After three exciting rounds of postseason play, the AFC’s Kansas City Chiefs and NFC’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the last two teams remaining in the NFL Playoffs and are gearing up to clash in the 2021 Super Bowl. The Chiefs parlayed the AFC’s No. 1 seed into a pair of home wins to reach the big game for the second year in a row, while the Bucs won three consecutive road contests as they navigated through the NFC portion of the playoff bracket. Although the No. 5 seed Buccaneers earned the right to play in the first ever “home” Super Bowl game in history, oddsmakers are still giving a slight edge to Kansas City to defend its title during this impending battle at Raymond James Stadium.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the 2021 Super Bowl, including how to watch the game on TV or live stream, whose in the broadcast booth, the pre-game and halftime show performers, the officiating crew, the history between the Chiefs and Bucs, the latest odds, a list of prop bets and much more.
Super Bowl 2021 Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Date and Start Time: Super Bowl 55 is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 7 with the opening coin toss leading into the Buccaneers and Chiefs kicking the title game off. Pre-game coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET.
TV: CBS will televise Super Bowl LV, the second time in the last three years that the network will air the Super Bowl. The broadcast booth will consist of Jim Nantz on play-by-play, Tony Romo doing color commentary and Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn and Jay Feely providing sideline reporting. Rules expert Gene Steratore will also be on hand to provide insight into the officiating of Super Bowl LV.
Live Stream: There are a myriad of ways viewers can stream Super Bowl LV for free, including the pre-game and post-game coverage, halftime show and game itself at CBSSports.com and through the CBS Sports App on mobile, OTT and smart TV devices, which will not require authentication. The NFL is also offering Super Bowl LV streaming free via their digital properties, the participating teams’ mobile properties and Yahoo! Sports platforms.
Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida will be the host of the 2021 Super Bowl. This will be the third time that the venue has hosted a Super Bowl, although attendance will be much sparser than the previous championships held at the site. The league is permitting only 22,000 fans to attend due to coronavirus precautions, far fewer than the 71,000 in the stands back for the last Super Bowl played at Raymond James Stadium in 2009.
For the first time in the game’s storied history, the Vince Lombardi Trophy is up for grabs in the home stadium of a team competing directly for it. The Buccaneers shook off a perceived curse that had impacted the host organization since the Super Bowl’s inception, as only five other teams set to hold the big game at their arena had even made the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Only one of those squads, the 2017 Minnesota Vikings, were able to reach its respective conference championship matchup. Interestingly enough, the Bucs will be playing their first game of the 2021 postseason at their own digs in the Super Bowl, having had to go on the road for three consecutive matchups to reach this point. Starting as the No. 5 seed in the NFC, Tampa Bay beat the No. 4 Washington Football Team, No. 2 New Orleans Saints and No. 1 Green Bay Packers in subsequent weeks, defying the odds and pulling off upsets in the latter two matchups.
Although the Bucs have made history by getting back home to compete in Super Bowl LV, head coach Bruce Arians said his team isn’t satisfied just yet (via NFL.com):
Officiating: Carl Cheffers will be the referee for Super Bowl LV, his 15th total postseason assignment and second Super Bowl gig following Super Bowl LI. This is Cheffers 21st season as an officiant and 13th as a referee. The crew will also consist of umpire Fred Bryan, line judge Rusty Baynes, side judge Eugene Hall, back judge Dino Pagan elli, field judge James Coleman and down judge Sarah Thomas. Thomas will become the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl, earning the honors after five seasons in the league and two prior playoff assignments leading up to Super Bowl LV.
National Anthem and Halftime Show: The leadup to Super Bowl LV’s start will include a poem from National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman and the “Star-Spangled Banner” performed as a duet by country singer Eric Church and R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan. The official halftime show is being headlined by The Weekend, with other unannounced stars expected to join him during the performance.
NFL Playoff Bracket 2021: The NFL tweeted out the full postseason bracket leading up to Super Bowl LV, showing the paths that the Buccaneers and Chiefs took to reach this point.
Buccaneers vs. Chiefs Head-to-Head History: The 2021 Super Bowl will mark the 14th meeting between the Buccaneers and Chiefs. Tampa Bay holds the slightest of edge in the all-time series, winning seven of those 13 prior matchups in the regular season. The Bucs were riding a five-game winning streak against Kansas City into the most recent contest, which took place in Week 12 of the 2020 NFL season. The Chiefs won that game by a slim 27-24 margin, slipping past this foe for the first time since 1993 on the back of a monster performance by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns in the contest. Here’s a look at the results from each prior game involving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs dating back to their first clash in 1976:
- Nov. 29, 2020: Kansas City Chiefs 27 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24
- Nov. 20, 2016: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19 @ Kansas City Chiefs 17
- Oct. 14, 2012: Kansas City Chiefs 10 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38
- Nov. 2, 2008: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 @ Kansas City Chiefs 27 (OT)
- Nov. 7, 2004: Kansas City Chiefs 31 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34
- Nov. 14, 1999: Kansas City Chiefs 10 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
- Sept. 5, 1993: Kansas City Chiefs 27 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3
- Oct. 26, 1986: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 @ Kansas City Chiefs 27
- Oct. 28, 1984: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 @ Kansas City Chiefs 24
- Sept. 13, 1981: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 @ Kansas City Chiefs 19
- Dec. 16, 1979: Kansas City Chiefs 0 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3
- Oct. 8, 1978: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 @ Kansas City Chiefs 13
- Oct. 31, 1976: Kansas City Chiefs 28 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19
Point Spread: The Chiefs opened as 3.5-point favorites as soon as the conference championship games wrapped up, but that line has since shifted slightly in Tampa’s direction. This movement is largely based on early sharp action, as the public is overwhelmingly supporting Kansas City right now. As of Thursday morning, 62% of all bets and a whopping 80% of the money wagered against the spread is on the Chiefs side, indicating that the wise guys are making a contrarian play on Super Bowl LV and have already forced a half-point swing towards the Bucs.
Total: The over-under for Super Bowl 55 is set at 56.5 points. This total is far more polarizing to the public than the point spread, evidenced by 72% of the tickets siding with the over but 61% of the handle on the under. This is not an uncommon betting trend, as more casual players tend to root for high-scoring primetime and postseason contests, while the sharper bettors will capitalize on perceived value of an inflated line by taking the under. Bookmakers are reacting to the smart money in this situation and have already lowered the line a full point after putting the game up on the board with an over-under of 57.5 points.
Money line: Those looking to bet on the Super Bowl without having to worry about the point spread can simply pick a winning side by making a money line bet. The odds for both teams differ due to the implied probability of each potential outcome. In this case, Kansas City is the team that Vegas believes is more likely to win based on -175 money line odds. Therefore bettors must risk $1.75 to return $1 on the squad repeating as champions. The Buccaneers are a +145 underdog, meaning one would return $1.45 for each $1 staked on an upset. Based on these odds, the implied probability of a Tampa Bay upset is 41% , while bookies expect the Chiefs to win 64% of the time. These percentages add up to more than 100% due to the vig, which is the cut a sportsbook takes for facilitating wagers. Watch Live
Super Bowl LV Odds Overview
Buccaneers vs. Chiefs point spread: Kansas City -3.5
Buccaneers vs. Chiefs total: over-under 56.5
Buccaneers vs. Chiefs money line: Kansas City -175, Tampa Bay +145