Sunday Night Football Betting: Can Patrick Mahomes Continue His Undefeated Record as An Underdog Against the Spread?

Super Bowl contenders KC and TB square off with 2-1 records and looking to follow up a tough loss. Who can come out on top?

We get a treat of surprising 2-1 teams on Sunday Night Football, as the road Kansas City Chiefs will travel to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida tonight.

Our nERD-based rankings highlight that this contest could be a beast; both teams rank inside the top-3 of our power rankings. Let's check out into some interesting betting angles for this contest.

Game Preview and Key Matchups

Is Father Time really starting to catch up to the ageless wonder, Tom Brady?

It's early, so being prone to hyperbole isn't exactly a good look. However, the ancient signal-caller has posted a 0.00 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. Among quarterbacks with 75 or more drop backs, Brady checks in 10th worst in the league. That's a far cry from Patrick Mahomes, who sits second at 0.39 Passing NEP per drop back. If we look at their Passing Success Rates, this sticks out by a wide margin, too. Mahomes has posted a strong 54.95% mark, where Brady has only logged a mark of 43.12%.

Brady is going to need to pick it up if he wants to get back to another Super Bowl.

Neither team has been good running the football -- the Chiefs clock in 25th by our numbers and the Buccaneers are dead last in that department.

Among backs with 25 or more carries this year, neither running back is setting the world on fire. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has logged only a -0.04 Rushing NEP per carry mark this season, and while that mediocre mark isn't exactly a show stopper, he's been far better than veteran Leonard Fournette, who's posted an ugly mark of -0.13 Rushing NEP per rush.

Overall, it's an interesting matchup.

According to our per-play metrics, Tampa ranks as the league's best defense, whereas the Chiefs have the third-ranked defense. Tampa is fourth-worst on the offensive side of the ball, and the Chiefs are a solid 15th so far defensively.

Bets to Consider

Even though they are the home squad, bettors and Vegas seemed to think that it was likely Kansas City bounces back. They were installed as early favorites, but are now 1.5-point underdogs as he head into Sunday's tilt. The over/under for the game sits at 45.5 points.

Our projection isn't too far off from those lines as we forecast a narrow win for the home Bucs by a margin of 25.4-24.6.

Given how close we see this one playing out, covering that spread looks like a 50-50 coin flip, per our numbers. But one bet we really like is the over -- we expect that to hit 62.1% of the time.

Comparing player prop lines to our projections, one bet I actually like a lot better than our numbers is the over on JuJu Smith-Schuster's receiving yards. Let me explain why.

After a pretty rough Week 2 effort, the Smith-Schuster's receiving yards props is listed at 51.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook, and it's priced at -110 on both sides. While we are expecting to closer to about 40 yards from him, peep these numbers; 1) he garnered another 8 targets last week; 2) he faces up with safety-turned-slot cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr. who's struggled so far this season; 3) while the Tampa defense is solid, KC ranks third in the league in passing offense and the Chiefs are throwing the ball at a 62% clip. Let's get spicy here.

Historic Betting Trends

-- Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes enjoys the shiny lights, as they are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games.
-- Rarely an underdog with Tom Brady under center, Tampa has covered in their last 5 games getting points.
-- Tampa hasn't hit an OVER so far in 2022.