Super Bowl Player Props: What to Expect of Rob Gronkowski

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 1:46 PM GMT

Make the most of your Super Bowl betting expertience with prop plays on key players who are crucial to each team’s success. Today we’ll concentrate on New England tight end Rob Gronkowski.

“The Gronk”
In this Super Bowl preview article we’re going to be discussing the Patriots all-pro tight end Rob Gronkowkski. We’ll take a look at a proposition bet pertaining to Gronkowkski, and also what the Seahawks defense can do in order to neutralize him.

 

Super Bowl Prop on Gronkowski
One Super Bowl proposition bet to seriously consider making, involves the number of receptions that Rob Gronkowski will have in the game. According to the NFL betting odds at The Greek going over 6 receptions will necessitate a wager which risks a $1.00 to make a $1.05, and going under that number will require you to bet in an increment of $1.25 to profit a $1.00.

Since game 5 of the season, Gronkowski had six receptions or more in a contest on nine of thirteen occasions. He’s also averaged 6.1 receptions per game during that time frame. On two of the four occasions that he failed to accomplish that feat, he fell just one catch shy (5-receptions) in contests versus the Jets and Lions. We look for Gronkowski to be a huge part of the Patriots offensive game plan, and our advice is to make a small wager on going over 6-receptions (+105) as one of your NFL picks in the Super Bowl.

 

How to Neutralize Gronkowski
The job of keeping “The Gronk” in check will be easier said than done. However, if any defense is capable of doing so it’s the Seattle Seahawks. The Patriots offensive schemes have been very successful this season in creating coverage mismatches for their all world tight end. When they position him on the line of scrimmage during early downs, more times than not, a linebacker has the responsibility of pass coverage. That being said, there are few if any linebackers in the NFL that can stay with him in man-to-man coverage. The Seahawks linebackers must be able to jam him at the line of scrimmage, preventing him from getting a free release, and then depend on coverage help from one of their safeties. On a positive note for Seattle, their safeties collectively are the most physical in the entire NFL, and should be more than up to the task at hand.

 

Splitting Him Out Wide
The other conundrum for the Seahawks defense in terms of stopping Gronkowski is when he’s split out wide, or even in the slot. If Seattle chooses to cover him man-to-man with a linebacker on early downs in those exact situations, it will be a losing proposition. Once again, the Seahawks safeties have to be cognizant of where Gronkowski lines up on every play.

 

A 3rd Down Defensive Headache
The final headache for the Seahawks defense will be matching up with Gronkowski on obvious passing downs. Most NFL teams take their tight ends off the field in this particular scenario, and opt to use four wide receivers. That’s not going to be the case for the Patriots. Gronkowski has made a living this season against nickel cornerbacks. They’re not strong enough to stay with the muscular tight end, and with his better than average speed for a player at that position, he becomes a vertical threat, and is a major reason why the New England offense converts a high percentage of their 3rd down attempts. Seattle must double team him in these situations, and rely on their stellar secondary to hold up against the rest of the New England receivers.