Hi folks, welcome to the props piece. The Super Bowl is the single best betting event of the year so lets get stuck in…
As laid out in my full game preview earlier this week, I expect the game to be a little lower scoring than the 56.5 point total would suggest, with the Rams struggling to move the ball through the air. That handicap informs these prop bets but obviously we’re also evaluating each bet on its merits.
So let’s get to the good stuff.
Julian Edelman Over 79.5 Receiving Yards
Staking: 2 units @ 1.84
Edelman is obviously well found by the market and leads all receivers in projected yardage total, but I still think it’s too low as the Patriots turn to Edleman when it matters most. Over his last 12 playoff games (since 2013), Edelman averages 12.5 targets per game, eight receptions per game, and 99.6 yards per game.
Easy over, on to the next one.
Rob Gronkowski Over 49.5 Receiving Yards
Staking: 3 units @ 1.72
This is a similar theory in that the Pats have been saving Gronk in the regular season and will be looking to unleash him when it matters most.
Gronkowski has played in 15 games this season. Per SBNation: In 10 games this season decided by more than one possession, Gronk has averaged 4.8 targets, 2.8 catches, and 35.9 yards per game. In five games decided by a single score, he’s averaged 7.2 targets, 5.2 catches, and 85.4 yards per game. Against the Chiefs he was targeted 11 times. Oh, and the Rams allowed the second most yards to TEs this season.
Cracking stuff. Gronk to score first and to score a TD are also cracking bets.
Brandin Cooks Under 75.5 Receiving Yards
Staking: 2 units @ 1.7
The Pats have been superb in shutting down receivers over the second half of the season, including dynamic duos like Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster, and Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, none of whom topped 50 yards.
The Pats stick Stephon Gilmore (PFF’s number one-ranked CB) on the opponent’s number two receiver then double teams the number one. Therefore, I expect Cooks to get double teamed in this case and given the expected struggles from Goff (see main write-up piece), this number looks 15 yards too high.
The Pats will also play a lot of press-man (heaviest man coverage team in the NFL this year), which the smaller-bodied Cooks struggles with. In his career, Cooks has a notably worse catch rate against man or press (52%) than against zone or other (78%).
Robert Woods Under 72.5 Receiving Yards
1 unit @ 1.84
In the same vein, Woods should draw coverage from Stephon Gilmore, who is, as already mentioned, PFF’s number one-ranked CB.
I’m not sure how much analysis you really need on that one.
Todd Gurley Under 68.5 Rushing Yards
2 units @ 1.69
I do not think Gurley is particularly injured as he hit season highs in running speed in the divisional round vs the Cowboys. However this one is more about game-flow and scheme.
First off, I expect the Rams to be trailing more often than vise versa.
Secondly there is a reason the Rams have been using fat-man CJ Anderson, because he’s a better fit for an inside zone scheme which requires the back to make one cut and hit the hole, whist Anderson does much better than Gurley. Gurley is best used on outside zone runs where he can get up more speed, but the Patriots defense is known for setting the edge and funneling everything inside, so I suspect Gurley will be used sparingly in the run game.
In the same vein, the Patriots are bottom five in success rate allowed to running back passes, so look for the Rams to get TG3 involved on screens and swing passes.
And that’s a wrap, best of luck!
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