An early look at Super Bowl prop bets: Will Evan McPherson score the first points?

3 min

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Each year, the Super Bowl ranks among the most-watched events in households around the world. 96.4 million people watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV last year, so it should come as no surprise that the Super Bowl is also the most bet on sporting event in the U.S. As states continue to legalize sports betting across the country, many people are becoming more comfortable with online betting, especially prop bets. A prop or proposition bet is a wager not tied to the final score or outcome of the game. This year’s Super Bowl features the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals in the first matchup without a top-two seed since 1990.

Eric Moody gives his first look at some of the player, team and game props he found interesting a week ahead of the big game.

Top Player Props

Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford over 278.5 passing yards; Cooper Kupp over 102.5 receiving yards

Stafford averaged 301.7 passing yards per game in the playoffs and has played a big role in the Rams’ success by establishing a connection with Kupp. Stafford has thrown 20 touchdowns to Kupp in the regular season and playoffs. Over the past three games, Kupp caught 25 of his 32 targets for 386 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Kupp has also cashed his receiving yards prop in 16 of 20 games this season.

The Bengals’ defense has not allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for more than 285 yards since Week 16. Even so, Cincinnati has been among the league’s worst teams in defending the deep ball. That trend continued in the playoffs with opposing quarterbacks completing seven passes of 20 yards or more. Expect Stafford to try to exploit the Bengals’ secondary.

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow over 273.5 passing yards; Joe Mixon over 95.5 total rushing receiving yards

Cincinnati is known for attacking defenses vertically by utilizing Burrow’s arm and the receiver trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd, while remaining balanced with Mixon in the running game.

Aaron Donald, Von Miller and the Rams’ pass rush will be lethal, especially given the ups and downs the Bengals’ offensive line have experienced all season. However, it’s worth noting that Burrow ranks third in passer rating when under pressure over the past five weeks, completing 59% of his passes with no turnovers. The Bengals have thrown the ball on first and second down 62.5% of the time in the last five games (excluding Week 18). Mixon should be able to contribute not just as a rusher, but as a receiver. He averaged 21.6 carries and 98.6 total yards per game in the playoffs.

Top Team Props

CIN Field Goal 1st Scoring Play (+370)

Historically, only 8.3 points combined have been scored in the first quarter of Super Bowl games, which indicates a low number of touchdowns. The Bengals have averaged only 6.3 first-quarter points in the playoffs thus far and have one of the slowest offensive tempos in the league.

This bodes well for Evan McPherson to get Cincinnati on the board first. He has made all 12 of his field goals in the Bengals’ three playoff games, including two game-winning kicks.

Bengals to win third quarter (+155)

The Bengals are one of the best teams in the league at making halftime adjustments. Including the playoffs, Cincinnati has outscored opponents by 73 points in the third quarter, the best differential in the league.

The Rams have been outscored 25-14 in the third quarter this posteason and Chase has accumulated 584 receiving yards in the third quarter this season, including the playoffs. Only Kupp has more receiving yards over that period.

Both teams score in every quarter (+360)

With so much at stake and so many eyes watching, it’s quite common for each team to start slowly while their nerves settle.

Despite this, Super Bowl history suggests there is a good chance the Rams and Bengals will score in every quarter. While the average combined score in the first quarter is 8.3, it significantly increases in the second (13.3), third (10.8) and fourth quarters (13.7).The Rams and the Bengals will have plenty of offensive playmakers on the field including Stafford and Burrow, who are both former No. 1 draft picks.

Our complete Super Bowl betting guide with game and props picks from our talent will be out on Tuesday, Feb. 9th.

Source: ESPN

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