There are dozens, if not hundred of prop bets to wade through for Super Bowl Sunday this year. Most of them are silly, existing more as entertainment whimsy than as actual gambling lines. As such, I am here to sift through all the major football-related bets you can make for the Big Game.
Below are the key bets I am looking at, some prop bets, some game lines, all relating to the game or broadcast. Most of these bets have odds on Bovada, though some are my own creation that I expect to have odds in the coming week. As with most game-related bets, the broadcast wagers all apply from kickoff to final whistle. Nothing in pregame or postgame counts.
Number of times Sean McVay’s age is mentioned? Over/Under 1.5
Many have already heard how the Rams head coach was a star high school quarterback when Tom Brady hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the first time. The bigger question is will this point be hammered home more than once during the game? The over is currently getting minus-175 with the under at plus-135. Bovada is also explicitly stating that his age, 32, has to be mentioned to count, so simply saying McVay is younger than Brady will not be enough. As such, I am leaning towards the under here.
Will there be a replay of the Nickell Robey-Coleman play during the game? Yes -130, No +100
Prior to the game, this will hit without a doubt. In-game, however, is a bigger question. I would assume the NFL would rather there not be a question of validity emphasized with one of their Super Bowl teams during the broadcast, so I am leaning no here.
Who has more CARRIES: Todd Gurley or C.J. Anderson?
Gurley should get more total touches, given his impact in the passing game. However, Gurley was flat out benched Sunday after dropping two key passes and being generally ineffective as a runner. While Gurley is the star and a perennial MVP candidate, Anderson has out-carried him in both playoff games. Gurley’s health could be a major factor in this, but once these odds go up, I am tending to lean the trend and would bet Anderson.
Number of plays Tony Romo will accurately predict? Over/Under 7.5
This one is a bit subjective, but we saw Sunday at least six instances of Romo nailing the exact play the offense ran down the stretch. In his first Super Bowl as a broadcaster, fans will likely be listening with bated breath to hear how Romo diagnoses plays throughout the game. Bovada currently has the over getting minus-140 and the under at even odds. 7.5 seems awfully high for a category as finicky as this, so I am taking the under.
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First player to score a touchdown?
The three running backs understandably have the best odds right now, with Sony Michel out front at +500. The way New England drove the field early last week, coupled with the early yardage the Rams surrendered, gives me a strong feeling that New England will score the first touchdown. In that instance, Michel is a safe bet as the primary ball carrier in the red zone.
However, if one is looking for some more value with this bet, the tight ends on either side are strong wagers. The Rams got a lot of use from their tight ends a week ago, particularly from Gerald Everett. So he gets my value bet at +2500.
Safer Pick: Michel +500
Bold Pick: Everett +2500
No matter what the odds are, I am taking James White as my Most Catches bet. The Rams can get after Brady up the middle, but struggle a bit with coverage with linebackers, hence Alvin Kamara‘s 11 catches in the NFC Championship. That sets up nicely for a mix of Brady checkdowns and designed routes to exploit the Rams’ weaknesses. I think White finishes with double-digit catches.
Patriots Super Bowls have recently been higher scoring affairs. All three of their past three trips to the Big Game resulted in the over hitting. Equal action on both sides here, as both the over and the under are at minus-110 on Bovada. Given the nature of the two offenses playing this year, the over is again a strong bet.
Super Bowl MVP?
Brady has been MVP in four of his five Super Bowl wins. The last two times, Julian Edelman and James White have had strong cases, but ultimately Brady has come away with it anyway. Since I am strongly favoring New England in this matchup, I am also strongly favoring a Patriot to take MVP. In that event, Brady is the obvious choice. However, given White’s usage and propensity for big-time play in big-time games, he brings good value as a sleeper pick.
Easy Pick: Brady +110
Bold Pick: White +2000
Against the spread? Patriots -3, Rams +3
The Patriots first half against Kansas City gives confidence that they have what it takes to slow down the Rams’ downfield threats, so a lot will depend on how Los Angeles runs the ball. If last week is any indication, that does not bode all that well for Sean McVay. With the Rams’ passing defense continuing to struggle, and given the way the Saints held up their pass rush, I feel strongly that the Patriots come out on top and cover.
The Pick: Patriots Cover
–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Deputy Editor for Full Press NFL. Like and Follow @samc_smith.