NFL Picks: Super Bowl Props

I wrote briefly last week that I like New England -3 in the Super Bowl. Based on my prediction and handicap for the game, I was led to about a dozen game, team and player props that I like. There are so many props that it could be overwhelming but I carefully selected the ones below and believe each is worth a play.

First quarter under 13.5 (-125): It has been noted all week that the Patriots have played low-scoring first quarters in the six Super Bowls with Belichick and Brady. The last Super Bowl against Seattle started with a scoreless first quarter. There is worry here about the Falcons streak of scoring on their opening drive but with a total of 13.5, I still like it to stay under early on.

First half under 28.5 (-110): I lean under 58 for the full game but not confident enough to bet it. So don’t mess around and just take the first half in case the end of the game becomes a shootout.

No defensive or special teams touchdown (-190): Two really good offenses that take care of the ball. Super Bowls tend to be conservative so turnovers that lead to a score are less likely. This is a prop people like betting the yes because of the plus-money payout so there’s some value on the no.

Julian Edelman +2.5 (-115) receiving yards over Julio Jones: Dion Lewis stole the show in the divisional round and Chris Hogan was the focal point of the offensive attack in the conference championship game. I think it will be Julian Edelman’s turn in this game. Julio Jones was the non-quarterback star last round and the Patriots are known for taking away a team’s top option. I think they will focus their defensive attention towards him and limit his big-play receptions.

Taylor Gabriel +9.5 (-115) receiving yards over Chris Hogan: Because I think the Patriots contain Julio Jones, other receivers for the Falcons will get soft coverage. I can see Gabriel as one of the players that benefits plus this is a way to fade Chris Hogan coming off a career game in the previous round.

Falcons under 28.5 total points (-115): I think the Patriots will win and cover as three-point favorites. I also lean under for the game so it makes sense that I have a strong opinion of Atlanta staying under their team total.

Tom Brady over 310.5 passing yards (-120): This is a very public pick but I envision Brady throwing a lot and getting large chunks of yards based on how I see the game playing out.

LeGarrette Blount under 14.5 rushing attempts (-115): This is correlated to my prediction that Brady will throw for a lot of yards and also the fact that Dion Lewis will take some carries away from Blount. James White is another option in the backfield. I can see Blount getting wiped out of the game script, which would keep his attempts down since he’s a non-factor in the passing game.

Julian Edelman over 95.5 receiving yards (-115): Just in case Julio Jones breaks a long reception, take this one to protect the matchup bet.

Matt Ryan over 38.5 pass attempt (-120): I think the Falcons will be trailing most of the game so that sets up for Ryan to throw. When he’s not targeting Julio Jones, he can throw to Gabriel, Muhammad Sanu and a pair of running backs with receiving ability.

Julio Jones under 97.5 receiving yards (-115): I still like this one without Edelman attached to the matchup. Slight overreaction to this number after Jones torched a porous Packers secondary.

Muhammad Sanu over 52.5 receiving yards (-115): Another player that will see a boost because of Julio Jones getting most of the Patriots attention. Since I see Matt Ryan throwing a lot, I think the targets will be there for Sanu. Consider over 4.5 receptions as well.

Patriots under 115.5 rushing yards (-115): This is a team total for New England and I think they win by throwing the ball. It feels high based on how I see the game unfolding and it helps because Brady doesn’t rush for many yards himself.

Second half + overtime is higher scoring than first half (-135): I like first half under but worried about full game under because of scoring at the end. That logic leads to an obvious play on this prop, which I think is a strong angle for most Super Bowls.

Final score prediction for fun: Patriots 31, Falcons 24