Super Bowl XLVII prop betting trends and notes

Jan 30, 2013 |
Aside from betting the spread and total between the Ravens and 49ers, a myriad of betting propositions abound in every Super Bowl as amateur gamblers with an opinion come out of the closet like the gay pride parade.

It's important to remember that when betting Super Bowl props the oddsmaker holds a huge edge, as many of the props carry as much of a 40 cent juice in his favor. Thus, it's critically important to make sure you have some sort of built-in advantage working in your favor before taking the plunge.

In addition, the props are designed to create added action for the books.

 "The props were designed not only to get us publicity but to spread the money out. We didn't just want one big decision for the day, we want 10 or 20 big decisions. Our chances obviously are better if we have 20 major decisions compared to one," said Jay Kornegay, director of Race and Sports at the LVH Superbook in Las Vegas.

Furthermore, it's important to realize that props are set for the public and because they tend to bet on teams and players to succeed, most of the money is going to be bet on the positive side of a prop.

According to Kornegay this is the only NFL game of the season where he doesn't set the line with the professional bettors in mind. The professionals, he adds, do bet on props but the handle taken in from the public masses that flock to Las Vegas during Super Bowl weekend far outweighs the smart money.

Here are some tips on some of the more popular propositions when it comes to prop wagering on this year's Super Bowl.

Coin toss

A wildly popular prop that fans love betting on is the coin toss. It's fast and it takes place just prior to kickoff.

Until last season, when New England won the flip, the NFC had won the pregame coin flip each of the previous 14 years.

What does it mean? Nothing. The odds on the NFC winning this year's coin flip: 50/50.

Quarterback action tops player props

Bets involving the quarterbacks are extremely popular and for all the right reasons as signal callers have won the Super Bowl MVP award 25 times in 46 previous Super Bowls, with Eli Manning carting home the award last year.

Running backs and wide receivers have won the MVP trophy seven times each, with others (read: defensive performers) also totaling seven MVP's.

Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick lead the charge this year. In head-to-head proposition competition, the LVH favors Flacco by 12.5 passing yards over Kaepernick. Flacco is also listed with 3.5 more completions than Kaepernick, while total TDs passes among the two is offered at a pick.

Interestingly, the Niners are -57.5 rushing yards over the Ravens for the game at the LVH.

That’s largely due to the groundswell of support for San Francisco since Kaepernick took over as its starting quarterback nine games ago.

In those nine games, the Niners have averaged 159 rushing yards per contest. Baltimore has averaged 151 rushing yards per game over the same period of time.

When tackles aren’t tackles and penalties aren’t penalties

When betting on the over/under number of tackles, it's important to know that sacks are not recorded as a tackle.

In addition, propositions involving penalties are good only if the penalty is accepted.

Team scoring tendencies

Sharp edges can be found when it comes to scoring props. But rest assured, you are not pulling the wool over the linemakers eyes.

Here is a breakdown of quarter-by-quarter scoring and averages for-and-against in all games played this season for both squads.

The final number is average points scored and allowed in each quarter for each team.

Note: The Ravens have played 19 games this campaign, the Niners 18.

1Q – Baltimore: 102-87 / 5.37-4.58
1Q – San Francisco: 64-78 / 3.56-4.33
2Q – Baltimore: 132-126 / 6.95–6.63
2Q – San Francisco: 141-84 / 7.83-4.67

3Q – Baltimore: 119-96 / 6.26-5.05
3Q – San Francisco: 114-58 / 6.33-3.22
4Q – Baltimore: 129-89 / 6.79-4.68
4Q – San Francisco: 151-105 / 8.39-5.83

Notice the Niners scoring woes in the first stanza and their ability to light up the scoreboard during the final quarter. The Ravens also start slow but pick up the pace at a fairly even keel thereafter.

Here’s the same look at the two teams in games versus fellow playoff teams this season.

Note: The Ravens have played nine games against playoff squads this season, the Niners seven.

1Q – Baltimore: 41-56 / 4.56-6.22
1Q – San Francisco: 20-48 / 2.86-6.86

2Q – Baltimore: 59-81 / 6.56–9.00
2Q – San Francisco: 63-58 / 9.00-8.29

3Q – Baltimore: 55-53 / 6.17-5.89
3Q – San Francisco: 52-17/ 7.43-2.43

4Q – Baltimore: 82-38 / 9.11-4.22
4Q – San Francisco: 48-60 / 6.86-8.57

Baltimore has been outscored in each of the first two quarters in games against playoff opposition, while managing to bounce back and dominate in the fourth quarter. 

On the flip side, San Francisco has been outscored in the first and fourth quarters but, thanks to a super stingy third-quarter defense, it has come out on top in the middle stanzas.

Buyer beware.

Player scoring tendencies

The leading candidate to score the first touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII is San Francisco RB Frank Gore, with teammate WR Michael Crabtree and Baltimore RB Ray Rice a whisker off.

Leading the next wave is San Francisco QB Kaepernick and Baltimore WR Anquan Boldin, along with Niners WR Vernon Davis and Ravens WR Torrey Smith.
Over the previous 46 Super Bowls, wide receivers lead the brigade, scoring the first touchdown 19 times.

New York WR Victor Cruz found the end zone first for the Giants against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI last year – but not before the Giants were on the scoreboard first with a Tom Brady safety called for intentional grounding in the end zone.

Running backs are right on their heels with 16 initial scores. Tight ends have scored first five times, with quarterbacks, kick returners and defensive players two times each.

Odd props

Melding Super Bowl props with other sports is another popular wagering option.

The LVH features no less than 38 cross-sports opportunities ranging from Kaepernick’s total passing yards (-46.5) versus the L.A. Clippers and Boston Celtics total points scored, to Flacco’s completions (+0.5) versus Kevin Garnett’s points and rebounds combined.

College hoops gets in to the fray with Big East basketball teams (Providence, Villanova, Marquette, Louisville, South Florida and Connecticut) combining to lay -45.5 points up against the Ravens total net yards. 

FYI: The six hoops teams were averaging 68 PPG or 414 total PPG combined on the season entering Tuesday’s action of Super Bowl week. The Ravens have averaged 364 total YPG this season.

Golfers are offered four cross-sport props, the most popular of which is Sergio Garcia’s fourth-round score on Super Bowl Sunday (-1.5) versus Smith’s receiving yards.

Soccer fanatics can pit Lionel Messi’s goals (-0.5) up against Gore’s touchdowns.

Hockey fans can get in the game, too, with Sidney Crosby’s goals a pick’em against Kaepernick’s touchdown passes.

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