-game he has dialed up is probably a mile long…that’s another definite advantage for the 49ers.
This should be a great game. Two healthy, well-coached, fun to watch teams squaring off. We are going to trust our numbers and once again be on the side of the books…the public has pushed this thing up to 1.5 and are rooting like hell for the Chiefs…that’s really all you need to know about what side will likely prevail.