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Favorites, sleepers for recording first interception in Super Bowl 54

There are a host of prop bets to consider for the 2020 Super Bowl. We look at “first player to secure an interception” and break down favorites, sleepers, and dark horses.

Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game between the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs on January 19, 2020 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Super Bowl LIV (54) features a matchup between passing games led by Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo. Mahomes barely threw interceptions this season, throwing just five on the season, second lowest among all teams. Only one percent of Mahomes’ passing attempts were picked off, which was the third lowest interception rate among all qualified QBs. Garoppolo threw 13 interceptions during the regular season, which ranked slightly higher than average. 2.7% of his passing attempts were picked off, which is also a higher than average interception rate.

DraftKings Sportsbook is offering a variety of prop bets for the 2020 Super Bowl, and there are several ways to bet on interceptions. One is which defensive player will secure the first interception of the game. With Mahomes not throwing many interceptions and Garoppolo not throwing many passes, the shortest odds are for no interceptions (+275), but what’s the fun in that?

Because Garoppolo is more prone to throwing interceptions than Mahomes, Chiefs defenders are probably the more appealing betting option. However, with the 49ers operating a run-heavy offense, it’s possible passing volume could be incredibly limited by Garoppolo — which has been a theme this postseason. Garoppolo attempted just eight passing attempts in the conference title game and has attempted just 27 total passing attempts in the playoffs.

That said, an interception is likely to be thrown at some point, as the league averaged about one interception thrown per team game. Here are some defensive players that bettors can consider betting on to record the first interception of the game.

Favorites

Tyrann Mathieu (+800)

Mathieu is the MVP of the Chiefs’ defense. He was named First Team All-Pro at safety and is a maniac on the field, covering incredible amounts of ground. Check out a great visual of Mathieu’s elite play here, as highlighted by NFL Network’s Shaun O’Hara:

Mathieu led all players in this game in interceptions logged during the regular season with four and is a top candidate to pick a pass off during this game.

Richard Sherman (+900)

Sherman isn’t quite the player he once was when he was at his peak with the Seahawks, but he is still one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Sherman made the Pro Bowl and leads all players in the Super Bowl in total interceptions (5) combined between the regular season and playoffs. Sherman has picked a pass off in each of the 49ers’ first two playoff games, including an impressive interception against the Vikings in the divisional round where Sherman used his veteran skills to jump a route that Adam Thielen did not finish. While Mahomes does not throw many interceptions, the Chiefs should have substantially more passing volume in this game, which will give the 49ers’ secondary opportunities.

Sleepers

Bashaud Breeland (+1300)

Breeland has seen heavy playing time in the postseason, playing on 100% of snaps in the divisional round and 95% of snaps in the conference title game. Breeland’s playing time in the postseason is a boost from his regular season numbers, as he played on 83% of snaps during the regular season and sometimes fell to as low as 60% of snaps. Breeland ranked third on the Chiefs in interceptions during the regular season and with Juan Thornhill (ACL) out for the Super Bowl, Breeland is second among active Chiefs in INTs behind Mathieu.

K’Waun Williams (+1800)

As the 49ers’ nickel back, Williams’ 84% snap rate in the conference title game was his highest of the season as the 49ers deployed more nickel packages against a Packers team that went into pass mode due to a big deficit. A similar theme could be on tap for the Super Bowl, as the Chiefs generally feature at least league average passing volume and can become pass-heavy at times. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has attempted 70 total passes in the playoffs, a substantially higher number than 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s 27 passing attempts, which would give 49ers DBs more opportunities at INTs.

Darkhorses

Fred Warner (+3000)

Warner’s nine passes defended during the regular season ranked second on the 49ers behind only Richard Sherman. Warner has played extremely heavy snaps, playing 100% of snaps in the conference title game and 96% of snaps in the divisional round. Warner has played on 100% of snaps in 14 of the 49ers’ 18 games this season.

Nick Bosa (+5000)

Betting on a defensive lineman to record an interception is a stretch, but the 49ers’ ability to generate heat on the quarterback could result in tipped passes at the line of scrimmage. Bosa also recorded an interception during the regular season on an athletic play that saw him leaping to catch a pass to a running back in the flat.

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