Super Bowl LIII MVP prop betting: Seven intriguing bets and Tom Brady
Of the Super Bowl bets traditionally offered, NFLbets’ favorite has got to be the MVP proposition bets. Covering a Von Miller or a Deion Branch has saved our bacon on Super Bowl Sunday in the past (we’re still not talking about Santonio Holmes or Nick Foles, however), and a solid winning wager on this prop can wipe out a lot of losing.
NFLbets will post our formal Best Bets recommendations for these later in the week, but right now, we’re deciding how to divvy up our cash stash on the following eight players. Since the longshots are getting wildly variable odds, each candidate has two possible payouts listed; the first represents the odds given at a leading online sportsbook, while the second are the numbers given at the Belaggio sportsbook in Las Vegas.
• Tom Brady – 9/10, 2/1. Brady is the clear default pick and should swallow up the majority o betting money in this prop from those NFL bettors looking to hedge on essentially any other player. The prevailing thinking goes that, if the Patriots win, Brady is hands down the choice, as has been the case in four of five New England Super Bowl Ws (including in XXXVI, when either Ty Law or Adam Vinatieri would have been a better choice). It’s a solid starting point, considering the lack of (statistical) firepower on the Pats’ side.
• Julian Edelman – 40/1, 25/1. Edelman seems like the (best bet) literally among Patriots not named Tom Brady. In the sole instance of a Patriots win without a Brady MVP nod, the trophy went to Branch, a WR. Had the Patriots won last year, Brady’s favored target Rob Gronkowski (9 receptions, 114 yards, 2 TDs) might’ve bagged it. Add in the Rams’ ability to better stop the run than the pass, and you must like Edelman at these odds if you’re betting the Patriots.
• Jared Goff – 2/1, 3/1. In a true year of the quarterback, a Rams upset will likely translate into a Goff MVP award. And though the talking heads will love the narrative of Goff’s early career arc (without mentioning how much success Jeff Fisher’s former Rams QBs are enjoying since his departure from the league for some reason…), we’re thinking that a Goff MVP selection will likely be an uninspired choice – a bit like how Brady took his first with a line of 16-for-27 for 145 yards and 1 TD.
• C.J. Anderson – 16/1, 25/1. Seriously, isn’t Anderson’s narrative potentially even greater than Goff’s? Dude gets cut by two teams, signs with a flailing contender whose play-action game has disappeared despite their franchise HB, and goes for an average of 115.5 yards and 1 TD per game in the clutch. And while Anderson didn’t look unstoppable against the Saints in the NFC Championship, New Orleans entered that game with the NFL’s no. 3 defense against the run; the Patriots rank just 16th. Additionally, New England has faced just one A-list running back this season: Kareem Hunt in week 6, who torched them for 185 total yards and a TD.
• Aaron Donald – 16/1, 10/1. What is NFLbets missing here? Sure, defensive players have only taken the MVP award in eight of the 52 Super Bowls thus far (as opposed to 29 quarterbacks), but it’s happened in two of the past five, and in both instances did the MVP (Malcolm Smith for the Seahawks, Miller for the Broncos) play for an all-star defense. If Donald gets, likesay, a sack or two and/or a forced fumble in a low-scoring game with two Brady turnovers, voters could very well consider rewarding the prospective two-time NFL DMVP another trophy for the mantelpiece.
• Aqib Talib – 66/1, 65/1. Now, NFLbets admits we’re deep into longshot territory here. Hell, to bet on Talib at the Belaggio, you’ll have to take “any another Ram” at 66/1! No cornerback has ever taken the Super Bowl MVP (though, again, Ty Law certainly had a case), but if any Rams player is going to jump a route to snag a pick off Brady, it should be the former Patriot. Yes, Belichick will certainly want Brady to stay away from Talib – particularly given how beatable Marcus Peters has been this season – so we’re counting on Sean McVay’s second-half adjustments here.
• Andrew Whitworth – available upon request, 65/1. We don’t actually prescribe making this bet, as this is merely NFLbets’ fantasy, although since our online sportsbook lists Austin Proehl as the longest shot in this prop at 750/1, a tiny throw at those odds won’t hurt too much. In the meantime, NFLbets continues to hope that, some year in a low-watt Super Bowl, an offensive lineman gets his due and takes home a Rozelle Trophy. Someday, this bet will come in. Maybe even in our lifetime.
• Johnny Hekker – 500/1, 65/1. Admittedly, a bet on Hekker is wacky-unto-insanity, particularly since Belichick is certain to be on red alert in any potential fake-punt situation, but note: If betting in Vegas (and thus Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey or New Mexico), a wager on “Any Other Ram” will cover Hekker, Talib and the entire OL. I like those odds…
• Greg Zeuerlein – 125/1, 100/1. Did you hear the way Joe Buck and Troy Aikman during the NFC Championship Game broadcast, plus just about every talking head on FOX, CBS and ESPN thereafter (when the subject under discussion wasn’t the no-call, that is) has been taking up “Greg the Leg.” If we didn’t know better, we’d be thinking building conspiracy here. On the other hand, if they didn’t give it to Vinatieri in 2002…