Betting on sports is all about knowing the odds and making smart choices based on the numbers. That’s also the reason gambling websites can afford to keep running.
Most player prop bets are based on statistical averages and matchups. There’s a lot to be left to chance, though. Randy Moss may have had a slow season by most standards, but that doesn’t mean taking the over on his yardage total is a bad idea.
Gambling is as much about following your gut as it is breaking down the numbers. It also doesn’t hurt to know which wagers have the highest return on investment.
Player prop bets aren’t the easiest to win, but they’re certainly the most fun. If anything will keep you on the edge of your seat during a game, it’s placing a little wager on how well a particular player is going to perform. We’ll break down some of the prop bets available through Bovada and highlight the easiest ones to win on Super Sunday.
Odds to Win MVP
It’s a pretty safe bet that a quarterback will win the Super Bowl MVP. Five of the last six players to win the award were quarterbacks, including Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees in the last three years.
Three of the last seven winners were wide receivers, though, and with the odds some receivers are getting this year, you’d be wise to take advantage.
Michael Crabtree (14/1), Anquan Boldin (16/1) and Torrey Smith (20/1) are all good choices given the odds. When betting opened, Smith was a 40/1 underdog.
Our pick: At 20/1, it’s hard to not bet on Smith to win the game’s most illustrious award. Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco are the most likely candidates, but for a small wager at 20/1, you can’t go wrong by betting on Smith.
Joe Flacco Passing Yards
The over/under on Flacco’s total passing yards is set at 250.5. He eclipsed that number seven times in the regular season and twice already in the playoffs.
While San Francisco has been playing good defense this postseason, Flacco has been terrific. With Ray Rice establishing a sound running game on which Baltimore’s play-action vertical passing game can thrive, the Ravens stand to rack up several big plays through the air.
This is the biggest game of Flacco’s career, and it’s hard to predict how he will hold up to the pressure. Still, 250.5 is a pretty friendly number to take the over.
Our pick: You’re only getting 37/50 on your money, but Baltimore’s offense is all about Flacco. The Ravens offense thrives when he plays well, and you can count on him coming up big with it all on the line. We’re taking the over.
Colin Kaepernick Touchdown Passes
Kaepernick has had a remarkable season since he took over at the helm of San Francisco’s offense, and that success has carried over into the postseason.
The 49ers signal-caller has thrown multiple touchdown passes in four of his nine games this season, and the over/under on him repeating that feat in the Super Bowl is 1.5.
He’s done a lot of damage on the ground, but Baltimore will be planning for that. If he is to have a good game, he’s going to have to do some damage through the air on Super Sunday.
At 77/100 on your money, taking the over isn’t the most lucrative option, but it’s probably your best bet.
Our pick: Kaepernick has to come through in the biggest game of his young career. He’s almost assured of multiple touchdown passes, and we’ll take the over.
Aldon Smith Sacks
Smith hit a wall at the end of the season, and he hasn’t recorded a sack in any of his last five games. Prior to that drought, he tallied 19.5 and nearly set the NFL single-season record.
With Justin Smith back on the field tying up opposing linemen, Aldon Smith stands a good chance of adding at least one more sack to his stat sheet. The over/under is pretty favorable, too.
Bovada has the over/under set at one, meaning anything over that wins 23/20 on your money. Just one sack would result in a push. No harm, no foul.
Our pick: Smith can’t possibly extend his streak on Sunday. Not only does the over pay out well, but it’s also a pretty safe pick. We’re taking the over and banking on Smith recording at least one sack.
Jacoby Jones Receiving Yards
Jones hasn’t been a huge part of Baltimore’s offense this season, but he’s a speedy deep threat with the ability to get behind opposing secondaries.
The over/under on Jones’ total receiving yards is set at 20.5. He eclipsed that total eight times this season and stands a pretty good chance of doing the same against the 49ers. San Francisco has a talented defense, but it broke down a couple times early in the game against Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game.
With a bevy of big-play threats at Flacco’s disposal, the 49ers can’t cover everyone. Given Jones’ 13.5 yards-per-catch average during the regular season, there’s a pretty good chance he gets to 21 in this game.
Our pick: You’re getting 87/100 on your money with either the under or the over, but it’s really not a bad payout. Jones is going to top 20.5 yards. We’ll take the over.