2022 Super Bowl Cross-Sport Prop Bets: UFC 271, Premier League, NBA, More Props To Bet Against Rams-Bengals
Getty Images. Pictured: Israel Adesanya (left), Jon Rahm (left center), Jayson Tatum (right center) and Cooper Kupp.
Welcome to Super Bowl weekend, also known as a bettor’s paradise.
The sports world — especially the sports betting world — has its eyes on Sunday’s Rams vs. Bengals matchup, but Saturday night and game day morning/afternoon have a lot to offer themselves.
Saturday night features a massive UFC 271 main event, with Israel Adesanya defending his middleweight championship against Robert Whittaker. Sunday then starts with soccer action across Europe, before the NBA and Waste Management Open take us home into the Super Bowl.
Sportsbooks know that this is a bettor’s Christmas, and they’ve come up with creative ways to combine our interests.
2022 Super Bowl Cross-Sport Props
What Will Be More: Adesanya vs. Whittaker Total Rounds or Super Bowl 56 Total Touchdowns (DraftKings)
Sean Zerillo: Since there are, at most, five rounds in the Adesanya/Whittaker fight, compared to the potentially unlimited number of touchdowns in an NFL game, the market correctly favors the touchdowns side of the prop.
However, Saturday’s main event is currently listed at -125 (55.6% implied probability) to go the distance, despite a second-round finish in the first iteration of this matchup.
While Adesanya may finish Whittaker in a similar fashion to the first bout, I do expect that type of blitz/counter exchange to occur more often later in the fight, since Whittaker will likely focus on a more measured plan of attack that involves wrestling and grappling early.
As a result, I do expect this fight to reach the championship rounds, which means it will go into the fourth.
My Super Bowl bets generally correlate to the under on touchdowns since I have played several field goal props and expect this game to be played between the 20s on either side of the field. On DraftKings, over five touchdowns is a pick’em (-110), so the market expects exactly five.
Pick: Tie (+550)
Italian Serie A
What Will Be More: Italian Serie A All 6 Games Combined Total Goals on Sunday or Joe Mixon Rush Attempts? (DraftKings)
Anthony Dabbundo: Serie A has six Sunday matches that begin with AC Milan hosting Sampdoria at 6:30 a.m. ET. Much has been written by myself and our soccer staff about the recent goal explosion that has persisted in the Italian top flight, but it’s not sustainable. And Sunday’s matches happen to feature some of the prime regression candidates in Italy.
Let’s start with Milan, who have vastly overperformed their expected goals metrics and have a ton of regression coming in attack.
Just Wednesday, Milan scored four goals on five shots on goal, which isn’t sustainable conversion rates. The regression doesn’t end with them, though, as Atalanta, Hellas Verona and Empoli all play on Sunday and are facing overinflated totals on their matches.
Italy has a big slow down coming across the league at some point, so why not Sunday?
Compare this to Zac Taylor and the Bengals, who have been stubbornly committed to trying to establish the run, regardless of whether it has been efficient. Even during the comeback against the Chiefs two weeks ago, Taylor didn’t go away from the run game at all and kept trying to get Joe Mixon touches on early downs.
Given how conservative Rams head coach Sean McVay is with leads, I don’t see this game getting away from the Bengals. Thus, Taylor should give the ball to Mixon more than enough to cover an already inflated Serie A total number of goals.
Pick: Joe Mixon Rush Attempts +0.5 (+110)
English Premier League
Saturday: Total Field Goals vs. Norwich vs. Manchester City Total Goals (BetMGM)
Brandon Anderson: Manchester City have scored 57 goals in 24 matches, an average of 2.4 per game, good for second in the league. Norwich, meanwhile, have the worst defense in the Premier League with 46 goals allowed in 24 matches, an even 2.0 per game.
City won the first meeting this season 5-0, but that was a home fixture, and Norwich has played better of late as it fights for its life. Norwich matches have finished with three or fewer combined goals in 15 of the last 16 matches, all but one of them since Halloween.
Expect the Canaries to park the bus and hold out as long as they can, and Man City remains a bit vulnerable on the counter.
It’s worth noting that City has scored 26 goals against the bottom-6 in the table, averaging 4.3 goals per match, so there’s always a chance this number could balloon if the match gets away. Still, we’re most likely looking at about three goals, and that lines up with the under 3.5 juiced at -140.
That’s why I’m taking the field goals side of this bet. Both Sean McVay and Zac Taylor have been conservative all postseason, often settling for field goals and relying on kickers they trust. Evan McPherson has gone 4-for-4 in all three playoff games and has at least two field goals in seven straight games, while LA’s Matt Gay has multiple field goals in 14 of 19 games, averaging three makes per playoff game.
There’s too much offensive firepower for these teams to be shut down completely, but the defenses could stiffen up in time to force field goal attempts.
Cincinnati is only 3-of-11 in the red zone this postseason. I’m expecting multiple field goals from each team, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see either kicker hit three or four. The ceiling on FGs made is just as high as City goals, and the floor is much safer since we can always get that 1-0 soccer match while it would be shocking to get one or fewer field goals.
By the way, it’s pronounced Nor-itch… the W is silent. But our W will be loud and convincing.
Pick: Total Field Goals (-105)
Sunday: What Will Be More: Leicester vs. West Ham Total Corners or Yards Of Longest Quarterback Rush? (DraftKings)
Anthony Dabbundo: Leicester City and West Ham are both well above average in total of corners earned and conceded per 90 minutes in the Premier League.
The Foxes rank third in the league in total corners per match and concede the second most in all of the EPL. West Ham are one of the better set piece teams in the league and uses corners better than most, so I’d expect the Hammers to look to create as many dead ball situations as possible.
No team in the league has conceded more goals from set pieces than Leicester, who gave one away to Liverpool on Thursday. West Ham should control stretches of this match and pile up the corners, and I’d expect there to be at least 10.
One long run from Joe Burrow or Matthew Stafford could doom this, but I also expect the Bengals to use a lot of three-man pass rushes and drop into zones to try to force Stafford into mistakes defensively. It’s what the Bengals did in the second half against Patrick Mahomes effectively and might be the Bengals best shot to get stops.
Burrow found some success in the AFC Championship Game against the man heavy scheme of the Chiefs, but the Rams play a lot more umbrella zone and I don’t expect any big runs to come for Burrow because of that.
Pick: Leicester City vs. West Ham Total Corners (-105)
Waste Management Open
Which Will Be Higher: Joe Mixon Rushing Yards or Jon Rahm’s Round 4 Score (BetMGM)
Matthew Trebby: For those of you who wait to follow the PGA TOUR until football season is over, let me share one fact that’s shared among the golf community right now.
Jon Rahm is the best player in the world.
The Spaniard is No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings, having finished with 15 top-10s in 22 starts last season. So far in 2022, his three starts have seen him finish 2-T14-T3.
In those three events, Rahm has gone 66-71-71 in the final round. He’ll be especially disappointed with the latest 71 at the Farmers Insurance Open, which was there for the taking if his putter would’ve cooperated a bit more. Rahm is T80 on TOUR with a final-round average of 69.33.
Joe Mixon has been a bellcow this season for the Bengals, with 1,395 rushing yards on 344 carries in 19 total games this season. That is an average of 73.42 yards on the ground per game.
Our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, has Mixon projected for 65 rushing yards against a Rams defense that ranked fifth during the regular season in Football Outsiders’ Rush DVOA.
Most importantly, Mixon has run for more than this 65-yard projection just once in his last eight games.
Rahm will be up for the final round in Scottsdale, where he lives, in front of a crowd that will be raucous, but Mixon’s total is unlikely to be enough. Back the world’s best golfer to have the higher number, even though I’m expecting him to play very well.
Pick: Rahm (-110)
NBA: Hawks vs. Celtics
What Will Be More: Jayson Tatum Threes Made or LA Rams Total Touchdowns (DraftKings)
Brandon Anderson: If we get a repeat of the last Super Bowl performance by Sean McVay and the Rams, this is a free roll. You might recall the Rams scored just three points in this spot a few years ago, but these Rams are more mature and Taylor is no Bill Belichick.
So far this season, Los Angeles has scored 61 touchdowns in 20 games. McVay has been a bit conservative in his decision-making, though, so that could turn a TD drive into a field goal opportunity. I lean under in this game, especially in the first half, and both QBs could face big pressure.
The most likely outcome for total Rams touchdowns is three, though two is very much in play, and it could always be lower. It’s tough to imagine much more than four scores.
That lack of super high ceiling is why I’m intrigued by Jayson Tatum. In the last 10 games alone, Tatum has games with seven and nine 3-pointers. If we get a game like that, we’ll cash our bet already before the Super Bowl kicks off because the Rams have no shot of scoring that many TDs.
Tatum has at least five 3s in 10 games already this season and at least four in 17. That means a near certain win for this bet in 19% of Tatum’s games, and a likely win or at least a push in 33% of them.
At +160, these odds imply just a 38% chance of Tatum cashing in our favor, and it should be clear at this point that the math is on our side. Tatum is averaging 2.8 makes on 8.4 3-pointers on the season, hitting 33% of them. Remember, the Rams score 3.1 touchdowns a game, so that tells us this is close.
But since Jan. 23, Tatum has been hot at 40% from deep, and he’s averaging 3.8 makes during that stretch with at least two 3s in all but one game. He’s also getting more volume at 9.6 attempts per game, and that’s despite sitting late in a few of those with a big lead. All the better that the Hawks are bottom 10 in 3s allowed.
The books are giving us way too much juice on Tatum. He has more high-end outcomes in play, so I’ll grab the +160.
Pick: Tatum 3s (+160)
What Will Be More: Celtics vs Hawks Total Points or Cooper Kupp + Ja’Marr Chase combined Receiving Yards (DraftKings)
I have Hawks-Celtics projected at 222.5 If we bump up Kupp to 115.5 in the prop sheet, the under is projected 56.7% of the time and if we bump up Chase to 98.5, the under is projected 66.1% of the time.
With the Hawks 27th in adjusted defensive rating, Boston alone should be able to take care of this one for us. I worry about the Celtics’ slow pace and excellent defense, but here’s an interesting note: against top-10 offenses, Boston has the 13th best offensive rating via Cleaning The Glass. They keep pace with high-octane offenses.
With the defensive pressure the Rams should be able to exert on Burrow, forcing quicker throws and the possibility of the Rams looking to control clock with a lead, I’ll take the NBA teams to out-duel the high-flying receiver combo, even if it’s closer than it should be.
Pick: Celtics vs. Hawks Total Points (-135)