Some wacky proposition bets to make the Super Bowl … more interesting?

Friday, 01 February 2019 14:41 EST

NFLbets tends to avoid player props and other proposition bets during the regular season, but who can resist the 20-page booklet full of fascinating offers that Las Vegas sportsbooks give out? Or the even more thorough online sportsbooks, who’ve got hundreds more wagering possibilities and may even let the bettor design his/her own props?

No one, that’s who.

The following are some interesting Super Bowl proposition bets (are there any other kind?) that NFLbets is wagering on for Super Bowl LIII.

Total accepted penalties
The shortest odds in this proposition bet are on 10 (at 7/2 odds), 11 (14/5) and 12 (14/5) penalties accepted, but NFLbets is advising to take 0-7 penalties accepted at 5/1 and take 8 penalties accepted at a surprisingly high 10/1.

We’re making some risky bets here and depending on some instilled discipline; on the other hand, Ndamukong Suh should be considered guaranteed to commit at least one roughing the passer, unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct foul, and who would be shocked if two or even three key pass interference calls go the Patriots’ way as well.

Nevertheless, we’re thinking that, despite the non-call at the end of the NFC Championship Game, the referees will be more likely to stifle their whistle-blowing tendencies for the good of the viewing public and out of deference to The Greatest Coaches Of Their Respective Generation.

Longest score of the game
In this Super Bowl prop, betting on Touchdown gets odds of -130 while Field Goal (or, interestingly enough, Other) is at +110. NFLbets’ recommendations on this prop tie in nicely with a couple others involving placekickers, of which both teams may boast All-Pro level talent:

Over/under Total kicking points by Patriots (8½) and Rams (9½)
The Rams defense has been crazily inconsistent within games this season, resulting in bizarre extreme total stats: They’re top 4 in total turnovers forced, interceptions and fumble recoveries and are top-10 against the run in terms of attempts and scoring – yet are bottom 10 in total points allowed.

Sadly, the Patriots have been statistically equally weird: Also top 5 in interceptions and total turnovers, the Patriots are 21st in running yardage allowed and 22nd in passing yardage allowed, yet were ranked 7th in total points surrendered.

NFLbets said (written?) it before: These numbers indicate classic bend-don’t-break defenses. And sure, with Bill Belichick and Sean McVay calling the shots, the number of fourth-down attempts could well break the Super Bowl record (which we believe must be the four in last year’s Eagles-Patriots game), but this alone won’t get these teams into the end zone.

Additionally, we note that the Patriots allowed just 10 plays of 40 yards or more during the regular season (plus the one multi-lateral desperation return given up to the Dolphins, the likes of which we’re certain not to see in this game). The Rams weren’t nearly as impressive in 2018, having given up 15 such big plays (“topped” only by the Las Vegas Raiders), but gave up just one 40-yarder in their two playoff games; since the Chiefs game, the longest TD against Los Angeles was a 43-yard TD pass to Geroge Kittle in garbage time in week 17.

NFLbets believes that many drives will be stopped before hitting paydirt; hope you love field goals. Take Field Goal as the longest score at +110; take over-8½ on Patriots kicking points at +125; and take over-9½ on Rams kicking points at +165.

(Incidentally, don’t sweat Greg Zeuerlein’s walking boot. Firstly, it’s on the left foot; secondly, Greg the Leg only nailed the longest playoff FG of all-time with said left foot *already injured*.)

1st quarter total score: Odd or even?
No way is NFLbets playing this prop, so we’ve got no recommendation here. We just love the symmetry of this:

Odd – -120
Even – EVEN

Player to get the game’s first interception
NFLbets loves betting this prop come Super Bowl time, even though our success rate is less than exemplary. And we’ve already lost quite a bit of faith on our first advice, which was to take Aqib Talib at 15/1: As stated above, the number of long balls is probably going to be low. While Talib’s knowledge of Brady’s habits might come in handy in coverage, the Patriots have no serious deep threat and therefore no one for Talib to shadow and burn.

So we’ll also put forth two other nice bets: If you like the Rams, take John Johnson at 5/1; that’s the lowest odds for a Ram in this category, but geez he’s been good lately. In the past six games, Johnson has two interceptions and four PDs. If anyone picks off a Brady pass that goes beyond 3 yards, it’s gotta be Johnson grabbing it.

If you like the Patriots – or just want to hedge – we figure you should take Devin McCourty at 18/1 or J.C. Jackson at 8/1. All other Patriot players listed at odds of 20/1 or shorter are cornerbacks (Duron Harmon at 6/1, Jonathon Jones at 8/1, Steven Gilmore at 10/1, Jason McCourty at 20/1) and we’re guessing that Jared Goff’s first pick will come on a very obvious swing or screen attempt to Todd Gurley rather than a long bomb. “Any Other Patriot” at 8/1 is therefore quite tempting as well, but NFLbets’ moneys are already spread pretty thin…