This is a bittersweet column to write; on one hand the Super Bowl is the biggest gambling event of the year and writing about the plays and props is always super fun. It is also a chance to reflect on a very successful NFL gambling season. On the other hand, it is the last football column of the season, which, you know, sucks.
Of course, the NFL doesn’t have an actual off-season and before we know it we will all be following free agency, the draft, OTAs, training camp, preseason, and then before we know it, the 2019 season will be here. But it is still sad to know that we are over seven months away from our next chance to look at that Sunday card and pick some winners. So we are going to send the 2018 season off with one more play.
Official Super Bowl Play:
Los Angeles Rams +3
While the line right now is Patriots -2.5 at many shops, Bovada has this game at 3, and Bovada is a book that is very easy to deposit into, so if you like the Rams like I do, get your money on Bovada. If you disagree and like the Pats, definitely do not do that; play this game at one of the many books that are still at 2.5. I don’t think points matter and I think the Rams win outright, but I’ll gladly take a field goal.
Note: Don’t take the Rams +2.5. No Super Bowl has ever ended with a team winning by one or two. So don’t be lazy and shop around, Bovada has +3, other books likely will too by kick off, but if you are really lazy and refuse to do that, just be the Rams moneyline, as history shows that 1 and 2 are dead numbers in the Super Bowl.
I am not going to sit here and rip on the Patriots. Tom Brady is the GOAT quarterback, no doubt. Bill Belichick is the GOAT head coach. As frustrating as it is to common fans to see them in the Super Bowl every year (let’s be honest, everyone outside of New England wanted to see Mahomes and the Chiefs face the Rams in a rematch of the best game of the regular season), their legacy speaks for itself. But, at the same time, to act like they are dominant in these Super Bowls is completely incorrect. They lost to Eli Manning twice and backup Nick Foles once. They easily should have lost to the Falcons if their coaching staff had any idea how to manage a clock. They would have lost to the Seahawks if Pete Carroll knew to run the damn ball with Beast Mode. These are just facts; the Patriots have won most of the Super Bowls due to coaching miscues from the opposing team. Sean McVay is young, but I do not think he will be rattled by the moment; he is a football genius, possibly the best head coach in the game since Belichick himself took over for New England. He is not going to make those types of mistakes.
Whether the Patriots win or lose their Super Bowls, the games are almost always close. Their Super Bowl wins since the Brady era began have been by 3, 3, 3, 4 (the game when the Seahawks should have run the ball in), and 6 (in overtime). They simply have not dominated teams in the Super Bowl, and this year’s team is not nearly as dominant as many of those from the mid-2000s. Yet, still, 80% of the public is on the Patriots. If you think that the sports books did not know that this line would drive this type of Patriots action, I have a bridge to sell you. And if you think that the books would allow this type of imbalance in the biggest event of the year if they did not think that their side was the right side, I can sell you some miracle weight loss tea to go along with that bridge.
As soon as the line came out on Championship Sunday, my gut told me to take the Rams. After a week and a half of reviewing everything, I see no reason to waiver from that instinct. Either way, it has been a great NFL season for us, but we would love nothing more than to cap it off with a W. The Rams will bring it home for us by winning straight up, but it is nice having a field goal to play with.
We’re not quite done yet. One of the most fun part of betting on the Super Bowl is the props. Sure, there are props to bet on every game during the regular season, but the Super Bowl is a completely different animal. Sure, you can bet on some of the same kind of things you can bet on any game; player props, team totals, win margins, etc. But the Super Bowl also offers some of the most fun props you will ever see from the National Anthem to the Coin Toss to the post-game Gatorade shower and everything in between.
There are two different types of props to bet; props that you see serious value in, and props that are ridiculous you bet for fun because you are a degenerate. For instance, I don’t actually think Greg Zurlein is going to win the MVP of the game, but at such high odds, why the hell not. I just never put myself in a position where my prop betting could cancel out a win on the game. The Rams are my big play; that is a standard wager. The props, well, I just throw a few bucks down here and there with my main goal being the entertainment value; if they hit, that is gravy. Without further ado, here are my favorites, from the logical to the ridiculous. These props can be found either at Bovada, Bet DSI, or both, often with $50 win limits, so like I said, these are for fun.
Greg Zurlein to win MVP +6600
Let’s just get this one out of the way first. No, I do not think this is likely. Yes, I do think it is possible. If there were an MVP for the NFC Championship game, he would have won it. His leg is a rocket. Tell me that there is not somewhat of a chance that this game ends up 29-26 Rams, with Zurlein kicking 5 fgs including one in the final minute to win the game. Its not likely, but throw $5 on this for a chance to win $330 is worth it. Or if you are really cheap or poor, throw a Washington on it for a realistic shot at $66.
Will any animal other than a horse be in the Budweiser Clydesdale Commercial? Yes -130 (Bet DSI)
The commercial leaked. Barring a change of commercial, its a yes. Again, you can’t win much money off of this, but why not take what they give you.
What will be higher, Donald Trump’s Approval Rating as of 2/4/19 or the longest FG of the game? (Bet DSI) FG -130
I don’t think this will be over 45 on Monday (I’m not making a political statement here, it has hovered in the 43% range for awhile), and I like the odds of a fg longer than that being made.
Will Jim Nantz or Tony Romo say the word “dynasty” yes -150
I mean, come on, easy money.
What color will the liquid poured on the winning coach be? Clear +160
How many players will attempt a pass? Under 2.5 -105
This is always a fun prop to play because it is essentially asking if anybody other than the two starting QBs will throw a pass in the game. Last year, we saw both teams pull out some trickery and attempt a pass to their quarterback from another offensive player. This year I don’t see it happening. The Patriots have done the Edelman pass too many times now and you know the Rams are going to be looking for it. Meanwhile, the Rams often run fake punts with Johnny Hekker, but they won’t do that in the Super Bowl; they just did it last week and Bill Belichick is not a moron. As fun as these plays can be, I don’t see one happening, and the only way this goes over is if Ndamukong Suh takes out Brady’s knees…..which come to think of it is probably going to happen. But I’m sticking with my gut.
Todd Gurley over 30.5 receiving yards -110
I am trusting that Gurley is going to be healthy for this game and the Rams will give him whatever shot Bud Kilmer gave his players in Varsity Blues to make them numb to pain. The Patriots can be beaten with screens and wheel routes, and all 270 pounds of CJ Anderson won’t be able to catch those, so they are going to have to throw these to Gurley. I think he gets most if not all of these yards in one play.
Alright, thats it, remember, tread lightly on these props; they are supposed to be fun. But go big on the Rams! Most importantly; eat a ton, drink a ton, and enjoy the game. It’s been real writing this column every week this season, be sure to follow Branded’s official gambling Twitter account @Branded_Bets for plays in other sports, and unless I become rich and famous in the next seven months, I’ll be back next year for more NFL degenerate action.