Most of the real meaty Super Bowl prop bets won’t have posted lines until the week before the game. That’s when the media can see who is practicing and who is healthy, and it’s when the majority of the money starts coming in.
But you don’t have to wait until those lines have been posted to start formulating your Super Bowl betting strategy. Nor should you wait, since information gathering is the most important part of football wagering. This first and most important step in knowing what lines are exploitable begins now.
It’s also important to note that the majority of sports betting involves the offense. So bettors and bookmakers alike spend most of their attention there. But if you go defense, you are more likely to find more lines that are betting-friendly.
Offense Leads to Defensive Numbers
One of the most common types of defensive prop bets is an over/under on the number of tackles + assists for a particular player. For defensive lineman and defensive backs, this number is usually lower, while for linebackers, it is higher.
Those numbers also fluctuate depending on the type of offense a team plays. For example, the Eagles run the football 33 times per game, the most in the NFL. The Chiefs run the ball just 24 times per game, good for the 21st in the NFL.
For defensive prop bets, what that tells you is that the Chiefs linebackers will be more involved in tackling than the Eagles linebackers. There are, on average, nine more opportunities for Chiefs linebackers to get tackles.
Kansas City throws the ball 38 times per game, to just 30 for the Eagles. That means that the Eagles on average, will have eight more chances to get sacks, interceptions, and pass breakups.
Where Are the Targets?
The Chiefs don’t run as much as the Eagles, and that may suppress the Eagles tackle numbers at the linebacker position. But consider where Patrick Mahomes likes to throw the football. Travis Kelce led all tight ends this season with 110 catches on 152 targets.
That means that while Philadelphia’s best run-defending linebackers might see their tackle numbers get lower, their best coverage linebackers are going to be on the field and involved in the play for most of the 60 minutes.
And it’s not just Kelce. Tight ends Jody Fortson and Noah Gray combined for another 37 catches this season on 47 targets.
For the Eagles, their top targeted players are DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown. Tight end Dallas Goedert is a distant third. So for a good Chiefs defensive prop bet, consider tackle props for their cornerbacks.
When Do Teams Score?
Scoring bands are a popular prop bet, and accurately picking when the defense is most likely to hold the opponent can be very profitable.
Both the Eagles and Chiefs are top-five in first-quarter scoring, but at less than six points per game. That jumps up to 12 points for the Eagles in the second quarter and 10 points for the Chiefs. But in the third quarter, the Eagles drop all the way to less than five points per game.
If you are looking for a quarter for the Kansas City defense to shine, the third quarter is it.
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