This week I want to look at some of the Super Bowl props I found on Sportsbook.ag and Bovada.lv. The props discussed are merely a way to take a fun look at the big game Sunday.
Michael Crabtree will be the Super Bowl MVP (+1200)
Crabtree has been one of the most dominant wide receivers in football since Week 13. I think there's some value in this line after Crabtree had a mediocre game against Asante Samuel, finishing with only six catches for 57 yards. It's realistic that he gets double-digit targets Sunday, and he would be a good MVP candidate if he can find the end zone more than once, something he's done in three of his last five games.
Long shot for Super Bowl MVP, Alex Smith, (+7500)
Before you jump down my throat, note the words "long shot." Fact is, if anything happens to Colin Kaepernick, it's not tough to imagine Smith stepping into the game and leading San Francisco to victory. Should that happen, Smith would be an obvious choice for MVP honors, especially going from being benched to Super Bowl winner.
Yes, Joe Flacco will throw an interception (–150)
I've been singing the praises of Flacco the last week, so this is a little bit of an odd choice. However, I think it's tough to go the entire playoffs without throwing a pick, and the 49ers pass rush should get enough pressure to force him into making a bad decision.
Ray Lewis over 11.5 tackles assisted and solo (-150)
It seems like anytime Lewis is in the vicinity of the opposing team he's gotten credited for a tackle. Since returning from injury he's had 13, 17 and 14 tackles in the last three games. Therefore, this line seems fishy, but I'll take the bait as most of Frank Gore's runs should be between the tackles where Lewis should be waiting.
Ray Rice under 3.5 catches (-150)
Since Week 12, Rice has had four or more catches only once, so this is another line that doesn't seem right. Bernard Pierce has eaten into Rice's snaps so he's not on the field as much as he was earlier in the season.
Frank Gore will score a touchdown (-145)
The Ravens have looked much better on defense the last three weeks; that can largely be attributed to getting healthier on that side of the ball. However, Gore has scored in his last three games and five of his last eight, showing that San Francisco will give him the ball near the goal line.
LaMichael James under 1 reception (+110)
I'm not in love with this one, but the under makes sense. Only once in San Francisco's last six games has James caught two balls, three times he's caught exactly one pass (a push) and twice he hasn't caught a pass. He's never had more than two targets in a game, so even if he gets that, he'll have to catch both for me to lose. I'll gamble here that he doesn't.
Vernon Davis longest catch over 20.5 yards (-130)
After his huge game in the NFC Championship you'd think the 49ers will continue to get him involved Sunday, right? Davis has a catch of over 20.5 in three of his last four games and should be able to get behind the Ravens linebackers. The over/under for receiving yards for him is 47.5, which is intriguing considering before the Atlanta game he was under that mark in seven consecutive games.
Now for some of the more interesting prop bets:
Beyonce will be joined by Jay-Z at some point during her halftime performance (+110)
Look, they're everywhere together these days, the Presidential Inauguration, Nets games so why not collaborate on one of the biggest stages in the world? I was tempted to wager on Beyonce's hair color or style but this prop won out.
Barack Obama will pick the Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl (-200)
While California twice voted for Obama - and San Francisco overwhelmingly so - I have to think the proximity of Baltimore to Washington, D.C. will prevail here.
"Harbaugh" will be said over 20.5 times during the broadcast (-140)
I actually like this one the best. You know we'll see the Harbaugh, parents which will get at least one mention. Anytime there's a big decision, the coach will get a mention. I really think this number could go over by halftime.
The postgame handshake/hug between the Harbaugh brothers will last more than seven seconds (-120)
I don't think Jim is going to give John a lame handshake followed by a slap on the back, a la Jim Schwartz. Look for them to live up the moment as this prop states the timing is start to finish of physical contact.
Colin Kaepernick will have more completions than Chris Paul has points against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 3 (-115)
Right now Paul is out with no timetable, and if he doesn't play this won't have any action. However, if he suits up there is a good chance he's not 100 percent or at least shows some rust with his shot. Kaepernick's over/under for completions is 17.5, and Paul only averages 16.6 points per game. This prop would make more sense if Paul was completely healthy, but seeing as he's not, take the chance he plays and this prop counts.
Any props I didn't mention that you found interesting? What about prop bet do you feel pretty confident in? Let me know in the comments. As far as my Super Bowl prediction, I'll take the 49ers over the Ravens, 31-21.
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