A few hours and counting until 110+ million people worldwide tune in for Super Bowl LV. Not only is it the most watched event annually, it’s the most bet on event as well. With an increased amount of action comes an increased opportunity to take advantage of bad lines. And there are quite a few. I’ve been waiting to place my Super Bowl LV prop bets for months and the time has finally come. Oh, and if you are into this sort of thing I’ll cover some DFS as well. Good times.
Unless otherwise specified, lines referenced are the most common for that bet across the industry. Any future or special bets should be placed at 0.5 units or lower.
- Patrick Mahomes over 40.5 pass attempts (-134)
- Tyreek Hill over 7.5 receptions (+110)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire under 48.5 rushing & receiving yards (-106)
A common theme throughout this article is a love for the Chiefs pass offense. Tampa Bay features the best rush defense in the league and KC is already down their starting left tackle. With no clear lead back, expect Reid to utilize the short passing game in obvious rushing situations. Mahomes has hit that number in 10 of 18 games this season and should hit 41 attempts with ease, making it one of the safest Super Bowl LV prop bets.
The biggest benefactor of a short passing game would be Tyreek Hill. He is simply matchup proof and avoids Tampa’s top corner in Carlton Davis. Although I do not think a Week 12 repeat is in store, 7.5 catches at plus odds is too good to pass up. Yes, he has only hit that number five times this season, but they have all come in the last nine games and when it mattered most.
While the Kansas City pass offense should flourish, their running backs won’t be as lucky. Clyde Edwards-Helaire didn’t quite meet expectations this season and has missed most of the past few weeks with injuries. Meanwhile, his backup Darrel Williams has been keeping the offense on schedule, averaging 4.89 yards/carry and securing 10 catches over the last three games. Expect Williams to lead the backfield due to his SB experience and superior pass blocking ability. That makes CEH’s combined yardage prop appealing as that number is based on him being the lead back.
- Tom Brady over 24.5 Completions (-112)
- Chris Godwin under 77.5 receiving yards (-118)
- Jason Pierre-Paul over 0.5 sacks (+120)
To this point no coach has been able to stop Mahomes & Co, only slow them down. Most teams best hopes of beating KC is to outgun them. Tom Brady will be throwing early and often to a fully healthy offense. His preference for short timing routes is ideal for racking up completions and extending drives. He has hit that number 9 of 19 games this season and a positive game script sets him up to smash that Super Bowl LV prop.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Chris Godwin is a top 10 receiver in the NFL. However, the number Vegas set is inflated by his recent performances where he saw increased usage. Antonio Brown was out. Mike Evans was hampered by injuries throughout the playoffs. Rob Gronkowski has been working as the sixth offensive lineman the past few games. Outside of 2007 with Randy Moss Brady has never had this level of talent to throw to. There are a lot of mouths to feed and Brady has a penchant for spreading the ball around. Expect KC to give Godwin a lot of attention, leading to under 77.5 receiving yards.
As mentioned above, the Chiefs will be without starting left tackle Eric Fisher. Jason Pierre-Paul has been playing some of the best football of his career and could be the key to trying to stop the Chiefs offense. He capitalized on the Packers missing David Bakhtiari in the NFC Championship game with two sacks, and also had a sack in their first meeting this season. There is too much talent on the Buccaneer front seven to double team any one player, and JPP should have ample opportunity to slip through for a sack. Shaq Barrett is also at over 0.5 sack at +120 and like that bet as well, but am leaning JPP due to his Super Bowl experience.
Click here to for a fantastic look at what to expect from the Trevor Lawrence led jaguars!
- Rob Gronkowski (First TD +1400, anytime +175)
- Mike Evans (Anytime +100)
- Tom Brady (Anytime +400)
- Travis Kelce (First TD +650)
- Tyreek Hill (First TD +650)
- Sammy Watkins (Anytime TD +225)
- Mecole Hardman (Anytime TD +225)
Fans of the narrative game have a prime opportunity Sunday night. On Tuesday morning’s Armchair Quarterback Wake Up show host Dave Magee brought up that Brady is going to be hunting for a Gronk touchdown to add to his HOF resume and celebrate making it back together. And ever since I’ve heard Jim Nantz in the back of my head calling a Brady to Gronk touchdown. It also doesn’t hurt that he is second on the team in Red Zone targets, trailing Mike Evans by two. There will be ample opportunity to say the least. This was the first Super Bowl LV prop bet I made.
I’d be remiss to not include Mike Evans after touting Gronk. Evans leads the team with 19 Red Zone targets and will be one of Brady’s first reads Sunday. His 13 touchdowns were good for fourth best in the league this season and is in prime position to secure his third of the postseason. A fun bet to throw in on the Bucs side is Tom Brady to score anytime at +400. If they can’t get the running game going they may opt for a QB sneak at the goal line. Or Brady will seek revenge for dropping a pass against the Eagles. Only time will tell.
On the Kansas City side, Vegas sees Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill as locks to score as both are -162 to score anytime. That line is low enough that money is better spent on other bets. Both also share the same odds to score the first TD in the game at +650. The pair far and away led the team in Red Zone targets (47% target share combined) and Kansas City will look to set the tone early. Of course both can’t hit, but one hitting could go a long way towards profiting overall on the night.
Two other bets from that side are Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman to score anytime at +225. Watkins is third on the team in Red Zone Targets despite missing ten games this season. He also has a reputation for going nuclear when no one expects it and what better time than in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have a package specifically designed for getting Mecole the ball in space, while having the added bonus of being the primary return man. Tampa has also been horrendous against secondary receiving options this season, leaving both with chances to use their game changing ability to break a long touchdown.
- “Fat Man TD” (+800)
- Over 2.5 players to attempt a pass (+165)
- Successful two point conversion (+180)
- Successful coaches challenge (+115)
There are more bets than can be counted surrounding this game, encompassing Anthem run time, Gatorade color, Coin Toss, etc. Those bets are all for fun with no analytic backing so it doesn’t feel right to give any insight on those picks. Have fun with it and go with your gut. It makes those types of bets that much more rewarding. That said, my fun bet is what Draftkings is labeling as a ‘Fat Man TD’. There is no purer joy than the face of a lineman after they score a touchdown. And boy does the football community love it. Both teams have creative enough play-callers to make this a possibility and the payout is great if it hits. Win-win situation.
Speaking of creative play-callers +165 for over 2.5 players to attempt a pass is another fun one. Nothing is held back in the Super Bowl and we are bound to see some trickery. It works as a great correlation bet as well. If Brady is getting his revenge for “Philly Philly” then someone has to throw him the ball.
Every point, inch, and second matters in the Super Bowl. It’s win or go home. With that in mind two bets caught my eye related to this thinking: a successful two point conversion at +180 and successful coaches challenge at +115. Bruce Arians and Andy Reid are both very aggressive coaches and analytically educated coaches. As anybody in the analytics twitter community will tell you, you should almost always go for two. Expect both teams to try at least one. For the coaches challenge, both teams are in great spots. In the 2019 season (no available data on the 2020 season), Bruce Arians didn’t pull the red flag often but was fifth in the league in success rate at 50%. Andy Reid was the flag happiest in the league that season with 122 challenges and the ninth best success rate.
Super Bowl MVP
- Patrick Mahomes (-106)
- Tom Brady SB MVP (+190)
- Travis Kelce SB MVP (+1300)
The final leg of prop bets brings up penultimate individual award, Super Bowl MVP. Mahomes is the favorite at -106 and is a very likely albeit vanilla pick. If choosing a non quarterback, Kelce at +1300 seems like the best value of these Super Bowl LV props. Kelce’s best ability is his nose for the end zone and scoring often drives who is awarded MVP. A two-three score game is not outside the range of outcomes for Kelce and that with a KC win would likely net him the award.
Now that I’ve rambled on enough about prop bets, let’s jump into the DFS side. This article will focus only on Draftkings and tournament lineup strategy.
Whether as your CPT or in the flex position, Mahomes should be in every lineup with at least one of Kelce/Hill. They have the highest ceilings on the slate bar none and there is no reason to exclude them unless you are playing 20+ lineups. As most lineups will have some combination of those players you will need to find a way to differentiate your lineup to take all the money. This can be done a few ways.
The first way is through lineup construction. Identify the game script and build your lineup from there. Draftkings allows six players per lineup. The general line of thinking is if you are predicting a close and competitive game, you take three players from each side. If you think one team will come out ahead but not in a blowout, use four players from the winning team and two from the losing team. And so on. Most players feel compelled to try and get players from each team, making 4-2 and 5-1 builds easier paths to building unique lineups.
Another route is to avoid using either QB, Hill, or Kelce in the CPT spot. Those players will be the most popular in that spot, leading to lots of similarities between lineups. I’m not suggesting going as deep as Scott Miller, Byron Pringle, or god forbid a defense, but players like Mike Evans (CPT $12,600), Darrel Williams (CPT $7,800), Rob Gronkowski (CPT $4,500), or Mecole Hardman (CPT $8,400) have the combination of upside and value to really set your lineup apart.
The last and most likely route is hitting on the right punt plays and avoiding the right expensive plays. The immediate standout play is Rob Gronkowski at $3,000. He hasn’t receive much work in the passing game recently, but that happens when you have to block a lot more. Take advantage of the pricing mistake. A touchdown alone would pay off his price point with anything else just gravy on top. Another Tampa player to consider is Leonard Fournette. At $7,800 he is a great pivot off Evans and Godwin, benefitting from Draftkings PPR scoring system with his receiving work.
Count Draftkings among the books treating Darrel Williams like a back-up. At $1800 less than Clyde Edwards-Helaire he could be a sneaky option to catch a few passes and maybe score a touchdown. As mentioned earlier he has looked fantastic with expanded opportunity and is the more reliable back in KC. I will also have shares of Watkins ($4200) and Hardman ($5600) as Hill or Kelce pivots. Both have the ability to score from anywhere on the field and I want to capture that upside.
Well, that about wraps up everything I have for Super Bowl LV prop bets and DFS advice. It has been a fantastic season and a truly enjoyable one to write about. Let’s enjoy this one last game and end this season on a good note. Good luck to all and enjoy the festivities!