Super Bowl LI
The Big Game is here! The only thing more fun than betting on the line is betting on the props! Here are some of mine, categorized:
Will a player be seen kneeling during the national anthem for either team? No @ -500
This is at -700 now and it’s a bit high, but I am 99% sure that no one on either side will pull a Kaepernick for this year’s Super Bowl. We’re only 2 weeks into Trump’s term and while there’s been a lot of awful, crazy shit…..it hasn’t gotten to the point where athletes really start to stick it to him. No player has kneeled all year for either team, a few Patriots players rose their fists earlier in the year (Martellus Bennett might do it in this game; he also said he probably won’t go to the White House if the Pats win), and the Falcons decided to “hold hands” as their show of protest in unity in a game vs the Saints in Week 3. Falcons wideout Mohamed Sanu, who is Muslim, even told the press during Media Day he was “here to talk about football” when asked about the ban. I don’t think any player would want to show up their coach/team on the biggest game of the year, especially when one team is coached by a former assistant at the Naval Academy who Trump said gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Under 117.5 Million Viewers -150
Last year’s Super Bowl’s ratings was 1 point worse than last, and the record was set two years ago at 114.4. Atlanta is a historically weak TV market, everyone is sick of the Pats being in there, and this has been a historically boring ass NFL playoffs and ratings are down for the NFL YOY in whole.
First offensive Play – Pass -115
These teams’ always like to start out with an easy throw to get the QB’s in rhythm early.
How many times will “Gronk” or “Gronkowski” be said on TV during live broadcast Under 3 -120
This line should be 2.
The Side Dishes:
Dion Lewis Over Receptions 2.5 -115
LeGarrette Blount Over Receptions 0.5 +130
I see all of the Pats’ RBs getting some easy dump off looks vs a young and over aggressive LB core for Atlanta.
Tom Brady Over Completions 25.5 -105
Brady will find people open vs an average at best ATL secondary.
Devonta Freeman Rushing Yards Over 54.5 -105
The Pats’ run defense is strong but I think Belichick plays the safeties back and gives Atlanta the inside run to contain big plays and have Atlanda get yards in between the 30s, and do what NE does best: defend the red zone.
First TD Scorer:
Matt Ryan +10000
Chris Hogan +900
LeGarrette Blount +700
Anytime Touchdown Scorer:
Tevin Coleman -125
Devonta Freeman -125
When betting MVP, you basically start at the QBs and then go out and bet the thing like a roulette wheel. The QBs win MVP 40% of the time.
Tom Brady +140
Matt Ryan +225
The next tier are offensive players you might feel has a good matchup for the game. I think considering Atlanta’s lackluster run defense, LeGarrette Blount could have a change to have a big game. It’s also a great hedge against the various passing props I have. SI’s Greg Bedard also thinks this could be a good game for Blount.
LeGarrette Blount +1600.
The wild cards are usually defensive players; last year’s was Von Miller who went from 50-1 to 16-1 before gametime, and ended up winning the MVP. I would take Vic Beasley here, but his price jumped up too much that I instead went CB for New England as both guys below are either free agents or have 1 year left on their deal, and could win the “Larry Brown Award” for overrated CB play in a Super Bowl thanks to a few INTs.
Logan Ryan +10000
Malcolm Butler +6600
The Super Bowl “Who is That?” Prop Bet of the Year (cue drumroll):
James Develin Total Receptions Over 0.5 +130
I also like Patrick DiMarco Over Receptions +250.
The Big Game:
New England -3 (-105)
Bill Belichick is 22-3 vs a coach he’s faced the first time. The #1 scoring defense (Patriots) have beaten the #1 scoring offense (Falcons) 6 out of the last 7 times they have faced. Only 3 out of the last 20 Super Bowl participants who have come into the game the #1 scoring leader has won this game (Rams 1999, Saints 2009, 49ers 1989). I just think the Patriots are a more balanced team and Atlanta is a bit too top heavy, and this is highlighted by the fact all world center Alex Mack will be having a tough go of it with a fibula injury. He makes all the calls for the Falcons line, so his health is important in their success. I think Brady, with his aging, sick mom on his mind and revenge from the NFL’s bullshit he has had to put up with over the last year, will have a great game vs a milquetoast Atlanta defense, who will have to have the game of their lives to stop the Patriots’ offense. Atlanta will move the ball, but I just see them 7-10 points behind and I also like the Patriots in a teaser with the Over (58.5). I do think things will start slow, and the under 1Q at 13.5 (-110) I am taking as well. Cousin Sal likes the “team to score in the last two minutes of the 1st Half – Yes…..but it’s at -300 and that’s a bit too much for me (but a good bet methinks). Another factor: the Patriots will have more fans at the game this Sunday, and the game is on grass which will slow Atlanta down a little bit…..and I think that creates a hidden home field advantage for the Pats.
The line staying at 3 has been curious, and many sharps have been buying it down to -2.5 -125. I think between the fact the Pats, if they win, will be tied for the best record vs the spread all time (the 1989 49ers were 16-3 vs the spread; I consider that the best team of all time) and the Falcons having a 150-1 NFL Title preseason prop, the books are caught between a rock and a hard place and can’t give the Patriots too many points especially against an Atlanta team capable of getting a miracle cover. Also, every Patriots Super Bowl has finished under 3 points.
Good luck on Sunday!