Last week, we didn't have football. That made me really really sad. This week, football returns. I'm very happy about that. Yes, folks; in a year that was dominated by COVID-19, close contacts, and coaches looking absolutely incredible with their face masks/shields, the Super Bowl is finally here. Not only that, but it's also one of the biggest (if not the biggest) gambling weekends of the year. There's already FOUR BILLION dollars on the game, and that total will only continue to rise.
I'm gonna do something a little different, though. Usually, I would pick a side in this game. Unfortunately, I'm a coward and I will not be doing that. HOWEVER, there's a boatload of props—some ridiculous, some not—that I will be taking you through over the course of the article. Trust me on this one, boys and girls. If you tail me this week, you're gonna be making a ton of money.
Super Bowl Props
National Anthem Under 120.5 seconds (-155)
I don't love the value with this juice, but the under seems to be the consensus among many people. There will be a duet this year with country singer Eric Church and the talented Jazmine Sullivan. Church has never performed the National Anthem and has been on the record saying that he's pretty nervous for his upcoming performance. Sullivan, on the other hand, has performed it twice, clocking in at 1:38 in 2016 and 1:47 in 2017.
There are multiple things I factored in while making this decision. One is the duet. There's been one duet in the last 20 years, and that went 2:06, which would obviously cash the over. The other is nerves. Despite a smaller crowd, singing the National Anthem on one of the biggest stages in the world is extremely intimidating. That could definitely speed things up for two wildly talented performers. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that UNDER 120.5 has to be the play.
Coin Toss: Heads (-115)
This is a 50-50 call. You really can't go off of previous times, because a coin flip is one of the most random outcomes on the planet. To be completely honest with you guys, I went back and forth for a good hour on what I was going to play here. The expression, "Tails never fails" was definitely square in my cranium during my internal deliberations. That being said, I went with heads (Sick rhyme) because a lot of people are going to have the "tails never fails" logic and I just want to be different.
Mecole Hardman Rush Attempt (Yes) +120
This is great value. Mecole Hardman has had a rushing attempt in each of Kansas City's two playoff games, including a 50-yard scamper in the AFC Championship game. He's one of the fastest players in football and with Tampa Bay's ability to stop the run between the tackles, look for the Chiefs to try and get Hardman the ball on a reverse.
Patrick Mahomes 1st Quarter TD Pass (Yes) +115
Another solid value play; Mahomes threw a couple of TDs in the first quarter against the Bucs in the regular season. I expect another fast start from the Chiefs as the Bucs try to feel out Kansas City's game plan.
Ronald Jones II Longest Rush U12.5 Yards
Ronald Jones was terrific during the regular season. Unfortunately, an injury he suffered before the first playoff game has affected his game. His longest rush in the playoffs so far has been 12 yards. I expect Leonard Fournette to dominate the touches in this game, leaving RoJo with only a couple of chances to surpass a rush longer than 12 yards.
Tyrann Mathieu O4.5 Tackles -130
Big-time players show up in Super Bowl games. The Honey Badger will be no different. He's going to be all over the field trying to make Tom Brady's life a nightmare. Four and a half seems low for a guy who can literally do anything on a football field.
Tyreek Hill O6.5 Receptions -165
I don't love the juice here, but it seems like a lock to hit. We all know what Tyreek Hill did in their regular-season matchup. I expect the Bucs to try and focus their game plan on limiting Hill as much as possible, but his speed is too tough to defend sometimes. Hill should easily secure at least seven catches in this contest.
Rob Gronkowski U2.5 Receptions -120
Bob Gronk simply isn't the player he once was. He's been virtually silent in this playoffs, only securing two catches, while Cameron Brate—the Bucs' other TE—has 11 catches. Gronk will be a factor in the red zone, but I believe that will only amount to one or two catches.
Patrick Mahomes O19.5 Rushing Yards -130
Mahomes has now had time to rest his injured toe. Without both of his tackles—as well as a strong Buccaneers pass rush—I expect Mahomes to scramble a little more than usual.
I'm gonna take a break from basketball this weekend. I've been focusing my time on football. I'll be back next week with TEN—yes, you read that correctly—TEN college basketball picks. I might even sprinkle in some NFL draft bets if they're available, so be on the look out for that.