Chiefs vs. Buccaneers Week 4 matchup preview and current betting lines
The Super Bowl LV rematch puts a lot of focus on Kansas City’s offensive line to protect Patrick Mahomes, and for the defense to not allow so many easy plays to Tom Brady’s offense. While both teams look fairly different from that February 2021 evening, there is no denying that Tampa Bay’s coaching staff, which has replaced Bruce Arians with Todd Bowles this year, got the best of Andy Reid’s staff by breaking tendencies:
- In Super Bowl LV, Bowles called his fewest blitzes in five years (9.6%) and used two-high safety looks on 87% of the snaps (his highest game). The league has since copied this style to play the Chiefs.
- The Buccaneers pressured Mahomes 29 times, a Super Bowl record, and made him run around for 497 yards before throwing or getting sacked, a record for any game since 2016 according to Next Gen Stats. The Chiefs revamped their line, which was badly injured for the Super Bowl.
- Bowles’ three lowest blitz rates in games are all against Andy Reid offenses.
- On offense, Brady used play-action on 43% of his dropbacks in Super Bowl LV, his highest in a game since 2016. All three of his touchdowns came on play-action and he was pressured just four times.
- Kansas City has been outscored 55-19 by Tampa Bay in the last seven quarters since 2020. It was Tyreek Hill who had 269 yards and three touchdowns, mostly in the first quarter, when the teams met in Week 12 in 2020.
That 31-9 beatdown was the first time Mahomes did not score a touchdown, and the first time he lost by more than eight points in the NFL. The Chiefs get another chance at the Bucs, but Tampa Bay is allowing 9.0 points per game so far this season, and Kansas City has some flaws without Hill’s speed this year. Marquez Valdes-Scantling hit some home runs for the Packers, but his longest catch as a Chief so far is 24 yards.
The NFL Week 4 odds have the Buccaneers as a 1-point favorite, but it could also be a pick ‘em by kickoff. Kansas City has been favored in 26 straight games and Tampa Bay is not far behind at 22 straight games, so buckle up for a good one.
Players to watch in the Chiefs vs. Buccaneers game
Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Jones: While Jones did not have one of Kansas City’s five sacks in Indy, he has two sacks of Brady in his career. He needs to bring that interior pressure that frustrates Brady the most, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo knows this well as he devised the game plan for the 2007 Giants to stop the undefeated Patriots. Jones needs a big game against an offensive line that has undergone many changes this year and a quarterback in Brady who is getting rid of the ball in 2.4 seconds (fastest in NFL).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette: Tampa has zero rushing touchdowns and only three passing scores through Week 3. Some receivers may be back, but the ground game has to get going and that is on Fournette. He could have walked in for the game-tying two-point conversion on Sunday before a delay of game penalty pushed the ball back to the 7. Look for Brady to feed Fournette in the red zone and end this rushing touchdown drought.
Our Best NFL Bets for the Chiefs vs. Buccaneers game
We have two NFL Week 4 predictions we want to share for this Super Bowl rematch on Sunday night.
Chiefs vs. Buccaneers Point Spread Pick: Buccaneers -1 (-105)
The Chiefs vs. Buccaneers spread opened with the Chiefs as a 2.5-point road favorite, but with threats from Hurricane Ian of moving the game to another day or to a neutral field like Minnesota, the line movement has been all over the place. You can now find the Buccaneers as a 1-point favorite or even a pick ‘em, and the game is scheduled to be played in Tampa Bay on Sunday night as planned.
While Tampa Bay lost 14-12 to the Packers, the defense held Aaron Rodgers without a score on nine straight drives to end the game. The Buccaneers still nearly got a 300-yard game from Brady without his top three wide receivers. Mike Evans is back from suspension and Julio Jones (knee) is likely going to play, so they will be better on that front.
The Chiefs had a rough game in Indy, and kicker Harrison Butker continues to struggle with an injury that has been costlier than imagined. But the Chiefs are going to find a stronger defense in this matchup than what they have faced so far.
In the Mahomes era, Kansas City is only 14-14 ATS as a road favorite. Look for Brady to get the best of both worlds as his receiving corps gets closer to whole, and his defense continues to keep the score down in this 2022 season. Take the Buccaneers to win.
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Mike Evans Prop Pick: Over 62.5 Receiving Yards (-133)
The best and healthiest wide receiver in this game should be Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans, who will be fresh off his one-game suspension for his involvement in a fight with Marshon Lattimore and the Saints in Week 2.
Evans has the speed and size to give this Kansas City secondary problems, much like we have seen the last two weeks with the Chargers’ Mike Williams (113 yards) and Indianapolis’ Michael Pittman (72 yards). Evans is Brady’s most trusted target down the field.
Evans did not have huge numbers against the Chiefs in two matchups in 2020, but he caught two touchdowns in one and had two crucial defensive pass interference penalties drawn in the Super Bowl before halftime. At 62.5 yards with Chris Godwin (hamstring) still out, this over feels like a steal and NFL bet of the week for Evans.Bet on NFL with caesars >