It can be overwhelming to look at all of the Super Bowl betting options that are available. One method that bettors should use is to simply look at one team or the other. A lot of the game props are reliant on game flow and may be a lot more subjective than the player props. Every prop bet has a certain degree of variance, but if you can isolate the key players and matchups, you should be able to come out ahead on player props.
We’re going to have a props piece for both the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Those articles will include the team and player props. We’ve already covered some thoughts on the game props and some of the different wagering angles available with those. Now, it’s time to really dive in.
For the purposes of this exercise, we will compare at three sportsbooks – BetDSI, 5Dimes, and BetOnline. There are obviously a lot of other sportsbooks out there, but this represents a good variety and a large enough sample size of books to get the point across that shopping around is the best way to go about the game. All three lines will be given, if available, for those specific prop bets.
For this one, we’ll take a look at the New England Patriots:
Receiving + rushing yards for James White:
BetOnline: 28.5 (-125/-105)
DSI: 30.5 (-105/-125)
This is arguably my favorite prop bet out there for Super Bowl LI. One of the players I focused on for Super Bowl XLIX was Shane Vereen. Many of the Vereen props came in easy, as he had 11 receptions for 64 yards and also four carries for 13 yards. Vereen was a focal point of the passing game and it would be a surprise if the Patriots deviated a lot from that strategy in this game.
That situation was a little bit different because the Patriots were going up against the Seattle secondary and it was going to be harder to create space. The nice thing is that this is a low number for James White. White should feature prominently in the offensive game plan. He’s probably the best back at picking up the blitz, which means that the Patriots will use him a little bit more in this game. He only had one carry in the first two playoff games, but he wasn’t really needed in that capacity. He had 60 receptions during the regular season and the fact that he only has four in the playoffs seems very curious.
Atlanta allowed the most receptions to running backs with 109. Interestingly, New England tied for the second-most with 101. Keep those two tidbits in mind as you look over these prop bets.
LeGarrette Blount is a terrible pass-catcher, so he won’t see a whole lot of third down snaps and may not even see much work in second-and-long. On the fast track of NRG Stadium, White should see an elevated snap count.
There’s probably some value in James White first Patriots TD at +1221 (DSI; +1200 elsewhere) and first TD of the game at +2200 (BOL; +2000 at 5D).
Tom Brady to win the MVP
This isn’t necessary a play, but there’s something I want to bring to your attention. Rotation number 25301 at 5Dimes is “T. Brady wins Super Bowl MVP +115”. The payback on 25302 “Field wins Super Bowl MVP” is -145. That’s in the “NFL Futures” section.
Scroll down to the Most Valuable Player heading and Tom Brady is +125 to win the MVP. Those are two things that mean the exact same, yet there’s a difference of 10 cents of juice. Make sure that you’re paying attention for things like that out there in the market.
For what it’s worth, Brady is +100 to win MVP at BetOnline and -114 at DSI.
Another quick note about this is that it’s a better way to play New England to win the game than to take the -150 or -160 money line price. If New England wins, the odds are pretty good that Tom Brady wins the MVP. In the last seven Super Bowls, the MVP has either been the starting quarterback or a defensive player. The last running back was Terrell Davis in Super Bowl XXXII. It hasn’t been a wide receiver since Super Bowl XLIII. Seven of the last 10 Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks.
There are a few options for Martellus Bennett prop bets that make some sense in this game.
He’s +700 at 5Dimes and BetOnline and +900 at DSI to score the first Patriots TD and +1500 to score the first game TD at 5Dimes and +1520 at DSI. He’s +135 to score a TD at any time at BOL.
The Falcons allowed 87 receptions on 144 targets to tight ends. Tight ends were open, as that was tied for the fourth-most tight end targets against in the NFL.
Bennett’s over/under receptions is 3.5. BetOnline and DSI have +115 on over and -145 on under. Yardage is over/under 35.5 (-130/100) at DSI and 36.5 (-120/-110) at BetOnline. One yard isn’t really worth 10 cents of juice, so the BetOnline number is probably the preferred one. Another option is that Bennett +0.5 receptions is +120 against Taylor Gabriel at BetOnline.
Bennett has been limited by injuries in this postseason, but he’s had two weeks to rest and prepare. He’s a veteran player, so Tom Brady should have a rapport with him in a big game like this. He was also a good red zone option with seven touchdowns during the regular season. It’s tough to evaluate his full body of work because Rob Gronkowski was around for some of it and he spent most of the season hobbled. It certainly seems like he’s the type of safety valve that Brady will seek out during this game. I normally wind up looking at a lot of overs for a secondary or tertiary receiver and Bennett may be that one for this game.
Solo + assisted tackles Devin McCourty
BetOnline: 5 (-120/-110)
Right now, BOL is the only book with defensive player props up out of the ones that we’re looking at. Devin McCourty’s line is sitting at 5, which seems low for a game like this. My personal guess about this game is that Kyle Shanahan is going to use Julio Jones extensively as both a target and a decoy. That means a lot of the plays when Jones isn’t the primary target will be set opposite his side. With Malcolm Butler likely to draw the Julio Jones assignment, that will free up Devin McCourty to make a lot of plays. Whether he’s making tackles after completions or helping out in the run game, he should be very active. He only has nine total tackles in the playoffs, but I think he’ll be a lot busier in this game. He had 83 during the regular season.
New England Over Third-Down Conversions
DSI: 7 (140/-170)
5D: 6.5 (-145/125)
BOL: 6.5 (-145/115)
The odds for this prop are certainly interesting. The Patriots are taking on an Atlanta defense that allowed a 41.7 percent third-down conversion rate. That was 5.4 third-down conversions per game. This is a clear case of how shopping around can be helpful. You’re getting a pretty significant amount of value to play over 7, even though the push is in play. Also, you’re getting 10 cents better on under 6.5 if that’s the route that you choose to go.
Seven seems like a lot of third-down conversions, but New England was the second-best in the NFL at extending drives on the Money Down with 6.7 conversions per game. Considering Atlanta is near the bottom of the league at getting off the field, this seems to be a decent value. If the game plays out like it should with a lot of plays and a lot of points, it’s hard to see New England failing to get this.