Mike Tagliere’s Top 10 Super Bowl LV Prop Bets
The chapter of the 2020 season will close come this Sunday when Tom Brady plays in his 10th Super Bowl. Some will want to sit back and watch a game between two of the greatest to ever play the quarterback position, while others will want to get in some betting action before the reality of no football sets in.
The Super Bowl is a game that offers more prop bets than ever, which is why it’s fun to sit down and do this article. I’m not one to bet on coin flips, so you’re not going to find anything in this article that suggests my “gut feeling” on a coin flip, how long the national anthem is, or what color Gatorade will be dumped on the head coach. Instead, I’ll offer my thoughts on things that I have solid evidence to support the side I’m taking.
It should be noted that these lines are subject to change as the week goes on, but while writing this article, they were my favorites at the time. They’re a combination of the prop bets offered on both DraftKings and Westgate. For those new to the betting world, the numbers in parenthesis below are based around $100. When it says -150, it means you’re the favorite and you’d need to bet $150 in order to win $100 on that bet. On the flip side, when it says +150, it means you’re the favorite and if you bet $100, you’d win $150 on that one. If you’d like to read about that in more detail, here’s an article explaining everything.
Patrick Mahomes OVER 2.5 passing touchdowns (-130) and OVER 1.5 passing touchdowns (-400)
In games that Mahomes has played, the Chiefs have scored 66 total touchdowns on offense this year. Do you know how many Mahomes has accounted for? 45 of them, or 68.1 percent. Think about this for a moment. Despite the Chiefs defense allowing just the 10th-fewest points per game (22.4) to their opponents, the Chiefs have scored an average of 3.88 offensive touchdowns per game with Mahomes under center. Now you add in an opponent who allows nothing on the ground (the Bucs are the league’s best run defense who allowed 35 passing touchdowns and just nine rushing touchdowns this year) and an offense who can also throw points on the board? That’s the recipe for a Mahomes three-plus touchdown game.
Tom Brady OVER 1.5 passing touchdowns (-215)
In a game that has a total of 56.5, it seems like a gimme to select Brady to throw at least two touchdowns. Did you know he’s thrown at least two touchdowns in 13 of his last 14 games, including each of the last 10 games? The Chiefs defense allowed 13 different quarterbacks to produce multiple touchdowns this year, and on the biggest stage, Brady has thrown at least two touchdowns in 6-of-8 Super Bowls, including each of his last four appearances. The best part is that there’s no gamescript where Brady will be removed.
Ronald Jones OVER 37.5 rushing yards (-112) and OVER 8.5 rushing attempts (-112)
The two weeks in between games should be more than enough time for Jones to get healthy. Yes, Leonard Fournette has played well while Jones heals up from his quad injury the last month, but Bruce Arians has shown us time and time again that this is a timeshare. Jones has totaled at least nine carries in 13-of-16 games this year, including the time these two teams met back in Week 12 where he rushed for 66 yards on nine carries in a losing effort. The Chiefs run defense allowed 4.51 yards per carry to running backs this year, while Jones himself averaged 1.14 more yards per carry than he was expected to, which ranked third in the NFL. If Jones receives just nine carries and averages just 4.22 yards per carry, this goes over.
Rob Gronkowski OVER 29.5 yards (-112)
When I saw this number, it seemed extremely low, especially when you figure that Antonio Brown may not be available. Some will see that Gronkowski has topped 29 yards just once in his last seven games, but don’t forget that’s with Brown in the lineup. Prior to Brown’s arrival to the team, Gronkowski’s previous six games netted (in order) 48-29-52-78-62-41. Then you take a look at the fact that the Chiefs allowed the fifth-most yards to the tight end position while holding wide receivers to the second-fewest yards, and you have a gameplan that should feature Gronkowski more than usual. Gronkowski has six catches of 29 or more yards this season, so this bet can pay off on just one reception.
Leonard Fournette UNDER 11.5 carries (-112)
If you like the Chiefs to win this game, you should probably join me in betting the under here. In the five games the Bucs lost with Fournette in the lineup this year, his carry totals were 5-0-1-7-3. Heck, even in wins, Fournette has cracked 11.5 carries just five times all season. With Ronald Jones back to full health, this is going to be a timeshare, and the only area that Fournette has an edge over Jones is his usage in the passing game, which doesn’t help his carry numbers. There were just six teams all season who ran the ball more than 22 times against the Chiefs, which doesn’t bode well for Fournette.
Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl MVP (+100) or Position of MVP: Quarterback (-305)
Let’s be honest here… if you’re picking the Chiefs to win, how does Mahomes not win the Super Bowl MVP award? Sure, Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce can have a massive game, but who helps them get to those numbers? The guy who just defeated Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Remember the two times the Giants won against the Patriots? Eli Manning was the Super Bowl MVP in both of them. Quarterbacks have won the MVP award in eight of the last 11 Super Bowls, so when you throw Mahomes and Brady into the mix (two actual league MVPs), your odds feel much better than 3 to 1.
Will there be a two-point conversion attempt? Yes (+130)
Notice how this says “attempt” and nothing about success? That’s the key word. There’s been a two-point conversion attempt in eight of the last 11 Super Bowls and the game continues to shift with teams doing it more and more, as evidenced by the record-setting numbers this year. On top of that, you’re getting +130, making this a rock-solid prop bet.
Will either team score in the final 3.5 minutes of the game? Yes (-170)
When you factor in that this game should be extremely close (three-point spread), it’s likely going to come down to the wire, and do you really expect Mahomes or Brady to not convert one of their final drives into points? Each of the last six Super Bowls has had some sort of scoring play inside the final 3.5 minutes.
OVER 3.5 Total QB Sacks by both teams (-130)
We all know that Mahomes is playing through a turf toe injury and has less mobility than usual, right? On top of that, he’ll be without his starting left tackle Eric Fisher who tore his Achilles in the conference championship. Then you add in the fact that the Bucs have one of the better pass rushes in the league, and it’s fair to think they’ll get three sacks alone. We also know that Brady goes down if someone snags his shoelace, and the Chiefs themselves averaged 2.1 sacks per game in 2020. With a lot of passing expected (evidenced by the pass attempt props), you’re going to get quite a few sacks.
Who will throw more touchdown passes? Patrick Mahomes -0.5 (+110)
I’m not going to say that Brady won’t throw three touchdowns in this game, but if he does, Mahomes is likely throwing four of them. This bet all comes down to the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing defenses. The Chiefs strength is their pass defense while their run defense is the weaker point of attack. On the flip side, the Bucs are a brick wall against the run, but have allowed plenty of passing touchdowns this season. And again, if Brady is throwing quite a few touchdowns, that’s only going to lead to more passing on the Chiefs side of the ball.
Others I like:
Will either team score four straight times? No (-280)
Will there be a safety? No (-1667)
Longest rush by Patrick Mahomes UNDER 11.5 yards (-110)
Mecole Hardman OVER 24.5 receiving yards (-110)