Handicapping the NFL: Unique Props for Super Bowl LV

Handicapping the NFL: Unique Props for Super Bowl LV

This article is part of our Handicapping the NFL series.

Consider this article an opening introduction to betting Super Bowl LV if you've hardly paid attention to the NFL season, just want some fun action while you're enjoying the big game, or are looking for some extra nuggets in a world that is suddenly saturated with betting takes.

We'll have a few articles coming in the next 48 hours detailing specific player prop bets relative to a given sportsbook, but for now, consider this the best resource for someone looking to have some skin in the game who hasn't been totally invested in the season previously.

Player Props 

Some of my favorite prop bets throughout an entire year are the cross-sport ones that only come available for the Super Bowl. I'll be tweeting more of them out as I see them, but at least initially I think you need to look at two. Otherwise, there's a handful of less well-known player props that we can also target.

Chris Godwin scores more touchdowns than Paulo Dybalo scores goals on Feb. 6th against Roma (-125 on BetMGM)

I'm not positive Godwin scores a touchdown at all, but Paulo Dybalo will not play against Roma thanks to a knee injury. As a result the worst-case scenario I believe would be a push or the bet just doesn't happen altogether. It's probably not "exactly" a bet-the-mortgage type of deal because Dybalo could make a miraculous recovery, but still, I think you're looking at a scenario that is almost essentially "can't lose".

Tyreek Hill more rushing yards than combined goals between Red Wings vs. Lightning on Feb. 5th (-110 on BetMGM)

This isn't quite as obvious and Vegas has the O/U set for 5.5 between Red Wings/Lightning on Friday. Hill has taken at least one carry in five of his eight playoff games, but curiously two of those have come in Kansas City's last three playoff contests. Ultimately, I think Hill gets at least one carry and when he does, he usually is primed to hit the over. It's not a stone-cold lock like the bet mentioned above, but it's certainly not in the -110 range, either.

Devin White most tackles and assists (+100 on FanDuel)

Not to be confused with a similar prop bet on FanDuel which pits a player against another individual player for respective tackle/assists numbers, this prop bet seems to just combine all of the possible candidates into one lump sum and doles out odds. Unless White gets hurt there's really nobody from either team that will threaten his status as the top tackler in the contest.

Leonard Fournette over 10.5 FanDuel Fantasy points (-118)

The public perception seems to be that Ronald Jones will be a major factor for the Buccaneers and I don't think I disagree with that sentiment. However, we need to account for Fournette's noticeable receiving acumen relative to Jones. Forget the fact "Playoff Lenny" has been running roughshod; he's piled together 14 receptions over the Bucs' past three playoff games. Any sort of rushing touchdown with those reception totals would basically put him over from the hump automatically without factoring in his yardage total. Oh, and did I mention Fournette has the fourth-highest anytime touchdown odds of the Super Bowl?

Sammy Watkins over 6.5 FanDuel Fantasy points (-115)

There's definitely more risk here since Watkins has missed the entire playoffs with a nagging calf injury, but he was a full participant in Friday's practice which sure seems to indicate he'll play. The seventh-year receiver notably posted a four-year high in receiving yards last season and nearly topped 100 yards in last year's Super Bowl, but he's been less of a focal point from a yardage perspective in 2020. That being said, Watkins has at least four receptions in six of the 10 games played this year, and with an increased emphasis on stopping Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill I really think Watkins, and to some extent, Mecole Hardman, will be the duo picking up the slack.

Team Props

Consider this the section tailor-made for your significant other, family member or friend who hasn't followed football much this year, to have a bit of fun. I'll be honest when I say the data to reinforce these bets wasn't exactly easy to find, but with a mountain of different prop bets to pick from, these should at least get you closer to cashing than most.

Each team to score 3+ points in the second quarter (-200 BetMGM)

At least over the last decade the second quarter has time and again proven to be the more reliable when it comes to a scoring perspective. Go ahead and insert whatever narrative you want – pre-game jitters finally fizzling out, both teams playing coy with one another early on, etc. –  I still think it's fairly standard operating procedure for prop bets. Dating back to 2012, only Super Bowl LIII (Rams vs. Patriots) failed to hit these criteria.

Under 11.5 penalties (-165 on FanDuel)

DraftKings and BetMGM have this prop at 10.5 with marginally better odds so go ahead and just take the value here with FanDuel. Forget for a moment that across this year's playoffs, accepted penalties are down to 8.1 per game. Across the history of the Super Bowl, flags have hit the field on average 10.3 times per game thanks to likely a greater emphasis placed on letting the players "play" in the biggest game of the year. Yes, as a Packers fan I'm desperately attempting to stifle my groan regarding that last sentence, but if it means we can take advantage of it for betting purposes maybe I'll finally be able to move on (the answer is unequivocally that I won't).

Both teams make 33-plus yard field goals (-115 on FanDuel)

I would have thought the odds for this bet would be similar to the first two but then I did some digging. Over the last eight Super Bowls, just twice have both teams made field goals longer than 33 yards. However, I don't really know what that means in relation to this game other than lower odds. Both the Chiefs and Buccaneers ranked just outside the top 10 in terms of red-zone efficiency this year and I think both teams will be able to move the ball well enough to be in field-goal position most of the evening.

Total punts by Chiefs over 3.5 (+165 on DraftKings)

If you're looking for parlay filler over the weekend, taking the over on Chiefs' punter Tommy Townsend's 2.5 punts (-170) on FanDuel. The Chiefs attempted at least three punts in 11 of 17 regular-season games this year, so I think the number is skewed somewhat because Townsend has attempted just one punt during the Chiefs' 2020 postseason run thus far. As you can guess, the DraftKings 3.5 number is by no means a lock, but for plus money I'm comfortable betting on a slow start from the Chiefs. Last year they attempted just two punts and were in hurry-up mode for much of the second half. I think the situation could be reversed this go around.

Under 10:14:59 PM ET final play of the game is completed (-114) (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Literally, the only information that I was able to find regarding Super Bowl end times pointed out that Super Bowl LI between the Patriots and Falcons ended at 10:27 PM ET. That game famously went into overtime and had a start time of 6:30 PM ET. If you're going to do a fun bet that has almost zero analytical merit to it, at least bet against the most dramatic conclusion in Super Bowl history not occurring for a second time.

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Joe Bartel
Joe Bartel is RotoWire's Operations Specialist and football contributor among many other things. When not at the office, he's probably playing a variety of Gen 4 console games or rooting on his beloved Green Bay Packers.
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