12 Props To Bet And The Super Bowl XLIX Pick Against The Spread
The Super Bowl is bittersweet because it marks the end of the football season. I’m not one to get down in the dumps, so let’s enjoy the big day with a bunch of props to bet before we get to the pick. There’ s so many odd props to attack, but I’m focusing more on the game-related ones. If you want to bet what song Katy Perry leads off with at halftime then by all means have at it. (My money’s on “Roar” if you’re asking at +200.)
Team with the Most Penalty Yards – Seahawks (-150)
Seattle led the league in penalty yards again this year. They play a physical brand of football, especially in the secondary, and that should lead to them collecting more yellow flags than New England.
Team to Have the First Penalty – Seahawks (-120)
Obviously this depends a lot on the coin toss, but it helps that the Seahawks not only led the league in penalty yards, but have a much greater first quarter penalty variance compared to the Patriots. Seattle had 32 penalties enforced in the first quarters this year as opposed to only 21 for New England.
Will there be a Roughing-the-Passer Call – Yes (+150)
To go along with Seattle’s love of penalties, the NFL has become overprotected of their quarterbacks. They’ll instruct the referees to be extra sensitive of this in a showcase game this weekend.
Brandon LaFell Total Receiving Yards – Under 50.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
Richard Sherman is the obvious reason LaFell’s receiving potential this weekend will be limited. The Patriots will likely leave LaFell on the outside as Edelman moves around and works the middle of the field. Sherman may be gutting through an elbow injury, but he was able to do that through the injury in the conference title game and he’s had two weeks to rehabilitate the injury. LaFell is also more of a physical receiver, which plays into Sherman’s strength.
Will Tom Brady’s First Pass be Completed – YES (-180)
The statistics on this prop bet are simple. Brady has completed 14 of his 18 first pass attempts in a game this year. That percentage is better than the odds would suggest.
Tom Brady’s Pass Attempts – Over 37.5 (-110)
The Patriots cater their gameplan to their opponent. They know Seattle’s strong on the ground and in the air, but they’d rather go down swinging with their strength and franchise quarterback.
LaGarrette Blount Total Rushing Yards – Under 61.5 (-110)
This relates to the above prop. New England improved at running the ball when Blount came back to town, but game flow is part of that. You can be run heavy when you’re winning easily. That shouldn’t be the case this weekend.
Seahawks Rush Yards vs. Patriots Rush Yards – Over 48.5 (-110)
You’ll notice a trend here. I’m obviously anti-Blount and New England running game. Seattle’s running game will be their most productive aspect on offense given that it plays towards New England weakness’, specifically on the left side of Seattle’s offensive line.
Russell Wilson’s Longest Rush – Over 14.5 Yards (-110)
Wilson has had a rush longer than 14.5 yards in nine of his last 13 games. I like that percentage with the proposed odds.
Will Stephen Gostkowski’s First Kickoff Result in a Touchback? – Yes (-140)
When you remove Gostkowki’s kickoffs in cold weather, you see that 60% of his kickoffs resulted in a touchback. Add in the extra energy from a Super Bowl kickoff (either the opening kickoff or after the first score) and he should easily ice this one.
Longest Touchdown of the Game – Under 44.5 Yards (-110)
Neither team boasts a big play offense. New England’s dink and dunk offense will keep things from going long and their defense is good at limiting big runs. Neither team has that dynamic of a special teams return game either.
Luke Willson Total Receiving Yards – Over 35.5 (-110)
With Seattle neutralized in the passing game on the outside, they’ll look to hit the middle. Wilson has played really well in recent weeks. He wasn’t a big deal against Green Bay, but no one really was in the passing game until the final play. He played well against Carolina in the opening playoff game and against Arizona in Week 16.
Seattle +1 over New England
Finally we can move on to the big game. I didn’t really have a strong opinion of the game after the conference title games and I honestly don’t have a strong take now. I have digested plenty of analysis at this point, however, and do have a favored side. All signs point to Seattle being able to run the ball in this game. New England improved in the second half of the season against the run, but they’re week in two areas. They’re weak on the right side of their defensive line, which matches up with Seattle’s strong left side of the offensive line. They’re also one of the weakest teams at stuff percentage (stopping the opposing team behind the line of scrimmage) while Seattle is 6th at being successful at not having their rushers stopped behind the line of scrimmage. Seattle’s receivers don’t match up well with New England’s defensive backs, but at least Doug Baldwin works in the slot away from Darrell Revis and Brandon Browner. Luke Willson should also be a factor.
New England should see some success in the middle of the field with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski against a relative weakness for Seattle’s pass defense, but I expect Seattle to focus on shutting down Gronk. Seattle can’t pressure the quarterback as well as the Giants could in their previous Super Bowl wins against New England, but they’ll likely cause Brady some trouble. I also think New England likely abandoning the run will allow Seattle to focus their on the pass and scheming over the course of the game to break New England down.
I like the under (currently 47.5) in this game, but I really like the teaser combination of Seahawks with the under. If Seattle’s run heavy and New England dinks and dunks than the game clock will continue to run and there won’t be that many points on the board. Both teams have a mental edge to work off of with New England dealing with deflate-gate and Seattle being an underdog despite being a defending champion. Those mental edges will neutralize themselves. There’s really not too much to this game, but the answer is always defense when you’re in doubt.
Seattle 24, New England 20
Kyle: New England 27, Seattle 17
Last Week: 1-1