Koerner’s Super Bowl 53 Projections: Best Bets to Lead Pats-Rams in Rushing, Receiving
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Julian Edelman and Tom Brady
- Sportsbooks are offering odds for which players will accumulate the most rushing and receiving yards in Super Bowl 53
- Sony Michel is the favorite to lead all RBs in rushing yardage, while Julian Edelman and Brandin Cooks have the shortest odds to win Sunday's receiving crown.
- Sean Koerner details the bets with the most value using his industry-leading projections.
We’ve had a nice run when looking at the “most yardage” props posted in each round of the 2019 playoffs, hitting multiple longshots along the way.
Now that the Super Bowl is here, we’ll follow the same process, but with just one game to project, we have few variables at play.
There are multiple bets offering value in these markets, when comparing the odds posted to “fair” numbers, according to my projections.
The NFL prop tool over at FantasyLabs is also a great resource as the game get closer; it uses my player projections to highlight the best props available in the betting market.
Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s dive into the best “most yardage” props for this week.
Since it’s the Super Bowl, I’ll also dive into a longshot prop that’s very mispriced.
All odds as of 5:45 p.m. ET on Friday. Be sure to shop around the market for the best number.
Quick explainer on the odds below if you’re unfamiliar: A $100 bet on +200 odds would net you $200 in winnings.
Most Rushing Yards
Which player will have the most rushing yards during the Super Bowl?
Sony Michel is offering value in this market for the third straight week. So far, he has come through for us with a 9-1 (dead heat) win in the Divisional Round and again cashed at 3-1 in the Conference Finals with a 113-yard game against the Chiefs.
Michel is +125 at multiple books to lead the Super Bowl in rushing, which should not be case, as I have him cashing in 52.5% of the time.
Barring an in-game injury, Michel is a near-lock to lead his own team in rushing. As a result, his main threats in this market are Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson.
C.J. Anderson erupted for 120-plus yards in three straight games entering the NFC Championship, which allowed the Rams to give Todd Gurley’s injured knee time to get close to 100%.
Anderson was so efficient that I expect them to still give him 8-12 carries in this game, which likely won’t be enough to win this market, but it will also help lower Gurley’s ceiling a bit.
With just one game and only a few RBs involved, it won’t even take a “ceiling” game from Michel to cash in. Take the value we’re given here at +125.
Bet with value: Sony Michel +125
Most Receiving Yards
Which player will have the most receiving yards during the Super Bowl?
The bet that leaps out here is Julian Edelman at 4-1. He’s the clear-cut favorite for this market and those odds offer too much value to pass up.
We typically need to focus more on a player’s “ceiling” for this market when there are multiple games on the slate, as it usually takes around 120-140 yards in the Divisional Round to cash this wager.
But that is not the case with just one game on the slate.
Edelman is the ideal high-floor receiver to be even more valuable with this specific prop in this specific game.
He is Tom Brady’s most trusted receiver and is likely a lock for at least 70 yards. Get him at 4-1 before the book correctly adjusts his odds down closer to 3-1.
Bets with value: Julian Edelman +400
First Reception of the Game + First Reception of the Game for Their Team
Which player will catch the first reception of the game?
Which player will catch the first reception of the game for their team?
Tyler Higbee, who’s 30-1 in the first prop and 16-1 in the second prop, is offering some value on the Rams side, but I am not going to pull the trigger on him in this market.
It’s important to use a mathematical process to arrive at fair odds for a wager such as this, but I also apply my expertise to decide if there is a wrinkle to these projections that may be getting overlooked.
In this case, the first reception is likely going to be one of the more scripted plays of the game. I doubt Sean McVay is going to draw up a play to Tyler Higbee out of the gate.
Higbee likely will end up with 2-3 receptions, but I expect those to come later in the game when Jared Goff has to check down to his third or fourth read to target Higbee.
If this market was “Who will catch the 10th reception of the game?” I would consider Higbee at 30-1 a value, but not here.
Instead, let’s focus on Chris Hogan, who’s 25-1 to get the first reception of the game and 12-1 to get the first reception for the Rams.
Even though it provides value according to my numbers, I’m going to pass on the 25-1 prop considering it involves a bit of luck as to which team will get the ball first.
Bill Belichick typically defers getting the ball first and elects to kickoff so I’m thinking this is not the market to target Hogan.
But I will jump on 12-1, as my numbers say this should be closer to 7-1.
With Josh Gordon no longer on the team, Hogan has typically been lined up out wide on every single passing down. The Patriots likely don’t want to come out being too predictable by targeting Edelman or Rob Gronkowski.
It’s also likely that Michel is lined up in the backfield to start the game instead of James White.
I can see Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels trying to catch the Rams off guard by targeting Chris Hogan out of the gate. It’s no slam dunk, but at 12-1 odds there is too much value to pass up here.
Bets with value: Chris Hogan first to catch a pass for the Patriots +1200