We’ve been doing prop bets all year. When it comes to the Super Bowl, the rest of the world is catching up to us, although we won’t waste your time on whether the opening coin toss will be heads or tails or what color Gatorade gets poured on the winning coach.
We’ve picked five player props we like because the numbers are viewed as too high or too low based on what could be expected, including taking the Under on a pair of receivers who have done very well by me because I was ahead of the curve on taking the Over time after time.
Chief of Staff
The career trajectory of Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford is one that sadly has played out many times in NFL lore – a first overall pick who went to a bad organization and never achieved the success in the NFL that he enjoyed in college. Stafford is one of those guys. While he posted Hall of Fame-worthy statistics in Detroit, he likely wouldn’t be considered a Hall of Famer because he never won a chip. If he adds that resume-builder Sunday, his HOF stock will climb exponentially. He has an interesting prop bet for his Over/Under on touchdown passes (2.5 at +140 Over, -185 Under). I think the Rams are going to score 30 or more points against the Bengals. That will effectively require four touchdowns if they score 31. Stafford will be allowed to have his moment if that happens, and even if the team is at the 1- or 2-yard line, they may still throw. Take the Over (+140).
The Thrill of the Chase
Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase has been a guy I’ve loved all season, because the Over/Under took too long to catch up with him. When it did, he became a matchup play who consistently cashed in on the Under. He has topped 100 yards in two of his three postseason games, but he wasn’t under the direct opposition of Jalen Ramsey – another veteran in search of a title ring. The Rams are likely going to have Ramsey follow Chase throughout the game. He has a solid Over/Under number (80.5 yards at -114 for both). Against most top cornerbacks, that would be enough. Not against Ramsey. Joe Burrow is going to be under pressure all night and will have to make quick decisions. That doesn’t end well when Ramsey is peeking in the backfield. Chase is capable of huge things, but Burrow will make business decisions and look the other way. Take the Under (-114).
Bend It Like Beckham
Rams WR Odell Beckham saw his career almost come to an end when he was released at midseason by the Cleveland Browns. In eight regular season games with the Rams, he had more than 40 receiving yards just twice. In the postseason, his receiving yardage numbers have been 54-69-114. He has a achievable Over/Under for receiving yards (65.5 yards at -114 Over, -114 Under). What makes Beckham interesting is the number of times in the last two games the Rams have started a drive with a bubble screen to Beckham four times – an indication they want him involved in the passing game early. With all the attention Cooper Kupp is going to receive, OBJ is going to be singled up a lot, and he has the skills to do damage. … Another veteran with a solid resume who needs a Super Bowl win to pad it. Take the Over (-114).
No Average Joe
There are times when a really low number is an attractive prop bet, because the conventional wisdom is overwhelmingly one-sided. Such is the case for Bengals QB Joe Burrow. He has a peewee number for rushing yards (12.5 yards at -114 for both the Over and Under). The rationale is simple. He has played 19 games and has hit 13 or more yards just three times. Easy, right? Not so fast, my friend. Burrow was up against a Kansas City Chiefs defense that brings the heat but drops the back seven. The Rams blitz a lot. All that is necessary is one blitz to get picked up with five receivers running downfield routes and Burrow will see nothing but open spaces. It only takes one play to hit a number this small, and he proved against the Chiefs that he is willing to run when he needs a first down. Take the Over (-114).
Feeling Cooped Up
There is no player I went to the pay window with more often than Rams WR Cooper Kupp. In September, he was a godsend because those setting the lines weren’t comfortable projecting 100 yards. I was. They are now. But, they have reached a tipping point that makes me sad. He has arguably the most astronomical reception number ever assigned (8.5 receptions at -103 Over, -125 Under). If it was 7.5, I would have strongly considered taking the Over. This is Cincy’s first Super Bowl in forever, and the coaching staff likely has a “5 Keys to Victory” sheet. No. 1 or 2 is likely “Stop Cooper Kupp.” For the same reason I think OBJ will hit his Over, expecting constant double coverage and Kupp still having nine receptions to pay off the Over is just asking too much. He’s been good to me on the Over all season for receptions and/or yardage, but the number has gotten just too high. Take the Under (-125).
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