By Kevin Cooney
Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes have won three of the past four Super Bowls, and the two will get together late on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in one of the marquee matchups of the NFL season.
However, that’s about the only thing that Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady have in common as of this weekend.
Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are royalty, brilliant in the spotlight, and on everyone’s short list for a potential return trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast in early February for Super Bowl LV.
On the flip side, Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are limping along, two games out of the NFC South lead, and 1-3 in primetime games.
That’s what makes Sunday’s game (4:25 p.m., CBS) so fascinating. If the Bucs win, they will vault back into the Super Bowl conversation. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are needing to keep pace with the Steelers in the AFC’s hierarchy, as Pittsburgh sits at 10-0.
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The sports betting information
On FOXBet.com Sportsbook, the Chiefs were three-point road favorites with a money line of -162 (A $162 bet would pay out $100.) The Bucs are a +135 (a $100 bet pays $135.) The over under is 56.
Against the number this year, the Chiefs are 6-4, while the Bucs are 5-6. There are all kinds of CustomBets, Alternate Totals, BetBoost, and the new “Build A Prop” for you to choose from on FOXBet.com. Check it out today.
The Buccaneers lead the all-time series 7-5, but that’s not always the best indicator of how the game will go, since the two teams play so infrequently (the last time they faced off was in 2016 in Kansas City, a game the Buccaneers won, 19-17.) In the head-to-head matchup between the two quarterbacks, Brady holds a 2-1 advantage, postseason included.
The storylines to watch
The Chiefs are in a battle to get the lone first-round bye in the AFC playoffs and home field advantage. There are two issues, however, for Kansas City.
One, Pittsburgh keeps on winning and will be favored to win every game the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Kansas City still has hurdle games against Tampa Bay, at Miami and at New Orleans coming down the stretch.
Still, Mahomes was at his MVP-best on Sunday night in Las Vegas, when he drove Kansas City down the field to score a game-winning touchdown in a 35-31 win over the Raiders. Travis Kelce was on the other end of that pass and he’s having another stellar season.
On Monday night, the Buccaneers suffered another primetime loss when they fell to the Los Angeles Rams at home. At 7-4, and down two games to the New Orleans Saints – who effectively have a three-game edge because of two head-to-head wins – Tampa Bay may be looking more for an NFC Wild Card spot rather than home field advantage through the NFC.
Brady has thrown for almost 3,000 yards and has a slew of weapons in Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin, but he has also has thrown nine interceptions this season.
Bruce Arians needs to blend things together quick or Tampa will go from potential Super Bowl team to possible fringe playoff team.
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