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Prop Bet Picks and Recommendations for Super Bowl LIII

Los Angeles Rams (15-3) @ New England Patriots (13-5)

  • Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Neutral Site). Atlanta, Georgia
  • When: February 3, 2019 6:45 pm EST
  • Spread: New England (-3) vs Los Angeles (+3)
  • Moneyline: NE (-150) vs LA (+130)
  • Over / Under: 56.5

In case you’ve enjoyed our Super Bowl LIII preview and moneyline pick (or haven’t discovered it yet), here’s a companion-guide full of prop bets available from most online betting sites for the big day on Sunday.

The given odds represent Vegas consensus. If the lines (or markets) are slightly different at your book, adjust your handicapping accordingly.

Tom Brady Passing Yards (Over/Under 319 ½ (-115))

“(-115)” goes for both the Over and Under side of the proposition here, since odds-managers know that betting on Tom Brady is too popular a hobby for some fans to skip out on no matter what.

The handicap of this line must lean heavily on overall predictions for the contest. Brady is no longer the type of QB who can throw 50+ passes in a game and expect to be successful. But when trailing or tied in the 4th quarter there is no one better among mortals.

If the Rams successfully control the ball and score points, then Brady will want to pass more, but won’t have as many snaps on which to do so. If the Rams flounder, then Tom Terrific will want to zing as many TD passes as he can as quickly as he can, to build a commanding lead. But if New England leads by 14 or 21 points then he will be asked to start handing the pigskin off on 1st and 2nd down.

It all sounds like a wash to me.

Rob Gronkowski Pass Catches (Over 4 (-120) vs Under 4 (-110))

An android built for the tight end position, Gronkowski’s combination of size, speed, hands and field smarts continues to terrorize NFL defenses.

But it’s not terrorizing them quite as often as it once was. As witnessed in the recent AFC playoffs, Gronk is often used as a blocker or a decoy before coming alive downfield at just the right moment to give the Patriots an added element of surprise.

4 catches in the Super Bowl is a stretch considering that the Brady Bunch is up against a ball-controlling NFC champ and a great punter in Johnny Hekker. Brady will look for Gronk when sniffing the Red Zone more often than when pinned-down on his 8 yard line by an Australian banana punt.

MVP: Tom Brady (-110)

The most obvious of potential MVP choices and the shortest betting line by far. By winning Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, Brady could cement a legacy like that of no other quarterback who has ever graced the NFL. We know he won’t be bothered by the pressure, but what about the pressure applied by L.A.’s edge rush?

MVP: Jared Goff (+200)

Goff is a fine QB and if the Rams out-play the Pats for 4 quarters he’s likely to get the award. But Sean McVay is also likely to lean on his ground game in this one.

Todd Gurley (+1000)

Probably the first time any RB has been at 10-to-1 for an MVP award in a Super Bowl after playing only sparingly as a healthy bench-warmer in the NFC Championship Game.

Unless something is seriously wrong that the Rams aren’t telling us about, I can’t see McVay not giving Gurley every chance to re-take the reins in Atlanta, as the Los Angeles ground game must flourish for victory to be anything close to assured.

The NFL title tilt is no place to not employ your best weapon.

I’m recommending Gurley’s line at (+1000) but watch for late line-movement. Anything shorter than 8-to-1 is bogus and anything more than 10-to-1 is an absolute steal.

Brandin Cooks (+4000)

My favorite dark horse on the board. What if Cooks starts cooking when Gurley and C.J. Anderson preoccupy the Pats up the middle? The WR could have revenge on his mind since Bill Belichick didn’t want him in 2018-19, and he’s got the skill set for a 200-yard performance catching long bombs set up by the run and play-action.

Will the 1st Team to Score Win the Game? (Yes: (-160), No: (+130))

This is my ultimate value-prop recommendation for the upcoming Super Bowl. In a game between high-powered opponents with quality field goal kickers (Stephen Gostkowski and especially Greg Zuerlein apply) the first score is not as important as the entire 1st quarter. Often, both teams have a chance to score on their opening possessions, but obviously the club that fields the opening kickoff has a far greater chance to take the game’s first lead.

Did it matter that the Saints went up early on the Rams last Sunday? Could anyone at Arrowhead Stadium remember or care by OT whether the Patriots or Chiefs led at the 7:30 mark of the 1st quarter of the AFC Championship Game? The answers: No, and not really.

I don’t think a 5-minute score of Rams 3, Pats 0 or Pats 7, Rams 0 is going to mean a whole lot in the end. The score midway through the 2nd quarter could have a strong correlation with the finish…but that’s what live point spread betting is for.

Rams RB Yardage Props (Gurley: O/U (83 ½) Anderson: O/U (59 ½))

This is such a weird dilemma to look at each of the Rams’ running backs lines side-by-side. Anderson played very well in the NFC Championship Game, but he was completely fresh, and now has the aches and pains that accompany all active NFL running backs – whose job is to run with a ball until so many people hit them that they can’t stand up anymore.

It’s almost a question of which team you believe will win the game. If the Patriots win, that means (most likely) that Gurley is not having a great evening, and Anderson will get his moderate yards as a stopgap for the mentally ill-prepared superstar. On the other hand, if the 1st-stringer is rocking it? Say goodbye to Anderson making his prop total.

Now for a few Super Bowl props that you definitely shouldn’t bet on this weekend…as winning or losing any of them would be down to pure luck.

Click here to start wagering on the NFL and other American sports at Bovada.

Coin Toss

The great appeal of sports gambling is that it is like playing the stock market, except it’s much more fun to stare at your shares (athletes) in action. It is not a game of chance like roulette or craps.

So why is the coin toss, an outcome of total chance, such a time-honored prop bet?

Some bettors like to wager on the toss for good luck. Others like to feel like they’re “getting in on the action” as early as possible. In any case, betting sites often reduce the “vig” to 5% of coin-toss bets…perhaps an act of mercy toward gamblers who think they can call the flip.

How Many Commercials Will Run During the Super Bowl? (O/U (96))

This is essentially a bet on “total plays run” or “total possession changes,” but presumably the tracking of neither excites Super Bowl gamblers quite as much as counting the TV ads.

Ad Wars

Bovada Sportsbook is asking bettors to choose which TV ad will appear first between pairs of warring commercial time-buyers.

For instance, Coke is the favorite to run an ad (-170) before Pepsi does (+130). Doritos (-155) is up against Pringles (+115) while Avocados from Mexico and Planters are in a toss-up deadlock.

We’re sad not to see a Skittles prop given the company’s “Katie, Katie, Katie” Super Bowl ad brilliance in 2017.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.


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