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Arizona Sports’ Super Bowl LV predictions: Who’s got the Bucs, Chiefs?

Feb 6, 2021, 9:14 AM
Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs makes a catch against Carlton Davis #24 of the Tampa Bay ...
Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs makes a catch against Carlton Davis #24 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game at Raymond James Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Super Bowl LV matchup is a good one. You could say it doesn’t provide us with an underdog to feel 90% confident in predicting a winner.

The Kansas City Chiefs are the field-goal-ish favorites, and it helps to have last year’s Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, leading the way for them. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady has been there before, and his team has the firepower and defense to threaten Kansas City.

Picking the winner might swing in Kansas City’s favor, but making that call with certainty isn’t easy.

Our Arizona Sports hosts and editors are giving it a try. Here are their Super Bowl LV predictions.

Which team will win the Super Bowl and why do you think it will?

Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta: I’m going with the Chiefs based on the “they’re too good” theory. I’d be lying if I said that the Kansas City offensive line isn’t a concern going into this game, especially against Tampa Bay’s Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett, but the Chiefs just don’t lose games when Patrick Mahomes starts. The biggest complaints people had against Kansas City this season as defending champs came from gamblers because they didn’t cover the spread for a stretch of consecutive weeks. I’m taking the Chiefs, 31-23.

Doug Franz, co-host of Doug & Wolf: Never trust someone’s opinion who picks against Tom Brady but … Kansas City is the better team. When you combine a better team that doesn’t play with an entitlement attitude with more Super Bowl experience, you have to pick them. Chiefs win with a dominant second half.

Luke Lapinski, host of The Rundown with Luke LapinskiI honestly think this is one of the toughest Super Bowls in recent memory to pick. Maybe Mahomes and Travis Kelce do what they’ve been doing all season, and the Chiefs just roll. They should, they’re the better team. But the closer we get to Sunday, the more I’m starting to think the Buccaneers pull this off. The Achilles injury to Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher is significant, and you know some sort of weird play or call is going Brady’s way if this is a close game late. I get that I just said I want Bucs coach Bruce Arians to win, but I’d still prefer the Chiefs overall. So I’ll just assume the Bucs win, 33-31.

John Gambadoro, co-host of Burns & Gambo: I’m going with Kansas City just because I despise Tom Brady and can never find myself rooting for him or even picking him. Kansas City has two weapons in Kelce and Tyreek Hill that can keep drives alive and put points on the board, and I just don’t see Tampa coming up with enough stops in this game to win. So Super Bowl loss No. 4 for Brady — although it should be No. 6 if Atlanta and Seattle took care of business.

Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo: The Chiefs win and the suspicion here is that it will be by double digits. It feels strange to think that way about a Tom Brady-led football team. That’s how highly I think of Mahomes and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid when he’s had an extra week to prepare. The Chiefs offense is ruthless and Arians, Brady and Byron Leftwich just won’t be able to keep up.

Kellan Olson, ArizonaSports.com editor and reporter: The Kansas City Chiefs. I can’t get the throws made by Brady in the second half of the NFC Championship out of my head, and Mahomes being the best player in the NFL is what I’m going to favor. With that in mind, I love the Bucs’ chances because of the number of playmakers they have on both sides of the ball. If they win, it’s going to be because of a combination of Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin White and Carlton Davis making things happen. Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson are legit, too, behind Godwin and Evans. Can’t wait for this game.

Tyler Drake, ArizonaSports.com editor and reporter: I’m rolling the dice on this one and going with the Buccaneers. Yes, the Chiefs won 27-24 in their regular season meeting, but the game was narrowly won despite an ungodly performance from Mahomes (37-of-49 for 462 yards and three touchdowns). Tampa Bay was held scoreless in the first quarter, while Kansas City dropped 17 unanswered. If Brady and the offense can produce early on, the scoreboard could look a whole lot different come Sunday. And a defense with a lot of confidence after knocking off Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers never hurts. Tampa Bay takes it, 35-32.

Kevin Zimmerman, ArizonaSports.com editor and reporter: It’s supposed to rain, and someone smarter than me pointed out that should only help Kansas City’s battered offensive line with the Bucs’ pass-rush. I guess I’ll say that will confirm my thought that the Chiefs will be able to overcome that weakness, because the Mahomes-Kelce-Hill-led offense is that good. But Tampa Bay’s defense is pretty dang under-appreciated, and I think that will be a near-even match until last year’s Super Bowl MVP does enough to win. Also, Brady is the G.O.A.T. and all, but the G.O.A.T. in fact made some very dumb mistakes in the second half of the NFC Championship two weeks ago and got away with it. We’ll see if that’s flushed out of his system.

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