Super Sunday is approaching and with that comes my yearly article on how I think this Super Bowl will play out and what props I like to make a profit hopefully. Before we get to Super Bowl LV between Kansas City and Tampa Bay, there are two things you have to remember when it comes to wagering. First off, make sure to shop different sportsbooks and casinos for as good of a price as you can get. Each book has different props for different prices and it's your job to take advantage. Finally, make sure to bet within your means whether a unit is $5 or $50. Just because it's the Super Bowl, doesn't mean you should over-extend yourself. With that, let's take a quick look at my predicted side and total for the game itself.
Super Bowl LV Prediction: Buccaneers 27-23, MVP: Leonard Fournette
The first thing you'll notice is that I don't think Tom Brady is the MVP and that's because I think Fournette is going to have multiple touchdowns and Brady isn't going to throw it 40-45 times like everyone else does. I know this goes against what Bruce Arians believes in, but Fournette should find some holes against this Chiefs defense. On the other side, Tampa's run defense was No. 1 in the NFL during the regular season and Patrick Mahomes will be operating with an offensive line that looks completely different from the one the Chiefs trotted out in Week 1. Three of the original starters from that unit are either out for the Super Bowl or banged up. We saw what the Buccaneers' pressure is capable of in the NFC Championship Game against Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked five times.
Kansas City will try and counter that by running the ball with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Le'Veon Bell, but that won't be easy. I trust Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to scheme up a plan that will attempt to keep the Chiefs in front of them and not allow the big play. With the score I predicted, that means I like the under currently at 56.5. That said, if you agree with me and think it's an under, my suggestion is to wait until Saturday or Sunday after the public bets the over and it goes up a half-point or more. Super Bowl LV plays: Buccaneers +3 and the under.
Favorite Super Bowl LV Prop Bets
These are my favorite props to play. Some of them are based on my prediction above and there's one longshot play that I think is worth a look.
Leonard Fournette will score a TD (+110)
- Fournette has scored rushing touchdowns in four of his last six games and seven overall.
- He's had 48 carries and 14 receptions during the playoffs.
- The Buccaneers had some success running the ball against Kansas City in their Week 12 meeting in late November. Tampa Bay finished with 75 total rushing yards but averaged nearly six yards (5.8) per carry, although it was Ronald Jones II (9 att., 66 yds.) leading the way in that game.
First reception by Rob Gronkowski over 7.5 yards (-110)
- Gronk is not getting as much use with just six catches on 13 targets the last five games, but those went for 29, 14, 18, 11, 33, and 25 yards.
- This number has hit in four of his last five games with the fifth game probably being a no play after he went without a catch in the Wild Card Round win over Washington.
- Gronk had six catches in the regular-season game vs. Kansas City, which went for 6, 6, 9, 29, 8, and 48 yards.
- The Chiefs allowed a little more than 11 yards per reception to tight ends during the regular season (5.3 rec., 59.6 yds.).
Darrel Williams under 2.5 receptions (-135)
- Williams has gone over this number just three times this season.
- If Le'Veon Bell is active, then he will eat into Williams' snap count most likely, making this play even more appealing.
Tyreek Hill longest reception Over 26.5 yards (-110)
- He's gone over this number in five of his last seven games and 10 times overall.
- Against the Buccaneers in Week 12 he had three receptions that went over this number, including 75- and 44-yard touchdown catches in the first quarter.
- Tampa Bay has allowed passes of this length or more in all but five of their games with several contests featuring multiple long receptions.
Yes, both teams will make a 33-yard or longer field goal (-110)
- Tampa Bay is seventh with an average of 1.9 FGs per game (2.7 over the last three) while Kansas City is 17th (1.6 FGs per game).
- Tampa Bay and Kansas City are both allowing 1.7 FGs over their last three games.
- Harrison Butker has made four field goals with one miss in two postseason games thus far while is a perfect 8-for-8 over three games.
- They combined to go 3-for-3 in the regular-season meeting between the teams, although the longest one was from 29 yards out.
Bonus Longshot Prop
Tyreek Hill 8/1 OR Mecole Hardman 12/1 to have the longest rush
- Hill (32- and 30-yard runs this season) and Hardman (50- and 20-yard) have the explosive ability to make good on this prop even with just one rushing attempt.
- Tampa Bay's rushing defense was No. 1 in the regular season so it may be difficult for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, and Le'Veon Bell to gain much ground.
- Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy are not afraid to get creative to get the ball in Hill's and Hardman's hands.
- For the Buccaneers, Leonard Fournette's longest run this season has been 46 yards (Week 2) while Ronald Jones II is averaging 3.4 yards per carry this postseason. He did have a gain of 34 yards in the first meeting with Kansas City (Week 12).
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.