February 5, 2021 - by Jason Lisk
Jamel Dean is just one of three players to ever score on a pick six of Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)
As we approach Super Bowl LV, this article will feature updates on significant news impacting the Super Bowl betting landscape and the matchup between Kansas City and Tampa Bay, from important line movements to injury news and more.
For more Super Bowl betting analysis, check out all the articles in the Super Bowl section of our blog.
Super Bowl Sunday is here. The Chiefs arrived in Tampa yesterday, making it more like a true road game in terms of travel arrangements and a typical week.
The point spread is generally holding steady at 3 points as we head toward kickoff, while the over/under has moved back to 56.5 this morning, after dropping to 55.5/56 in the last few days.
Finally, Adam Schefter reports that WR Antonio Brown and TE Cameron Brate of Tampa Bay and WR Sammy Watkins of Kansas City are all listed as questionable, but all three are expected to play.
We will update later if there is any major news that would impact betting markets.
If you are in a Super Bowl Squares pool (or 10) we put together some Super Bowl Square charts estimating the value of each square, based on recent similar games.
Kansas City-Tampa Bay is the first Super Bowl featuring a rematch of a regular season game in nine seasons. We go through all the past Super Bowl rematches and summarize the result.
We’ve had our first betting movement since the opening 24 hours after the Super Bowl lines were released, and it’s on the Over/Under, which is down to 55.5 at some books and 56 at others, after being pretty consistently at 56.5 until yesterday, and opening at 57.5. This move comes against what has been reported as heavy Over action from the public in early betting. It’s also consistent with our Super Bowl Over/Under Line Movement analysis from recent years, where 10 of the last 12 Super Bowls have seen the Over/Under move down from the opening number.
Also, how not to do Super Bowl betting analysis:
Super Bowl Coin Toss Odds Should Not Be 50-50 https://t.co/aLhLPSrfQj
— National Football Post (@FootballPost) February 4, 2021
If you find any “trend” related to a coin toss, chances are it’s not a real trend but an-after-the-fact observation because streaks can happen.
But thinking about that is a good lesson in considering trends based on small sample size of games, based on factors that could be real, but could also just be random. Often, we don’t have thousands, or even hundreds, of relevant examples to consider. So in handicapping games, making judgments on what could be real is difficult.
It’s easy to recognize that you have a 50% chance of getting heads or tails and any streaks are just that. Seeing that the result of a coin toss flip should have pretty minimal effect on the outcome of a game that follows, with over 100 different plays and bounces of the ball, is obvious. Knowing whether a particular set of outcomes (like, let’s say, when a team that is good at avoiding sacks plays against a team great at creating them) has any predictive value for how those types of games play out is far more difficult.
We can at least try to recognize bad trends, though. This includes:
A couple of injury related notes as we head toward the Super Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes said his turf toe injury was feeling better with more time to heal. He suffered that injury in the Cleveland game before the hit that caused him to exit the game and enter the concussion protocol the week before the AFC Championship Game. His mobility could be a key factor, especially in a game where the Chiefs are shuffling the offensive line.
Sammy Watkins also expressed optimism that he would be able to play, so that’s one to watch not only for his impact on the game but also how it would affect prop bet totals on the Chiefs’ receiving group.
Antonio Brown, meanwhile, was described as “still not ready to go,” and his status will be up in the air likely up until Sunday. The potential that he misses the game is one reason why we have highlighted Scotty Miller as a potential value play in prop bets.
Okay campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties because it’s cold out there today!
We’ve got several Super Bowl prop bet articles for you to read over and over on this Ground Hog Day.
We are passing these betting volume and percentage nuggets along from our partners at BetRivers.
SUPER BOWL LV: The first week of Super Bowl betting provided some interesting trends, such as the Buccaneers (+143 ML) being backed by 61% of the early money. But since last Tuesday, the public is putting money on the Chiefs (-3, -162 ML) to win, who are now responsible for 57% of the ML handle. The Chiefs are also the public pick to cover (76% of spread handle) although not as strong as a week ago (85%). The largest current Super Bowl LV wager is a $25,000 bet on Buccaneers +148 ML that will pay out $62,000 if the Buccaneers are victorious on Sunday. The largest current prop bet is a $3,000 wager on Antonio Brown to score the first TD (+1800) that will pay out $57,000 if Brown scores the first TD.
That’s in line with what several books have been reporting late in the week. A high percentage of money has been coming in on Kansas City throughout the week, but the spread has not moved. Very few books seem willing to move the line off the 3-point spread and give Tampa Bay backers the +3.5 hook.
There was also some Covid news, as WR Demarcus Robinson and OL Daniel Kilgore have both been placed on the Covid/Reserve list and will be unavailable. Both are backups that would have provided depth, but two players testing positive is a concern with one week before the game.
While we await the Super Bowl, the biggest news of the week has been the Deshaun Watson saga. Yesterday, Adam Schefter reported that Watson formally asked for a trade weeks ago, and the head coach hire would not impact his decision.
DraftKings Sportsbook has a player prop related to which team Watson will play for next year. On Tuesday of this week, it was at +175 on Houston, implying about a 33% chance he stayed with Houston, which at the time were the highest implied odds of any individual team. Today, that has moved to +1100 for him remaining in Houston, less than a 10% implied probablity of Watson still being with the Texans based on the betting line.
Here are the teams that are currently listed with odds ahead of Houston at DraftKings, to land Deshaun Watson:
The Jets and Dolphins, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, have the most immediate draft capital for a trade involving picks this year. A bunch of that capital, for the Dolphins, comes in the form of the 3rd overall pick, which they received from Houston as part of a past trade. Carolina is an interesting one, as they were not as high on the list a few days ago and moved up. Teddy Bridgewater had a solid, but not great, year with Carolina in Matt Rhule’s first season as a coach. They could absolutely be in the running to make a big splash with a relatively new owner and head coach entering his second year, and have a good young receiving group with D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel, along with a hopefully healthy Christian McCaffrey in 2021.
In other Super Bowl news, Adam Schefter notes that we are now inside the period where any positive Covid tests would rule that player out of the Super Bowl per protocols. While we haven’t seen any significant line movement, that could change if there were news on that front in the coming days.
Bucs and Chiefs enter critical phase of COVID precautions. Any player or coach with a positive test beginning today will be ruled out for the Super Bowl. Same protocols as regular season. Game on without key players if positive
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 29, 2021
The point spread and total for the Super Bowl continue to hold steady. The Chiefs and Bucs line has remained the same since opening, at 3 points in favor of Kansas City. When we looked at recent line movements, we noted that the only recent game to have no line changes was Atlanta-New England four years ago. That one, though, was also a 3-point line where the line did not budge to give either bettors the advantage with the 1/2 point move off the key field goal number. Will we see the same this year?
Frank Schwab at Yahoo went deep into the popularity of the coin toss prop bet. Even though the chances are exactly 50/50, the public does express a preference for betting Tails, and this year, 60% of the public so far is picking Kansas City to win the toss.
We won’t have any analysis on the coin toss, but we will break down other prop bets in the coming days.
We have lots of content pieces that have gone out over the last few days. That includes an article on the Super Bowl MVP Odds and our projections for Team and Player Stats for the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.
The biggest injury news coming out of the conference championship games was Kansas City losing left tackle Eric Fisher to an Achilles injury.
In a year where the Chiefs had already shuffled the offensive line quite a bit due to injuries, Fisher had been the only one to start every game, aside from the Week 17 contest against the Chargers. The team will likely shift veteran Mike Remmers to left tackle (he had already been playing right tackle in place of Mitchell Schwartz), move right guard Andrew Wylie to right tackle, and insert veteran Stefan Wisniewski at right guard.
In addition, lots of sportsbooks have started to come out with their prop bets, including Super Bowl MVP Odds, touchdown scorer odds, and more, over the last 24 hours.
You can see some of our sign-up offers available at BetMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Points Bet.
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