I could give a whole explanation about how the Super Bowl for gamblers is like Christmas and birthdays all wrapped into one, but if you even clicked on this article, you already know that. With thousands of props to pick from (thanks for raising the bar every year, Vegas), here are the 20 I’ll be betting too much on:
Image Source: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
*All betting lines and images are courtesy of Bovada
1. National Anthem
There’s nothing quite like gambling on patriotism! While many are just excited the game is about to start, you get to whip out your phone and start the stopwatch. Ignore the guaranteed eye rolls from family members sitting nearby, and enjoy the ride. After
hours minutes of research, I’ve found two Demi Lovato renditions of the national anthem – one was 2 minutes, 10 seconds, and the other was 2 minutes, 2 seconds (so the line of 2 minutes, 4 seconds makes perfect sense). With the added drama of it being the Super Bowl, I think Demi puts on a show and goes over the total.
The pick: Over 2 minutes, 4 seconds
2. Coin Toss
The coin toss is typically the signal of how your betting day is going to go, so it’s an important one. The 49ers have been in six Super Bowls, with heads and tails each occurring three times. The Chiefs have been in two Super Bowls, with heads and tails each occurring once. The last eight Super Bowl coin tosses? 4 heads, 4 tails. The last 30 Super Bowl coin tosses? 15 heads, 15 tails. I’m starting to think the odds are 50/50 or something…
I’m going tails simply because it NEVER fails (except for about 50% of the time).
The pick: Tails
3. First Score of the Game
The 49ers have scored first in four of their last five games, while it’s been well-documented how slow the Chiefs have started in each of their first two postseason games. The Chiefs have employed the “bend don’t break” defensive strategy all season, and with Shanahan likely to start the game conservatively, I think the 49ers’ first drive stalls in the red zone, resulting in a field goal from Robbie Gould.
The pick: 49ers Field Goal
4. First Touchdown of the Game
Despite the very slow starts in each of their past two games, I think the Chiefs buck that trend with a touchdown early on. With Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill occupying the 49ers’ attention, I think Watkins sneaks past the secondary for a 30+ yard touchdown.
The pick: Sammy Watkins
5. First Touchdown for the 49ers
Similar to Watkins, Deebo Samuel is the beneficiary of not being his team’s No. 1 option. The Chiefs’ primary concerns will be slowing down Raheem Mostert and George Kittle. Not only has Samuel emerged as a reliable option for Garoppolo, but his ability to extend plays after the catch makes him a solid bet to score in this game. At 6-to-1, I like Samuel to be the first 49er to cross pay-dirt.
The pick: Deebo Samuel
6. First Turnover
From an odds standpoint, the no turnover option is pretty intriguing, but these two defenses created a total of 50 takeaways this season (23 by KC and 27 by SF), so it’s hard for me to imagine neither team generating at least one. Mahomes has yet to throw a pick this postseason (and appears incapable of throwing one), and the 49ers are going to be conservative to start the game. With this in mind, I’m expecting a fumble to happen first, as I can picture a strip-sack or a nervous ball carrier coughing one up early.
The pick: Fumble
7 and 8. Kansas City’s Rushing Attack and Mahomes Attempts
These two props go hand in hand. San Francisco’s defense is ridiculously stout against the run. With a dominant defensive line and speedy linebackers, I have a hard time envisioning the Chiefs finding success on the ground. Mahomes has emerged as a legitimate running threat this postseason, but two weeks of preparation for Robert Saleh’s defense means they won’t let the QB beat them with his legs. Obviously, this sets up Mahomes to air it out all game. On the biggest stage with the best quarterback, I’d be shocked if Reid doesn’t call at least 45 passing plays in this one.
The picks: Under 88.5 rushing yards and Over 35.5 attempts
9. Tight End Showdown
These two are the undisputed best tight ends in football, making it an incredible showdown. More than anything though, this one comes down to opportunity. As I mentioned above, I’m expecting Mahomes to throw 40+ times, so it would be shocking to see Kelce receive anything less than 10 targets. With Garoppolo, I’m thinking he attempts closer to 30 passes, with Kittle seeing closer to six targets. While both guys are beasts, in this prop bet relying on volume, Kelce is the move.
The pick: Travis Kelce
10. Raheem Mostert Longest Carry
My mind immediately goes to Mostert gashing Green Bay’s defense for 15+ yard runs over and over again in the NFC Championship game. It’ll be tougher sledding against a vastly improved Chiefs run defense that just contained man-child Derrick Henry to under 70 rushing yards, but San Francisco’s rushing attack is too potent to prevent a 15-yard run all game. Even if Mostert doesn’t have a big game, I’m confident he’ll break at least one run to hit the over here.
The pick: Over 14.5 yards
11. Tyreek Hill Longest Reception
Fun fact: The last time Tyreek Hill didn’t have a 29+ yard catch in a football game? 2015 at West Alabama. Is that a real stat? Absolutely not, but you definitely believed me for a minute. He is too fast and too explosive to not have at least one big play in this game. For all the (well-deserved) praise heaped on Richard Sherman, his biggest weakness is straight-line speed. I expect Kansas City to exploit this with Hill.
The pick: Over 28.5 yards
12. Total Interceptions by Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown an interception in 11 of 18 games this season, and the Super Bowl brings on a whole new set of nerves. Not only will Jimmy G. throw a pick, but I’ll go so far as to predict who will be the Kansas City Chief to intercept it…
The pick: Over 0.5 interceptions
13. Tyrann Mathieu
“Honey Badger” has always had a knack for making big plays, and Super Bowl LIV will be no different for the safety. San Francisco loves to attack over the middle off play-action, which is where Mathieu will be patrolling all game. I think he goads Garoppolo into a poor decision, and returns it to the house for a pick-six.
The pick: Yes
14. Kyle Juszczyk
First of all, shout out to Juszczyk for having six straight consonants in his last name – very impressive. Secondly, the Super Bowl always brings out the weirdest play calls. The 49ers’ fullback is the best in football, and it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see his number called on a 4th & inches. At the very least, you’ll get to be the annoying one in the room calling for the fullback dive on every single play (and that alone makes it worth a $20 wager).
The pick: Over 0.5 attempts
Speaking of cheering for ridiculous events to occur all game, it doesn’t get much better than cheering for “doinks” on every kick. The nerves are real in the Super Bowl, and few feel this pressure more than field goal kickers. This would obviously be a way safer bet if Cody Parkey was taking the field, but rooting for Butker and/or Gould to hit the upright or crossbar on a kick is well worth $10.
The pick: Yes
16. Team First Downs
I think both offenses will be able to move the ball, so this all comes down to big play ability. Kansas City is clearly the more explosive offense with Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman all capable of scoring every time they touch the ball, while the 49ers and their run-first approach tend to be more methodical. I picture 12-play, 70-yard drives for San Francisco as they try to keep the ball out of Mahomes’ hands… which also means plenty of first downs.
The pick: 49ers
17. Total Points in Super Bowl LIV
It’s not nearly as fun to cheer for fewer points in the biggest game of the year, but this number seems way too inflated to take the over. San Francisco’s defense was the best in the league this season, and Kansas City’s played like a top-five unit the second half of the year. Add in the fact that the 49ers will try to chew up clock with the ground game and this feels like an under.
The pick: Under 54.5 points
18. Point Spread
It’s been six years since a Super Bowl match-up pitting the league’s best offense vs. the league’s best defense took place, but we will get to witness it once again on Sunday. Six years ago, defense won in a landslide as the Seattle Seahawks humiliated the Denver Broncos to the tune of a 43-8 final. This time though, I think it’s the offense that will reign supreme. This 49ers unit is one of the best defenses in recent memory, but they are a bit susceptible to mobile quarterbacks, and Mahomes fits that bill. San Francisco will try to get pressure only rushing four, but Mahomes’ ability to extend plays in the pocket (and outside of it) will ultimately prove to be the difference. With playmakers all over the field, Mahomes will make it clear why he’s the new face of the NFL.
The pick: Chiefs -1.5
Score prediction: 28-24 Chiefs
19. Gatorade Color
Close your eyes and picture Andy Reid being doused in Gatorade. What color do you see?
Perfect, that’s what I see too.
The pick: Lime/Green/Yellow
If the Chiefs win, Patrick Mahomes is winning the MVP award. End of story.
The pick: Patrick Mahomes