For updates, always follow along on Twitter — @julianedlow. I’ll usually come back with some additional plays as the week goes on in this article, including some player props over the weekend.
6PT Teaser: CIN +10.5/U54.5 (-120) — 1.5-units
I’m not sure if I’ll take a side on this game or not, but I do lean Bengals and feel 4.5 is too many points. But as soon as I saw this number, I saw the perfect teaser leg. Getting the Bengals up through key numbers of six, seven and 10 is crucial. Cincy has been battling in every game, and the Rams have found themselves in similar close contests the last couple of games. The underdog is on a 10-4 ATS run in the Super Bowl, and getting the extra six points here feels very comfortable.
As for the total, I saw this open 50.5 and knew it’d get bet down quickly. I was fortunate enough to tease this at +10.5/U56.5, but I like it down to 54.5. When the total hit 48 I waited to write this article to give out the right number, but I think you can wait here. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw 49.5 on the board at some point, so getting to 55.5 gets you some other key numbers — a winner on something like a 31-24 Rams victory. Using the 54.5 number in this teaser, 14 of the last 17 Super Bowls have stayed under this number. I think we’re going to see a slower start from both teams in this one (which makes the first quarter and half under attractive), but even if the game picks up late, we should have the cushion to stay under.
Super Bowl MVP: Joe Burrow (+225) — 0.4-units
Super Bowl MVP: Cooper Kupp (+600) — 0.2-units
I think both of these guys have really good value compared to their teams moneylines when it comes to winning the award. The Bengals have been shifting around from +160 to +170 on the moneyline, but getting over 50 cents of juice more for Burrow winning the award makes a ton of sense. There just aren’t as many talents on the Cincy side like the Rams that can realistically take the award from Burrow. If you like the Bengals in the game, there’s no reason not to use some of your bet on a Burrow MVP.
The argument for Kupp is pretty obvious. He’s the NFL Offensive POY, and probably finishes top-three in NFL MVP voting. I understand the award is QB-centric, but even money on Matthew Stafford feels too expensive, especially when you consider the price difference with between he and Kupp. Generally speaking, +600 on a WR isn’t great value, but in this case I think it is. Stafford’s going to have to have a massive game through the air to Odell Beckham Jr. and his other targets to win the award without Kupp being in consideration.
Total Punts OVER 6.5 (-130) — 1-unit
Both punters have booted it away 10 times in three postseason games. That’s 3.33 punts per game, meaning the average for both sides combined comes out to 6.66 punts. Slight edge mathematically, but not enough to bet it. The extra edge here for me comes with the slow starts and nerves we tend to see in the Super Bowl. The first quarter total is down to 7.5 and first half at 23.5 — anything 24 or better would be an under play for me. I think we see a slow start with both teams punting away to start the game, then we need just five more the rest of the game. I think we should easily get to four of five stops in the first half, and just need a couple more in the second half.
Opening Kickoff Touchback: NO (+110) — 1-unit
I’ve grown to really like this one. I wish we had better odds, but I may potentially add to this play. The “Yes” is priced at -150 right now, and last year it nearly touched -300. Generally, in the NFL, we’re accustomed to touchbacks. The opening kickoff in the Super Bowl is completely different. First, we have the nerves of the world watching and all the flashes that go off with the kick. But more importantly, the kicker will be using a brand new ball for the kick, and right after the play, the ball is taken away for the Hall of Fame.
We’ve had a player who kicked off in a Super Bowl say that the opening kickoff is “like kicking a brick.” So let’s go to the recent results, which are overwhelming. Only one of the last eight Super Bowls has seen the opening kick go for a touchback, and it was Justin Tucker, who has one of the biggest legs in NFL history. If you want the 10-year sample, only two of 10 have been a touchback. An even larger sample really puts this one over the edge — just two of the last 28 Super Bowls have begun with a touchback. But it’s worth noting it was a longer kick beyond those last 10 years.
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