The Super Bowl is famous for prop bets. Whether it is the result of the coin toss, how long the national anthem will take, or the color of the Gatorade poured on the winning coach, there is an overabundance of choices to bet on.
Although the previously mentioned bets are fairly random in nature, we have crunched the data to find prop bets with good value for the big game.
Kansas City to record more sacks than Philadelphia: (+120)
The Philadelphia Eagles not only led the league in sacks, but had the most sacks since 1989 (70). So, one might assume that the Eagles would have the most sacks in any particular game.
Slightly under the radar, Kansas City has a top-notch pass rush and were second in the NFL in sacks with 55.
Just as importantly, Patrick Mahomes is simply a master at avoiding sacks and has brought this to a new level.
Recall Super Bowl 55 vs Tampa Bay, famous for unrelenting pressure on Mahomes? Mahomes was only sacked three times in that game. Over the last 11 games, Mahomes has only been sacked 13 times, while Hurts was sacked over 2.5 times a game this season.
The Eagles are usually able to take a lead and then use the run to hold the ball, limiting the chances for the defense to sack Hurts. However, playing Mahomes makes it unlikely they will grab a big lead and be able to grind out the clock.
Mahomes' ability to avoid sacks, the underrated pass rush of the Chiefs, plus the likely game flow makes the +120 odds for the Chiefs to record more sacks very enticing.
Both teams will NOT make a field goal over 33 yards: (-124)
At first, this bet seemed crazy. 33 yards is a short kick, a chip shot for most NFL kickers.
Jake Elliot, the Eagles kicker, only kicked a thirty-three-yard or longer field goal in 8 of 19 games (42%) this season. Similarly, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker only did so in 8 of 15 games (53%). This would leave about a 23% chance of them both happening in any random week.
A line of -124 equates to a probability of 55%. Meaning, the oddsmakers estimate that the chances both Elliot and Butker will kick a 33-yard or longer field goal to be about 55%.
However, the chances that either kicker achieved this in any given game this year was less than 55%, and the bet requires both of them to do so in order to lose!
Mahomes first TD pass UNDER 10.5 yards: (-142)
When we think of Patrick Mahomes we tend to think of big explosive plays. So one would assume Mahomes first passing touchdown (or any for that matter) is likely to go over 10.5 yards.
This season, teams have generally dared the Chiefs to methodically move down the field, looking to take away big throws. Mahomes has responded by taking what the defense is willing to give him. Leading the league's best offense he averaged in the bottom third of completed air yards per attempt at 5.4, showing a willingness to complete short throws. In turn, 71% of Mahomes’ TD passes this season were from less than 10.5 yards.
The line of -142 implies a 58% chance of occurring, showing solid value with a 71% chance of this happening.
OVER 40.5 combined first downs (-110)
The Eagles averaged nearly 23 first downs per game, while the Chiefs averaged about 24 first downs a game. Not only do these combined averages (47) surpass the 41 required first downs by over 10%, but the likely game plan for the Eagles should further cement this.
Most teams who play the Chiefs want to run the ball to negate the Chiefs strong pass rush, while having long drives to keep the ball out of Mahomes' hands. These long drives are more likely to lead to a greater number of first downs than ones with large chunk plays. Similarly, most teams look to prevent the Chiefs from winning via the big play.
Between the team's first-down averages and the likely game plans, the over seems like a solid opportunity.
First TD scorers
One of the most popular prop bets these days is who will score the first touchdown.
Based on the number of games played, Kadrius Toney averages 13% of the Chiefs touchdowns. If we assume the Eagles and the Chiefs are both equally likely to score first, then Toney has about a 6.5% chance to score the games first touchdown. With odds of 21 to 1 this means every $100 bet on Toney to score the first touchdown has an expected value of $136. Toney is +330 to score an anytime touchdown, which provides less upside, but positive expected value as well.
Bonus Longshot Prop: Super Bowl MVP
In all likelihood, the Super Bowl MVP will be the quarterback of the winning team. This is even more likely if the Chiefs win, since it is then very likely it would be Mahomes’ passing that leads them to victory.
Consequently, these only payout +130, and with the game likely to be close, we believe there are better values in that range as discussed above.
However, if one is interested in a long-shot MVP there are some intriguing options. Over the past twenty years, 3 defensive players (15%) have won Super Bowl MVP. With 9-1 odds that any defensive player wins the award, the odds themselves show value with an implied probability of 11%.
With the Super Bowl expected to be high scoring many will be skeptical of this. However, the Eagles will likely look to slow the game down and limit possessions. Couple that with both quarterbacks playing injured against the league's top two pash rushes, and a defensive player winning MVP becomes plausible.
Further, one might assume this will only occur if the game is very low scoring. But in 2 of the 3 times a defensive player won the Super Bowl MVP in the last twenty years, their team scored over 40 points.
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