Super Bowl 53 Prop Bets: Underdog Gronk, the Gurley Knee Conspiracy, and Greg the Leg
Prop bets are fun opportunity to keep tabs on the Big Game especially if you don't have a dog in the race. It's also a great way to remain engaged in the action in the event of a blowout between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
With prop bets, you can wager on anything from the future MVP of SB53, to the color of Gatorade shower, to Gronk's total touchdowns. And yes, you can even bet on the opening coin flip or the length of time it takes for the guest singer to croon the entire National Anthem. If there's a measurable statistic, there's a way to find action on it.
SAFETY DANCE AND SB OVERTIME
Safety as First Scoring Play... Safeties are rare. But there's precedent with a safety occurring as the first scoring play in a previous Super Bowl. Whether it will happen again so quick seems unlikely, but this is always a fun flier to take.
Overtime... Another rarity. Sure both the AFC and NFC title games went into overtime, but what are the chances of SB53 going into an extra frame? Do we really need to watch an extra quarter of Tom Brady? I'd hate to see a Super Bowl ruined the way the AFC title game ended without Patrick Mahomes getting his last licks.
MULTI-SCORES AND PICKS
2 or More TDs... Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel scored twice last week for the Pats. James White is Brady's favorite target out of the backfield. The Rams have two RBs that can punch it into the end zone at will. CJ Anderson and Todd Gurley each scored twice against the Cowboys. Both Brady and Goff spread the ball around their receiving corps for passing scores.
3 or More TDs... Just think of this prop in terms of a random Sunday. Which of those guys would you draft first? Gurley is the obvious answer and he's the best chance to score thrice, whether it's by land or by air or by sea.
INTS... Goff and Brady combined for 23 interceptions this season. They average less than an INT per game. Brady under and Goff over seems like the logical choice based on overall experience.
OMG YARDS AND YAHHHHDS
Passing Yards for Brady (295.5) and Goff (288.5)... During the regular season, Goff averaged 293 passing yards per game, while Brady averaged 272. In two playoff games, Brady averaged 345 yards, while Goff only averaged 241.5 yards. During the regular season, the Rams allowed only 236 passing yards per game, while the Pats yielded 246. In terms of DVOA pass D, the Rams are ranked #9 and the Pats are #14.
ANDERSON AND GURLEY TAG-TEAM, OR COVERUP?
Rushing Yards for Gurley (67.5) and Anderson (50.5)... The biggest secret in Hollywood right now is the status of Gurley's knee. Is it worse off than the Rams indicated? Or is McVay simply playing the hot hand with a fresh Anderson? Either way, the Rams will need to run the ball effectively if they want to beat the Patriots. The truth is out there.
GRONK: GODZILLA OR GOODNITE?
Receiving Yards for Gronk (47.5)/Receptions for Gronk (3.5)... Even if you're not a Pats fan, it's impossible not to root for Gronk. He's been nursing injuries the last few seasons, so you have Gronk in a rare underdog situation. He hasn't been a primary target for Brady in a long time. Maybe he'll have a bustout game? Will we see a Godzilla game from Gronk in which he destroys everything in his path? Or is this the beginning of the end of a true legend?
COINFLIPS AND COLORS
Coin Toss... Heads. Tails. Pick one. Poker tournaments are often determined by a simple coin flip. Of course, that's more of an expression in poker for an almost even 50/50 situation. At the Super Bowl, you can get down actual action on which side of the coin will settle onto the turf.
Gatorade Color... In a time-honored tradition, the players soak the winning head coach with the water cooler. Clear (water) seems like a boring pick, but it's a safe choice. Yellow is the original flavor created by scientists at Florida Gators football team (hence, the product's name origin). Orange is a popular flavor across America. Red seems like the color that a team like the Patriots would drink on the sidelines, but I heard rumors that Tom Brady drinks his own special water blessed by his private Brazilian doctor. Purple, Green and Teal seem like choices you settle on at 3am at 7/11 when you can't find your favorite flavor.
GREG THE LEG
Total FGs/Made FGs/Longest FG... The game is called football after all, right? Kicking the pigskin is an essential element to the war of attrition. Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed a couple clutch kicks in the playoffs. During a year when kickers were skewered on social media, Greg the Leg came through in crunch time including a 57-yard game winner to set an NFL record. Stevie Gostkowski is no slouch. Belichick's mentally-tough kickers thrive in all possible conditions, including inclement weather. SB53 in Atlanta, Georgia, is hosted indoors under ideal kicking conditions.
Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein took Sean Payton's ice attempt and turned it into one of the most impressive kicks we'll ever see 😮 for a trip to the Super Bowl. https://t.co/EWuyfvT7TVpic.twitter.com/Y5VOAuESUB— For The Win (@ForTheWin) January 20, 2019
FIRST PLAY, MVP, AND FINAL THANKS
Run or Pass... The first offensive play of the game is usually a run in the Super Bowl to combat opening drive jitters. However, the NFL is a pass-first league these days and Sean McVay might stretch the field from the first snap. The Rams boast a terrible run defense and the worst in the NFL allowing 5.1 yards per carry. Belichick loves to exploit a team's biggest weakness. If the Pats get the ball first, they'll follow a similar plan from the Chiefs game and run down the Rams throats.
MVP... The QBs are always the favorite. Tom Brady or bust? Jared Goff is a worthy dark horse because the Rams need a stellar and near-flawless game from their young QB to beat the Patriots. Will Gurley be ready to rock and roll after an extra week of rest? Or is his knee at the center of a convoluted conspiracy you'd read in a Thomas Pynchon novel? Defensive players offer up the biggest value in the MVP race. Nickell Robey-Coleman would like a shot to have his Google search come up with anything else except the blown call at the Superdome against the Saints.
MVP Thanks... God or wife? Teammates? Coaches or Owner? I know one person who definitely won't be thanked: commissioner Roger Goodell. He's the proverbial bogeyman and enemy in New England. A smart QB always thanks his lineman blocking in the trenches. Same goes for RBs with a monster game. Tommy Boy loves to thank his supermodel wife. Or as the locals refer to him in Brazil as "Gisele's husband."
Pauly McGuire is a writer specializing in sports betting. He's covered the NFL, NBA, college basketball, MLB, and the Olympics for numerous outlets. He's the former co-host of the Everything Is Bettable podcast with Jesse May. You also might remember Pauly as the creator of the Tao of Poker blog. He was a partner in one of the first daily fantasy sports sites, Fantasy Sports Live.