2015 Super Bowl Props Picks: Passing Special Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 1/27/2015
This quarterback matchup is a good one. A very good one, in fact. One of the all time greats up against a new star. An old guy against a young buck. Two guys who both have Super Bowl titles and who were both drafted much later than they should have been. A traditional passer against more of a new-age quarterback. It's got a bit of everything - and both guys just keep winning. All of the QB intrigue in this game should make it an interesting - and hopefully lucrative - one for bettors. Here's a look at some of the more interesting Super Bowl passing props this year ( odds are from Bovada):
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Tom Brady passing yards - "over/under" 260.5: The number is set well - Brady exceeded this total nine times in 18 games this year. There is an asterisk to consider, though - he clearly let the foot off the gas early in blowout wins against the Vikings in the regular season and the Colts last game, in that odd blowout loss at Kansas City, and in the last game of the season against the Bills. In games in which he played as much and as hard as expected, then, he exceed this total nine of 14 times. That would make the over profitable.
Of course, he is playing against the team which, by a wide margin, allowed the fewest passing yards per game in the league this year. Also in the top six, though, were San Diego, Miami and Buffalo, and Brady posted at least 287 yards against each of them in a game. A banged-up Aaron Rodgers looked pretty good through the air against the Seahawks in the first half last game, and Brady will have a banged-up secondary to throw against. Brady has also gone over this total in three of his five Super Bowl appearances. Add it all up and I lean towards the over, but I won't be betting my house on it.
Brady passing attempts - o/u 36.5: This one seems more straightforward. In eight games this year Brady has exceeded this total. In six games he had 35 pass attempts - including last time against the Colts when they relied on the run heavily to burn the clock. Three of the games in which he went way under this total were those three no-effort games in the regular season. I expect Brady to come out passing early and often in this one, and I expect him to find some success doing it. The over is the comfortable pick here.
Longest Brady completion - o/u 37.5 yards: Another interesting one. Brady exceeded 37.5 yards with his longest pass nine times in 18 games this year. Six of those times came before the end of October, though. He had a 46-yard bomb against the Ravens, but that was his only game with a pass long enough to go over this total in five outings. I'm of the opinion that Brady will look to establish the pass early, though, so I expect them to attempt to make an early statement. I'll take the over.
Russell Wilson total passing yards - o/u 219.5: Wilson exceeded this total just seven times in his 18 games and fell short last week even with the big pass in overtime for the win. What happens in this one depends primarily on two things as I see it. First, how much does the team adjust their game planning to compensate for how lousy Wilson looked throwing the ball for much of the game last week? New England's pass defense isn't quite as good as Green Bay's, but Wilson could have made any team look great the way he was throwing. If they shy away from the pass as a result then the under could be appealing here. On the other hand, we have to also consider how effectively they can establish the run against the Patriots. The Patriots are better against the run than the pass, so if Marshawn Lynch can't find gaps early then Wilson could be forced to throw. Tough prop here. I'd lean to the under.
Wilson interceptions - o/u 0.5: Here's another interesting one. Despite the passing debacle of last game, the under is actually favored at -120. Wilson threw interceptions in only seven of his 18 games, and New England was only for 12th in the league for interceptions, so it is not at all inconceivable for him to not throw a pick here. After throwing four, though, and in a game of this magnitude, you have to wonder how effectively he can shake it off. He did not have consecutive games with a pick this season, but I still favor the over here.
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