We’ve still got a week to go before every online sportsbook wipes the Super Bowl odds off the board and we all sit down to watch the Bengals and the Rams.
However, given the outrageous number of Super Bowl prop bets and positions available in the online sports betting space, I thought it’d be worth my time to take a few minutes and run through every early position I have so far.
Super Bowl Odds: Rams -3.5; Rams -4
Like many advantage bettors, I like to get money down right away during the playoffs. An early position is likely to afford me a fair amount of closing line value; it also gives me an early wedge piece to work with if I want to set up any kind of arbitrage or middle position later.
Thus, when the initial Super Bowl odds came down on Sunday evening, my gut told me to immediately bet the Rams, even if I had to lay three and the hook. I mulled it over for 10 or 15 minutes, took a look at some data and pulled the trigger.
We’re not talking about anything crazy here. This was a one-unit straight bet at Rams -3.5 (-110) that I bought early before going to bed.
When I woke up Monday, the line had already moved to Rams -4. After sleeping on it and seeing the marketplace movement, I was prepared to double down on my initial hunch. I bet an additional unit on Rams -4.
Super Bowl Odds: Rams 1H -2.5
After I woke up to marketplace movement on Monday, I looked at some more data before adding an additional Rams position to my portfolio: Rams 1H -2.5 (-115). The price isn’t perfect, but I correctly suspected I would need to pay the tax soon, lest I miss out on the number before it moved to a full -3. This is what happened a few hours later.
You know that well-shared stat about how McVay’s Rams have a great record when leading at halftime? Well, there’s a reason for that. McVay likes to win the first half. It’s a big part of his game plans.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, has become a bit of a second-half, come-from-behind team.
Don’t believe me? Well, don’t just take my word for it – here’s Joe Burrow on the subject.
So the Rams like to win the first half, and the Bengals are comfortable losing it. Yeah, I put a unit down on LA 1H -2.5 (-115). I wonder if I should have bet more.
Super Bowl Prop Bets: Matthew Stafford Under 35.5 Passes Attempted
This has everything to do with what I believe McVay’s game script is going to be. Cincinnati featured one of the better run defenses of the 2021 regular season, but ever since DT Larry Ogunjobi left the Wild Card game with a season-ending injury, the Bengals haven’t been able to stop anything on the ground.
Cincinnati has allowed more than five yards per carry to all three of their opponents, including more than seven yards a pop to the Raiders. Considering that, it’s a small miracle the Bengals made the Super Bowl at all.
Given that, and taking into account McVay’s historical penchant for running the ball, I’m expecting a game plan that takes the ball out of Stafford’s hands and puts it on the ground.
Looking beyond the football strategy to more economic considerations, there’s also some statistical regression to keep in mind. Stafford has thrown the ball 83 times in his last two games, meaning this is the perfect time to bet on an under like this.
I bet half a unit on this.
This is the only player prop like this I’ve bet so far, but if you want to put eyes on a few more that I’m keeping an eye on, you can check out some more Stafford props here.
Super Bowl MVP Odds: Aaron Donald +1600; Cam Akers +2000; Von Miller +5000
I’ll acknowledge here that I’m a little wary of stacking my portfolio this thick with Rams positions. That said, I do think that a Rams win without heavy Stafford involvement opens the door for other potential MVP winners, many of which are at great prices. So this morning, I put one-fifth of a unit each on Donald, Akers and Miller to win Super Bowl MVP.
The Akers argument is simple. If McVay keeps the ball on the ground like I think he will, Akers stands to be the primary beneficiary. Even if Sony Michel gets a series or two to himself, Akers could still have something like 18 touches for 120 yards and two touchdowns, which would certainly put him in the conversation. At that point, it just comes down to who else had a good game. I’m willing to buy that dart at 20-to-1. (And for more on the Rams RB props, you can read more of my analysis here.)
Donald is a popular dark horse selection, which means he’s probably being overvalued. Even still, at +1600, I have to acknowledge that this matchup against the Bengals’ offensive line is the absolute dream scenario for a guy as talented as him.
It’s been 35 years since a defensive lineman won Super Bowl MVP, yet despite the offensive direction of the sport and the squareness of his marketplace value, this was still a pick that I couldn’t ignore.
As for Miller, no defensive player has ever won Super Bowl MVP twice — Miller won it at the conclusion of the 2015 season, when the Broncos beat the Panthers — which might have something to do with his lucrative 50:1 payout. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miller put up monster stats against the Bengals. Donald is getting a lot of the matchup hype for this game, but Miller is likely to put up greater stats from the linebacker position, on top of benefitting from any extra attention that Donald could draw.
At this price, Miller’s shot at history is definitely worth consideration.
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