The quarterbacks are the stars of the game of football, and in this Super Bowl we have two of the biggest stars out there. That means that it is going to be one heck of a quarterback matchup. And that, in turn, means that the Super Bowl passing props, which are always interesting, hold particular appeal this year. Here are five of the more interesting props offered ( odds are from BetOnline ):
Matt Ryan "over/under" 317.5 passing yards: Ryan has started 18 games this year and has gone over this total eight times, including both playoff games and the last three games. However, prior to that he had been under this total for six straight games. He's in a groove, but not a super long-lasting one. We know that the New England defense is going to try to take an aspect of his game away from him, but teams can still have success passing against them. Ben Roethlisberger wasn't particularly sharp last week and still had 317 yards. I don't see massive value in the over, but I sure can't justify taking the under.
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Tom Brady o/u 297.5 passing yards: Brady has gone over this total six times in 14 games. There is an asterisk, though. In one game he didn't, but the team won by 38. In the first playoff game against Houston he came up just short and the team won by 20. Three other times the game was well in hand and he was in cruise control down the stretch. Often, then, he didn't pass for more yards because he didn't need to. He's not going to take the foot off the gas in this game until he's in the locker room afterwards, so that factors in. In six Super Bowl games he has gone over this total only twice, but one of those was in 2015 against a Dan Quinn defense that is better than Atlanta's is, and he completed 74 percent of his passes for 328 yards. Like the last prop, then, I don't see a lot of value in the over but sure can't argue for the under.
Total TD passes for Matt Ryan o/u 2.5: The under is the strong favorite here at -130 compared to even money for the over. Ryan went over this total nine times in 18 games, including both playoff games and four of his last six. If you think that the overall total of 58.5 in this game is fair then the points have to come from somewhere, and if it's a shootout there is a good chance several scores will come through the air. At this price I would be quite happy to take a shot at the over. The under is likely favored because the Patriots have allowed the fewest points in the league this year. Ryan is better than the quarterbacks they have mostly faced, though, so that isn't enough of a concern to turn me bearish.
Total TD passes for Tom Brady o/u 2.5: Interestingly, the under is only at -125, with the over at -105. Brady went over in eight of 14 games this year, and four of his last six, but he had only two TD passes against the Texans in the playoff opener. The Falcons' defense has been stingy lately, but Aaron Rodgers still threw for three touchdowns, and I am much more optimistic about Brady than I was about Rodgers. Again, given these prices, and given that the historically-high 58.5 point game total doesn't feel completely insane, I would take a shot at the over.
Interceptions by Matt Ryan o/u 0.5: The under is favored here at -125, with the over at -105. Yet again I would be willing to take a shot on the over at this price. Ryan threw an interception in seven of 18 games, but none in his last six. New England has a respectable 13 interceptions on the season, though, and has had four in two playoff games, so they can cause some issues. The biggest reason I like the over, though, is simply the magnitude of this game. Guys who have been playing great have hit rough patches in this game - especially their first time in it. When he threw a pick in just under half of his games, I am willing to bet that the added pressure will make a mistake more likely. Plus, if the Patriots get their passing game rolling early, and I expect them to, then Ryan will have to be throwing early and often, and that will make a mistake more likely.
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