20 exceptional Super Bowl props

By Matt Devine  (vsin.com) 

February 8, 2022 09:11 PM
USATSI_17641410

When I was 5 years old, I fell in love for the first time … twice. The cute, little blonde with freckles in kindergarten who pulled my hair every day at recess was the first to ever steal my heart. The second, well, was the almighty dollar. I realized early on that money didn’t only grow in birthday cards.

Actually, I was quick to learn that cash also grew in the smoky, dimly lit corner of the American Legion my grandfather managed for more than 40 years, where the war vets played cards for hours on end. My Uncle Joe taught me how to find shekels (how he often referred to money) by opening the pull tabs and tip boards at the bar, or in the dice cup and shut-the-box game at every family holiday. My dad introduced me to football squares, and I in-turn taught my cousins how to lose pennies by betting on the winners of simulated Tecmo Bowl games on the Nintendo. And this was all before the first grade.

Fast forward 33 years to today, I still consider myself blessed to have had my family show me the ropes at a young age. Thanks to those early betting lessons and the mentorship I’ve received from Point Spread Weekly editor Steve Makinen over the last 14 years, I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned to make this Super Bowl props article a success.

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The props I’ve outlined over the last three years have a record of 31-8 (79.5%, + 20.15 units). After analyzing nearly 200 props at a half-dozen sportsbooks for every Super Bowl since 2002, I’ve come across 20 that fit my minimum exceptional rating of 500. What is a minimum exceptional rating? Let me break it down:

— Step 1: Using an odds converter, I determine the implied odds of a prop based on the percentage of time the outcome has been correct or incorrect.

— Step 2: I determine the difference in the listed odds and the implied odds calculated in Step 1.

— If the implied odds are at least 500 points better than the listed odds, that fits my minimum exceptional rating.

For example:

The team that scores last has won 18 of the last 20 Super Bowls, or 90% of the time. Using the odds converter, this translates to implied odds of -900. This means I expect to walk into a sportsbook and lay nine units to win one that the last team to score will win the Super Bowl. When I check the odds at the sportsbook, I see that I actually need to lay only two units, or moneyline odds of -200, to win one unit. So I saved seven units of risk from my expectation. By taking my -900 implied odds and subtracting the sportsbook’s moneyline odds of -200, that gives me an exceptional rating of 700.

As you review these 20 props, keep a couple of things in mind:

— For each prop, I’ve labeled the sportsbook with the best price as of Monday night. As is the case for any game, event or prop, be sure to shop around for the best price.

— Some books might write props a bit differently from what I’ve captured, but they are actually the same in the end. For example, one book might write: “What will be the first offensive play of the second half? Pass -110 or Run -110.” Another book might write: “Will the first play of the second half be a pass? Yes -110 or No -110.”

Finally, as I wrote last year, prepare yourself to expect the unexpected. Keep an open mind and let the numbers, data and research be your guide. Best of luck!

Props with exceptional ratings

Will the shortest touchdown in the game be less than 3.5 yards? YES

Last 20 Super Bowls: YES cashed 19 times (95%)

Implied odds: -1900

Actual odds: -365 (Caesars)

My rating: 1535

Will there be a kickoff returned for a touchdown? YES

Last 20 Super Bowls: YES cashed 3 times (15%)

Implied odds: + 567

Actual odds: + 2000 (DraftKings)

My Rating: 1433

Will both teams combine for more than 1,000 net yards? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 19 games (95%)

Implied odds: -1900

Actual odds: -600 (Caesars)

My rating: 1300

Will the opening kickoff result in a touchback? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 18 times (90%)

Implied odds: -900

Actual odds: + 150 (Caesars)

My rating: 850

Will there be more than 11.5 players with a reception? YES

Last 20 Super Bowls: YES cashed 18 times (90%)

Implied odds: -900

Actual odds: -130 (Caesars)

My rating: 770

Will there be a safety in the first half? YES

Last 20 Super Bowls: YES cashed 2 times (10%)

Implied odds: + 900

Actual odds: + 1600 (Circa)

My rating: 700

Will the team that scores last win the game? YES

Last 20 Super Bowls: YES cashed 18 times (90%)

Implied odds: -900

Actual odds: -200 (William Hill)

My rating: 700

Will more than 2.5 players throw a pass completion? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 18 times (90%)

Implied odds: -900

Actual odds: -220 (South Point)

My rating: 680

Will there be a missed extra point? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 18 times (90%)

Implied odds: -900

Actual odds: -240 (South Point)

My rating: 660

Will any player have a reception of at least 60 yards? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 18 times (90%)

Implied odds: -900

Actual odds: -325 (William Hill)

My rating: 575

Will the first play from scrimmage result in a first down? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 18 times (90%)

Implied odds: -900

Actual odds: -330 (William Hill)

My rating: 570

Will a touchdown be scored on fourth down? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 18 times (90%)

Implied odds: -900

Actual odds: -360

My rating: 540

Undefeated props in the last 20 years

Will the longest made field goal be more than 54.5 yards? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed all 20 times (100%)

Actual odds: -360 (Caesars)

Will the game be decided by exactly seven points? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed all 20 times (100%)

Actual odds: -750 (William Hill)

Will any player have at least 200 receiving yards? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed all 20 times (100%)

Actual odds: -600 (Circa)

Props with exceptional ratings (bigger bankroll)

Will a quarterback have a reception? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 19 times (95%)

Implied odds: -1900

Actual odds: -950 (William Hill)

My rating: 950

Will there be overtime? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed 19 times (95%)

Implied odds: -1900

Actual odds: -1000 (William Hill)

My rating: 900

Undefeated props (bigger bankroll)

Will the game be decided by exactly 10 points? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed all 20 times (100%)

Actual odds: -1200 (William Hill)

Will any player score eight points (touchdown and two-point conversion) in a single drive? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed all 20 times (100%)

Actual odds: -2600 (Circa)

Will any team fumble into the opponent’s end zone and result in a touchback? NO

Last 20 Super Bowls: NO cashed all 20 times (100%)

Actual odds: -4200 (Circa)

Bonus props

Here are some other high-percentage props that were considered but had a lower exceptional rating than 500:

Cashed 18 out of the last 20 Super Bowls (90%)

— Will the game be decided by exactly six points? NO

— Will both teams have exactly a 1-yard touchdown? NO

— Will either team miss two or more field goals? NO

— Will a quarterback throw three or more interceptions? NO

— Will both teams score in every quarter? NO

— Will any quarterback have at least 400 passing yards? NO

— Will a defensive player have at least two interceptions? NO

— Will there be a successful onside kick? NO

— Will the game be decided by exactly 14 points? NO

— Will there be a kickoff out of bounds? NO

— Will there be a safety in the second half? NO

Cashed 17 out of the last 20 Super Bowls (85%)

— Will there be more than 3.5 kickoff returns? YES

— Will there be more than 5.5 kickoff returns? YES

— Will there be a lead change in the final minute of the fourth quarter? NO

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