You have to love the Super Bowl cross-sport props that the various sportsbooks come up with for the big game. The offerings become more and more unique each year. Here’s a look at one involving what two league MVPs might do this weekend.
We could call the LeBron James vs. Matt Ryan cross-sport prop a battle of Most Valuable Players. James has won four NBA MVP Awards, tied for the third most all-time with a guy named Wilt Chamberlain. Ryan, the Falcons quarterback, is almost surely going to be named NFL MVP at the league’s awards show on Saturday. Ryan was named first-team All-Pro by the media voters, and those same guys vote for MVP so it should be a lock.
BetOnline offers a prop of the total number of points LeBron scores in Saturday night’s nationally-televised game at the New York Knicks against Ryan’s number of completions in Sunday’s Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots. Ryan is a -130 NFL betting favorite with LeBron at +100.
Ryan was ninth in the NFL during the regular season with 373 completions, which averages out to 23.3 per game. He had 26 completions in the divisional-round win over Seattle and 27 in the NFC title game rout of the Packers. Ryan’s season-low in completions was 15 on Oct. 9 in Denver against that excellent Broncos defense. The Falcons were running the ball well that day. The Patriots ranked 17th in the NFL during the season in allowing 23 completions per game.
LeBron is averaging 25.7 points per game this season. This month, he’s up to 27.0 points. James might have to score a bit more as long as Kevin Love is out. Love has missed the past two games with back trouble but might play Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. James is averaging 22.0 points in two games vs. the Knicks this season. He usually loves playing in the Garden and has two 50-point games there (see above video for one of those). James is averaging 28.4 points in his regular-season career at MSG.
The Pick: LeBron