The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas released its list of Super Bowl prop bets last week and, with 442 wagers to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Some are straightforward, such as the always-popular bet on whether there will be a safety in this year’s game between the Rams and Patriots (yes is +600; no is -900). Others are more esoteric, such as whether James Harden’s point total Saturday night in the Rockets' game against the Jazz will be higher than the length of the longest touchdown scored in the Super Bowl.
Leaning more toward the former, I’ve gone through the list and combed the Gambling Internet to spot a few prop bets that could be worth a wager.
The full list of props offered by the Westgate SuperBook can be found here. All of the props and odds listed here come from that list. For the uninitiated, negative odds denote the favorite (-110 means you wager $110 to win $100), while positive odds denote the underdog (+110 means you wager $100 to win $110).
Will the Patriots score a touchdown in the first quarter?
It’s one of the more remarkable stats to come out of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady dynasty: In eight previous Super Bowl appearances with those two, New England has not scored a touchdown in the first quarter.
First-quarter points scored by the Patriots
Over 6.5 -110
Under 6.5 -110
Continuing along those lines, New England has scored a grand total of three first-quarter points in its eight previous Super Bowls with Belichick and Brady, getting shut out in every game save for last year against the Eagles, when it was able to kick a field goal.
Total rushing yards for the Rams
Over 127.5 -110
Under 127.5 -110
As noted by Warren Sharp, no NFL team runs more out of “11 personnel” — defined as one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers — than the Rams, and the Patriots’ defense has been particularly susceptible to runs out of that grouping this season. Entering the playoffs, New England’s defense had allowed a 61 percent success rate and 6.8 yards per carry to runs out of 11 personnel since Week 11; both marks are the worst in the NFL. And while the Patriots were able to hold the Chiefs’ running game to 41 yards in the AFC championship game — Kansas City also goes heavy on 11 personnel — the Chiefs still had a pretty good success rate out of that grouping.
It’s been a continuing problem for the Patriots: During the 2017 season, the Eagles had the NFL’s third-most rushing attempts out of the 11 personnel and proceeded to rush for 164 yards against New England in the Super Bowl, well over the total of 112.5.
The Rams have gone over 127.5 rushing yards in 11 of 18 games this season, though the Patriots allowed more than 127.5 rushing yards in just six games.
Will the first kickoff by the Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski result in a touchback?
There are a couple of reasons to lay the heavy juice on “no” here, even in the climate-controlled conditions of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Patriots ranked 27th in the league in touchback percentage, with only 49.5 percent of their kickoffs resulting in a touchback. (That’s actually an improvement from 2017, when they ranked 30th at 41.0 percent.) Gostkowski’s first kickoff resulted in a touchback on just eight of 18 kicks this season, and in five Super Bowl appearances, just one of his five initial kickoffs resulted in a touchback (and each of those games was played indoors).
Total fumbles lost by both teams
Over 1.5 +110
Under 1.5 -200
This one comes from Byeweekpicks on Twitter: The Patriots fumbled in just six of 18 games this season, the fewest in the league. (That’s total fumbles, not fumbles lost.) New England has ranked no worse than fifth in total fumbles in eight of the past 10 seasons. The Rams tied for seventh in the league with just 1.1 total fumbles per game. In terms of fumbles lost per game, New England and Los Angeles both averaged 0.4 (tied for fourth).
Points in the highest-scoring quarter
Over 21 (-110)
Under 21 (-110)
Another nugget from Byeweekpicks: Of the 144 quarters played by both teams this season, only 13 went over 21 points (four by the Patriots, nine by the Rams), while nine more landed exactly on 21. In Los Angeles’s past seven games, only one quarter went over 21 points.
Will either team score in the final 3 minutes 30 seconds of the game?
The Action Network’s Danny Donahue points out that a team has scored in the last 3½ minutes of the game in 20 of the past 25 Super Bowls. Last year, the Eagles scored 10 points in that span. The year before, the Patriots scored a touchdown with 57 seconds left in regulation. The year before that, the Broncos sealed their win over the Panthers on an insurance touchdown with 3:08 left. The last time this prop bet didn’t hit was Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, the last Super Bowl that truly could be considered a blowout (Seahawks 43, Broncos 8). With the Patriots hovering around a three-point favorite, a close game with a late score is a distinct possibility.
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