Last Updated: 2018-01-30
Prop bets are the way to bet the Super Bowl. It’s cool to have some action on the side and total, but the inefficiencies in the Super Bowl betting market come in the form of props. In this particular piece, we’ll take a look at some individual and team props for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles might be a bit of a surprise participant in Super Bowl LII because a lot of people thought they were in trouble when Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL. Nick Foles struggled through the end of the regular season, but has played well in the playoffs and the Eagles had the single most impressive win of the first three rounds with a dominating 38-7 blowout over the Minnesota Vikings.
Normally, I love to look at player props. My philosophy is that I try to get inside the minds of the offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinators and figure out who will be highlighted and how those players will be deployed. When it comes to the Eagles, I’m having a tough time. We have virtually four data points of Nick Foles and two of them are against playoff teams. He’s spread the ball around a lot, but has also worked guys like Corey Clement, Torrey Smith, and Nelson Agholor into the mix more frequently, while still using Zach Ertz as his primary target. Projecting player performance is inherently high-variance, but it seems to be even more so this Super Bowl with Foles at the helm.
In order to get a good cross-section of the market, I’ll be using BetDSI, BetOnline, 5Dimes, and Bovada to look at these team and player prop bets:
Philadelphia More Points 2nd Half + OT: (-110) (5Dimes)
This line is currently offered at both 5Dimes and BetOnline, with 5Dimes at -110 and BetOnline at -120. The Patriots have played to a 0-0 tie after the first quarter in four of their seven Super Bowls under Bill Belichick. I have to think that the Eagles will have a conservative game plan with Nick Foles early on to keep things as simple as possible and avoid falling in a hole.
I’ve been impressed with Doug Pederson and Frank Reich. With an elongated halftime break to make adjustments, I would expect both teams to have some success moving the football and scoring points in the second half. That certainly includes the Eagles. I would expect a slow, tentative start from both teams, but we’ll start to open up a little bit in the second half.
Eagles First Team to Kick Field Goal: (+100) (5Dimes)
DSI is dealing this line at -110, but 5Dimes is at even money. For all of the flaws of the New England defense, the Patriots were stingy in the red zone. For as good as the Philadelphia defense was, it was not as good in the red zone. The Patriots only allowed a touchdown on 21 of 48 opponent’s red zone trips. The Eagles allowed 21 on 38 trips.
Another consideration for me here is that the Eagles are going to make sure to come away with points in the red zone. The Patriots have a little more leeway with an experienced, proven QB like Tom Brady. Philadelphia doesn’t have that luxury with Nick Foles. For Foles to drive down the field or get a short field and then not get points would be pretty devastating. Philadelphia’s red zone play calling may be a little more conservative than New England’s, especially early in the game.
Number of Philadelphia Players to Catch A Pass: Under 7.5 (+120) (5Dimes)
There is a small arbitrage opportunity available here by playing Over 7.5 at DSI at -110 and under 7.5 at 5Dimes at +120. You can bet $110 to win $100 on the over and $100 to win $120 on the under, so the under would net a $10 profit. For $100 bettors, this isn’t significant, but for bigger bettors, it is.
Anyway, I’m looking towards the under here, which would seem to go against a little bit of sharp money with the over 7.5 at -140 at 5Dimes. The Eagles were nursing a big lead against the Vikings and only had seven. They were leading Atlanta late and had eight, but two of them, Mack Hollins and Brent Celek, had one catch on one target. LeGarrette Blount doesn’t really catch passes, so we can cross him off. Mack Hollins, Brent Celek, and Trey Burton are the wild cards. We know that Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, Corey Clement, and Jay Ajayi will all see targets. Will two of those other guys see targets and be able to bring them in? That remains to be seen. I’d lean towards the no and getting plus money on this price makes some sense.
Torrey Smith Over 2.5 Receptions (-125) (BetOnline)
Torrey Smith seems to have a rapport with Nick Foles. Keep in mind that Nick Foles was running with the #2s most of the season. Smith was getting rotated in with both groups, which means that he and Foles very easily could have had a good relationship in practice. Smith has 12 targets in the playoffs and 23 since Foles took the starting role on December 17. He’s the guy to take the top off of this slower New England defense. He’s the guy that can soften up the running game and the underneath routes.
With the Patriots likely providing some safety help to Kyle Van Noy in his quest to cover Zach Ertz, that should allow Smith some single coverage on the outside. It wouldn’t hurt the Eagles to take some shots, especially if they can run the ball effectively and set up some 2nd-and-short situations. I think Smith features prominently for them in the passing game.
Alshon Jeffery Scores a TD: (+180) (5Dimes)
Alshon Jeffery has three receiving touchdowns since Nick Foles took over, including two of them last week. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is a great red zone option, but he’s also averaged over 16 yards per catch in the playoffs, so he is a good option just outside of the red zone. Who knows where the Eagles touchdowns will come from, but given Jeffery’s frame and his athleticism inside the 20, this is a worthwhile investment. It’s nice to throw a couple of these out there or dabble on the MVP, but you want lower-variance props whenever possible.
I won’t be looking at a whole lot of things like the MVP or first touchdown props because there are too many options and it’s really hard to find edges. Because of Jeffery’s size and what we’ve seen from Foles, I’d be a little more comfortable with something like this.
Jake Elliott Over 7.5 Points (-110) (5Dimes)
The Patriots, for all of their defensive problems, really buckled down in the red zone. The Eagles should be able to move the ball between the 20s, but the outcome of Super Bowl LII could be decided by how many times they have to settle for three points. I’m thinking that could be a few more times than they’d like, which would bring the leg of Jake Elliott into play. This looks like a reasonable number of points for a kicker to go over in a game with a total of 48 against a Patriots defense that allowed a lot of yardage.
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