We’re going through a bit of football withdrawal here in the Tuley’s Takes home office, but it helps when we check the balances in our mobile apps!
My best (and biggest) bet in the Super Bowl was on the Bengals + 4.5, so we were with the books in being happy about the Rams winning 23-20 but failing to cover. I also leaned to the Under 48.5, with a preference for the first-half Under 23.5 (which also cashed with the Rams leading 13-10). I was glad I passed on Under 9.5 in the first quarter as the Rams led 7-3. So, all in all, we made the right calls.
I would have been OK with losing the first-half Under bet if the Bengals had been able to tie the game at 13, as that would have set up my halftime tie/game winner prop bets at 12-1 on the Rams and 16-1 on the Bengals. I lost those long-shot props as well as Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow to score the first TD at around 30-1 apiece, but we can’t complain as we hit the majority of our regular props.
— Longest TD Over 41.5 yards on Tee Higgins’ controversial 75-yard reception from Burrow
— Number of players to throw a pass Over 2.5 + 150 on Joe Mixon’s TD pass
— Rams’ points Under 26.5
— Largest lead Under 14.5 points
— Shortest TD Under 1.5 (for the eighth time in nine years)
— Cam Akers Under 64.5 rushing yards
— Cooper Kupp Under 8.5 receptions
— Kupp Under 108.5 receiving yards
— Bengals to score first
— Score tied after 0-0
— Sacks by both teams Under 5
— No TD for Kupp
I’ll take those results every Super Bowl.
Of course, it’s time to look ahead to next year’s Super Bowl, to be held Feb. 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium (or whatever corporate sponsor it has at the time) in Glendale, Ariz.
If you caught my VSiN.com article after the game Sunday night, I wrote about how the Bills and Chiefs are pretty much co-favorites to win Super Bowl LVII at around 7-1 or 8-1. The South Point had the Rams joining the Bills and Chiefs as 8-1 tri-favorites, though the Rams were the standalone No. 3 choice at most books between 8-1 and 10-1, followed by the 49ers, Cowboys and Packers in the 12-1 to 16-1 range. The Bengals were in that group at 14-1 at William Hill, though Westgate had them in a group of five teams at 20-1.
Right after the Super Bowl is also when I do my annual value picks for next year’s champion. I started in 2013 at ESPN.com and nailed the Seahawks at 12-1 for the next season’s title when they routed the Broncos 43-8. I’ve had a couple of close calls, such as 2016 when I gave out the Falcons at 100-1 during the offseason and they infamously led the Patriots 28-3 before choking.
This past year, I had the Cardinals at 30-1 to win the Super Bowl and the Colts at 35-1. Early in the season, the Cardinals looked like the best team in football, and after a slow start, the Colts looked like they might be the best overall team down the stretch before falling short of the playoffs.
Back when I started doing this, there were very few NFL betting writers doing similar columns. But in the last couple of days, I’ve already seen a dozen of these so-called betting experts giving their picks for next year’s Super Bowl.
The mainstream guys are mostly touting the favored Bills and Chiefs as well as debating if the Rams have a chance to repeat. The ones who are doing this right and trying to find value on the betting board have mostly been landing on the Chargers (25-1 at DraftKings) and Vikings (35-1). There is some merit to those picks as they both have capable quarterbacks in place, especially with Justin Herbert in LA.
When surveying the NFL landscape, it’s important to note all of the changes that have or will take place. Aside from nine new head coaches and whatever happens in free agency and the draft, the QB carousel is already spinning. The Steelers are losing Ben Roethlisberger. The Buccaneers are losing Tom Brady (though rumors have surfaced around him not being truly retired). Will Aaron Rodgers stay in Green Bay, or can you take a flier on the Broncos at 20-1 in the hopes he joins his former offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, in Denver? If Rodgers leaves, is Jordan Love ready to take over in Green Bay? Is Trey Lance ready in San Francisco? Or will the 49ers pursue Rodgers, or, dare we suggest it, Brady? What’s the plan in New Orleans? And what do we make of the stories of the rift between Tyler Murray and the Cardinals?
There are more questions than answers at this time, but the main question we need to answer is if it’s worth putting down our hard-earned money (and, yes, if you have winnings left over after the Super Bowl, it was hard-earned).
If you can find out where Rodgers is going to land, it would certainly be worth it to get in on that team’s price now. If you think a team can make a run with a second-year QB like the Bengals did with Burrow, there’s probably no rush to get the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence at 100-1 or the Jets and Zach Wilson at 150-1. Those odds aren’t likely to drop anytime soon.
So, after weighing everything we know now, here are my Takes for my top Super Bowl future-book value play (one from each conference) as we sit here in mid-February.
Among all of the top teams from this past season and the expected contenders for next season, the Titans continue to get no respect. I know the Chiefs and Bills are flashier with Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen compared to the Titans with Ryan Tannehill, but the fact is the Titans were the AFC’s No. 1 seed and the most complete team overall. Now they're almost an afterthought at 25-1. Tannehill got them to that spot with super-stud RB Derrick Henry missing half the season, so I’m comfortable knowing the Titans’ offense is sustainable with or without Henry in the lineup. There was speculation out there that the Titans could deal for Rodgers, which certainly would have added some value to this ticket, but that was squashed and I’m confident enough that Tannehill can make another run.
I’m going back to the well and hoping Matt Ryan can dip into the fountain of youth and return to his 2016-17 form. It certainly helps to have TE Kyle Pitts, and I think of Cordarrelle Patterson as a poor man’s Deebo Samuel. I wish they still had Julio Jones, but hopefully Calvin Ridley returns or they find another suitable No. 1 receiver. The Falcons are one of those teams that are just a few players away. Say what you want about the marquee teams and quarterbacks that get all the publicity, there is still parity in the NFL and not as much difference between the top and bottom teams as most people think. I also like that the Buccaneers and Saints could both be down, possibly leaving the door open for the Falcons to win the division.