Updated February 1, 2019 - 6:14 pm
Professional sports bettors pound the opening numbers on Super Bowl props, then lie in wait for the public to drive down prices on long shots such as a safety and overtime.
“We wait until game day to bet,” Las Vegas professional sports bettor Cris Zeniuk said. “The public takes the plus money bets, the overs and the yes props. We let them settle in and pounce on game day, laying the heavy prices that have been forced down. No and under are the goals most times.”
Betting on Super Bowl LIII to go to overtime pays 7-1, wagering on a safety is 6-1 and backing a special teams or defensive touchdown pays plus 190.
Professional sports bettor Rufus Peabody plans to wager against all three popular props.
“Those are all props I expect the public to be on the other side of, so I know I’ll be able to get good prices on those Sunday morning,” said Peabody (@RufusPeabody), a part-time Las Vegas resident. “The public loves the lottery ticket mentality. They want a long shot.
“It’s not much fun to root against the safety and overtime and special teams touchdowns. But that’s where the edges are.”
For those who aren’t inclined to wager $1,100 to win $100 that there won’t be overtime, Zeniuk, Peabody and professional handicappers Scott Kellen and Mark Franco shared some of their best prop bets.
From Zeniuk (@lasvegascris): Will the Patriots or Rams score in the first 5½ minutes? No (-120)
The no on this prop is 8-0 in New England’s eight previous Super Bowls under Bill Belichick, with four of them featuring scoreless first quarters.
“While Super Bowls have produced high-scoring games, there have been times where the first quarter is a complete feel out process. If New England defers, I expect L.A. to have more of a feel out process on this big stage, trying to establish the run.
“If New England receives, Brady could still look for ball control and quick passes, keeping the time of possession plan they’ve used recently in play.”
Will Brandin Cooks have a rushing attempt? Yes (-130)
“Cooks has run the fly sweep since his early college days. New England plays a great deal of man-on-man and wants to jam Cooks at the line of scrimmage. Cooks put in motion gives him the best chance in the run or pass game to avoid the jam.”
From Kellen (@SixthSenseNFL): More points scored in second half (-½, -155) than first:
“The Pats’ eight Super Bowls with Brady have seen the second half score more points than the first half in six of eight games. In the last 20 years, the second half has outscored the first half in 15 of 20 Super Bowls (15-4-1, 75 percent).”
Jared Goff over 285½ passing yards (-110):
“Any Ram lead won’t be safe until this game is over and there’s a chance they won’t have the lead, either. In nine competitive games against good teams this year, Goff has totaled at least 295 passing yards. Sean McVay will stay aggressive in this game, which means more passing.”
From Franco (FrancoSports.com): Over 123½ rushing yards by Patriots (-120):
“The Patriots have their running game going, rushing for 176 yards against the Chiefs and 155 against the Chargers. Sony Michel rushed for 242 yards in the two playoff games and New England has two other capable running backs in James White and Rex Burkhead.”
Julian Edelman over 81½ receiving yards (-110):
“Edelman had nine receptions for 151 yards in the divisional round and had seven catches for 96 yards in the AFC championship. Look for Brady to go to him early and often with Edelman being a big part of the game plan.”
— Will C.J. Anderson score a TD? No (-180)
— Under 3½ Rams to score (+120)
— Under 5 Rams with a rushing attempt (-240)
Peabody got much better prices on these props. For example, the under 5 Rams with a rush attempt opened at minus 110.
He expects Anderson, Gurley and Goff to get carries.
“For that prop to lose, I need three wide receivers to have a rush attempt or two wide receivers and somebody else, like the punter or a backup quarterback,” he said. “With the simulations I ran, it could happen but it’s a huge underdog.”
Peabody likes the following three long shot props:
— Player to score first TD of game: Tyler Higbee (25-1).
— Player to score first TD for Rams: Higbee (12-1).
— Player to score first TD for Patriots: Phillip Dorsett (9-1).
“I think those have excellent value,” he said.