The Super Bowl is always a highly anticipated event.
Sunday’s matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs has more hype than usual as it will feature some of the league’s most explosive players on both sides of the ball.
Some national writers have even deemed it the hardest Super Bowl to predict in years.
Given its proximity to San Francisco, Northern Nevada falls more into 49er territory than Chiefs fandom – at least according to Capital Barbershop owner Jeff Nichols.
He said he thinks 49er fans probably hold a 2-to-1 advantage around Carson City – in part because Cowboys fans have jumped to the Chiefs bandwagon.
It’s no secret who Nichols wants to see leave Miami with the Lombardi Trophy. Along with 49ers posters along his walls, the barber donned a Niner sweatshirt and hat Friday throughout his workday.
“I think it’s going to be 31-27 49ers,” said Nichols. “They’ll need to have a balanced attack ... and long drives for each score. KC is built to score quick.”
One of the bigger question marks surrounding the Niners’ team this year has been quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and his ability to carry the red and gold to victory, if needed.
So far in the postseason he’s hardly been needed, throwing 27 passes for 208 yards in two games.
Nichols had faith that his quarterback can get it done, but his biggest key for the 49ers was how they handled the quarterback on the other sideline.
“Get to (Patrick) Mahomes in less than three seconds,” Nichols said. “49ers pass rush has to keep him running.”
Abraham Gomez, who walked in to get his haircut moments later agreed.
“As long as they’re healthy,” added Gomez, which has been the case for San Francisco since getting a bye through the first week of the postseason after earning the No. 1 seed.
Nichols said he had one Chiefs fan come into the shop in opposing gear, but didn’t catch much flak in the way of trash talk.
As of 2:45 p.m. Friday, William Hill sports book had the Chiefs as a 1-point favorite over the 49ers with the total score over/under set at 54.5 points.
Other predictions and bets
Other football fans from the Northern Nevada area chimed in on Twitter to voice their predictions.
“Chiefs by six. Patrick Mahomes all the way,” said Adan Garcia, a 2019 Carson High School graduate.
“49ers 28, Chiefs 24,” said Nevada News Group’s Winnemucca sports editor Tony Erquiaga, who also said the coin flip at the beginning of the game will land on tails.
“Chiefs 35-20. Tyreek Hill rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown,” said KSIB sports director Damon Helgevold, who is based out of Creston, Iowa.
Helgevold wasn’t the only Chiefs fan from the Midwest to favor Kansas City, Mount Ayr Record-News sports writer Chanse Hall also picked KC.
“Chiefs will go down 10, but come back to win 28-17,” said Hall. “Mahomes throws four touchdowns and has four rushes for 35 yards.”
Super Bowl LIV is set to start at 3:30 Sunday.