More often than not, the props are a better way to bet on the Super Bowl than selecting a side or total. The prop bets are certainly more fun to follow, depending on which ones you bet on. While you may be eager to bet the over/under on Idina Menzel’s national anthem or you are expecting Katy Perry to open her halftime set with “Roar”, the true earning potential of the Super Bowl comes from taking advantage of the game and individual player prop bets.
After sorting through the prop bets and looking to find value, there are a handful of Super Bowl XLIX game props that appear to be worth making a wager on. Or, at the very least, taking a good, long look at them. The beauty of prop bets is that they can sometimes serve as an alternate way to pick the winner or bet the total without actually betting the spread, money line, or total. Make sure to shop around for the best odds on the following five prop bets that should be on your radar.
1. Longest touchdown under 44.5 yards
The total continues to drop for Super Bowl XLIX and neither of these teams are built for big plays. The New England Patriots try to methodically move down the field and take advantage of missed tackles to get chunk plays. That seems unlikely from a Seattle Seahawks defense that allowed just 96 yards per game after the catch. The Patriots defense was worse in that capacity, but the Seahawks are going to run the ball quite a bit and keep things simple for Russell Wilson. There may not be a single play of more than 45 yards in this game.
As the total continues to drop, one has to wonder if one or both of these teams are going to struggle to score points at all. This could be a game with some impressive yardage totals but a lot of settling for field goals. Keep in mind that Tom Brady has one Super Bowl completion out of 198 career dropbacks that went for more than 45 yards.
2. Shortest field goal under 25.5 yards
Shop around for this line because every yard matters. As good as the Patriots were, their quarterbacks managed the 12th-best red zone quarterback rating. Russell Wilson of the Seahawks led the team to the 18th-ranked red zone QB rating. With what appears to be a tight, low-scoring game, both of these coaches are going to take the points rather than risk coming away with nothing. Both Steven Hauschka and Stephen Gostkowski were among the league leaders in made field goals from inside 29. Who knows how many of those came from between 26-29 yards, but it’s safe to say that more than a few of them were from 25 or less.
3. Will there be a defensive/special teams touchdown? Yes
Let’s look at this logically. For starters, any defensive/special teams touchdown is probably going to be from more than 44.5 yards away, which would make our first prop a loser. However, that would be a loser at the expense of a plus money prop bet, which is a trade-off that every bettor would gladly make.
Let’s assume a line of +160 for the defensive/special teams touchdown. Amazingly, 23 of the 48 Super Bowls played so far have had a defensive or special teams score and there have been 32 of them overall (including two last season). At +160, a bettor would need a 38.5 percent success rate to break even. The current success rate of a D/ST TD in the Super Bowl is 47 percent. The odds are in your favor.
4. Will there be a two-point conversion attempt? No
It’s not easy to lay heavy juice on a prop bet, but sometimes it’s necessary. Think about how two-point conversions happen. It takes a special kind of score to necessitate a two-point attempt. As long as these teams score in threes and sevens and there aren’t any safeties, the likelihood of a two-point conversion is very small. At -250, you need a 71.4 percent likelihood that a two-point conversion attempt will not happen to break even. The odds of no two-point attempt are probably higher than that.
There was one last year, but the game was a total blowout and the Seahawks had already secured a safety. Don’t let random occurrences disguise the value in betting no.
5. Total sacks in game under 4.5
The Patriots only allowed 26 sacks during the regular season and the Seahawks allowed 42. Russell Wilson was sacked five times by Green Bay, but he was not sacked at all in last season’s Super Bowl. One could make a reasonable case that Darrell Bevell and his coaching staff has had enough film study time to recognize New England’s blitz packages and make the right adjustments.
The only stumbling block to this prop is that Wilson getting tackled behind the line of scrimmage on a zone-read could register as a sack, depending on how it is tracked. But, that shouldn’t be a major concern. The expectation should be for Seattle to move the pocket and give Wilson easy decisions, whether that’s an open receiver or a chance to throw the ball away. Neither of these teams were particularly prolific in sacking the quarterback during the regular season.
Another element in play is that the Seahawks have some banged up defensive backs. Blitzing could be dangerous with players that aren’t at full strength. That could alter the gameplan and keep the Seahawks a bit more conservative when coming after Tom Brady.
Keep a look out for more game props to bet as Super Bowl XLIX draws nearer and check out our look at the top Super Bowl XLIX player props.