Super Bowl 2013 Odds: Top Player Prop Picks for Ravens vs. 49ers
Prop picks are available throughout the entire NFL regular season and playoffs, but they don't generate much mainstream attention until the Super Bowl. That's when every oddsmaker comes up with dozens of unique and interesting options.
For football fans, also known as the people who watch the Super Bowl for the game instead of the halftime show and commercials, the best options on the board are those involving players. It's at least something where you can make an educated guess, unlike the coin toss.
With that in mind, let's take a lot at three of the most intriguing prop picks for Super Sunday. All lines are courtesy of bovada.lv.
Ray Lewis: Over 11.5 Total Tackles and Assists (-135)
All eyes will be on Lewis as he tries to end his career on a winning note. He's dealt with a lot of distractions leading up to the big game, but the long-time Baltimore Ravens star is the type of player who will use that as motivation.
How many tackles for Ray Lewis?
Lewis averaged just under 15 tackles and assists in the team's first three postseason games and hasn't recorded less than 13. It shows that, while he's certainly not the elite performer he was during his prime, he remains a key playmaker for the Baltimore defense.
It also helps that Sunday's game should be a grind-it-out affair. While both Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick have impressed in recent weeks, these are still two teams that are built on their running games and strong defenses.
That means Lewis should get plenty of chances to rack up tackles on Frank Gore and Kaepernick, who likes to escape the pocket and take off. That should allow Lewis to reach 12 tackles by early in the fourth quarter.
Colin Kaepernick: One Total TD Pass (+200)
Kaepernick has thrown 13 touchdown passes in 10 games since the San Francisco 49ers' bye week, which is when he took over the offense. It doesn't take a math major to figure out that averages out to slightly more than one per game.
How many TD passes for Kaepernick?
The likely reason one touchdown pass is paying out double the initial investment is the hype surrounding him. The odds of him throwing exactly three TDs, which he has never done (he threw four one time), only checks in at +400.
So the bet on one touchdown definitely provides the most value. It's important to remember that he's still a young quarterback about to play the biggest game of his career with less than a full season of starts under his belt. There are going to be some jitters.
Expect the 49ers to rely heavily on the run, especially in the early going, while their newest superstar settles in. That will limit his touchdown-pass upside, as will the fact he can run near the goal line. One TD strike to Michael Crabtree or Vernon Davis seems likely.
Frank Gore: Over 82.5 Rushing Yards (-130)
This pick ties right in with the previous two. Lewis is going to record a bunch of tackles because it's going to be a run-first game, and that will keep Kaepernick from throwing a bunch of touchdowns. It also means Gore should surpass the 83-yard mark.
How many rushing yards for Gore?
In the 49ers' two playoff wins, he's posted totals of 109 and 90 yards and received at least 20 carries in both games. The game plan clearly worked, so don't expect any type of massive overhaul simply because it's the Super Bowl.
Skeptics will point toward his average of 76 yards per game during the regular season. But if you remove the two games where he received less than 10 carries, which won't happen Sunday barring injury, it jumps to 82 YPG.
The 49ers are going to hand him the ball early and often against a Ravens defense that's giving up 128 yards per game on the ground during the playoffs. It should all add up to a big game for the San Francisco running back.
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