Stuckey: Throw Some Spare Change on These Super Bowl Longshots
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marcus Peters and John Johnson
- Stuckey takes a look at four long-shot Super Bowl prop bets worth your spare change.
- He specifically zeroes in on two prop categories: Super Bowl 53 MVP and player to score first touchdown.
While many bettors have a higher proclivity for long-shot props in the Super Bowl, they tend to gravitate toward the wrong ones. Betting on props such as the game going to overtime and/or whether or not there will be a safety just don’t have any value in my eyes.
However, it’s the Super Bowl and I still like to get my fix of darts for the year. So, in addition to normal player props, I usually throw in a few longshots focused in two primary areas:
- MVP Odds
- First TD
We all know either Jared Goff or Tom Brady will be the most likely recipient of the MVP award. As you probably heard this week, seven of the past nine winners have played QB. Well, those other two actually played defense: Denver’s Von Miller and Seattle’s Malcolm Smith.
In fact, of the 24 non-QB Super Bowl MVP winners, 10 have been defensive players — just three shy of the amount of offensive skill position players. (One kick/punt returner also won.)
And since the most likely receivers and backs have very modest payouts, I like to throw some change at a defender or two who could turn out to be the next Dexter Jackson or Larry Brown.
And when it comes to the first touchdown prop lottery, I like to hit a few under-the-radar players who I think could have a big day given the matchups.
Let’s get into which longshots I ended up betting, starting with two defenders for MVP.
Longshot MVP Prop Bets
Marcus Peters (85-1)
I am simply looking to invest in a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball who is capable of a game-changing pick-six. That’s pretty much what it takes for a defender to win MVP without completely dominating like Miller did for Denver.
And since I don’t see anybody outside of Aaron Donald (who I have no interest in at only 18-1) who fits that mold, I decided to roll with two defensive backs.
Okay, let’s start with Peters. You might have said “Marcus Peters for MVP? Are you crazy?” when you first started reading this section Maybe I am crazy, but I have my reasons for liking the ex-Chief, especially over fellow corner Aqib Talib, who I see getting some love from bettors at 80-1.
There is no doubt that Peters has struggled all season in coverage, playing in a scheme that doesn’t really fit his style while also dealing with injuries. As a result, he ranks No. 74 among all corners this year in coverage, per Pro Football Focus (min. 500 snaps).
That’s still not convincing you, but hear me out.
Talib and Nickell Robey-Coleman (the other Rams corners) both rank in the top 15 in that same category. The Patriots will likely attack Peters, which means he will have plenty of chances to make plays, whether it be a game-changing interception or a key scoop and score.
Not only do I think he will have the most opportunities, he’s also a very aggressive cornerback. Just look at his career interception numbers compared to Talib:
Yes, Talib has returned a total of 10 interceptions for touchdowns in his career, which ranks fourth all time — but I have to side with Peters, who should get significantly more looks. Oh, and he has a more favorable price at 85-1.
Hopefully, Peters can jump a route for his third career postseason pick en route to a possible house call.
John Johnson (150-1)
In regards to Johnson, I just think 150-1 has too much value to pass up. Johnson, not yet a household name in his second year out of Boston College, is one of the most underrated safeties in the NFL.
He should rack up some tackles helping in the run game and has a good nose for the ball. Just look at some of his NFL ranks among all safeties this year, per PFF (min. 500 snaps):
- Coverage: 5th
- Tackling: 4th
- Run Defense: 17th
- Overall: 6th
First Touchdown Prop Bets
Gerald Everett (28-1), Josh Reynolds (19-1)
Bill Belichick takes away the strengths of opposing offenses as well as any coach in the league. I assume he will have elite corner Stephon Gilmore on Robert Woods and put speed at corner with help over the top to deal with the the deep threat of Brandin Cooks.
And with all eyes on Gurley in the red zone, I think both Everett and Reynolds can find open space against the New England defense.
Also, considering how slow the Patriots offense has started in all eight Super Bowls in the Brady-Belichick era (three total first quarter points), I wanted to target a few Rams for this particular prop.
Now, if the Patriots score the first touchdown and go on to win, my darts will completely miss the board. But these are just some small shots with a set strategy in mind. That’s all I’m really trying to accomplish with Super Bowl long-shot bets. Don’t go crazy and have some fun.