I hope you all enjoyed my funny props article, but now we get a little more serious with our team props picks. We have a bevy of picks of varying types of bets across The Sports Geek for the Super Bowl, so feel free to view them all before you lock your picks in for the big game. For the purposes of these picks in this article, we will be handicapping Super Bowl team props. For individual player props, please locate them elsewhere on The Sports Geek. I went 4-1 two years ago with my prop picks, and 3-2 a year ago at Super Bowl 50, so let’s make it another profitable campaign on the props. Let’s get to our Super Bowl team props for Super Bowl 51. All of these bets are available for your convenience at Bovada and Bodog.
Patriots vs. Falcons Super Bowl Team Prop Bets
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
#1 – Total QB sacks by the New England Patriots
We get started with our team props special in the sacks department. Specifically, will the Patriots have more than 1 sack or less in the Super Bowl against the Patriots? The Patriots and Falcons were both tied at 16th in the NFL with 34 sacks this season. Pretty average pass rushes, but note that it amounts to an average of 2.22 sacks per game. The Falcons were fairly pedestrian defending the pass rush, which is where I see this game is going to be lost for them.
Note that Atlanta allowed 37 sacks this season for 22nd in the NFL. That equates to 2.32 sacks allowed per game. Matt Ryan is not mobile in the least. If the Pats get pressure, he’s going to go down. At the very least, the Pats should have 2 sacks in this game, but I think we’ll be good for more than that. I like the Patriots to have more than 2 sacks in total.
PICK: OVER 2 SACKS (-125)
#2 – Team to record most QB sacks in the game
As you can see, I am putting a decent amount of equity in sacks for my team prop picks. This pick falls in line with my previous selection. The Falcons and Pats were tied in sacks this season with 34, but New England were much better at protecting their quarterback. The Patriots’ offensive line finished 5th in the NFL with only 24 sacks allowed. Conversely, the Falcons offensive line surrendered 37 sacks this season, 22nd in the league. Consequently, the Patriots to record the most sacks in Super Bowl 51 looks like a solid proposition bet.
#3 – Will the opening kickoff result in a touchback?
The kickers get some love in the Super Bowl, as there several ways to bet on the kicking game in the Super Bowl. We of course aren’t too sure who is going to be receiving the ball first, but the odds of the Falcons receiving the ball first are greater than the Patriots. Bill Belichick will, I imagine, defer until the second-half if they win the coin toss. Further, the Falcons may want to get their offense out on the field immediately in this one.
In any case, Stephen Gostkowski and Matt Bosher are two of the best at hitting touchbacks. Note that Bosher was 2nd in the NFL with 65 touchdowns. Gostkowski was 9th in the league with 52 touchbacks. Kickers like to get amped up for this moment, the first kickoff of the game is their time. I like there to be a touchback on the opening kickoff.
#4 – Total interceptions in the game
Tom Brady was the best quarterback in the NFL at protecting the football. He was intercepted only 2 times all season long. Brady broke the record for most consecutive passes without an interception in 2010 with 335 passes. Brady was flawless after coming back from the suspension, protecting the ball at an elite level once again. As a team, the Patriots set the NFL record for longest interception-free streak to start the season in 2016.
The Falcons were 18th in the NFL with 12 picks on the season. I expect Brady to do what he’s doing all season long by protecting the ball and not running into mistakes. The two-week break helps him out here as well. Matt Ryan was terrific at avoiding interceptions this season as well, throwing just 7 picks through the regular season. The Pats were 15th in interceptions on defense. I like Ryan to throw 1 interception, while Brady plays mistake free football. This should go UNDER the total.
#5 – Will a roughing the passer penalty be called in the game?
There is some subjectivity that comes along with this bet. If a flag happy ref wants to throw a flag for a ticky-tacky call then the bet can go up in smoke. However, this is the Super Bowl, I don’t think the refs want to be a story of this game. For them to call a roughing the passer, I believe it’s going to have to take a textbook clear call. I don’t see the referees throwing a flag on what could be a disputable play. Defenders have been coached up for the last two weeks to avoid taking dumb penalties. I don’t expect any stupidity from these two well-coached teams in the Super Bowl.