Super Bowl 53 takes place in Atlanta this weekend and there is more on the line than just the spread and total in this game for bettors. The stopwatches will be out for the national anthem, and tallies will be taken of plays Tony Romo correctly predicts on Sunday, all because of the mainstream popularity of proposition betting.
These kinds of prop bets all add to the excitement of the experience, but they aren’t very predictable unless you have some inside information. At The Linebacker, we focus on the player props for Super Bowl 53.
We just launched full player and team projections on our site for the first time. This gives our subscribers the opportunity to compare our projections with the sportsbooks’ in order to select the best possible player props. To showcase our offering and supply some of our loyal OddsShark readers with some plays, we are giving out our favorite prop bets of the weekend for FREE. Without further ado, let’s get into them.
All prop lines and odds referenced are from Sportsbook.
Tom Brady O/U 300.5 passing yards (Over -140, Under +110)
Sportsbooks are expecting Tom Brady to put on another impressive Super Bowl performance. The OVER carries a -140 line in this one. The Linebacker’s model sees things a little differently, projecting Brady to throw for just 263.4 yards.
While we’re still expecting an efficient game from Brady, we think the Pats may lean on the rushing attack against a Rams defense that finished dead last at 5.1 yards allowed per carry during the regular season. The large difference between our projection and the book’s OVER/UNDER line makes the +110 payout one of our favorite Super Bowl prop picks.
Our pick: UNDER 300.5 passing yards
Todd Gurley O/U 70.5 rushing yards (Over -115, Under -115)
There are all kinds of questions and doubts surrounding Gurley and the Rams rushing attack after the MVP candidate saw just five rushes in the NFC championship game. We believe it’s more of an anomaly than anything.
Gurley racked up 115 yards on the ground just one week prior in the NFC divisional-round matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. The Linebacker’s model projects Gurley to carry the ball 14 times for 77.4 rushing yards.
New England struggled against the run all season, allowing a fourth-worst 4.9 yards per carry. The Rams will need Gurley to play up to his potential if they want any shot at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, so look for Sean McVay to get the fourth-year back involved early and often.
Our pick: OVER 70.5 rushing yards
Rob Gronkowski O/U 4.5 receptions (Over -120, Under -110), O/U 54.5 receiving yards (Over -145, Under +115)
There are two props for the Patriots tight end that catch our eye. Our model projects Gronkowski will haul in three passes for 40.3 yards. That puts him below both of his prop lines.
While Gronk is the most dominant tight end of his generation, his numbers have fallen off in what may be his last NFL season. He caught more than four passes just three times during the regular season and surpassed 54.5 yards five times.
He did see his most targets of the season in the AFC championship game against Kansas City, so the Pats may look to him more in the season’s biggest game. We’re going to play the numbers game over narrative, however, and suggest betting UNDER on both props.
Our picks: UNDER 4.5 receptions and UNDER 54.5 rec yards
Cordarrelle Patterson O/U 12.5 receiving yards (Over +150, Under -180)
Patterson is one of Bill Belichick’s favorite offensive gadgets as he’s consistently moved around the formation from his “usual” wide receiver position and into the backfield on many occasions. Patterson actually has twice as many rushes as receptions on the season (42 vs 21), and has found success in both roles.
We’re focusing on his receiving prop for Sunday, though, as his line is set at 12.5 receiving yards. Patterson surpassed that total in six of the 13 games he played primarily at wide receiver this season, as well as in the AFC championship game. The Linebacker’s model predicts Patterson will haul in two catches for 24.1 yards, so we like the OVER for this one.
Our pick: OVER 12.5 receiving yards
Jared Goff O/U 0.5 INTs (Over -155, Under +125)
The third-year QB finished the season with 12 interceptions, the most of his NFL career thus far. In our model’s simulations of the Super Bowl, Goff averaged 0.92 interceptions per game, giving us good reason to believe he’ll throw one on Sunday.
The Patriots were ball hawks all season, snatching 18 interceptions (plus one in the playoffs) while finishing third in the NFL. New England’s pass rush has also improved in the playoffs, meaning Goff might face more throws under duress.
Our pick: OVER 0.5 interceptions