Football Five: Looking at Super Bowl Odds And Props

When it comes to  Super Bowl 55, NJ online sports bettors find a spread that has been locked between Kansas City -3 and -3.5 against  Tampa Bay for Sunday’s game.

However, the NJ sports betting crowd will notice an abundance of alternatives via the prop-betting route, which also reveals public sentiment about the contest.

We’ll examine this closer in this week’s Football Five.

1. Super Bowl point spread holding steady

The original line is probably where it should be, in the eyes of bettors.

The Chiefs and Bucs already met once, on this field, back in November. And even though Tampa Bay becomes the first team to ever play a home game in its own stadium, Kansas City outlasted the Bucs here in that game, by three points.

Kansas City obtained a big early lead and the Bucs stormed back late. The momentum Tampa Bay gained with the comeback may have carried over because the Bucs haven’t lost since. They head into Sunday’s game winners of  seven straight, and they were a better team than the Chiefs at the end of the previous meeting.

2. How about the total points?

That has been in the 55-56.5 -point range, an indication of the improvement in the Tampa Bay offense. The Bucs have been a scoring juggernaut under a revitalized quarterback Tom Brady.

Consider these point totals in an offensive burst going back to late December:

  • 31 against the Atlanta Falcons
  • 47 against the Detroit Lions
  • 44 against the Falcons
  • 31 against the Washington Football Team to start the playoff
  • 30 against the New Orleans Saints
  • 31 points against the Green Bay Packers.

Consider that Tampa Bay won three straight road playoff games, including against the NFC’s No. 1 and 2 seeds.

So why is this team scoring so well?

Brady has exceptional time to throw the ball and he is tossing it with authority. Brady’s performance has also lifted the likes of receivers Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Rob Gronkowski.

Cameron Brate is a superb tight end and he’s second string to Gronkowski. He is just as much a threat to score. Leonard Fournette has been good enough in the backfield to keep defenses just a bit honest. The Bucs defense set up scores in the last two victories.

What has separated Brady from others quarterbacks in the postseason has been mastering key plays to keep Tampa Bay on the field. Witness his third-down magic against the Packers and his fourth-down quarterback sneak against New Orleans, deep in his own territory, when the Bucs trailed 6-0.

Bucs coach Bruce Arians did not want to give the ball back to New Orleans and Brady made the gamble work.

3. Brady + Mahomes Super Bowl props tell a story

The props fit into two major categories. One involves the players, blending a sense of handicapping and hunch. The other involves the novelties or special plays, which are simply part of Super Bowl lure.

For now, let ‘s view some serious ones from DraftKings and William Hill sportsbooks.

At DraftKings, the yardage prop indicates the expectation that opposing quarterbacks Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes will light it up. The over-under for Mahomes is 325.5 passing yards and for Brady is 295.5 yards. Both are -112.

How about touchdown passes?

If you take the over, you make money with Mahomes on the fourth TD and with Brady it’s the third TD.

Mahomes is:

  • -455 for over 1.5
  • -150 for over 2.5
  • +185 for over 3.5.

Brady is:

  • -230 for over 1.5
  • +130 for over 2.5
  • +370 for over 3.5

What about interceptions?

As of early Monday evening, the first Mahomes pick is money in the bank with the over. It’s +145. Always a worthwhile consideration if for nothing more than a desperation heave on the last play of the first half.

For Brady, picks are already baked into the line. He is -167 to throw and interception, only +131 for him to have none. The risk-reward in this category is not good.

Want to root for completions?

Mahomes is +`110 to have a completion percentage above 70.5%. He is -137 under.

Brady is -130 for completion percentage above 62.5% and +105 under.

And as far as the actual game goes, DraftKings provided some Monday insight regarding how the public sees the game entering Super Bowl week?

DraftKings reported 78% of the money coming in for Kansas City at -3.

The over-under of 56 entice over bettors to the tune of 76% handle,

It will be interesting to see what happens whenever that line hits -3.5. That’s been Tampa Bay territory, so far.

4. Score-and-win props entice

William Hill had more than 400 of them early in the week. Beyond the novelty props, there are several player scoring and yardage considerations that will inspire bets.

There often is a surprise touchdown scorer in the Super Bowl because coaches devise new plays that may fool a defense. That brings a speedster like Mecole Hardman into play. End-arounds featuring his blazing speed could be part of the Kansas City offense. Hardman to score and Kansas City to win is +450.

Traditional Tampa Bay targets  Evans, +500, and Gronkowski, +750, provide healthy payouts in score-and-win scenarios.

This is one of the first times Gronk’s odds have been in line with his performance. He hasn’t been reached the end zone in four games, but his prices have been short. Now they are substantial. Think he’s due?

5. Kelce, Hill and yards for money

While Hardman sits under the radar for prop bettors, Kansas City’s big names become popular betting tickets at William Hill.

The book released its Super Bowl 55 props with one of the top highlights being player yardage props. There’s already been significant movement regarding Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.

After each posted 100-yard efforts in both of the Chiefs’ playoffs wins, Kelce opened at 105.5 and Tyreek Hill at 102.5 for its receiving yardage props. Kelce slid down to 97.5 and Hill is down to 91.5. And they aren’t the only Chiefs to see a decrease from their original number.

This could be an indication of prop bets providing a different glimpse of the overall game.

“If bettors think the Bucs are going to shorten the game, they might as well save themselves some legwork and just bet Tampa +3.5 if they think that’s the way the game is going to play out,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “Maybe it’s because since these two played earlier in the year, the Bucs will have a better idea of how to stop them.

“But it’s the same script every year, the sharps will bet ‘no’ and under and the public will bet ‘yes’ and over, and we’ll need the sharp side for a small mountain of money.”

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

About the Author

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.