Super Bowl betting: Odds, props & winning


How big is the Super Bowl? Big enough so that it’s impossible to hyperbolize. Check out these numbers: the NFL claims up to 1 billion viewers tune in annually, and running a TV commercial during the game’s U.S. broadcast costs a world-be advertiser $5 million (or $166,666.66 per second).

And while the product-hockers seek to appeal to that massive audience, said audience is chowing down lustily: Americans typically eat 30 million pounds of chips, 13.2 million pounds of avocado and 8 million pounds of popcorn.

Betting on the Super Bowl draws more wagering than on any other event worldwide. Most of this betting is done in the United States and Canada, but gamblers in nations such as Australia and Great Britain are starting to discover the marvel of Super Bowl betting – kinda like the way Americans re-discover World Cup betting every four years…

Over $140 million was wagered on Super Bowl LII at Las Vegas sportsbooks, but lest you believe that figure is overly impressive, consider that unofficial estimates from the American Gaming Association (AGA) place the total number of bets at $4.76 billion. This means the ostensible gambling capital of the U.S. was covering less than 2.95% of the total take. That’s huge.

Despite that seemingly small sub-3% take in Las Vegas, the truth is that Super Bowl betting is significant enough to support some small- to mid-sized sportsbooks throughout the year. Pre-Supreme Court decision of 2018, an estimated 25% or more of *all* online bets were made on the Super Bowl.

On top of everything else great about betting on the NFL’s big game, the sheer amount of bets, lines, odds and proposition bets on the Super Bowl are absolutely wonderful. Scoring by quarter, player props, game MVP props, Will The First Score Be a Safety, Will Anyone Score a Safety, the opening coin flip – all this and so much more are available on the (long) two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas (or soon in the future, your local betting shop or casino), you know how much fun, insanity and winnings may be had when betting the Super Bowl. Of course, if you think that’s nuts, just wait until the Las Vegas Raiders are playing in Super Bowl LV in 2021


Super Bowl LIV winner proposition bet odds

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 13:15 EST

Ah, yes – the incredible, inexorable and irresistible pull of the preseason NFL team proposition bet! Particularly alluring is the siren’s call of the Super Bowl winner prop, which all but the sharpest of sharps should admit is essentially gambling. Who can resist throwing a few moneys at one’s favorite team or a nice longshot that banks a great return and potentially viralizes the story? After all, some NFL bettors covered the Philadelphia Eagles at 40/1 and even 50/1 prior to the 2017 season…

So, sure, NFLbets’ll be wagering on the Super Bowl LIV winner, but you damn skippy we won’t be betting the house on any team. The odds table running below lists odds from leading online sportsbook My Bookie and odds offered at the average Las Vegas sportsbook, respectively. Note that Vegas offerings are far less fluid than their online counterparts’: Lines on the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns have all seen noticeable shrinkage since these odds first dropped in February. (Odds up-to-date as of August 20, 2019.)

Odds to win Super Bowl LIV

Super Bowl LIV winner prop betKansas City Chiefs, 6/1; 6/1
New England Patriots, 6/1; 8/1
New Orleans Saints, 9/1; 8/1
Los Angeles Rams, 12/1; 8/1
Cleveland Browns, 12/1; 20/1
Indianapolis Colts, 12/1; 20/1
Philadelphia Eagles, 13/1; 20/1
Los Angeles Chargers, 15/1; 14/1
Chicago Bears, 16/1; 14/1
Dallas Cowboys, 20/1; 16/1
Green Bay Packers, 22/1; 16/1
Pittsburgh Steelers, 25/1; 14/1
Minnesota Vikings, 25/1; 16/1
Atlanta Falcons, 30/1; 40/1
Houston Texans, 33/1; 20/1
Carolina Panthers, 35/1; 60/1
Seattle Seahawks, 37/1; 30/1
San Francisco 49ers, 40/1; 50/1
Baltimore Ravens, 45/1; 20/1
Jacksonville Jaguars, 50/1; 40/1
New York Jets, 70/1; 80/1
Tennessee Titans, 90/1; 60/1
Denver Broncos, 100/1; 60/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 100/1; 80/1
Buffalo Bills, 100/1; 100/1
Detroit Lions, 100/1; 100/1
Oakland Raiders, 125/1; 100/1
New York Giants, 145/1; 40/1
Arizona Cardinals, 150/1; 100/1
Washington, 150/1; 100/1
Cincinnati Bengals, 180/1; 100/1
Miami Dolphins, 200/1; 300/1

Onto the takes – and tips!

Kansas City Chiefs: Best hedge on the board

NFLbets begins the wagering with MyBookie’s co-favorites and Vegas’s odds-on favorite. Normally, we’d eschew the top pick on the Super Bowl table because a) the odds are too short and b) examples of underdogs taking the title are rife.

In 2019, however, the top-dog Chiefs are going off at 6/1, more than reasonable for a team that appears to be on the classic ’Bowl-winning trajectory. RBs Spencer Ware and Kareem Hunt are gone, taking 1096 yards rushing along; after a fairly brutal 2018, Carlos Hyde joined Kansas City this offseason and … ah, never mind – we’re talking about Patrick Mahomes’s team here and the Chiefs ranked just 16th in rushing attempts last season. And check this out: How many changes did the Chiefs make on the offensive side this past offseason? Zero.

Meanwhile, the new defensive coordinator is apparent upgrade Steve Spagnuolo (formerly of the New York Giants), though quite honestly Mike Pence would have been a certain improvement for a D ranked dead-last or dead-penultimate by most key statistical measures.

With an average rushing attack and a pretty bad defense, Andy Reid still got Mahomes & the boys to the AFC championship game. If one contender doesn’t regress in 2019, this is likely that team. We’ll say take the Kansas City Chiefs at 6/1, thereby allowing us five other bets with the opportunity to still break even on K.C.

Chargers, Saints, Cowboys: Don’t lose money on these three

Beyond the top two, the NFL bettor considering the Super Bowl LIV winner prop soon lands upon the New Orleans Saints at 9/1 (or 8/1 in Vegas), Los Angeles Chargers at 15/1 (14/1), and the Dallas Cowboys at 16/1 (20/1) – bad bets one and all, simply put.

First up are the Saints, whose darling status twice crested last season, first when 173-year old QB Drew Brees broke some individual record on Monday Night Football and later when a blind referee screwed them in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game. But just take a closer look at some of the stats as 2018 wore on…

In his final seven starts last season including the two playoff games, Brees passed for over 300 yards just once and couldn’t manage to break 200 in four more; in those game, New Orleans managed to win five SU while going just 2-5 ATS. Note that Brees will be taking snaps from a new center, i.e. free-agent signing Marcus Henry from the Seattle Seahawks and, while TE Jared Cook and RB Latavious Murray *might* make an impact, the clever bettor will definitely expect regression to the mean from this team.

As for that on-again/off-again defense of ’18, some 10 signings in free agency spun forecasting this side of the ball in New Orleans the purview of chaos theorists. We’ll be staying away from the Saints.

Did we say “regression to the mean”? The 2018 Los Angeles Chargers were statistically freakish in many many ways, but off-the-charts bananas was their home-away split. In games played outside Los Angeles, the Chargers were a ridiculous 9-1 SU, including wins at Seattle, Kansas City, Denver and Baltimore. And who knows what might’ve happened in the divisional playoff in New England if the team hadn’t jetted from East Coast to West and back inside of a week after playing the Ravens. Can the Chargers be expected to reproduce those particular results? Unlikely to say the least.

On the plus side for Chargers backers is an easier schedule than in ’18: Beyond getting four ((((wins)))) games against the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders and the Denver Broncos, NFLbets figures these guys are looking at four (or five, depending on how you feel about the Houston Texans): vs Indianapolis in the opener, at Chicago in week 8, and the two games against Kansas City – L.A. could even win the AFC West with a week 17 upset, but home field means little to these Chargers. We’re not feeling it.

As for the Dallas Cowboys … come on now. Yes, NFLbets realizes that the Ezekiel Elliott holdout melodrama is exactly that; Zeke will surely rejoin the Cowboys in due time, he’ll be productive barring an early injury due to lack of offseason training and will do amazing things. The promotion of Kellen Moore from QB coach to OC might even prove a boon to Elliott et al in getting Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper to play all-star seasons – but who outside of Cowboys fandom believes that’s enough?

Bears, Colts, Rams: Three bets we like more than the Chiefs

Odds on the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams at 12/1 (8/1), Chicago Bears at 12/1 (20/1) and Indianapolis Colts at 12/1 (20/1) all make NFLbets ask the same question: What are we missing here?

Okay, we’ll admit betting on the Colts at 12/1 is a bit dodgy, what with every month bringing news of a brand new injury to QB Andrew Luck; on the other (hopefully uninjured) hand, newly-acquired Chandarick West and WR Devin Funchess certainly can’t hurt an offense that was top-10 overall in passing yardage and overall yardage. Improvements to the skill positions plus losses of no full-time starter in free agency would be enough for a good value bet, but let us not forget that this team finished last season on a 10-2 SU run. Take the Indianapolis Colts at 12/1 – and absolutely definitely positively at 20/1.

And the Bears at that same 12/1 (20/1)? Bizarre. How did everyone forget Cody Parkey’s double doink to cost Chicago a deep playoff run after a 12-4 SU regular season with no losses of more than seven points. In the offseason, the Bears lost one key player – FS Adrian Amos – of a potential six from 2018’s world-beating, record-threatening, straight-up scary defense. And if you think a potential all-time great Khalil Mack can’t help win enough games in the days of point-a-minute offense to at least get his team to the Super Bowl, just ask Aaron Donald what he thinks.

And speaking (writing?) of Aaron Donald and his L.A. Rams, shouldn’t the conference defending champs be getting slightly more respect, particularly in Vegas at 12/1 odds…? Bettors at My Bookie have dragged down those odds from 10/1, but nevertheless in both spheres the, likesay, overhyped and downward-trending Saints are outdoing the Rams.

So … it’s all about Jared Goff, right? And sure, after that 105-point game against the Chiefs on MNF in week 11, the Rams offense got criminally low-watt in managing just 17.5 ppg in five games against playoff teams. Fair enough, but Goff’s favorite target Cooper Kupp is back after missing the last half of ’18 – and regardless of public perception of their QB, the Rams offense was top-3 in overall scoring, rushing TDs, first downs, yards per pass attempt, yards per rushing attempt and points per drive.

For 2019, the Rams defense looks just as impressive, as in-season acquisition Dante Fowler was extended and again disappointing Ndamokung Suh was not. We’d advise simply forgetting the name of the Los Angeles QB and take the Rams at 8/1 or longer.

Seahawks and Jets: A longshot and a really longshot

A tsunami of gushing about Bill Belichick has apparently swamped Pete Carroll’s reputation: Carroll fairly well rose to the consensus rank as no. 2 among head coaches after his Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII – and he’s still got his Lombardi-winning all-star QB at the top of his game. Indeed, Carroll and Russell Wilson have made the Seahawks, even in the post-Legion of Boom era, a model of consistency in the NFC. In Wilson’s seven seasons at the helm, Seattle’s yet to have a losing season, making the playoffs six times.

The Seahawks have been undergoing something of a slow roster churn a la Belichick’s Patriots over the past four seasons or so; the departure of Earl Thomas represents the last of outgoing all-stars. Last season’s abominable 51 sacks allowed has got to improve with newly acquired guards Mike Iupati and Marcus Martin on the OL for 2019.

Now, Carroll & Co. still have the L.A. Rams and San Francisco 49ers to contend with before 37/1 odds to win Super Bowl LIV, while the playoffs have proven a stumbling block for Carroll’s ’Hawks since losing to the New England Patriots and the departure of Marshawn Lynch, with just a 2-3 SU/ATS postseason mark.

But say the Rams regress and the Niners aren’t quite up to the hype, so the Seahawks take the NFC West. Seattle’s famed homefield advantage – Carroll ‘n’ Russell are 5-0 SU/ATS in home playoff games – get them through one round, even two. (Heck, 12-4 could easily bag the no. 1 seed in the conference this season.) Imagine the season culminating in Carroll vs. Andy Reid with two minutes remaining. At 37/1 odds, we’ll take the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl and live that fantasy for a couple months at least…

Meanwhile, those wanting a serious stretch might consider covering the New York Jets at 70/1. NFLbets realizes such a wager is made in the face of loads of unknowns, chiefly that of Sam Darnold making The Leap, which may even be limited as the dude continues to resemble Vinny “Vinterception” Testaverde 2.0. Questions remain about the viability of LeVeon Bell (though we’d strongly hedge with the philosophy that Bell’ll rip shit up for the Jets in 2019) and the effect of losing Avery Williamson from last year’s 29th-“best” defense. Geez, these guys went 4-12 in ’18.

We’re not nutty enough to suggest covering the Jets to win the AFC East, mind you, but NFLbets will definitely be covering these guys to make the playoffs and you know what they say about anything happening during said playoffs; for confirmation consult last year’s Bears. Or Saints. Or Chiefs. Or…

So go ahead and join NFLbets in throwing a few moneys at a longshot – take the New York Jets at 70/1.


Browns land Odell Beckham Jr.; let's not get nuts betting them to win Super Bowl LIV just yet

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 12:47 EST

On February 10, the odds on the Cleveland Browns in the proposition bet “To Win Super Bowl LIV” were at 20/1. Two days later, the team more-than-somewhat controversially signed disgraced and waived RB Kareem Hunt; this budged the lines on the Browns little. But ink Odell Beckham Jr., one of the league’s most explosive, dynamic and beloved wide receivers? That’s shorten those odds.

Within an hour of the Cleveland-New York Giants trade announcement, the Browns’ odds to win the Super Bowl and the AFC Championship were experiencing more shrinkage than George Costanza in the pool, dropping to 14/1 in a hurry. As of this writing approximately 16 hours after the news broke, the odds on Cleveland have stabilized there but have dropped to an incredible 7/1 in the “To Win Conference” prop.

But as awesome as OBJ is, does his mere addition to a team with a looooooooooooooooooong history of mediocrity automatically better the Browns’ chances by 33%? Are the Browns really getting the *third-shortest odds* to win the AFC after the Kansas City Chiefs (now at 10/3, down from 3/1) and *freaking NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS?!?!??!???!?*

Welllllll, yes, actually. Why not? Even without Hunt – and, if this splashy trade is factored into the NFL’s consideration to return the halfback to active, Hunt and Cleveland will be united later, if ever, rather than sooner – the Browns have one serious-looking offense, with QB Baker Mayfield, RB Nick Chubb, WR Jarvis Landry and TE David Njoku awaiting OBJ’s plugging-in. The offensive line is middling at bets, but free agency and the draft have yet to go down; plenty of time to improve this area.

Despite the departure of Jabril Peppers in the OBJ trade, teh Browns defense should be just as good as last season’s top-10 passing D with the addition of Pro Bowl LB Olivier Vernon joining the likes of CB Denzel Ward, LB Jamie Collins and DE Myles Garrett (who looks scarier every game, it seems).

33 days ago, NFLbets noted: “The 2019 Cleveland Browns going over on wins? NFLbets’ll make that wager. To win the AFC North? Quite probably. To win the AFC? You miiiiiiiiight convince us. But to take the Lombardi Trophy? Come on now.

Today, we’ll update this to state that Cleveland should be a 10- or even 11-win team, so bet the over/under wins accordingly. We’ll also cover the Browns to win the AFC North, as we honestly believe that they’ll go a solid 5-1 against the North’s teams in rebuild and/or decline and should be getting three wins against the AFC East. By dint of their third-place finish in 2018, the Browns get The Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos, this far out both looking like wins.

As for those odds to win the AFC, 7/1 may be too short. The NFL may be in a period of revolution, with younger talent (and teams) taking over for the old guard, but it’s tough to depend on a team like Cleveland with so much youth at key positons plus two mercurial WRs – if anything, we’re even more bearish on the Browns in the “To Win Conference” and “To Win Super Bowl LIV” post-Beckham trade. We’d stay away from these two props.

Now, covering the Browns in a “To Win Super Bowl LV” proposition bet? *That* would be worth serious consideration.


Hot(tish) takes on early Super Bowl LIV odds and long(ish) shots worth a few Moneys

Sunday, 10 February 2019 16:56 EST

Though we have to wait until at least the summer to plunk down any Moneys (NFLbets’ preferred form of currency) on Super Bowl LIV, smart NFL bettors will invest in a few teams whose odds will only get longer. We say don’t blow the bankroll, but a few of these lines are definitely worthy of consideration.

Here are NFLbets’ kneejerk reactions to the earliest lines on the prop “To Win Super Bowl LIV” as released by the standard-setting Westgate sportsbook in Las Vegas.

Kansas City Chiefs, 6/1. Nope, not while Andy Reid is head coach. NFLbets will take the over on Chiefs wins up to 13 without question, we might even back them in the AFC Championship Game, but Super Bowl champions? Nah.

Los Angeles Rams, 8/1. With the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers both certain to be better, quite possibly playoff contenders, the Rams' road to the next Super Bowl will be well rockier than was the last. This does not feel like a repeat performance year; then again, if they manage to bring Le’Veon Bell aboard…

New Orleans Saints, 8/1
New England Patriots, 8/1
. Sure, the Saints and Patriots could win their respective divisions with a video clip of Joe Namath's appearance on the Brady Bunch at quarterback, but We'll take Father Time -0.5 years against either of these teams' quarterback in 2019. Yes, even Brady.

Pittsburgh Steelers, 14/1. That thing about Father Time? We'll double down against Roethlisberger.

Los Angeles Chargers, 14/1
Chicago Bears, 14/1
. Now these are some attractive options, particularly at the odds, though at this far-off point shaky propositions indeed. The Chargers' main hurdle will be the conspiracy against keeping a team with no real home out of the Super Bowl. (Witness that massive Rams fan base at Super Bowl LIII.) The Bears at 14/1 seems like a no-brainer, which is suspicious in and of itself.

Minnesota Vikings, 16/1
Dallas Cowboys, 16/1
. NFLbets’ll see if we’re feeling either of these teams after the draft and free agency signings, but with both bringing half-offenses as currently constructed, it’s hard to imagine right now.

Green Bay Packers, 16/1. This is certainly the most nonsensical line on this board.

Philadelphia Eagles, 20/1
Indianapolis Colts, 20/1
. Also attractive options at the price. How the unproven Cowboys are getting shorter odds than a team just two years removed from a Super Bowl win with essentially the same team and the power to trade Nick Foles. Meanwhile, the Colts turn in one crummy playoff performance and game’s over? Come on. Andrew Luck, his offensive line and Indy looked sharp through two-thirds of 2018; NFLbets is certainly looking for this team to go deep into the playoffs.

Houston Texans, 20/1. NFLbets knows we’ve been beating the drum for the Texans since DeShaun Watson was drafted, but if this time can show the slightest improvement to its OL and even possibly land Bell, we’d be crazy not to throw a few Moneys (NFLbets’ preferred form of currency) at ’em.

Cleveland Browns, 20/1. The 2019 Cleveland Browns going over on wins? NFLbets’ll make that wager. To win the AFC North? Quite probably. To win the AFC? You miiiiiiiiight convince us. But to take the Lombardi Trophy? Come on now.

Baltimore Ravens, 20/1. The fact that the always overrated Ravens are getting the same odds to win Super Bowl LIV as the Cleveland Freakin’ Browns should tell you something about the viability of this bet.

Seattle Seahawks, 30/1. Quite the value for the money, NFLbets would not be one bit surprised if the 2019 Seattle Seahawks became the first no. 6 seed to win the Super Bowl since the Packers back in XLV.

Atlanta Falcons, 40/1
Jacksonville Jaguars, 40/1
New York Giants, 40/1
San Francisco 49ers, 50/1
. Of these, the only defensible longshot bet at this point would be on the 49ers, but that’s taking quite a lot for granted.

NFLbets supposes that if the Denver Broncos found, likesay, a decent quarterback who didn’t already have 75, 000 miles on him, they might be considered a contender. But what are the odds of that happening? 60/1, apparently.

Carolina Panthers, 60/1
Tennessee Titans, 60/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 80/1
New York Jets, 80/1
Washington, 100/1
Detroit Lions, 100/1
Cincinnati Bengals, 100/1
Oakland/San Francisco/London/Reno/Las Vegas Raiders, 100/1
Arizona Cardinals, 100/1
. Wow, talk about your dregs of the league. The thought of any of these 100/1 teams even making the playoffs, especially Jon Gruden’s Raiders, puts the “laughing” into “laughingstock.”

Buffalo Bills, 100/1
Miami Dolphins, 300/1
. And this, folks, is two-thirds of a significant factor in the Patriots’ dominance. Thanks to perpetual beatdogs like these and the New York Jets, Bill Belichick gets to treat a good half of his schedule every regular season as practice sessions. Nice built-in advantage there. Figure on more of the same in 2019-20, and, um, what are the odds on New England again…?


He’s our MVP, too: Julian Edelman saves NFLbets’ bacon in Super Bowl LIII

Tuesday, 05 February 2019 16:59 EST

Thank the gods for Julian Edelman. After a Super Bowl LIII that no one expected and Las Vegas surely cashed in en masse on, NFLbets pored through 21 virtual bets to find we’d come out ahead for ’Bowl, due to the inexplicably generous 20/1 odds given Edelman to win the game’s MVP award. This put us up for the game just as it ended, and a more voluminous sigh of relief was never heard.

In the interests of full disclosure, here’s how our final Sunday’s worth of betting on the 2018 NFL season turned out.

The over/under
NFLbets advised going under 56½ points and ultimately this made for one of our few good winning tickets. If anyone on the planet covered it, a wager on “15-21 total points scored” paid out at 60/1. NFlbets total: +90 Moneys.

The point spread and money line
Well … the Rams lost outright, didn’t they? Like whimpering little Chihuahuas, weren’t they? NFLbets now joins the chorus in irrationally hating the New England Patriots for a week or two. In the meantime, bang goes our money on Rams +2½ and winning outright. Ugh. NFLbets total: -110 Moneys.

Most Valuable Player
You gotta love betting on MVP props – as long as a quarterback doesn’t win. Those playing NFLbets’ six recommendations for Super Bowl MVP earned a payout of 20/1 on Julian Edelman, thus earing a 10/3 payout on the entire six-pack. NFLbets total: +1290 Moneys.

Proposition bets

Total accepted penalties
NFLbets suggested going low in this prop for better odds, covering 0-7 penalties at 5/1 and 8 penalties at 10/1. This looked good for a brief while, with the Patriots taking zero and the Rams taking just two penalties (including a delay-of-game to get a longer field for punter Johnny Hekker) in the first quarter.

Alas, the Rams would induce seven more flags thrown, and the two teams’ total closed at 12 to pay at 14/5, lowest odds in the prop. NFLbets total: +1090 Moneys.

Longest score of the game
In this prop, “Field Goal” was, incredibly enough, the underdog at +110. The single TD of Super Bowl LIII went for 2 yards, so our bet on “Field Goal” here was pretty safe. Hell, NFL bettors could have won taking Yardage of Longest Field Goal -23 over Yardage of Longest Play from Scrimmage. NFLbets total: +1200 Moneys.

Over/under Total kicking points by Patriots (8½) and Rams (9½)
Going into the Super Bowl, we figured these defenses would very effectively keep the opposition out of the end zone, even if the offense snuck into the red zone a few times each. Instead, the Patriots and Rams offenses kept themselves even out of the red zone. Of course, the loss of these bets was easily foreseen with Gostkowski’s clunker in the first quarter; in the end, a successful try then would’ve won over-8½ bets. NFLbets total: +1000 Moneys.

Player to get the first interception
We usually lose this prop and this year’s Super Bowl was no different. We covered Aqib Talib, John Johnson and J.C. Jackson here, but nope – of course it was Corey Littleton, who was a stud in the playoffs. NFLbets total: +700 Moneys.

Inter-sport proposition bets

The low (low!) score of Super Bowl LIII certainly made the game more interesting who had inter-sport props tied in with the previous night’s/earlier Sunday NHL and NBA games. Sadly, no one but Edelman could hold up the side for the Patriots and Rams in this prop:

Memphis Grizzlies total points at New York Knicks -17½ vs Julian Edelman receiving yards
In hindsight, this may have been our worst bet. NFLbets covered the Grizzlies -17½, but the only justification was figuring on the Rams defense to limit Brady’s favorite target – but we also had Edelman covered for MVP. So call this one a hedge. Or that one.

No matter: The game’s MVP improbably went for 141 yards – This represents 55.7% of the Patriots’ receiving yards and 36.6% of their total yardage; in Super Bowl LII, this would translate out to about 279 yards. Tragically, the Grizzlies did not set a franchise record for points scored in a game at 158, instead beating the hapless Knicks by a mere 96-84. NFLbets total: +600 Moneys.

New Jersey Devils goals scored at Montreal Canadiens +½ vs field goals made by Los Angeles Rams
Again did we believe in the kickers, and again did we get burned. For the record, the Devils won 3-2 in OT when those foolish enough to go with NFLbets needed a Montreal shutout. NFLbets total: +500 Moneys.

New Orleans Pelicans 1st quarter points at San Antonio Spurs -½ vs Rams points scored
Anthony Davis, nothing. The Pelicans could’ve thrown Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle out there to play 2-on-5 against Greg Popovich’s guys and the Pels still would’ve outscored the Rams. As it runs out, Davis did not suit up and his team put up 24 in the first regardless. Taking the Pelicans 1st-quarter points paid off, though at just -125. NFLbets total: +575 Moneys.

Philadelphia 76ers 1st half points at Sacramento Kings -4½ vs total points in Super Bowl
Another laughably easy win … aside from marquee players Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler, each of whom outscored the whole of Super Bowl LIII, the 76ers played some weak ball on Super Bowl Eve in losing to the Kings. But for our purposes, the 52 in the first half crushed the Patriots/Rams at anywhere down to -31½ points. NFLbets total: +665 Moneys.

Las Vegas Knights shots on goal at Florida Panthers -2½ vs New England Patriots points
See, these inter-sport parlays are too much fun. NFLbets took Patriots points +2½ here, despite going under for the game. The Panthers would have needed some otherworldly defense to win NFLbets this prop, and the record would ultimately show that the Knights covered this about five minutes into the second period, ending up going for 35. NFLbets total: +565 Moneys.

All right, so NFLbets didn’t exactly break Las Vegas with our Super Bowl LIII bets but given the game’s utterly unexpected result, any positive return should be considered huge.

Once again, we thank Julian Edelman for allowing us to cash in. NFLbets therefore wraps this season with – What’s that? The odds on next year’s Super Bowl winner are out? Okay, then, we’ll be back soon! Likesay, within a day or two…

–written by Os Davis


Six good bets for Super Bowl LIII MVP – whether you’re backing the Patriots or Rams

Sunday, 03 February 2019 10:29 EST

Are your bets for Super Bowl LIII MVP all in? Looking for some hedging possibilities? Great – that justifies this relatively late column from NFLbets. We’ve got six good wagers for you to hopefully cash in on what is probably our favorite proposition bet of the year in any sport.

The obvious choices

Tom Brady, +120 to +140
Jared Goff, 2/1 to 3/1

If you’re taking the Patriots, you’ve got to be pragmatic and go with Touchdown Tom, right? And if you’ve got serious money on the Rams, Brady for MVP makes an excellent hedge to erase some of those losses. And just imagine, for hilarity’s sake, this scenario: The Rams win the Super Bowl in a 31-28 game, with scoring evenly distributed, no offensive skill player going over 100 total yards, plus combined sacks and TOs generated by the defense numbering 1. Could the Rams win and yet Brady be named MVP? Would he refuse the award?

Equally a no-brainer (and an even better hedge for the Patriots bettor) is the potentially unimaginative choice of Goff at 2/1 or up. Catching Goff at 3/1 essentially allows the Rams backer to cover three other players in the MVP prop and still get a likely push. Nice.

The really advantageous odds

Aaron Donald, 12/1 to 18/1
This line on Donald – Bovada’s giving 18/1 on him? WTF? – makes absolutely no sense to NFLbets. MGM VP of race and sports Jay Rood was quoted over at ESPN.com on various Super Bowl betting action in Las Vegas, particularly with regard to the Rams-backing Bettor X. Here’s a sample for our purposes:

MGM opened Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald at 70-1 to win Super Bowl MVP. Money flowed in on Donald, driving the price down to 15-1.

“[Donald] winning MVP is not good for us,” Rood said. “One of our biggest losing propositions ever was [Broncos OLB] Von Miller winning MVP [in Super Bowl 50].”

How could the bookmakers be so fuzzy on their history? Are they sweating more the day after Donald bagged the NFL DMVP, just as Miller did three years ago? Proponents of conspiracy theories are likely to go against Donald for MVP on precisely this basis, but NFLbets has already taken advantage of the opportunity – just like we did for 50.

(Bettors should also note that Super Bowl 50 was the sole instance of the under hitting in the past seven years…)

Julian Edelman, 12/1 to 20/1
Edelman’s XLIX numbers (9 catches for 109 yards, 1 TD, long of 23) are emblematic of Brady’s attack in 2010s Super Bowls. Since Randy Moss, the Patriots have never had a real A-list deep threat and thus has Brady gone from dink-and-dunk to stretching the field to his present-day medium-range assault – precisely where the Rams are most vulnerable.

Brady & Co. have in their past three Super Bowl appearances combined a threat out of the backfield (Shane Vereen previously, James White now), a medium-range guy (formerly Wes Welker, now Edelman) and Rob Gronkowski. The result? Of the nine players who have caught 10 or more passes in the Super Bowl – Jerry Rice and Deion Branch did so twice – four are Brady-era Patriots.

With Gronk now longer Gronk – and just last year, the guy dominated the second half with two TDs and most of his 116 yards receiving – Edelman could very well break James White’s record for receptions in this one.

The longshots

Aqib Talib, 65/1 to 90/1
So let’s say Brady in fact does target Edelman early and often. Talib will be a difference maker in helping cover the Rams’ vulnerability over the middle. The Rams have been digging on sending their nasty three- or four-man rush while essentially playing LBs and CBs in a nickel package. Suh running over David Andrews a couple of times could get Brady to launch a duck or two, as in the AFC Championship Game.

NFLbets also admits a serious attraction to betting Talib for MVP just for the glorious possibility of our Islamophobic POTUS having to congratulate a Muslim for his tremendous performance in America’s game…

Trey Flowers, 55/1 to 120/1
Let’s stretch the Talib-wins-MVP scenario a bit further: What if defense dominates both sides of the ball and instead of the 30-27 game most are expecting, we get more of a 16-9 with the sole touchdown the result of advantageous field position after a turnover?

Flowers has already played in two Super Bowls in his fledgling career and was particularly good against Atlanta, his two tackles for loss and five QB hits making him essentially the only outstanding defensive player for New England in LI. If Flowers and the other stalwarts of the Patriot defense make Goff’s life a living hell for 60 minutes, the few holders of tickets with Flowers as MVP are going to see one sweet payout indeed.


Why is a majority taking over 56½ points in Super Bowl LIII betting?

Saturday, 02 February 2019 14:24 EST

NFLbets has stated previously that our Super Bowl betting is based in backward logic, i.e. we’re starting from the premise that the Los Angeles Rams win mainly because all the good odds are on the L.A. side. Thus will it come as no surprise that we’re recommending that NFL bettors take the under on on O/U line of 56½ points.

Despite bringing an offense that’s statistically no. 2 in the NFL and a defense that allowed 24.0 points per regular season game, the Rams began 2018 and played throughout with a reputation for a monster defense. (Remember how Aaron Donald was proclaimed to be one of the best players in a 54-51 game? Like that.) The logic would seem to dictate, then, that a great share of the 75-plus percent of money on the New England Patriots in this game would also be banging the over.

Instead, just 54% of money on Super Bowl over/under bets is reportedly on the over, implying that more than one-third of those betting on Patriots -2½/-3 are also taking the under. NFLbets isn’t sure whether that’s good or bad for our recommendation…

Those betting the Patriots cover the point spread yet the score staying under are probably betting on a couple of premises, mainly that both sides play relatively conservative ball; this is exemplified in the simple stat breathlessly done to death by the hype machines this week, i.e. The Belichick/Brady Patriots Have Only Scored 3 Points Total In Eight Super Bowls. (What, like every reasonably attentive observer of the NFL hadn’t mentally filed that number away two Super Bowls ago? Come on.)

But we believe something is missing in this deduction. After all, those Patriots teams may have gone touchdown-less in those eight games, but the over is 4-4 regardless, 3-2 in Patriots Super Bowl wins, and the Eagles-Patriots score in XXXIX went under by 2 points). Of note, too, is that the over is on a 5-1 run in Super Bowls regardless of teams playing which, to NFLbets’ mind, is another salient argument for the under in LIII via regression to the mean.

Tough betting for Patriots backers then, but for those wagering on the Rams, the choice is easy.

Firstly, by setting the line at 56½, the bookmakers are expecting a result of Patriots 29 or 30, Rams 27. This sounds relatively realistic, as the Rams surrendered some 32.1 points per game against playoff teams during the regular season. Despite keeping the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints’ scoring in the low 20s, the bookmakers clearly figure New England to exploit the Los Angeles D as the Eagles, Vikings or Seahawks (twice) in 2018.

NFLbets just doesn’t foresee either a blowout or both teams getting into the high 20s, particularly given the way most are reckoning this Super Bowl plays out. We suppose Todd Gurley could become Superman again and C.J. Anderson could even simultaneously Hulk out, with the dynamic duo combining for 150 total yards in the opening 10 minutes to get the Rams out to a 17-3. That *could* happen.

Alternatively, Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh could torment Tom Brady like the old Cowboys did Jim Kelly, inducing ol’ Touchdown Tom into a couple of fluky early turnovers – likesay, a patented Aaron Donald strip sack and an Aqib Talib interception – to lead to an early 14-0 score and forcing another great second-half comeback from Brady & Co. That’s easily imaginable; it *could* happen.

And Jared Goff, having gotten all growed up in the NFC Championship Game, could get in the zone here. He could coolly, calmly, meticulously perfectly march the Rams wire-to-wire downfield on the first two drives, divvying up key catches among Gurley, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, and especially ex-Patriot Brandin Cooks. Naturally, Brady could respond bang bang and with seven minutes remaining in the first half, it’s 14-14 and the under is an endangered species. That *could* happen.

All the above scenarios are certainly imaginable, but how likely are they? NFL bets would like to posit two contrasting possibilities for Super Bowl LIII that lead to the under paying out.

Why wouldn’t Belichick and McVay play this Super Bowl the way most are expecting? The truth is that the Belichick/Brady Patriots trend to conservative in the playoffs – but only just. New England scoring is well lower in Super Bowls than in the regular season. In nine seasons ending with a trip to the ’Bowl, the Patriots averaged 28.2 points per game in regular-season games, as opposed to 24.5 and 22.75, respectively in playoff games and Super bowls. Nevertheless, all three numbers hit the under on 56½ points and 2½-3 points for the Rams.

The Patriots are currently running with a three-headed monster of James White, Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, who altogether average a decent 4.28 yards per carry but have made these ball-control loving Patriots a top-5 team in rushing attempts, yardage, TDs and, perhaps most importantly, time of possession. Another verrrrrrry interesting stat: The Patriots offense in 2018 scored fewer points than any New England squad since 2010, Brady’s “comeback” season and the sole time the team lost in the wild card round.

As for the Rams running game, Gurley and Anderson are simply put the best two players on that offense right now. Whether Gurley/Anderson more resembles Superman/Hulk than Clark Kent/Bruce Banner remains to be seen, but the Patriots D will certainly be fed a steady diet of these two for the first half at least. And that points to more running clocks, therefore more scoring.

Here’s another scenario that hits the under: Say the Patriots rattle Goff and Gurley early while the receivers all but taunt Marcus Peters and Nickell “Would-Be Brady Killer” Robey-Coleman as they fly by again and again. A Patriots blowout is quite conceivable as well, but even something like 46-10 still goes under.

So yeah, we’re liking the under 56½ for Super Bowl LIII. Go clock-killing halfbacks! Go defense!


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…


Here’s the official NFLbets Pick of the Week for Super Bowl LIII

Thursday, 31 January 2019 17:43 EST

NFLbets will say (write?) this from the go: Our Pick of the Week for the Super Bowl and most subsequent recommendations on the game are the result of backward logic. The premise is simple: The betting opportunities on the New England Patriots just aren’t that interesting or lucrative.

Without further ado, here’s NFLbets’ Pick of the Week for Super Bowl LIII: Take the Los Angeles Rams +2½/+3/+3½ vs the Patriots.

We’re also advising NFLbettors to take the Rams money line (ML), currently fetching from +115 to +130 and only going up before kickoff. Here’s why: Since ballooning from Rams -1 to Rams +2 on January 21, the point spread hasn’t moved since Rams +2½ in most Vegas sportsbooks as of Thursday evening before the game, and only now is Rams +3 beginning to show its face at the bigger online sportsbooks. Some 75% to 80% of the money continues to come in on the Patriots, which to NFLbets implies that the bookmakers still consider this more or less a pick ‘em, anyway.

In short, if you’re covering the Rams at +2½ or less for a -110 payout, you may as well cover that ML and put the odds on your side. (See what we meant by the lucrative and interesting bets on the Rams’ side? And by backward logic?)

So what needs to happen for the Rams to pull off the upset in Super Bowl LIII and bring things full circle back to 2002?

The Rams defensive line needs to dominate the Patriots offensive line. Tom Brady has been tormented in Super Bowls before – recall how the line on the 18-0 New England side gave up five sacks (and, essentially, the game) against the Giants in XLII – and we daresay the Patriots haven’t faced a front like that of Donald-Suh-Brockers in years, certainly not in 2018-19.

The Patriots OL has been middling this season, allowing an OK 21 sacks, but it doesn’t seem to matter to Ndamukong Suh, who loves blowing up New England lines: In eight career games against Belichick-and-Brady, Suhs destroyed the middle for nine QB hits. And Aaron Donald is Aaron Donald, the best player in this Super Bowl right now.

C.J. Anderson must continue producing – but more importantly, wearing down the middle. Recall that the Patriots have faced just one A-list running back in 2018-19: Kareem Hunt in week 6, who torched them for 185 total yards and a TD. Anderson’s unimpressive-looking 44 yards in New Orleans did not indicate the punishment he doled out on his 16 carries, mostly in the second and third quarters, that softened that Saints D enough to allow Jared Goff three lead-changing scoring drives late.

And just imagine if the Rams running game looks more like that of the divisional round game. Against the Dallas Cowboys, the combination of Todd Gurley and Anderson went for 38 carries for 238 yards and 3 TDs against a run defense that was statistically and reputedly better than the Saints’. This is the kind of attack that is indefensible, even if the opposition head coach somehow knows what’s coming.

Of course, the question of whether the Rams can win without a big day from Anderson may soon be moot; if Gurley isn’t playing or clearly can’t go, Los Angeles absolutely positively *needs* a *monster* game out of one of the great NFL late-season pickups in quite some time.

Three words for the defense: Bend, don’t break. A Belichick staple! At their best, e.g. in most of the Saints game, the Rams defense can stop anyone inside or just outside the red zone. A dude like Corey Littleton (a safety disguised as a linebacker) has the correct skills to flourish in a short field and has done so lately, and the shortcomings of Marcus Peters are greatly reduced.

Plus, just in the simplest terms, i.e. our kicker and punter are better than yours, Sean McVay would kill to turn this game into a punty-punty field position battle determined by a late long-ass field goal. We believe the longer the Rams keep a Patriots touchdown off the board, the likelier their chances to win.

And NFLbets really likes their chances: The Rams will win Super Bowl LIII.


Just try to resist betting these five Inter-Sports Proposition Bets tied in with Super Bowl LIII

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 13:03 EST

NFLbets isn’t a huge fan of two-sport bets, though we have been known to throw a few moneys on a weird parlay. Heck, one of our favorite cash-ins of 2018 was a parlay with Team France -1½ goals in the World Cup final with the under in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BC Lions game.

But what better time of year is there to throw a few dollars more at these wacky two-sport point spread bets that bookmakers all over the world and online break out for the Super Bowl. Yours truly just visited the Bellagio sportsbook in Las Vegas and took a flutter at their five main “Inter-Sports Propositions.” Take a list at these goodies, but be warned: Resistance is futile.

New Jersey Devils goals scored at Montreal Canadiens +½ vs field goals made by Los Angeles Rams

You know the already old cliché about Bill Belichick taking away the opposition’s best weapon? Well, the Rams have two of the NFL’s top weapons on special teams: Greg Zeuerlein and Johnny Hekker. How will the Hoodied One deal with these two, other than prevent Hekker from trying anything tricky on a 4th-and-1 or -less fake punt opportunity?

NFLbets figures Belichick to have his defense in extreme bend-don’t-break mode (the prevailing philosophy of these Patriots) and that Zeuerlein should be good for a minimum of four field goals, and five or six is certainly not out of the question.

So how about those Devils? New Jersey “boasts” one of the NHL’s bottom 3 teams alongside the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings. Scoring-wise, in a league of haves and have-nots, count the Devils definitely among the latter at just 2.98 goals scored per game. You don’t even have to be a hockey expert to reckon that this one’s easy: Take field goals made by Rams -½.

Memphis Grizzlies total points at New York Knicks -17½ vs Julian Edelman receiving yards

Yes, the Grizzlies are already bad and could be playing their final game with Marc Gasol and/or Mike Conley on the roster on Super Bowl Sunday, thus shaving a good 36 points per game from the association’s lowest-scoring team at a pitiable 100.6 points per game. But by all accounts, the Knicks are in full tank mode and are giving up a fat 115.0 ppg, 25th-“best” in the NBA. Thus, this prop can more or less be reduced to an over/under of 90 on Edelman’s receiving yards.

To that point, the Rams secondary will be able to focus on Brady’s favorite target as the sole remaining A-list target beyond the occasional Gronk in the red zone. And if Talib is the guy assigned to Edelman in coverage, well, we’re liking Talib’s chances for a big game anyway … Take the Grizzlies -17½ vs Edelman.

New Orleans Pelicans 1st quarter points at San Antonio Spurs -½ vs Rams points scored

The bookmakers are likely depending on fallout from the Anthony Davis trade demand* dampening the team’s spirit and/or scoring. But as this is written the day after the Pels beat James Harden and the Rockets in Houston, 121-116, and the day of the NBA announcing a $50,000 fine of Davis for making such a demand*, NFLbets still believes that New Orleans can score and that the Pelicans roster will remain the same for the Spurs game. In the two most recent Pelicans-Spurs games, New Orleans was good for 30 and 27 points in the first quarter; we’d expect the high 20s in this one as well.

So again may this two-sport proposition bet be reduced to a single Super Bowl prop bet, i.e. Los Angeles Rams over/under 28½ (or 29) points. With an over/under of 56½, the book reckons the final score to be around Patriots 29 (or 30), Rams 27. NFLbets likes the under on the Super Bowl anyway, so all we really need is Davis & Co. to hold up their end of the bargain. Take the Pelicans 1st-quarter points -½ vs the Rams.

Philadelphia 76ers 1st half points at Sacramento Kings -4½ vs total points in Super Bowl

This prop suggests that 76ers should be good for 61 points in the first 30 minutes of the Kings game. Note that every NHL or NBA team involved in these props is playing away. The Sixers-Kings game is the sole instance of an Eastern Time Zone-based team playing in the Pacific. However, this marks the last of a four-game road trip through Denver and California for the 76ers, so body-clock questions are probably moot.

Things are running smoothly for the Sixers at present. Since January 13, they’re on a 6-2 run which includes wins over the Spurs, Rockets and Pacers. More relevant for this prop, they’ve averaged a nice 57.25 points in the first half over that span and five times have topped 60. This game could well be a fun shootout that everyone should switch over to at halftime rather than watch Moron 5’s halftime show.

If you’re betting the under for the Super Bowl, you’ll take the 76ers 1st-half points -4½ vs Super Bowl points.

Las Vegas Knights shots on goal at Florida Panthers -2½ vs New England Patriots points

Even the casual sports bettor has got to realize that betting on the 2018-19 Las Vegas Knights is trouble. The defending champs started out 1-4, stumbled their way to 9-12-1 by mid-November and were pigeonholed into the mediocre class of the NHL. Naturally, the Knights went on a 9-2 tear to restart the title-defense talk with a record of 18-14-1; this was chased by a six-game stretch featuring three OT losses and then a 7-game win streak and a 2-4 run.

But here’s one thing that stays consistent about the Knights: They shoot like crazy. Regardless of who’s on the ice, Vegas is averaging a crazy 33.5 shots per game; though their success rate is a weak 8.9% (the NHL average is just over 9.7%), these Knights get off lotsa shots. With the Panthers allowing 30.5 shots per game, this is yet one more bet that feels like a “Patriots over/under 30 points” prop.

This one should prove to be a squeaker with the damn -2½ handicap Vegas is giving Vegas. We’ll say the effects of a road back-to-back is just enough to make the Knights a tad sluggish. Take Patriots points +2½ vs Vegas Knights shots on goal.


Super Bowl LIII MVP prop betting: Seven intriguing bets and Tom Brady

Monday, 28 January 2019 12:38 EST

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…