Joe Burrow connected with Tee Higgins on a 44-yard reception on the first play of the Cincinnati Bengals’ first possession of the second half in the AFC Championship.
It was the first completion of at least 25 yards for an offense that ranked fourth in the NFL with 46 such plays in the regular season and third in explosive passing (Sharp Football Analysis). And it was Higgins’ 11th reception of at least 25 yards this season.
Higgins will need a 12th reception of at least 25 yards in the Super Bowl to hit the over on a prop bet for his longest reception in the game. And the numbers suggest he won’t get it.
Tee Higgins Prop Bet
As of Friday, Feb. 4, the over/under for Higgins’ longest reception against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI is 24.5 at the BetMGM sportsbook. Only Ja’Marr Chase (26.5) and Cooper Kupp (28.5) have a higher over/under for longest reception.
Higgins’ 11 receptions of at least 25 yards have come against seven different teams:
- Baltimore Ravens
- Kansas City Chiefs (2)
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Minnesota Vikings
- New York Jets (2)
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- San Francisco 49ers (2)
Four of those teams rank 20th or worse in defensive explosive pass rate, including the Ravens and Jets at 31st and 32nd, respectively, and none rank higher than 12th (Chiefs). That means seven of Higgins’ 11 receptions of at least 25 yards came against teams 20th or worse.
In DVOA deep-pass defense, four are 25th or worse, including the 49ers at 31st, and only the Steelers (sixth) rank higher than 15th (Chargers). Ten of Higgins’ 11 receptions of at least 25 yards came against teams that rank 15th or worse in DVOA pass defense.
The Rams are 10th in defensive explosive pass rate and second in DVOA deep-pass defense. And they allowed only 25 pass plays of at least 25 yards in which it was a targeted “deep” pass, i.e., thrown at least 15 yards downfield. Higgins only had nine such plays in the regular season, none of which came against a defense that allows fewer such plays than the Rams.
Further, only three of Higgins’ receptions of at least 25 came on the left side of the field, one of which was the 44-yard against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. And while the Rams are good at limiting deep receptions to the left, middle, and right, they are most vulnerable to the left (10th in DVOA) and terrific in the middle (fourth) and right (third).
I’m taking under 24.5 on Higgins’ longest reception against Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, and the Rams’ secondary.
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