The Super Bowl is finally here, and as always, there are copious opportunities for casual and veteran sports bettors to have fun betting on the big game. Player props are some of the most fun bets to watch as you can track individual players’ statistics throughout the game. With plenty of opportunities for prop bets to be made, let’s dive into some of my favorites to target.
Super Bowl MVP
The Most Valuable Player award is given out after the game to the player deemed to be most impactful in the game. Quarterbacks win this award far more frequently, with 29/54 MVPs going to passers. Next up in the list – wide receiver (7), running back (6), linebacker (4), safeties (2), defensive ends (2), cornerbacks (1), fullbacks (1), and kick returners (1).
|S||Antoine Winfield Jr.||+10000|
Quarterbacks have won this award a majority of time throughout Super Bowl history, and it’s no surprise that each team’s quarterback is represented at the top of these odds. Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback for the favored team and is naturally the favorite here. Mahomes won the MVP award last year despite an uneven performance against a dominant Niners defense – he finished with 26 of 42 passing for 268 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and 4 sacks. Against Tampa earlier this year, Mahomes registered 462 passing yards and 3 touchdowns – if he reproduces that line, he’ll be a shoo-in for the MVP. At -105, this is a strong place to start for prop bets this week.
Tom Brady was underwhelmed the last time he played in the Super Bowl as he completed just 21 of 35 passes for 262 yards and 1 interception with no scores. That was enough to earn Julian Edelman the MVP award in a low-scoring affair. However, there is plenty to suggest Brady will come through with a huge performance. The 57-point over/under in this game is one of the highest in Super Bowl history, and Brady is throwing to his best receiving group in several years. The Patriots team that faced the Rams relied on Julian Edelman, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Chris Hogan as their top wideouts – this Bucs team has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. If the Buccaneers win, there’s a solid chance Brady wins MVP as he’ll have the narrative on his side in his first year in Tampa. If you think Tampa will win this game, +200 is too good of a value to pass up here, and you can get him at +250 in some books.
Of course, it can be fun to throw out a couple of fliers on positions other than the quarterback to win the Super Bowl MVP. On the Chiefs side, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce (+1400 and +1500, respectively) are a bit overpriced in my eyes. If one of those players has a huge game, it’s likely Mahomes will as well, and it’s hard to imagine the MVP award not going to the league’s golden child with at least a solid effort. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+3500) is off the radar for me – Damien Williams had 133 yards from scrimmage and 2 touchdowns in last year’s game and did not win. I can’t imagine CEH surpassing those numbers. Tyrann Mathieu could be worth a shot at +5000 as he’s the most likely Chiefs’ defender to secure multiple interceptions.
All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones is one of my favorite bets at +8500. The Buccaneers are replacing Alex Cappa with the inexperienced Aaron Stinnie at right guard, and Packers’ nose tackle Kenny Clark exposed him a few times and finished with a sack in the game. Jones had 7.5 sacks during the regular season and has averaged 1.75 QB hits per game over the past three seasons. If he can take down Brady a couple of times, force a turnover, and create a defensive touchdown, there’s a path to MVP. He would need to replicate a similar performance to what Von Miller did in Super Bowl 50 to earn MVP – 6 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and one pass defended. Jones is capable of that sort of production, but a soaring Patrick Mahomes will likely keep any Chiefs’ defender from winning the MVP.
On the Bucs side, there are a few more options. Mike Evans (+3400) and Chris Godwin (+3400) are Brady’s top wideouts, but neither is really worth a dart throw. Evans is the most likely Tampa skill player to score multiple touchdowns in this game, but it may not end up mattering much. If Evans ended with something like 7-115-2, Brady would likely be moving the offense well enough to earn MVP on his own. Antonio Brown (+5500) is in a similar position, but he’s still dealing with a lingering knee injury and hasn’t had the same amount of reps with Brady as the other two receivers have. However, Brown could be funneled targets in this game as much as either of the other two guys, and he provides much more value. Leonard Fournette (+3000) could score multiple touchdowns, but Ronald Jones has been encroaching on his workload, and I don’t see the Tampa offense being carried by the run game.
Defensively for Tampa, there are a few options. With Kansas City’s top two offensive tackles (Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher) out for this game, Tampa’s edge rush is going to dominate. Shaquil Barrett (+5000) and Jason Pierre-Paul (+8000) would be the most likely candidates for multi-sack games. The last time a defensive player won the Super Bowl MVP was in SB 50, a game in which Von Miller had 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, which was recovered for a touchdown. However, Peyton Manning had an awful game, and there were no offensive players with a case at the award. It’s hard to imagine a similar outcome in this game with two offenses better than their own defenses. Devin White (+5000) is the team’s sideline-to-sideline linebacker and could replicate Malcolm Smith’s MVP-winning effort in SB XLVIII – he had an interception for a touchdown, a fumble recovery, and 10 tackles.
|Player||First TD||To Score|
|Ronald Jones II||+1800||+225|
|Any Other Chiefs Player||+2500||+325|
|Any Other Buccaneers Player||+3000||+400|
Tyreek Hill/Travis Kelce: (+650 first/last TD, -175 anytime TD)
Both of these players are very likely to find the end zone in the Super Bowl, and that’s reflected in their odds here. Kelce has scored seven touchdowns over his last six games, including two last week against the Bills. Hill was also a touchdown machine during the regular season – he scored 15 times in 15 games – but he has yet to reach the end zone in two playoff outings. He did, however, score 3 touchdowns against the Buccaneers in their meeting earlier this season. Tyreek Hill (17) and Travis Kelce (20) were both among the top ten players in red-zone targets during the regular season. -175 is pretty rich, but I honestly would put 75% odds on either guy scoring, so there’s value on -175 (implied 63.5%). Kelce would be the guy I’m more confident in, and I would bet on him either to score first or last, depending on how you want to enjoy the game. Keep an eye on +170 for both Hill and Kelce to score.
Leonard Fournette: (+1050 first/last TD, +120 anytime TD)
I’m always nervous betting on Bruce Arians running backs, but I think there’s some value on Fournette here. He’s scored a touchdown in each of the Buccaneers’ three playoff games and has been the most effective backfield option for the team by far. Fournette has run 4.4 yards per carry in the playoffs, while Ronald Jones has run for just 3.4 yards per carry and had just 10 carries for 16 yards last week. Fournette also saw all of the team’s red-zone looks last week. The Chiefs’ run defense was highly vulnerable during the regular season – they allowed the 12th-most rushing yards per game. While Kansas City did contain the Browns’ potent rushing attack a few weeks ago, Steve Spagnulo will have to run a lot more nickel and dime sets to protect the secondary against Tom Brady and the passing game. I like Fournette’s chances to find his nose in the end zone in the red-zone during the Super Bowl, and he should be a lot closer to even money.
Mike Evans: (+900 first/last TD, +110 anytime TD)
There are only three players in NFL history with 10 receiving touchdowns from in the red zone (inside the 20). Mike Evans is now one of them. He finished with 13 touchdowns during the regular season and found the end zone twice the last time these teams met. At 6’5″ 231 lbs, Evans creates a huge mismatch for most defensive backs in the NFL. None of Bashaud Breeland (5’11” 194 lbs), Charvarius Ward (6’1″ 198 lbs), or L’Jarius Sneed (6’1″ 193 lbs) have the size or physicality to cover Evans in the red zone. The Buccaneers could look to push the tempo early in this game, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Evans get some valuable downfield targets. However, he’s also the team’s top target in the red zone, and I’m confident in his ability to score, maybe on the first drive.
My Favorite Player Prop Bets
Patrick Mahomes – over 325.5 passing yards: Mahomes threw for 462 yards the last time these teams played, and the Buccaneers allowed the 12th-most passing yards per game during the regular season. The Chiefs’ quarterback has yet to hit this mark once this postseason, and he hasn’t thrown for over 325.5 passing yards in any of his seven playoff games. However, the Bucs’ offense will likely ensure there’s a bunch of points scored in this game, forcing Mahomes to air the ball out early and often. I have some concerns over the team’s lack of offensive tackles, but I still have faith in the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – over 48.5 yards from scrimmage: The Chiefs’ rookie running back has had an underwhelming debut season, and he’s been dealing with an injury that kept him out of three games before the AFC Championship. CEH only got 7 touches against the Bills, but I expect the Chiefs to try to establish the run game to keep the Tampa pass rush balanced. Additionally, CEH could be in line for several check-down targets in this game. The Bucs will be all over Mahomes without Schwartz and Fisher, so he should have to look to the short-area passing game more often, an area CEH will surely be involved in.
Daniel Sorensen – YES interception: You can get this prop at great odds in most books, and I’m riding the stretch of strong play for the Chiefs’ “other” safety. Sorensen has played on 100% of the team’s snaps every week dating back to early November, and he’s a bonafide playmaker in the secondary. Tom Brady had three interceptions last week, and we’ve seen the receivers struggle with drops from time to time, so Sorensen could get in there with a big defensive play.
Antonio Brown – most yards from scrimmage: The heavy-hitters at the top of this prop are going to see big betting numbers as Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce have dominated all season. Antonio Brown is not my favorite player, and he’s probably not your favorite player. However, he has looked like an All-Pro player at various points this season and has had a couple of weeks to recover from his lingering knee injury – he practiced in full this week. Brown is a player who could get involved in several ways in this game, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Tampa funnel targets his way.
Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul – over 0.5 sacks: As I’ve already discussed in this article, the Chiefs are set to be without their two starting offensive tackles in Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz this game. They could be in trouble against a Tampa pass rush that has been one of the league’s best and has 7 sacks this postseason. Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul are the leaders off the edges, and they’ll be matched up with backup offensive linemen this week. You can get either guy in plus money for a sack, and with their pass-rushing acumen and strong matchup, I see that as a great value.