The votes are in and there’s a clear winner: The readers are putting their money on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Super Bowl takes place Sunday in Miami, pitting the AFC-champion Chiefs against the NFC-champion San Francisco 49ers in the biggest spectacle in American sports, complete with hours of pregame coverage, glitzy halftime show, and viewing parties at which the commercials get as much attention as the game itself.
But what about that game? In this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll we asked readers to predict whether the Chiefs or 49ers would win the Super Bowl. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Which team wins Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV? Full context, including a breakdown of the matchup, here: https://t.co/t0RCQ5ECx7
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 27, 2020
Add the two together and 65 percent of the voters picked the Chiefs to win while 35 percent picked the 49ers. That’s about a two-to-one advantage for Kansas City, which is a significant amount.
Choosing Kansas City is in line with the bettors. The Chiefs have improved in the betting odds, going from a 1-point favorite at the beginning of the week to a 1.5-point favorite Thursday. That said, according to multiple online sites, a 1.5-point favorite converts into a 52.5% chance of winning, so the voters feel much more confident about Kansas City than the oddsmakers do (it should also be mentioned that Las Vegas odds are set more to get the betting to even out between the two teams, rather than to predict the outcome).
The Chiefs also look like they’ll head into the game at full strength, as Kansas City had no players on Wednesday’s injury report. San Francisco had three players who were listed as being limited in practice, including a pair of defensive starters in linebacker Kwon Alexander and safety Jaquiski Tartt — running back Tevin Coleman, part of the 49ers’ three-headed monster at running back, was the other player listed as limited. It should be mentioned, however, that a player who’s limited in practice on Wednesday tends to play on Sunday, so there’s a good chance we’ll have two fully-healthy teams.
What the voting results really say is that the voters have more faith in Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes-led passing attack, which is arguably the best in the NFL, than they do in San Francisco’s pass defense, which ranked No. 1 in the league during the regular season. There’s a good chance that this matchup will be the one that determines the outcome of the game.
One also has to wonder how drawing voters predominantly from the Puget Sound region affected the results. San Francisco is a hated rival of the Seattle Seahawks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some voters who refused to vote for the 49ers on general principle. That could have skewed the numbers.
Anyway, we’ll find out soon enough. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and is being televised by FOX, and four hours later we’ll see of the voters got it right.