Super Bowl Cross-Sport Prop Picks: Betting WM Phoenix Open Final Round Against Chiefs vs Eagles
Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy and Miles Sanders
- The WM Phoenix Open concludes with Sunday's fourth round, with Scottie Scheffler atop the leaderboard.
- With the Super Bowl taking place across town, you have the opportunity to bet the big game against golf's rowdiest tournament.
- Below, Jason Sobel and Collin Wilson break down some of the betting options available, and make their picks.
It would be an egregious understatement to say there are a few decent sporting events in the greater Phoenix area going on. The truth is, it’s this week’s epicenter of the sports universe.
It all starts with Thursday’s opening round of the WM Phoenix Open, which will only get rowdier as we inch closer to the weekend. And while they don’t announce attendance figures any longer, something north of a half-million is expected to be easily exceeded once again.
As a designated event for the first time this year, most of the PGA Tour’s top players — from Rory McIlroy to Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler to Xander Schauffele — are aamong the pre-tourney favorites.
Right as the tournament is winding down Sunday afternoon, that other little event will be kicking off. Super Bowl LVII is also in town this week, with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs matching up in what is expected to be a closely contested game, as Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes each hope to lead their team to the Lombardi Trophy.
As usual, books are listing some cross-sport props between the two big events, so we’ve enlisted Jason Sobel and Collin Wilson to break down the numbers and find an edge.
Odds via Caesars and as of Feb. 7.
Rory McIlroy R4 Birdies +1 (-115) or Total Punts -1 (-115)
Sobel: This week marks just McIlroy’s second appearance at TPC Scottsdale, as he finished T-13 two years ago. He posted 22 birdies that week — or 5.5 per round, which is right in line with his average of 5.25 so far in one start (a victory at the CJ Cup) this season, placing him in a share of sixth on the PGA Tour in that category.
Perhaps frustrated by a two-birdie, 1-under 70 in the third round, though, McIlroy stepped on the gas pedal that Sunday, making birdies on three of his first four holes and four of his last five to total an impressive nine for the entire day.
Wilson: The Chiefs and Eagles average 3.2 and 3.3 punts per game, respectively. This season was a bump in punting attempts for the Chiefs, as it averaged just 2.5 in 2021.
Kansas City continues to build a unit that can be trusted, moving from 24th to 17th in defensive DVOA. Andy Reid’s punt unit finished second in punt efficiency, per Football Outsiders, but with the stakes of the Super Bowl there will be no shortage of fourth-down attempts from both teams.
The consensus line on number of punts is 7.5 with heavy juice to the under. One item to keep in mind is McIlroy’s performance in the final round of PGA events. As mentioned by Jason above, McIlroy brings his A-game on Sunday as he finished second on Tour last season in Round 4 scoring.
The Edge: McIlroy R4 Birdies +1
Rory McIlroy R4 Score -6.5 (-115) or Miles Sanders Rushing Yards +6.5 (-115)
Sobel: During that nine-birdie performance two years ago, McIlroy closed with a 7-under 64. That number isn’t a complete outlier, of course, but it is lower than his PGA Tour-leading 68.67 scoring average from last season — a number which dropped by more than a half-stroke to 68.07 in final rounds.
Factoring in his usual Sunday scoring and the last time he played here, we should probably expect something in the 66-67 range, which leaves us right around an over/under of 60 when we subtract the 6.5.
Wilson: The Action Labs consensus projection for Miles Sanders is 61 rushing yards. With Action Network’s Sean Koerner leaning on Sanders to have the biggest day of all running backs in combination with McIlroy’s stellar track record in a final round, this has all the makings of a prop that should be juiced on the football side of the equation.
The Edge: Miles Sanders Rushing Yards +6.5 (-115)
Scottie Scheffler R4 Score -1.5 (-130) or Chiefs Total Plays +1.5 (+100)
Sobel: Scheffler’s maiden voyage to the winner’s circle at last year’s WMPO turned out to be just an appetizer for the main course, as he’d win three more times in less than 60 days, culminating with a Masters title.
He didn’t exactly light it up in the final round at TPC Scottsdale, though, following a third-round 62 with a final-round 67. That tended to align with his round-by-round scoring average throughout last season, as he ranked first in R3 scoring at 68.53, but was more than a full-stroke higher in R4 at 69.58, as he ranked just 39th on Sundays.
When we take 1.5 off his expected Sunday total, we should still expect something just over 65.
Wilson: No matter how you slice it, the Chiefs run plenty of offensive plays. Kansas City averaged 64.6 plays per game on the season, finishing 11th in seconds per play during the season.
Everyone knows the Chiefs formula: build a huge lead and sit on the ball through the second half. In the case of the Super Bowl, the point spread indicates this game will be close. When you look in the advanced splits of neutral situations, the Chiefs rank third in pace.
Keep in mind the Eagles are the fastest team in the NFL when scoring is within 6-points, per Football Outsiders. If the point spread holds true in the back and forth nature of the game, the pace of play could be scorching.
The Edge: Chiefs Total Plays +1.5 (+100)
R4 birdies on 16th Hole -1 (-140) or Total First-Quarter Points +1 (+110)
Sobel: At last year’s WMPO, there were 72 total birdie-or-better scores on golf’s biggest party hole — that would be 71 birdies and a beer-soaked, third-round hole-in-one by Sam Ryder.
In the final round, though, there were only 10 birdies out of the 67 players who made the cut. There’s good reason for this: The Sunday hole location is always a bit tougher.
As stats guru Justin Ray of the Twenty First Group tweeted earlier this week, the average proximity to the hole at No. 16 was 30 feet, 5 inches on Sunday, which was the furthest of any round and a full eight feet from the previous day, on average.
We should expect something similar this year, although with more elite-level players in the field and potentially more than 67 players making the cut, don’t be surprised to see this number inch closer to the mid-teens than the 10 we witnessed a year ago.
Wilson: The formula is always the same in the Super Bowl when it comes to live betting the total. Allow those first few scripted drives to play out before the adjustments are made.
The first quarter has exceeded 10 points only once in the past 11 Super Bowls, giving bettors the chance to hit an over before the start of the second quarter.
Pin locations are always set in the toughest part of the grid on the green when it comes to Sunday, but the WMPO field is talent-rich in comparison to 2021. Even a birdie count in the mid-teens would dominate most Super Bowl first-quarter totals from the past two decades.
The Edge: R4 Birdies on 16th Hole -1 (-140)
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