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2017 NFL Super Bowl Props and Live Betting Predictions

New England Patriots() @ Atlanta Falcons()

  • Where: NRG Stadium. Houston, TX
  • When: February 5, 2017 6:30 pm EST

Prop betting can be a strange experience. The bar celebrates as the home team scores another touchdown, but all you can think about is losing your prop wager due to a backup RB taking the honors.

But it can be immensely satisfying to fatten your wallet with an accurate “niche” prediction. Payoff is often almost immediate, sparing cash players the drama of nail-biting, point-spread suspense in the 4th quarter.

Bovada Sportsbook is offering hundreds of prop bets for Super Bowl LI, the final and most-watched American football game of 2016-17. MSB sees value in a few rushing props, and potential clever choices on some defense and special-teams propositions.

And yes, you can always bet on the pre-game coin toss, but we won’t be analyzing that.

2017 Super Bowl over/under betting value

At (59.5), the O/U line would seem to present an easy play on the over. Having followed the Falcons and the Pats in the playoffs, it’s hard to imagine either side scoring less than 30 points.

But look deeper. The Patriots have played sneaky-good defense several weekends in a row, and Atlanta frustrated and shut out Aaron Rodgers for much of the NFC Championship Game.

MSB recommends waiting for how the 1st quarter plays out, then potentially wagering on 60+ total points. Each DC will have a few surprises in coverage for QBs Tom Brady and Matt Ryan to begin the game, which could lead to a low-scoring frame. If that happens, there will be a favorable live-bet odds opportunity on the over.

Many NFL games this season have seen less than ten points scored in the opening 15:00, followed by an explosion in the 2nd quarter. Instead of scoreboard-watching, see if the chief pass-rushers are being blocked – Vic Beasley Jr. for Atlanta and Trey Flowers for New England. If neither QB is dealing with significant pocket-pressure, then 60 total points are a near-certainty when all is said and done.

Rushing props

Bovada gives similar odds to both sets of RBs for a most-individual-rushing-yards prop, with starting Falcons tailback Devonta Freeman at (+140) and his backup Tevin Coleman at (+350), and Patriot rushers LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis at (+150) and (+300) respectively.

Atlanta has out-rushed New England in the postseason, giving potential value to a play on Freeman or Coleman to finish with the highest total. But an even more judicious bet may be hiding in plain sight.

Tom Brady’s total-rushing-yards O/U is (2.5). Matt Ryan’s is (7.5). Though neither QB is a speedy runner, there are simply too many opportunities to scramble or sneak in a hotly-contested Super Bowl for those numbers to be realistic. Brady is a quick-snap specialist up the middle in short yardage, and has averaged over two yards per QB sneak in multiple championship games. Ryan could easily scramble for ten yards on one play, paying off his O/U in a few seconds flat.

Take note, quarterback rushing props are found in “QB props,” not “rushing props” at Bovada.

Odds-makers are being lured by recent history, as this pair of signal-callers has spent most of the season firmly in the pocket. But coaches are less likely to instruct their passers to play it safe now (games like this are what you protect your superstars for), and a close game could increase each player’s probability to take off running in crunch time.

MSB gives our highest recommendation to taking the over on either QB’s rushing-total prop.

Kicking the flu – or worse

Bookies think that the Patriots are more likely to convert the longest field goal of the game, with odds set at (-130) for New England and (even) for Atlanta.

But Pats’ PK Stephen Gostkowski has missed a practice or two lately, and is listed as probable for the Super Bowl with what the organization has labeled “illness.” If Belichick is telling the truth, a cold or flu could affect Gostkowski’s effectiveness. If the report is deceptive (not unlikely) then whatever minor or major injury the kicker has sustained could make things even worse for the favorites’ FG unit.

Given the odds, a wager on Atlanta veteran Matt Bryant making the longest attempt is a definite value bet.

Roughing the bookies

Bet on 2017 NFL Super Bowl LI props at Bovada this Sunday.

Finally, Bovada gives plus-payout odds (+120) on a “yes” bet for “will there be a roughing-the-passer called in the game.” Consider taking the bait.

Bookies have observed QBs Ryan and Brady unmolested in the pocket over the last couple of months. But championship games have a way of causing a little chaos. With Beasley edge-rushing for Atlanta, Brady’s quick-release habit may prove frustrating enough for the young OLB to take a late shot or two – and get nailed with a yellow flag.

Also, keep in mind that the NFL has a vested interest in acknowledging player-safety concerns to scores of Moms watching the Super Bowl at home – many of whom are seeing their first game all year. What better time for officials to demonstrate a zero-tolerance policy on blows to the head?

Enjoy the Super Bowl, and remember to limit wagers to unit and stake. Thanks to everyone who has visited MSB for your football-betting picks throughout the 2016-17 season.

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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