It’s axiomatic there’s no point in watching the Super Bowl unless you have something riding on it. The line in the game is Patriots minus 4.5 as of this writing, and I’ll make my pick in Beating the Book during the middle of the week. But in the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the roughly 400 prop bets offered for the game.
(Prop bet list is from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook):
The first things I like to look at are the alternative point spreads. Instead of getting the Eagles plus 4.5, you can take the Eagles minus 10.5 and get 5:1 odds on your bet. Imagine if you had taken that line (or even better Eagles minus 17.5 at 9:1) against the Vikings last week. While it’s unlikely the Eagles blow out the Patriots, it’s hardly implausible.
I’ll take the Eagles minus 10.5 at 5:1. I’ll also take the Patriots minus 21.5 at 8:1. It’s not hard to see Nick Foles reverting to journeyman form if the Pats get a lead, and he’s forced to drop back predictably. Blowouts happen all the time in Super Bowls.
I like betting the total over 58.5 at 3:1 too. Neither defense is equipped to stop the opposing offense, and if it’s close, the game could hit that number easily.
Other props I’d consider:
Ajayi averaged 5.8 YPC with the Eagles, though that’s not the relevant stat because if you go 1, 2, 3, 2, 30, you’re an underdog to crack 3.5 on any particular carry. I’ll take the under here, assuming the squares will jump on the over. I’ll also take the same under on LeGarrette Blount, revenge narrative notwithstanding:
I like the over on the shortest-field-goal prop as both coaches are too smart to attempt chip shots under most circumstances where you’d try one:
I also like the following:
Over 67.5 yards for Brandin Cooks (-110). The Eagles are a tough run defense, but softer against the pass, a fact of which Bill Belichick is no doubt aware.
Rob Gronkowski at +130 to score a TD. Gronk scored eight times in 14 games this year and 76 in 109 during his career, i.e., he’s always been better than even money to score a TD, and here you’re getting +130. I don’t quite understand the line. (The Eagles gave up only five TD to TE all year, but that’s only slightly better than average, they never faced Gronk and when they played against Jimmy Graham and Travis Kelce, both scored against them.)
Tom Brady over 294.5 passing yards (-110). The O/U for attempts is 39.5. That means Brady, who averaged 7.9 YPA on the year, only needs 7.5 YPA to get there. The Eagles allowed 6.5 YPA to opposing QBs, and the league average YPA was 7.0, meaning they’re half a yard better, so it’s about right under normal circumstances. But I’ll bet Brady’s YPA is more determinative than the Eagles defensive YPA here, and moreover, in a dome, he’ll have ideal conditions.
If you want to check out some ridiculous props, here are a few: