Prop weeks have become prep weeks when it comes to betting on the Super Bowl.
Scores of action bets are emerging, which mark the two-week pregaming feast before the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 2 in Miami.
Collectively, between major NJ sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel, one can peruse well more than 1,000 props.
That’s where the action is.
As small- and medium-sized gamblers seek an edge with the opening line of Kansas City -1 or 1.5 and apparently is snug as a rug. The over/under at 53.5 or 54, also tucked tightly.
Current Super Bowl betting odds
Where’s the edge at NJ sportsbooks
The Chiefs and Niners are expected to wage a close, high-scoring battle based upon early action.
The lines reflect confidence in each contrasting method of Kansas City’s passing attack and San Francisco’s punishing ground game.
Bettors can wager each side with confidence and may keep some of their financial powder dry so they can invest later if the line adjusts.
All of this is fine for the big-money players who will slam these bets at essentially even money and look for a square return.
To these gamblers, the side-prop show may be entertaining and worth some cash, but bettors are laying their bankroll on a championship effort from an elite team.
For everyone else, it will be time to get their prop game on. And there is no time like the present to study them because the list keeps multiplying.
Some of this wagering is crazy, wacky fun.
Some combo bets are on teams of different sports, while others include the Super Bowl coin flip and the initial first down
Basically, it’s a mobile betting Mardi Gras.
But also, the Super Bowl props provide an interesting look for serious players who are trying to convert hunch plays into handsome returns in the 4-1 and 5-1 range. For them, this two-week period is one of analysis.
Teams prepare for games. And so do bettors.
DraftKings NJ runs the gamut
It comes as no surprise that there is something for everyone at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The coin toss is an even-money bet. But the coin toss and either team to win the game are a combined +255. That’s a slightly better return than hitting both individually if one cares about the toss.
Here’s another analytical brain teaser: The scores by quarters and halves.
Will these teams have the jitters in the first quarter or will it be bombs away? The over/under score for the quarter is +9.5.
The odds board for the highest-scoring quarter indicates +750 for the first quarter, +155 for the second, +600 for the third and +180 for the fourth.
The second and fourth quarters are considered the potentially highest-scoring, in part because that’s when timeouts are used and there is an attempt to score before the end of the half or game.
Another prop bet that deserves a serious look is the halftime tie.
The game is so airtight on the spread line, it stands to reason the teams could be knotted up at the half. Should that occur, the payout is a whopping +950.
Ironically, few games are dead-even at halftime, even between the equally balanced teams, but this is a nice number if you sense a deadlock.
Will there be a tie after the first quarter here? A “yes” bet is +300.
A scoreless quarter, any quarter is +425.
That’s a backdrop for in-game betting.
Do you expect an avalanche of scoring in an upcoming quarter? Do you want to play the next to score? These odds project when the oddsmakers believe the points will come in flurries.
FanDuel NJ unfurls a neat tweak
The over/under at FanDuel Sportsbook is 54 points. However, it is 52.5 when combined with the prop and the over/under with either San Francisco or Kansas City covering the 1.5 spread.
This is anytime scorers provide its fuel.
Raheem Mostert, the ground-game star of San Francisco’s 37-20 NFC Championship victory over the Green Bay Packers, is -125. George Kittle, the team’s star tight end, is +120.
But the Super Bowl often sports a surprise scorer, especially with star performers double- and triple-teamed.
Receiver Emanuel Sanders is +250. He has been quiet in recent games. But if the Kansas City defense stacks the front line to stop the run, which they should, he is a viable deep threat.
On the Kansas City side, Tyreek Hill is a logical +110 and star tight end Travis Kelce is +105.
However, longshots include Mecole Hardman at +390 and DeMarcus Robinson at +500. They all get thrown the ball at different junctures. Anyone from this group is capable of finding the end zone.
Do you think the quarterback touchdown run is possible?
Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes scored on a 27-yard scamper in Kansas City’s 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship game. He is + 300, and Jimmy Garoppolo, the San Francisco quarterback, is +700.
Both are good runners and their potential to score will depend upon the game scheme.
One would have to salivate, thinking of a Niners’ receiver being pushed out of bounds at the two-inch line, meaning Garoppolo will sneak it on the next play.
The player-scoring props are a nice cross-section between moneyline and fantasy players.
Can the defense score? The Niners and Chiefs are both +420.
William Hill doubling up
There’s a small wrinkle in the line indicating a pro-Kansas City lean at William Hill Sportsbook.
The line is San Francisco +1, a tiebreaker for points shoppers who believe the game will be that close. San Francisco is even-money at that spread. Kansas City lays 6-5.
What a gambling world.
NJ sports betting customers can approach different books and get the mobility of comparison shopping.
The “wise guys,” often referred to now as “sharpies,” once had to drive all across Las Vegas to locate one book with a slightly different number.
Now, line shopping is in the palm of your hand.
William Hill offers some enticing double parlays, with a player to score and the team winning.
What’s interesting here is that the returns are slightly higher than in previous weeks because there is uncertainty about the winning team.
Damien Williams scoring in a Kansas City victory is +210. Mostert will return +275 if he tallies in a San Francisco triumph.
A Hill score and Kansas City victory are worth +260, while a Kittle tally and San Francisco win is a healthy +350.
There are also some interesting combinations of teams to win each half.
Kansas City winning each half is +124, and San Francisco prevailing in each is +180. Mix them up and see what happens.
San Francisco taking the first half and Kansas City taking the second is worth +675. The Chiefs winning the first half and the Niners winning the second is worth +750.
There’s an enticement to hedge this ticket because of the payout. One can flip-flop the teams winning each half.
The hope in this play is one team wins the first half decisively enough to let up while the other rallies in the second half.
SugarHouse Sportsbook is both pragmatic and playful
Remember the adage of not shopping when you are hungry?
Well, peruse the SugarHouse Sportsbook offerings when you feel like you’ve analyzed the game enough because the book is chock full of enticing props.
There are close to 400 bets available with this establishment.
Some involve altering the over/under line of 54. Do you tease it down 7 points and take the over?
That means laying -275, a tactic that some heavy-leverage bettors may use or those teasing several bets to create even-money or a slight profit on big favorites.
Their strategy is to string together several high-percentage bets. All of these must hit, of course, for the collection to occur.
If one believes in a shootout, taking the over 65 returns +290.
One strategy here can be to play the normal over/under of 54 on one ticket and take a stab on a smaller ticket for it to go all the way to 65.
Both teams have scored 50 or more in a game this year, and Kansas City has scored 86 in two playoff battles.
The over/under bet is intriguing because it boils down to style of play.
One would be rooting for Kansas City to control the game in seeking the over because San Francisco runs the ball well, especially with a lead.
Field goals: Many Super Bowls end up with three or four. No wonder the over/under for this category is 3.5.
There’s another bet paying out if either team gets at least two.
The longest successful field goal prop is 47.5 yards, with a side benefit. No field goals made, no bet.
The weather could impact this selection.
It will be near 80 degrees on Super Bowl Sunday with projected thunderstorms, at least for now. South Florida is famous for its daily deluge.
It’s a reasonable assessment that rain will fall sometime during the game. Heavy rain could hurt San Francisco’s precise running game.
Here’s one prop that takes little handicapping. Or does it?
Will the two-minute warning for the first half occur exactly at two minutes? Betting “no” is +330.
You’d need the continuation of a play that started before the two-minute warning. It is not a bad stab for +330.
Go deep at PointsBet
PointsBet Sportsbook is famous for its PointsBetting section. It is action on steroids, where every yard, completion, touchdown pass, and sack matters.
PointsBetting is perhaps 10% of the PoinstBet enterprise but generates publicity because of its implications.
As it prepares to roll out its Super Bowl props, here is the general scenario: Kansas City QB Mahomes would be tasked with going over or under a score, like 600, using touchdown passes multiplied by yards.
Let’s say the betting stake was $10. Three touchdowns times 300 yards passing would be a 900 score on this possible bet, a win of 300 times $10, or $3,000.
The downside is Mahomes gets hurt early in the game, throwing for one touchdown and 100 yards, and the bettor is out 500 times $10 or $5,000.
This bet is impacted if the quarterback throws zero touchdown passes. Zero times 400 passing yards is still nothing. So, this wager is the ultimate feast or famine bet.
Reasonably safe PointsBetting props include running backs getting more than 20 yards receiving, etc., keeping the exposure low.
Of course, for the rest of its operation, PointsBet functions like the standard book.
It lists Mahomes as even money to win Super Bowl MVP, while Mostert is 5-1 and Hill is 16-1.
As the Super Bowl buildup progresses, betting action will intensify. And more props will go up.
We will talk more about that and game-specifics next week. For now, watch those props roll off the assembly line.