Our weathered and weary crew makes its picks for Sunday’s Super Bowl. For purposes of our standings, Kansas City is favored by 3 on Sunday against the host Buccaneers. Though every reputable sportsbook will allow bettors to buy points either way. Just watch those prices.

Ed Barkowitz — Chiefs, 37-24

Everything’s pointing to the Bucs in this game: home team, GOAT quarterback, major Temple influence among the assistant coaches.

If there was a full stadium, and the weeklong insanity of hype, I’d lean more toward Tampa Bay. But Kansas City is getting into Tampa on Saturday. It’s a business trip. The downtime will be minimal. As long as KC doesn’t go out and get a team haircut some place, I’ll buck the Chiefs’ recent 0-3-1 record against the spread on the road and take Patrick Mahomes and Co. to win Andy Reid a second consecutive title.

Season record: 129-127-8, .504 winning pct., t-4th place among 7 selectors.

Les Bowen — Chiefs, 41-33

I’m not close enough to either of these teams to have any blinding insights. I know that I would like to see Andy Reid win another Super Bowl, and cement his spot among the top half-dozen or so coaches in NFL history. I know that Patrick Mahomes is magic, and that he has more difference-making weapons in Super Bowl LV than Tom Brady commands with Tampa Bay.

I would feel tons more secure picking the Chiefs if their left tackle wasn’t a backup. And if I felt confident that their pass rush could consistently affect Brady. The Bucs definitely have a ferocious defense, a group that could create havoc and turnovers, and propel Tampa Bay to victory as the underdog.

But I’m going with Reid and Mahomes. I still think Green Bay was the most talented team in the NFC this season; how in the world the Packers managed to fritter away three Brady interceptions in the NFC Championship Game is beyond me. Kudos to Brady for getting here at age 43, he is amazing, but I think Todd Bowles’ defense has propped up the legend a bit in his second act.

Season record: 118-138-9, .462 winning pct., t-6th among 7 selectors.

Paul Domowitch — Bucs, 38-35

When the Chiefs and Bucs met in Week 12, the Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead. Tyreek Hill torched the Bucs’ secondary for 7 catches and 203 yards and 2 TDs in the first 15 minutes on the way to a 27-24 win.

The Bucs were 7-5 after that loss. Since then they’ve won seven straight games, including three playoff road wins. The Bucs offense finally has clicked behind Tom Brady, averaging 34 points per game in those seven wins, and Todd Bowles’ defense has become a takeaway machine.

Maybe Hill comes out and is once again too much for the Bucs corners. Maybe Patrick Mahomes outplays Brady. I’d love to see Andy Reid get his second Super Bowl title in as many years. But 68-year-old Bruce Arians has waited a long time for Sunday.

Season record: 130-126-8, .508 winning pct., 3rd among 7 selectors.

Marcus Hayes — Chiefs, 35-28

What do you get when you pit two elite passing offenses against two mediocre passing defenses? You get the over, that’s what.

It’s tough to find a determinant factor for this game. They have similar turnover differentials, similar sacks allowed, similar interception rates on both sides of the ball. The Bucs had 16 more sacks in the regular season than the Chiefs, but managed only two sacks in their 27-24 home loss on Nov. 29. In that game, Patrick Mahomes passed for 462 yards and three touchdowns, all to Tyreek Hill, who caught 13 passes for 269 yards. Expect the Bucs to cheat to Hill and to blitz Mahomes, who will, in turn, make Travis Kelce the first tight end to win the Super Bowl MVP award.

Season record: 129-127-8, .504 winning pct., t-4th place among 7 selectors.

Jeff McLane — Chiefs, 34-20

Patrick Mahomes > Tom Brady. Andy Reid > Bruce Arians. Can the Bucs still win? Of course. It’s always difficult to bet against Brady. And Todd Bowles is one of the best defensive coordinators around and should be able to scheme up enough blitzes to take advantage of the Chiefs’ loss of left tackle Eric Fisher. But Mahomes will be able to compensate with his pocket awareness. And Reid will have enough change-ups in his bag of tricks to offset any lulls. Give the coach an extra week and he typically wins.

Season record: 118-138-9, .462 winning pct., t-6th among 7 selectors.

EJ Smith — Chiefs, 34-28

It’s not typically a good idea to bet against Tom Brady in a championship game, but would you rather bet against Patrick Mahomes? The Bucs’ pass rush could wreak havoc on the Chiefs’ battered offensive line and flip this game on its head, but I’m banking on Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and the rest of the Chiefs’ offensive firepower being capable of making the necessary number of plays. There’s a reason Brady has six titles to his name going into this Sunday: The best quarterbacks usually rise to the top. That’s exactly why I’m picking Mahomes’ Chiefs.

Season record: 133-123-8, .519 winning pct., 2nd among 7 selectors.

Vegas Vic — Chiefs, 31-26

Inquirer handicapper Vegas Vic is rolling with the Chiefs to repeat as champs in a close one.

Season record: 136-120-8, .530 winning pct., clinched 1st among 7 selectors.

MVP Picks

Each sports writer was asked to pick one chalk and one dark horse for Super Bowl MVP. Odds vary from house to house, so shop around.

Chalk MVP
Darkhorse MVP
Ed Barkowitz
Patrick Mahomes, KC, 4-5
Tyrann Mathieu, KC, 40-1
Les Bowen
Patrick Mahomes, KC, 4-5
Devin White, TB, 50-1
Paul Domowitch
Tom Brady, TB, 2-1
Jason Pierre-Paul, TB, 75-1
Marcus Hayes
Patrick Mahomes, KC, 4-5
Travis Kelce, KC, 15-1
Jeff McLane
Patrick Mahomes, KC, 4-5
Mecole Hardman, KC, 50-1
EJ Smith
Patrick Mahomes, KC, 4-5
Shaq Barrett, TB, 50-1
Vegas Vic
Patrick Mahomes, KC, 4-5
Travis Kelce, KC, 15-1