The starting quarterbacks for each NFL team in a Super Bowl will normally command a great deal of attention in the days leading up to the big game, but with the New England Patriots playing the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 5, the starting quarterbacks are the story in this matchup.
While the list of available prop bets at BetOnline continues to grow as we continue to countdown to kickoff, I have focused all my attention on finding the best value in the numbers when it comes to props released in conjunction with starting quarterbacks in this game; Tom Brady for New England and Matt Ryan for Atlanta.
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Super Bowl LI- Tom Brady Top Prop Picks
Brady has been a man on a mission since sitting out the first four games of the regular season due to a league-imposed suspension. You get the feeling that his whole legacy is on the line in this game, and you also get the feeling he is going to do everything in his power to bring home a fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history to the New England fans.
That is why I am going with the -125 betting odds that Brady throws at least one touchdown pass in the first quarter of Super Bowl LI. The odds he does not throw at least one are set at -105.
Each team's head coach is well aware of the fact that it is going to take touchdowns to win this game, and any trip downfield that ends in a field goal will be looked upon as a successful stop for the opposing team's defense. Early Super Bowl leads tend to hold up, so I am looking for the Patriots to pull out all the stops to post that all important first touchdown. Brady threw for 671 yards and five touchdowns in his first two playoffs games, so I like the Patriots' chances to get that first score through the air.
My next prop bet pick for Brady is the -115 betting odds that his longest completion in this game is "over" 40.5 yards. The betting odds for the "under" in this prop are also set at -115.
Both of these teams come into this game with big-play offenses. Brady has a tendency to throw shorter pass completions, and he relies heavily on a receiving corps that has done an excellent job of gaining yards after the catch. I am looking for the same offensive game plan against Atlanta with at least one passing play going for more than 40 yards with a catch and run combined.
Super Bowl LI- Matt Ryan Top Prop Picks
Matt Ryan put up MVP-like numbers in the regular season with the second-most passing yards (4,944) and the second-most passing touchdowns (38). His combined total in two playoff games was 730 yards passing and seven touchdowns on 75 passing attempts.
This sets the stage for my top prop pick of Ryan ending this game with more pass completions than Brady. The spread is -½ a completion favoring Ryan, and the betting moneyline is set at -105 for his total being higher verses a -125 line for Brady.
Any prop bet you make should try and mirror how you see a game playing itself out. I have the Falcons keeping things close for all four quarters but still playing from behind for most of the game. New England should probably have the luxury of running the ball more often in the second half, while Ryan relies on what he does best; moving the ball down the field through the air.
I am also going with the over 43.5 yards at -115 betting odds for Ryan's longest completion of the game. The moneyline for the under in this prop is also set at -115.
His top target in the passing game continues to be Julio Jones, who ended the regular season with the second-most receiving yards in the league (1,409) on 83 receptions. He added another 247 yards in two playoffs games on 15 receptions. Ryan knows that Jones is a big play waiting to happen, and I cannot help but feel that it is going to take a couple of big plays to keep Atlanta within striking distance of New England in this matchup.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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