Bettin' the Super Props
January 30, 2013
By Marc Lawrence
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on Marc Lawrence's winner for Super Bowl XLVII.
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Super Props – Let The Games Begin
Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans kicks off Feb. 3 when Baltimore meets San Francisco with both teams looking to keep their all-time undefeated mark in Super Bowl games in tact.
Aside from betting the game itself, a myriad of betting propositions abound in every Super Bowl as amateur gamblers with an opinion come out of the closet like partners at a local gay pride parade.
It's important to remember that when betting Super Bowl props the odds maker holds a huge edge as many of the props carry as much of a 40-cent 'juice' edge in his favor. Thus, it's critically important to make sure you have some sort of built-in advantage working in your favor before taking the plunge.
In addition, the props are designed to create added action for the books.
"The props were designed not only to get us publicity but to spread the money out. We didn't just want one big decision for the day; we want 10 or 20 big decisions. Our chances obviously are better if we have 20 major decisions compared to one," said Jay Kornegay, director of Race and Sports at the LVH Super Book in Las Vegas.
Furthermore, it's important to realize that props are set for the public and because they tend to bet on teams and players to succeed (yes bets), most of the money is going to be bet on the 'positive' side of a prop.
According to Kornegay this is the only NFL game of the season where he doesn't set the line with the professional bettors in mind. The professionals, he adds, do bet on props but the handle taken in from the public masses that flock to Las Vegas during Super Bowl weekend far outweighs the smart money.
Here are some tips on some of the more popular propositions when it comes to prop wagering on this year's Super Bowl.
The Coin Toss
A wildly popular prop that fans love betting on is the Coin Toss. It's fast and it takes place just prior to kick-off.
Until last season when New England won the flip, the NFC had won the pregame coin flip each of the previous 14 years in a row!
What does it mean? Nothing. The odds on the NFC winning this year's coin flip: 50/50.
Quarterback Action Tops Player Props
Bets involving the quarterbacks are extremely popular and for all the right reasons as signal callers have won the Super Bowl MVP award 25 times in 46 previous Super Bowl games, with Eli Manning carting home the award last year.
Running backs and wide receivers have carted home the MVP trophy seven times each, with others (read: defensive performers) also totaling seven MVP's.
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick lead the charge this year. In head-to-head proposition competition the LVH favors Flacco by 12 1/2 passing yards over Kaepernick. Flacco is also listed with 3 1/2 more completions than Kaepernick, while total TD’s passes among the two is offered a ‘pick’.
Interestingly, the Niners are -57 1/2 rushing yards over the Ravens for the game at the LVH.
That’s largely due to the groundswell of support for San Francisco since Kaepernick took over as its starting quarterback nine games ago. In those nine games the Niners have averaged 159 rushing yards per contest. Baltimore has averaged 151 rushing yards per game over the same period of time.
When Tackles Are Not Tackles and Penalties Are Not Penalties
When betting on the over/under number of tackles it's important to know that sacks are not recorded as a tackle.
In addition, propositions involving penalties are good only if the penalty is accepted.
Team Scoring Tendencies
Sharp edges can be found when it comes to scoring props but rest assured, you are not pulling the wool over the linemakers eyes.
Here is a breakdown of quarter-by-quarter scoring and averages for-and-against in all games played this season for both squads. The final number is average points scored and allowed in each quarter for each team.
Note: the Ravens have played 19 games this campaign, the Niners 18.
1Q – Baltimore: 102-87 / 5.37-4.58
1Q – San Francisco: 64-78 / 3.56-4.33
2Q – Baltimore: 132-126 / 6.95–6.63
2Q – San Francisco: 141-84 / 7.83-4.67
3Q – Baltimore: 119-96 / 6.26-5.05
3Q – San Francisco: 114-58 / 6.33-3.22
4Q – Baltimore: 129-89 / 6.79-4.68
4Q – San Francisco: 151-105 / 8.39-5.83
Notice the Niners scoring woes in the first stanza and its ability to light the scoreboard during the final quarter. The Ravens also start slow but pick up the pace at a fairly even keel thereafter.
Here’s the same look at the two teams in games versus fellow playoff teams this season.
Note: the Ravens have played 9 games against playoff squads this season, the Niners 7.
1Q – Baltimore: 41-56 / 4.56-6.22
1Q – San Francisco: 20-48 / 2.86-6.86
2Q – Baltimore: 59-81 / 6.56–9.00
2Q – San Francisco: 63-58 / 9.00-8.29
3Q – Baltimore: 55-53 / 6.17-5.89
3Q – San Francisco: 52-17/ 7.43-2.43
4Q – Baltimore: 82-38 / 9.11-4.22
4Q – San Francisco: 48-60 / 6.86-8.57
Hmm. Baltimore has been outscored in each of the first two quarters in games against playoff opposition, while managing to bounce back and dominate in the 4th and final quarter.
On the flip side San Francisco has been outscored in the 1st and 4th quarters but, thanks to a super stingy 3rd quarter defensive effort, has come out on top in the middle stanzas.
Player Scoring Tendencies
The leading candidate to score the first touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII is San Francisco RB Frank Gore, with teammate WR Michael Crabtree and Baltimore RB Ray Rice a whisker off.
Leading the next wave is San Francisco QB Kaepernick and Baltimore WR Anquan Boldin, along with Niners WR Vernon Davis and Ravens WR Torrey Smith.
Over the previous 46 Super Bowls, wide receivers lead the brigade, scoring the first touchdown 19 times. New York WR Victor Cruz found the end zone first for the Giants against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI last year – but not before the Giants were on the scoreboard first with a Tom Brady safety called for intentional grounding in the end zone.
Running backs are right on their heels with 16 initial scores. Tight ends have scored first five times, with quarterbacks, kick returners and defensive players two times each.
Melding Super Bowl props with other sports is another popular wagering option.
The LVH features no less than 38 cross-sports opportunities ranging from Kaepernick’s total passing yards -46.5 versus the L.A. Clippers and Boston Celtics total points scored to Flacco’s completions +0.5 versus Kevin Garnett’s points and rebounds combined.
College hoops gets in to the fray with the Big East basketball teams (Providence, Villanova, Marquette, Louisville, South Florida and Connecticut) combining lay -45.5 points up against the Ravens total net yards. FYI: the six hoops teams were averaging 68 PPG, or 414 total PPG combined) on the season entering Tuesday’s action of Super Bowl week). The Ravens have averaged 364 total YPG this season.
Golfers are offered 4 cross-props (that just sounds wrong), the most popular of which is Sergio Garcia’s 4th round score on Super Bowl Sunday (-1.5) versus Smith’s receiving yards.
Soccer fanatics can pit Lionel Messi’s goals (-0.5) up against Gore’s touchdowns.
Hockey fans can get in the game, too, with Sidney Crosby’s goals a pick ‘em against Kaepernick’s touchdown passes.
And on and on it goes. Where it stops only Jay Kornegay knows.
One thing is for sure. This will mark the 9th straight year that the team with the best record in the league will not win the Super Bowl.
That’s a lock.
Check out more Super Bowl XLVII Props from the LVH here!
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