Tuley's Takes on Super Bowl betting

Are you ready for some football? Hell, yes!

I don’t know about you, but we’re champing at the bit in the Tuley’s Takes home office waiting for Super Sunday to get here. The only thing keeping us sane is the daily exercise of tracking the prices of the thousands of prop bets and deciding which ones to bet ASAP and which ones we’re waiting on.

Of course, everyone’s asking, “Who do you like?” But it’s mostly a rhetorical question as people assume I’ll take the underdog per usual. However, they’re forgetting I preach the dog-or-pass philosophy — as they gloss over the pass part. It was the same thing last year. Everyone assumed I would take the underdog Rams against the Patriots, but I actually leaned to the favorite and was glad I made that call when the Patriots won 13-3. (Admittedly, my biggest bet on the game was Over 56, so we missed that by only 40 points!)

Anyway, I feel the same way this year. I can’t pull the trigger on the 49ers, as I think the Chiefs are the right side with the better offense and a defense that has improved down the stretch. Still, I think both offenses will have success and recommended the Over on “The Opening Lines Show.” Of course, the Over has steamed up to 55 at most books, so that’s not as attractive anymore.

So when my “Point Spread Weekly” editors asked for my Best Bet elsewhere in this issue, I went with a 6-point teaser on the Chiefs + 4.5/Over 49. I usually don’t recommend teasing through zero, but it makes sense in this matchup. I expect this to be a back-and-forth, high-scoring battle, and this protects us in case the 49ers pull out a three- or four-point win. And teasing the Over gives us back those earlier lower numbers we missed.

As I’ve written at least a dozen times over the 21 Super Bowls I’ve covered from the Vegas point of view, my first piece of advice is to bet props that support the way you handicap the game. For instance, if you think the 49ers’ defense can shut down the Chiefs’ high-powered offense, look to bet Under the yardage totals for Kansas City players. If you think Patrick Mahomes & Co. are going to roll, you’d look to the Overs.

Word to the wise (guy): If you’re looking to bet player props, bet Overs ASAP. The public tends to bet on Overs, and a lot of these totals are expected to rise, but wait to bet Unders until game day to get the best number possible.

Since the game is close to pick-’em, I’ll start with props based on that type of game and then diversify my portfolio with bets independent of that narrative. These props are from the 33-page packet at the Westgate SuperBook, but be sure to shop around for the most favorable numbers and other bets that interest you.

Game tied after 0-0? (Yes, -110)

This is pretty simple. We’re just cheering for the game to be tied. With a back-and-forth game expected, there’s a great chance of a tie at some point. We even cashed this last year in the Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Rams in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever when the Rams tied it 3-3 in the third quarter.

Largest lead (Under 14.5 points, + 110)

Again, with a back-and-forth game, we just need neither team to go up by more than two touchdowns. And we get a plus price on it this year.

Double result of halftime/game winner (Tie/Chiefs 12/1 and Tie/49ers 12/1)

This looks more complicated, but we’re basically betting that the game is tied at halftime, and then it doesn’t matter who wins the game.

Will there be overtime? (Yes, 8/1)

This is usually not a good bet, as the odds are short considering only one of the previous 53 Super Bowls has gone to overtime, but I think it’s worth a bet this year with the expected close game. Plus I trust both offenses if they need to rally from three, seven or eight points late. This scenario also would cash our first bet.

Here are some other props …

Jersey number of first player to score TD (Under 26.5, -110)

You could take a bigger price on an individual player, but I prefer this option as you get both quarterbacks as well as Chiefs RBs LeSean McCoy (25) and Damien Williams (26) as well as receivers Tyreek Hill (10), Demarcus Robinson (11), Sammy Watkins (14) and Mecole Hardman (17). You’d also get San Francisco’s Tevin Coleman (26) if he’s cleared to play.

Total number of players to have a passing attempt (Over 2.5, + 130)

Both coaches are capable of designing trick plays to cash this for us. We don’t condone cheering for a quarterback injury, but it also would cash if a backup is pressed into duty even if just for one pass.

Shortest touchdown (Under 1.5 yards, -140)

This has been one of my favorite props over the years. It used to be closer to pick-’em and didn’t cash last year, as the lone touchdown was a 2-yard run by Sony Michel. But it cashed the previous three years and five of the previous six, so I still don’t think it’s priced too high.

Good luck with however you play the Super Bowl.


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