Prop bets are all the rage with Super Bowl XLVIII on the horizon.
The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos even take a backseat is some cases, as bettors can throw cash down on various strange things such as the length of the national anthem, the attire of performers and how many times the broadcast will show folks in attendance such as Eli Manning.
For those more grounded in the game itself, there are a number of player and game-specific prop bets worth the time of day. Several present a nice opportunity for bettors to make some coin if they research on the topic.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Betting Lines (via Bovada)
- Over/Under: 48
- Spread: Denver (-3)
Note: A full list of prop bets can be found at Bovada.
Total Receiving Yards for Doug Baldwin
Odds: Over/Under 40.5
By the time the Super Bowl is over, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin may be the hero on a pass attack that has been wildly overshadowed by a strong run game all year long.
Baldwin was just that in the NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers thanks to his six receptions for 106 yards.
That game alone does not mean Baldwin will eclipse the above criteria of 40.5 yards, but he did surpass that number nine times in the regular season. As Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times points out, Baldwin has an outstanding catch-to-target ratio this year:
Baldwin caught passes on 68.5 percent of his targets this season. Interesting comparison: Calvin Johnson, the NFL’s best receiver and one of the most targeted, made good on only 53.8 percent of his targets. Denver’s Demaryius Thomas — another huge star who had 92 receptions, 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns on a team that throws a lot and spreads the ball around — was successful on 64.3 percent of his targets. The stat doesn’t measure greatness, but it speaks to the efficiency of the wide receiver and the accuracy of the quarterback delivering the ball.
Many will point to the return of fellow wideout Percy Harvin as a detractor to Baldwin's numbers, but in reality, the returning star may simply be a decoy after he missed most of the season because of his alarming fragility.
Baldwin is effectively a No. 1 receiver going against a defense that ranked No. 27 against the pass and will be dialed in on stopping the run. This is easy.
Total Rushing Yards for Russell Wilson
Odds: Over/Under 32.5
One only has to view this quote from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, via ESPN, to understand that he is set to leave it all on the field at MetLife Stadium:
In other words, Wilson will obviously have no issues putting his body on the line in the quest for a Lombardi Trophy.
Wilson ran for 489 yards and four scores in the regular season. Some of those were by design; others were great improvisation by a young quarterback with the keen awareness of a veteran.
With the offensive strategy surely built around keeping the ball out of Peyton Manning's hands, the Seahawks will surely look to get Wilson going on the ground with a few designed runs to catch the Denver defense off guard.
Keep in mind Wilson is also a young quarterback susceptible to the big stage, so his propensity to take off under pressure early in the game, rather than stand tall and deliver a strike, bodes well for his chances of surpassing this number.
Team to Score Last Wins the Game
Odds: Yes (4-7), No (29-20)
Experienced coaches, cerebral quarterbacks, bruising running backs and strong defenses headline what is possibly the best Super Bowl matchup in recent memory.
Will the final team to score win?
It is only fitting that this one comes down to the last drive.
This one will be close throughout, as Seattle will take a methodical approach on offense to eat the clock. Manning will surely get his, but he will largely have to operate exclusively on one side of the field, because Sherman excels at shutting down about one half on his own:
Peyton Manning has been red hot all over the field this season...except the area Richard Sherman patrols the most. pic.twitter.com/kWJ0R0NCt5— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 22, 2014
What this type of chess match creates is a scenario where the team with the ball last wins. The best part of this prop? It does not matter which team wins or how—just that the winner has the ball last.
All signs point to that scenario being likely.