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SB LVI: Value in defensive, special teams props

By Adam Burke  ( 

February 8, 2022 10:06 PM

Two of the areas I like to attack for the Super Bowl are defensive and special teams props.

Fantasy football is a huge deal across the globe, which means everybody has been paying attention to what the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends have been doing. Offensive players command prop lines for every game these days anyway. Sportsbooks not only have a good idea of where to set those numbers but also how they’ll be bet.

Bookmakers are busy, and some props are bound to slip through the cracks, either when they are set or as they are being bet. Books are going to prioritize the props that matter the most, such as MVP, first/anytime TD or player props for guys like Matthew Stafford, Joe Burrow, Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase. Player props on defense or for other skill-position players don’t draw as much interest or as much handle, so there are more inaccuracies with those lines. 

Defensive and special teams props are different. What you want to look for during the Super Bowl are areas of high variance or lines that are likely to be inefficient. With thousands of props, you can find ones that fit the bill.

It’s the same reason I prefer to bet smaller conferences in college basketball. If Duke-North Carolina is going to get hundreds of thousands of dollars in betting handle, the sportsbooks are going to pay closer attention to those games than the ones with thousands of dollars in handle in the MAAC, WAC or Atlantic Sun. The more attention paid by the other side of the betting counter to a line, the sharper that line will be.

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What I like to do with the Super Bowl is try to get into the minds of the coordinators and determine what their plan of attack will be. That works for both offensive and defensive props, but I’ll focus on the defensive side here.

Here are a few defensive and special teams props I like for Super Bowl LVI:

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