Super Bowl Cross-Sport Props vs. NBA with Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 1/30/2014
I used to be a print journalist, and I know how much newspaper folks are overworked and underpaid. I honestly don't know the demographics or working hours of the oddsmakers at the various books, but I'm sure it's along the same lines. They don't have to pay their workers those high U.S. rates, for one.
I only bring this up because I'm begging them: More cross-sport props please! I love it when these are released for the Super Bowl. But why not do more of these in the summer when it's the slow betting season? Games won by Rafael Nadal in the first set of his match at Wimbledon versus Roger Federer against runs scored by the Yankees vs. the Twins that day? Tiger Woods eagles in his third round at the British Open against hits for Buster Posey in the Giants' game that night against the Dodgers? I do know some books will take parlay ideas from players on games, but not like this. I'm going to continue to hope, but that's a lot of research for potentially small action. Maybe at least some World Cup matches against some NFL and NBA playoff games this summer?
Anyways, there's only one NBA game on Super Sunday, and it's a yawner: Magic at Celtics. So I'd like to look as come cross-sport props from Saturday's busy NBA schedule against the Super Bowl courtesy of Sportsbook.ag.
Let's start with the number of points scored by Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, who was on an amazing tear entering Wednesday's game with Miami, against the number of pass attempts for Peyton Manning, with Peyton at -7.5. Durant is running away with another scoring title at 31.3 points per game. The Thunder are at Washington on Saturday, the night after playing another big one in Brooklyn. When OKC won 106-105 at home against Washington in November, Durant had 33. Manning averaged 41.2 attempts during the season and 34.5 in two playoff games. Let's assume, even in the second of a back-to-back, that Durant gets to 30. Will Manning throw it 38 times? Because it doesn't appear like it will be super cold and windy, I think so and thus lean him.
In that game, you can get Denver's points total at -4.5 against John Wall's. Wall is averaging 19.2 per game this season, but now that Bradley Beal is back and playing well he doesn't need to score like crazy. Wall had just 10 in the first meeting with the Thunder but had to chase around Russell Westbrook. I think the Broncos score 24, maybe 27. I'd lean them.
The Timberwolves visit Atlanta on Saturday, and you can get Kevin Love's points plus rebounds total at -2.5 against Montee Ball's rushing yards for Denver. Ball doesn't figure to get a ton of work unless Knowshon Moreno is hurting. Ball has 22 carries in the playoffs and is averaging 47.5 rushing yards. He tends to fumble, and one of those and he's on the bench. He also had several games during the year he was barely used. Love averages 24.9 points and 12.9 boards. The Wolves haven't faced Atlanta. The Hawks are really small right now with both Al Horford and Pero Antic out hurt. Love should dominate the boards with at least 15. I think he scores at least 25 points. I just don't see Ball doing that much. Take Love.
Here is a great one: Dwight Howard's missed free throws Saturday against Cleveland versus total sacks in the Super Bowl. It's a "pick" with Howard a -135 favorite. Seattle was very good sacking the QB during the season, but Manning almost never goes down as Denver allowed the fewest sacks. And the Broncos, especially without the injured Von Miller, aren't great at sacking the QB -- plus Russell Wilson is agile. This month entering Wednesday, Howard averages 12.5 free-throw attempts and makes 6.8. So nearly six misses a game. I doubt there are more than four sacks in the Super Bowl, so Howard it is.
How about LeBron James' point total at -5.5 on Saturday at the Knicks against Seattle's total points? James averages 26.0 points, but a lot depends on if Dwayne Wade plays Saturday as he's always a candidate not to. James had 32 in his only game against the Knicks. I don't see Seattle getting more than 27, so I'd lean James because he's more apt to get 33. He also loves playing at the Garden.
Finally, Carmelo Anthony's points at -0.5 against Manning's completions (both -115). Anthony had 29 in the first meeting with Miami. Manning completed 32 in the NFC title game but only 25 in the divisional round. I said above, I believe Manning throws it more than 38 times. So assuming it's 40, he usually completes about 70 percent. So that would be 28 completions. Melo likes playing the Heat and probably shoots it more times than Manning completes it (now that's a prop!). Anthony is the pick.
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