The 20 best Super Bowl props to bet on

By Matt Devine  (VSiN.com) 

February 5, 2021 08:45 AM
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Once a year I step out from behind the Point Spread Weekly design curtain and put on my writing hat for an adventure in analyzing Super Bowl props. You might think: “Why should I take advice from a graphic design guy? What could he possibly know about sports betting?” Let me provide some legitimacy.

Thirteen years ago, I cut my teeth in the sports betting domain beside editor Steve Makinen, whom I often refer to as the godfather of sports betting trends. Day after day I apply what I learned from reading his work and watching his processes to developing my own trends, situations and power ratings. It took 10 years before I decided to take what I had learned and put together my own piece, but I’m happy I finally did.

 

When I wrote my first prop story before Super Bowl LIII, I included 10 props that stood out as having exceptional ratings, which I will define later. Combined, these props went 7-3 (70%, + 4.4 units). Last year I found 11 props that tipped the scales. These hit for a record of 10-1 (90.9%, + 7 units). A combined 17-4 (80.9%, + 11.4 units) record in the first two volumes of this piece was never expected, but here we are.

 

After analyzing the last 19 Super Bowls and combing through nearly 150 props, I decided this year to raise from 400 to 500 the minimum exceptional rating for a trend to be included in my list. After doing so, 20 props rated 500 or more. How does my rating work? 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 then determine the difference in the odds listed for the prop in the sportsbook and the implied odds calculated in Step 1.

 

For example:

The team that scores last in the game has won 17 times in the last 19 Super Bowls, or 89.5% of the time. Using the odds converter, this translates to implied odds of -850. This means I would expect to walk into a sportsbook and lay 8.5 units to win one unit that the last team to score would win the Super Bowl. When I reach the sportsbook, I see that I actually need to lay only 1.9 units, or moneyline odds of -190, to win one unit, and I’ve saved 6.6 units from what I expected to have to wager. This allows me to determine my rating, by taking my -850 implied odds and subtracting the sportsbook’s moneyline odds of -190, giving me an exceptional rating of 660.

 

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

— For each prop, I’ve labeled which sportsbook the odds came from. The vast majority of these props are available at several books, but I chose the odds that provided the best value.

— These odds might have changed by the time you read this. As is the case for any game, event or prop, be sure to shop around to get 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, every team has its own tendencies. These should not be ignored when considering the history of the props I’ve listed. I encourage you to consider other factors, including what the result of these props would have been had they been available for regular-season games for Kansas City and Tampa Bay. A number of regular-season offensive juggernauts from previous seasons have sputtered in the Super Bowl, just as brick-wall defenses have dissolved 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.

 

PROPS WITH EXCEPTIONAL RATINGS

Super Bowl home | Betting guide | Expert picks | Biggest bets | Cross-sport props Point Spread Weekly

 

Prop: Will there be a lead change in the first quarter? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 18 games (94.7%), the lead did not change in the first quarter.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -1801 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -455 no at DraftKings

My Rating: 1346

 

Prop: Will the shortest touchdown be less than 3.5 yards? - YES

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 18 (94.7%) games, a touchdown has been scored from 3.5 yards or less from the end zone.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -1801 yes

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -500 yes at Circa

My Rating: 1301

 

Prop: Will teams combine for more than 1,000 net yards? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 18 games (94.7%), the combined net yards total was less than 1,000.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -1801 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -550 no at William Hill

My Rating: 1251

 

Prop: Will the opening kickoff result in a touchback? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 17 games (89.5%), the opening kickoff has not resulted in a touchback.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: + 240 no at William Hill

My Rating: 990

 

Prop: Will there be more than 3.5 kickoff returns? - YES

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 17 games (89.5%), more than 3.5 kickoff returns have occurred.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 yes

2021 Moneyline for Prop: + 170 yes at Westgate SuperBook

My Rating: 920

Prop: Will there be overtime? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: The game has not gone to overtime 18 times (94.7%).

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -1800 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -900 no at William Hill

My Rating: 900

 

Prop: Will there be over 47.5 combined first downs in the game? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 17 games (89.5%), fewer than 47.5 first downs have occurred.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -110 no at William Hill

My Rating: 840

 

Prop: Will a quarterback have a reception? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 18 games (94.7%), no quarterback had a reception.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -1801 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -1000 no at William Hill

My Rating: 801

 

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

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 17 games (89.5%), the team scoring last has won the game.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 yes

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -190 yes at William Hill

My Rating: 660

 

Prop: Will there be a safety in the first half of the game? - YES

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: A safety has occurred in two games (10.5%) during the first half.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: + 850 yes

2021 Moneyline for Prop: + 1500 yes at Circa

My Rating: 650

 

Prop: Will more than 2.5 players have a pass completion? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 17 games (89.5%), two or fewer players have completed a pass.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -200 no at South Point

My Rating: 650

 

Prop: Will a kickoff or punt be returned for a touchdown? - YES 

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: A kickoff or punt has been returned for a touchdown in four games (21.1%).

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: + 375 yes

2021 Moneyline for Prop: + 1000 yes at William Hill

My Rating: 625

 

Prop: Will there be a missed extra point? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: The game has not included a missed extra point 17 times (89.5%).

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -270 no at Stations

My Rating: 580

 

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

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 17 games (89.5%), the first play from scrimmage has not resulted in a first down.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -300 no at William Hill

My Rating: 550

 

Prop: Will more than 4.5 combined field goals be made? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 17 games (89.5%), there have been fewer than 4.5 combined field goals.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -300 no at BetMGM

My Rating: 550

 

Prop: Will either team score a touchdown on its opening drive? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 16 games (84.2%), neither team has scored a touchdown on its opening drive

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -533 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: + 115 no at PointsBet

My Rating: 548 

 

Prop: Will both teams score exactly a 1-yard touchdown? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: In 17 games (89.5%), both teams have not scored a 1-yard touchdown.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: -850 no

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -350 no at William Hill

My Rating: 500

 

Nothing in life is a guarantee, but since 2002, these props do have perfect records. If you have the bankroll, here are a couple of other considerations.

 

Prop: Will the game be decided by exactly seven points? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: No game has been decided by exactly seven points.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: N/A

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -700 no at Westgate SuperBook

My Rating: N/A

 

Prop: Will the game be decided by exactly 10 points? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: No game has been decided by exactly 10 points.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: N/A

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -1000 no at William Hill

My Rating: N/A

 

Prop: Will any single player score eight points on a single drive (touchdown and two-point conversion? - NO

In the last 19 Super Bowls, history says: No player has scored a touchdown and two-point conversation on a single drive.

Implied Odds Based on Historical Winning Percentage: N/A

2021 Moneyline for Prop: -1800 no at Circa

My Rating: N/A

 

NEAR-MISS PROPS

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

 

Will either team miss two or more field goals?

No is 17-2 (89.5%)

 

Will a quarterback throw three or more interceptions?

No is 17-2 (89.5%)

 

Will a defensive player have two or more interceptions?

No is 17-2 (89.5%)

 

Will a touchdown be scored on fourth down?

No is 17-2 (89.5%)

 

Will a kickoff go out of bounds?

No is 17-2 (89.5%)

 

Will there be a safety in the second half?

No is 17-2 (89.5%)

 

Will there be a successful onside kick?

No is 17-2 (89.5%)

 

Will there be more touchdowns than field goals?

Yes is 14-2-3 (87.5%)

 

 

Will there be a roughing-the-passer penalty?

No is 16-3 (84.2%)

 

Will there be a field goal longer than 47.5 yards?

No is 16-3 (84.2%)

 

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

Yes is 16-3 (84.2%)

Will there be more than 12.5 total kickoffs in the game?

No is 16-3 (84.2%)

 

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