Super Bowl Cross-Sport Props Picks vs. Golf
by Alan Matthews - 1/30/2014
I love football season, and it's usually my busy time and when I make the most money. Certainly no two weeks are more hectic for a sports gaming writer than leading into the Super Bowl. That said, I am ready for the game and about Super Bowl'd out. I'm not complaining; I love doing the homework because it's a passion and something I'd be doing regardless. But there's just a bit of overkill for the big game.
So with that said, I give you my final Super Bowl XLVIII story of the year. Previously here at Doc's I looked at some NBA cross-sport props from games on Saturday against the Super Bowl This time I will examine some PGA and European Tour golf props against Peyton Manning and Co. If you read this site regularly, you know I preview the weekly PGA Tour event. I have a pretty good golf background, so I get a kick out of these cross-sport options on that sport It's hard to make golf betting all that interesting if you aren't big fan, but this does it.
Let's start with the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic, which will be finished by the time most of you wake up on Super Sunday. You can wager Tiger Woods' fourth-round score at -5.5 against the number of receiving yards for Denver's Eric Decker. Tiger, of course, had a shocking 79 last Saturday at Torrey Pines, his second-worst round as a pro. It led to the first MDF of his career. Woods said he wasn't overly concerned, and he didn't appear to be as Tiger shot an opening-round 68 on Thursday in Dubai to trail leader Rory McIlroy by five shots. Those Middle East courses are pretty easy -- not like they can include many water hazards or trees. It's similar to playing a wide-open desert course in Arizona or California. Last year the winner in Dubai was Stephen Gallacher at 22-under 266. He had rounds of 63 and 62. Tiger should be able to go low if he has motivation to do so -- i.e. in contention.
Decker is probably Peyton Manning's No. 4 option behind Demaryius and Julius Thomas and Wes Welker. Decker finished with 1,288 yards this season, or 80.5 per game. In the playoffs he had 32 against the Chargers and 73 versus New England. That's the thing with Decker: He tends to have a monster game or be rather quiet. I don't see Tiger shooting worse than 70 and would be surprised if Decker is over 60, so Woods is the choice.
Tiger had four birdies in his opening round, and there's a prop on his fourth-round birdie total at +0.5 (-110) against Demaryius Thomas' receptions (-120). You have to think Tiger gets a minimum of five and no more than seven. I believe Richard Sherman will be across Thomas most times and will mostly shut him down. Maybe Thomas gets four catches. So take Tiger again.
You can also get McIlroy's fourth-round score at +19.5 against Marshawn Lynch's rushing yards (both -115). McIlroy didn't have a single bogey in his first-round 63, with seven birdies and an eagle. He looks nearly back to world No. 1 form. He was T2 recently in Abu Dhabi and hasn't been outside the Top 10 in any of his past three starts with just three rounds in the 70s. So let's say he shoots 68 on Sunday. Will Lynch get 88 yards? The Denver defense hasn't allowed more than 65 yards rushing in either playoff game, and the Chargers and Patriots were rolling on the ground. Lynch should be around 80. So I like Rory here.
The PGA Tour guys are at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with TPC Scottsdale, another course that can be tamed. Phil Mickelson nearly shot 59 there in his first round last year in going wire-to-wire. His 256 total was the second-best 72-hole total in PGA Tour history. Shoot, the 36-hole cut in 2013 was 4 under.
You can get Brandt Snedeker's fourth-round total at -24.5 against the receiving yards for Seattle's Golden Tate (both -115). Snedeker was second at TPC Scottsdale last year, and his stroke average of 68.06 there the past four years is one of the best. Tate led the Seahawks with 899 yards receiving during the season, an average of 56.1 per game. He had two 100-yard games. Tate has 44 only yards in the playoffs. I do think he gets more chances because Denver will focus on Percy Harvin, who is finally healthy. But let's say Snedeker is right at 68. Can Tate get to 44? I say yes. He's the choice.
Finally, a guy I think who will play this week is Keegan Bradley, and he's -1.5 on his fourth-round score against Demaryius Thomas' receiving yards. I said above that I thought Sherman would limit Thomas' catches, but that's not to say Thomas won't get one fairly long grab. Bradley has finished 24th and 15th the past two years at this tournament with a stroke average 68.38. He also is playing well with all Top-20 finishes so far this season. Still, I like Thomas as he should get to 70.
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