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94.4% with value? Twist my arm

By Matt Devine  (Point Spread Weekly) 

January 29, 2020 08:59 PM
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Pat Mahomes is a popular focus for prop bets.
© Imagn

Kickoff for this year’s Super Bowl is just days away. Analysts predict close to $7 billion will be wagered on the game worldwide, and a growing percentage of that handle will be dedicated to the prop market. As legalization of sports betting grows across the U.S. and in markets offshore, so do the number of props. Over 600 are available this year, and many hold significant value to bettors.

 

Again this year I’ve analyzed over 100 game props, measuring lines for 2020’s big game against prop results dating back to Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, the first Super Bowl after the NFL went through division realignment. Last year’s issue included 10 props that stood out as having exceptional ratings. The 10 were a combined 7-3 (+ 4.4 units).

 

In analyzing the last 18 Super Bowls, 11 props stood out as having ratings of 400 or more. My rating system is pretty straightforward:

— Using an odds converter, I determined the moneyline odds of a prop based on the percentage of time the outcome was correct.

— I then determined the difference in the odds listed for the prop in the sportsbook and the moneyline odds calculated in Step 1.

 

For example:

The final score of the first half has been a touchdown 13 times in the last 18 Super Bowls, or 72.2% of the time. Using the odds converter, this translates to moneyline odds of -260. This means I would expect to walk into a sportsbook and lay 2.6 units to win 1 unit. When I reach the sportsbook, I see that I actually need to lay only 1.1 units, or moneyline odds of -110, to win 1 unit, and I’ve saved 1.5 units from what I expected to have to wager. This allows me to determine my rating, taking my -260 expected moneyline odds and subtracting the sportsbook’s moneyline odds of -110, giving me 150.

 

Every team has its own tendencies. These should not be ignored when contemplating historical game prop trends, and I encourage you to also consider inclinations for San Francisco and Kansas City from this season. A number of regular-season offensive juggernauts from previous seasons have fizzled in the Super Bowl, just as brick-wall defenses have crumbled on the game’s biggest stage. This year might be no different. Prepare as if to expect the unexpected, keep an open mind and don’t let anything surprise you.

 

As you review and consider making a play on these props, note that many are available across several books, not only in Nevada but around the world. Shop around to get the best price.

 

Prop: Will both teams have exactly a 1-yard touchdown?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: 17 times (94.4%) only one or neither team has scored a touchdown from the 1-yard line.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -1685 on the no.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -220 on the no.

Rating: 1365.

 

Prop: Will the teams combine for 1,000-plus net yards?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: 17 times (94.4%) the teams have stayed under that number.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -1685 on the no.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -420 on the no.

Rating: 1265.

 

Prop: Will the game go to overtime?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: 17 times (94.4%) the game has been decided in regulation.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -1685 on the no.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -800 on the no.

Rating: 885.

 

Prop: Will the opening kickoff result in a touchback?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: 16 times (88.9%) the opening kickoff has been returned.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -801 on the no.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: + 120 on the no.

Rating: 821.

 

Prop: Will the first touchdown be scored before the 7:30 mark of the first quarter?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: In 16 games (88.9%) the first touchdown was scored after the 7:30 mark of the first quarter.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -801 on the no.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -115 on the no.

Rating: 686.

 

Prop: Over/Under 9.5 players with a rush attempt.

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: In 16 games (88.9%), fewer than 10 players have been credited with a rush attempt.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -801 on the Under.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -125 on the Under.

Rating: 676.

 

Prop: Over/Under 2.5 players with a pass completion.

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: In 16 games (88.9%), only two players have completed a pass.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -801 on the Under.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -175 on the Under.

Rating: 626.

 

Prop: Will the team that scores last win the game?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: 16 times (88.9%) the team to score last also won the game.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -801 on the yes.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -175 on the yes.

Rating: 626.

 

Prop: Will any player have 25 or more rush attempts?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: In 16 games (88.9%), no player has had more than 25 rush attempts.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -801 on the no.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -400 on the no.

Rating: 401.

 

Prop: Will an extra point be missed?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: In 16 games (88.9%), kickers were perfect on the point after.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -801 on the no.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -400 on the no.

Rating: 401.

 

And one more for those willing to lay the lumber …

Prop: Will the game be decided by exactly seven points?

In the last 18 Super Bowls, history says: Never (0%) in the last 18 seasons has a Super Bowl been decided by exactly seven points.

Implied Prop Rating Based on Historical Winning Percentage: N/A.

2019 Moneyline for Prop: -700 on the no.

Rating: N/A.

 

Other high-win percentage props since 2002 that were considered but had a lower rating include:

Will either team miss two or more field goals?

No is 16-2 (88.9%).

 

Will a quarterback throw three or more interceptions?

No is 16-2 (88.9%).

 

Will both teams score in every quarter?

No is 16-2 (88.9%).

 

Will there be more touchdowns than field goals?

Yes is 13-2-3 (86.7%).

 

Will there be a roughing-the-passer penalty?

No is 15-3 (83.3%).

 

Will there be a score in the last 3:30 of the fourth quarter?

Yes is 15-3 (83.3%).

 

Will the longest field goal be over 47.5 yards?

No is 15-3 (83.3%).

 

Will there be more than 12.5 kickoffs?

No is 15-3 (83.3%).

 

Will there be more than 5.5 kickoff returns?

Yes is 15-3 (83.3%).

 

Will any player rush for 100 yards or more?

No is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will there be a safety?

No is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will the first turnover be an interception?

Yes is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will the total combined net yards be over 778.5?

No is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will there be more than 6.5 punts?

Yes is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will over 2.5 players have a pass attempt?

No is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will at least one touchdown be scored in every quarter?

No is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will the last play of the first half be a QB rush?

No is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will a team score more than four consecutive times?

No is 14-4 (77.8%).

 

Will more points be scored in the first half?

No is 13-4-1 (76.5%).

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