Betting SBXLVIII Props
January 30, 2014
By Marc Lawrence
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Super Bowl XLVIII Props - LVH SuperBook
Super Bowl Props… Betting Tips
Super Bowl XLVIII kicks off Feb. 2 in chilly New Jersey when Denver meets Seattle in a matchup of former AFC West squads with identical records.
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 mops on cleaning day.
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 the Super Bowl 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.
With that thought in mind, 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 kickoff.
Amazingly, the NFC had won the pregame coin flip 14 years in a row until New England and Baltimore prevailed each of the last two Super Bowls.
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 26 times in 47 previous Super Bowl games, with Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco taking the honors 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.
Denver’s Peyton Manning (+110) and Seattle’s Russell Wilson (+325) lead the MVP charge this year.
In head-to-head proposition competition the LVH favors Manning over Wilson in each of the following categories: -10.5 most completions; -0.5 most touchdown passes; -78.5 most gross passing yards.
Most rushing yards finds Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch -30.5 over Knowshon Moreno.
Most receiving yards finds Denver’s Eric Decker -9.5 over Seattle’s Golden Tate; Denver’s Wes Welker -15.5 over Seattle’s Doug Baldwin and Denver’s Julius (not Demaryius) Thomas -25.5 over Seattle’s Zach Miller.
My groundswell of support for is for Broncos WR Welker to go ‘over’ 54.5 receiving yards as well as ‘over’ 5.5 pass receptions.
In two career losing Super Bowl games with Tom Brady and the Patriots, Welker – who figures to be Manning’s primary underneath target - managed to catch 7 passes for 60 yards in one game and 11 passes for 107 yards in the other.
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 average points per game scored and allowed in each quarter for each team.
Note: both teams played exactly 18 games each this season.
1Q – Denver: 7.8 / 3.4
1Q – Seattle: 4.2 / 1.4
2Q – Denver: 9.7 / 7.3
2Q – Seattle: 8.5 / 6.4
3Q – Denver 8.1 / 5.8
3Q – Seattle: 5.4 / 2.7
4Q – Denver: 10.9 / 7.2
4Q – Seattle: 7.3 / 4.2
Notice both the Broncos and Seahawks have each scored and allowed the fewest points in the first stanza. They have also each allowed the most points in 2nd quarter action.
Breaking their games down by the half we find:
1st Half – Denver: 17.5 / 10.8
1st Half – Seattle: 12.7 / 7.8
2nd Half – Denver: 18.9 / 13.0
2nd Half – Seattle: 12.7 / 6.8
Player Scoring Tendencies
The leading candidate to score the first touchdown in Super Bowl XLVIII is Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch with Denver WR’s Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas a whisker off.
Over the previous 47 Super Bowls, wide receivers lead the brigade, scoring the first touchdown 20 times. Baltimore WR Anquan Boldin found the end zone first for the Ravens against the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII last year.
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.
2 For The Money
A popular prop is whether or not there will be a safety in the game.
With each of the last two Super Bowl games having produced a Safety, the popularity of playing betting safeties has increased. FYI: teams who record them are 5-3 in Super Bowl games, with 6 coming via the defense and 2 by way of penalty.
In terms of non-conventional scoring (sans touchdowns, field goals and extra points), safeties (8 – one every 5.87 games) rank only behind kickoffs for a touchdown (9 – one every 5.22 games), and just ahead of 2-point conversions (6 – one every 7.83 games).
The LVH Superbook offered a safety at ‘Yes’ +550 and ‘No’ -800 for Super Bowl XLVIII. A successful 2-point conversion is ‘Yes’ +425 and ‘No’ -550.
Who Will Have More… Odd Props
Melding Super Bowl props with other sports is another popular wagering option.
The LVH features no less than 48 cross-sports opportunities (up from 38 last year) ranging from Manning’s pass attempts (-7.5) versus Kevin Durrant points, to Wilson’s passing yards (-16.5) versus the Celtics/Magic total points.
College hoops gets into the fray with the Pitt Panthers points -15.5 over Wes Welker’s receiving yards, along with Marshawn Lynch rushing yards -9.5 over UCLA points scored.
Golfers are offered 7 cross-props (that just sounds wrong), the most popular of which is Tigers Woods’ 4th round score -5.5 versus Eric Decker’s receiving yards.
Soccer fanatics rejoice with no less than 13 ‘Who Gets More’ options, including pitting Liverpool goals (-0.5) up Wilson’s TD touchdowns.
Hockey fans can get in the game, too, with a half-dozen propositions, featuring the Red Wings’ goals (+105) going up against the Seahawks rushing touchdowns (-125).
And on and on it goes. Where it stops only Jay Kornegay knows.
One thing is for sure. This will mark the first time in 10 years that the team with the best record in the league will win the Super Bowl.
That’s a lock.
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