There have never been more Props Bets for a Super Bowl than there are for this Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and Seahawks Sunday. Here are my top picksin one wrap with a couple of extra bets.
Conventional Point Spread, Total Picks
It’s finally here. What? Super Bowl XLIX is still four days away? Are we caught in some freaky kind of Time Warp or something here? I thought between the billion stories on pigskin PSI and the other billion stories about the Northeast snowstorm in these United States that it certainly must be Sunday by now. But no. Alas. The calendar still says that it’s Wednesday so there is much more hype to be digested like Media Day and “the teams have arrived” and all that other silly Pomp and Circumstance that comes with our dizzying Modern World Overkill. And if you turn on your TV right now, the 4,324-hour Pregame show may have actually begun, so, if you really want to know what Danny Amendola’s favorite color is, best stop reading and grab that remote control, sister.
But enough cynicism, we have NFL picks to make, money to hopefully be won, pizzas and chicken wings to be eaten and beverages to be drank. We must consume. We have no time left for your silly ramblings. Please just tell us who you like in Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (NBC, 6:30 p.m./3:30 p.m. ET) so that we may pass major judgment on your opinions and mock you. We always like ours better.
Side Bet: Seattle Seahawks +2 -115
Seattle is seeking its second straight NFL championship after never even having been to the Super Bowl before last season. And the Emerald City’s love affair for its professional football team and its 12th Man mojo have definitely helped fuel the fire for this team which has one of the best defenses in the history of the league. The Seahawks have gone on a 8-game winning streak—covering 7 of those games ATS for Seattle backers—to get to this point and if the old adage “Defense wins championships” ends up ringing true here, then you will most likely not need the 2 points currently being served up (with -115 juice) at Bodog. With so much talk about deflated footballs, one can’t help but think the distraction will somehow ultimately hurt the Patriots and fuel the Seahawks who will be looking to win the TO battle with no doubt fully-inflated footballs which will be easier to punch out of opponents grasps by Seattle’s renowned fierce secondary that features Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman (4 INTs Regular Season, 2 INTs Playoffs). Last year a similar betting odds pattern emerged in this game and Seattle ended up closing as 2-point underdogs against Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks went on to smash Denver and star QB Peyton Manning, 43-8 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Maybe at the peak of these recent odds movements, taking the 2 (or 1½ or 1) point(s) seems smart although they may not end up being needed
Total Bet: Under 48½ -115
This line has been stuck on 48 in most places since it was bet down a tad from the opener, and if you really like the Under here, it may be a good idea to lock in at 48½ (if available) or at the current 48 as there is undoubtedly a plethora of Late Money still to be bet in this Super Bowl. And if some so-called Wise Guys start betting the Under on Thursday, Friday or Saturday and there’s the slightest movement downward, expect a knee-jerk reaction from some of the public and voices on the radio and TV to overhype that slightest potential movement. Simmer down. Most likely, this number stays in a range from 47½ to 49. This suggestion comes with less confidence than the above Side bet (Seahawks +2) as a pick-6 or a special teams TD or flurry of 17-20 points in any one given quarter could send this baby flying over the game’s posted Total Points. But with New England’s defense improved so much, the Seahawks the best in the business at not letting you score and RBs Marshawn Lynch (Seattle) and LeGarrette Blount (New England) likely to be worked heavily in this game, the feeling is that points will be relatively scarce (30-54) and that Under bets are always winners until proven wrong in the games, which all start 0-0, no matter what the sport.
First Score Of Game: Any Other Score +135
With the Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski (35-37, 94.6%) and Seahawks K Steven Hauschka (31-37, 83.8%) so darn accurate at kicking FGs and the goalposts still so far apart, the feeling here is that the team scoring first will hopefully settle for a FG after realizing how hard it is to get that TD. Seattle’s problem will likely be trying to strike for that theoretical TD by air, while New England’s problem will simply trying to be scoring against this vaunted Seahawks D. This is pretty much a bet saying that a TD (-155) won’t be the first score, and although it is a slight underdog in this niche Super Bowl props market, the gambler could also win this bet on a Safety. And before you break a rib laughing buster, remember that there has actually been a Safety registered in the last three Super Bowls—two of them being the First Score in their respective games (XLVI, XLVIII), including one from the first play from scrimmage last year when the Seahawks tackled the Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno in the end zone 12 seconds in, and the other (XLVII) the Last Score. And for those interested, the “Will There Be A Safety?" Prop bet at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here in Sin City has the ‘Yes’ priced at +500 (No -700)—down significantly from past Super Bowls and for good reason (liability)—but at that price and with that rare Safety happening three straight times, logic dictates that there probably won’t be a Safety this time around but when the Seahawks are involved defensively, one never knows...
Will Either Team Score in the First 6 Minutes? No -115
If Brady and the Patriots get the ball first, their problem will be trying to go the length of the field against the best defense in the NFL in years, while if Wilson and the Seahawks get the ball first, the third-year QB’s performance out of the gate and in the First Half last week against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game in Seattle can’t exactly instill confidence in the hearts of Seahawks fans or Yes (-115) bettors here. Wilson was throwing bad balls over receiver’s heads at home, and, with an average receiving corps, scoring through the air in the first 6 minutes seems like a dream for the defending champs who will probably prefer to try to run the ball in this Super Bowl XLIX. And with both teams looking to establish that ground game early, the clock will be tick, tick, ticking away...another very good reason to like the ‘No’ bet here. But tread lightly.
Total Points Scored: 43-49 +375
With a predicted 23-20 final (with the Seahawks winning), and solid defenses and intended rushing attacks to try to wear down the opponent, this game should have a total of about 4 TDs (2 Seahawks, 2 Patriots) and around 5 FGs (3 Seahawks, 2 Patriots) with that third imagined FG by Hauschka actually being the difference in covering the point spread and helping the NFC’s Seahawks capture their second straight NFL championship. A girl can dream. But this one could be close and may trickle under the 43 or over the 49. But for this game and that 7-spot point range (43-44-45-46-47-48-49), this seems like the perfect Sweet Spot and the +375 is more than enough of a healthy return for another niche Prop bet which usually only has the spotlight shone on it during the Super Bowl.
To Score TD: Marshawn Lynch -166, Julian Edelman +115
Expect Patriots WR Julian Edelman to be targeted heavily in this Super Bowl, as he will be better at finding the open seams underneath and being able to hide between LBs and DBs downfield. The quick and sure-handed 5-foot-10, 200-pound Edelman is also very good after the catch and good at slant and buttonhook routes and is a perfect possession-type receiver to throw to “low” to in this game as “high” passing attempts will be more subject to the dangerous Seahawks DBs who foam at their collective mouths when that football is in the air. Virtual Pigskin Piranhas.
For the Seahawks, RB Marshawn Lynch has simply been red-hot of late. Beast Mode red-hot. Look for the muscular 5-foot-11-inch, 215-pound University of California product to be worked very heavily on Sunday and the now energized 28-year-old Lynch has scored in 4 of the Seahawks L5 games. And, when near the end zone, look for Seattle head coach Pete Carroll to prefer to give it to his big rugged RB to try to get the TD and avoid any possible banging up of his precious QB (Wilson) who has taken a serious knock or two en route to this Moment in the Sun...or at least the artificial light of Glendale’s UoP Stadium. You down with UoP?
Bill Belichick: What Color Hoodie Will He Wear? Blue +105
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wore a Blue (+105) hoodie against both the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship and against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round, both games at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. So, now tucked safely in the climate-controlled environs of University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, does Belichick suddenly decide to don the Grey (-145)? Would you change your lucky underwear? I think not. The Seahawks are the home team here and will get to choose what color uniforms they will wear, but whether or not their potential choice of going with their Blue uniforms (likely) will mean that Belichick will not want to have the same color on as the Patriots opponents and elect to wear the Grey is something that needs to be pondered before making this extremely funky wager. A wager that involves betting on what color hoodie a grown man will wear for a game. My we’ve come a long way since landing on the Moon.
Katy Perry: What Will She Be Wearing During Her First Song Appearance of Super Bowl XLIX? Dress/Skirt -150
This choice seems like a more logical pick than the Pants/Shorts/Any Other (+110) choice offered up for the bet which is based around the 30-year-old American pop singer’s halftime performance. The thought is, with so many people watching worldwide and publicists and parents and Political Correctness so damn big these days, Katy Perry will go, or be told to go with a smart, (probably brightly colored) skirt or dress by her stylist(s). Hopefully she won’t wear a Muumuu. Sunday seems Skirt-y. Roar.
Idina Menzel: How Long Will it Take Her to Sing National Anthem (From First Singing Note Starts Until Completes Singing ‘Brave’)? Under 122½ Seconds -115
American actress and singer-songwriter Idina Menzel will be singing the National Anthem before the kickoff here and a simple research reveals when Menzel—who sang the hit song “Let It Go” from the popular Disney Movie Frozen—sang the National Anthem at the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota this past summer, it actually took her around 1:59 (119 seconds) to sing the song despite the 2:15 length (135 seconds) of the video. Check it out. Just a seemingly small edge (3.5 seconds), but the thoughts here are that Menzel will be a bit nervous singing for so many more people and will have the rigid timing of the Super Bowl schedule in the back of her mind and will want to get it over as quickly as possible. I see Menzel’s version on Sunday ending right around the 2:00:00 mark. Followed then by approximately 200 commercials.
Additional Proposition Picks To Mull
Marshawn Lynch First Rushing Attempt Over 3.5 Yards Even (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
The Seahawks will most likely hand the ball to RB extraordinaire Marshawn Lynch in one (or more) of its first three plays from scrimmage and no doubt the Patriots will be looking for Lynch to get the ball in those first three plays, making the Over (3½ yards, Even) that much harder to get. But with the intent Lynch has been running with combined with the enormity of the game and Seattle getting off to a good start when they have the football and the Patriots allowing an average of 104.3 yards per game (#9 NFL) to opponents, this seems like a good bet but only for an extremely small amount of money. Like a dozen donuts money.
Will Either Team Score 4 Straight Times? No -330 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
This game should be fairly tight and only have around 7-12 scores (TDs, FGs, Safeties) in it with so much at stake and the defending champions and QB Russell Wilson coming off a very poor first half performance in their win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game in Seattle. One of these two teams may not even score three straight times, let alone four. And it’s extremely important to note here on this bet that Safeties are included in the consecutive potential scores while all XPs and 2-Point Conversions do not count in this specific Prop wager.
A couple of other Props from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook worth mulling are “Will There Be A Special Teams Or Defensive TD?” (Yes +155, No -175) and “Will Doug Baldwin Have a Rushing Attempt?” (Yes +300, No -360). With the Seahawks aforementioned DBs Chancellor and Sherman, along with Earl Thomas and Byron Maxwell, a Seattle pick-6 off Brady is a definite possibility. And with the Patriots waterbug Edelman returning punts, one never knows where the football might ultimately end up. And no doubt Seahawks head coach Carroll has that End-Around play to WR Baldwin in his deep playbook, but whether or not he uses it here could depend on how desperate Seattle is on offense. It’s really not a bad, small fun bet for the NFL odds price (+155), especially if he does get a rush.
There are other strange Props like “How Many Times Will ‘Deflated Balls’ Be Said?” (over 3 -130, Under 3 -110) and the always mind-boggling “What Color Will The Gatorade Bath Be?”, but, like the Opening Coin Toss (Heads -102, Tails -102; Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), trying to figure out whether an Orange, Clear, Red, Yellow, Blue or “Others” liquid will be poured on a Middle-Aged Man’s Head at the end of a football game seems too much like guessing, although some would probably contend that all of this stuff we do in sports betting is “just guessing.” Little do they know.
It is important to note that these types of increasingly popular Props bets usually do have limits. And however you decide to approach this game, do so responsibly and try not to overdo it although it is the Super Bowl and the last big game for a number of fans and bettors until football season starts up again in August. Whatever you do, sincere best of luck.
SUPER BOWL XLIX PREDICTION: Seahawks 23 Patriots 20