Expert Super Bowl Betting Predictions: Wagering on Downs Props
When it comes to getting excited about the upcoming Super Bowl, talking about downs isn't sexy. People would much rather talk about the quarterbacks, the coaches, and all the touchdowns they anticipate seeing. But you aren't going to score touchdowns if you can't get first downs, and the quarterbacks will have to convert some third downs along the way to really pile up the points, too. And if things get tight, then a fourth down could be what decides things one way or the other. So, downs are really important to the outcome of any game, and especially this one. And, as you will soon see, they also provide some solid value for bettors when you look at the ways we can bet on them with prop bets. Here's a look at some of the most interesting down bets available at Bovada this year:
Total first downs for Patriots - o/u 23.5: This one almost feels too easy unless you are not at all on board with the Patriots right now. In fact, it feels so clear that it makes me nervous. The Pats have averaged 23.9 first downs per game, but that has jumped up to 30 per game over his last three and 33 per game in the playoffs. They had 36 against the Chiefs. The offense is humming along, and given the issues the Rams defense can have at times and the potential tempo in this game it's hard to imagine their productivity falling off a cliff all of a sudden. The over is a little costly at -135, but I still don't see how you have any choice but to take that side.
Total first downs for Rams - o/u 23.5: The Rams led the league in first downs this year with 25 per game. And they had 30 against the Cowboys. But they had just 19 against the Saints in what was a weird game in so many ways. So, can they shake that game off and be better here? They can't blame the conditions in that one, and the pressure is even more intense in this game. Both sides are at -115 right now, and that seems about right - it's a hard one to call. I have gone back and forth several times in my mind as I have thought about it, which is always a good indicator that it isn't worth betting.
Will Patriots convert a fourth down?: The Patriots were tied with several teams - including the Rams - for 21st in the NFL, averaging 0.5 converted fourth downs per game. They converted one against the Chiefs but had only one in total in the two previous games. So, it's basically not much more than a coin flip. The yes here is at -155, which is not the kind of price you would want to pay for a coin flip. You could argue that the stakes of the game could make them more aggressive, and that may be true, but just purely based on the math of the thing I'll take the under at +125 without much hesitation.
Will Rams convert a fourth down?: The story is basically the same here, though maybe a little more complicated. The Rams have converted one fourth down in each of their last three. But they still average only one every two games, so they are overachieving lately. And no team in the league averaged one conversion per game this season, so their current level isn't sustainable. Again, the coin flip nature of the thing makes the under at +120 the clear play.
Total third down conversions for the Patriots - o/u 5.5: This one sets up as a bit of a bargain. The Patriots have averaged 5.7 converted third downs per game this season. That points us towards the over. And that number has leapt to a league-best 8.3 per game in their last three, including a freakish 13 last time against the Chiefs. They aren't going to hit a crazy number like that again in likelihood, but they are dialed in and aggressive and will be well positioned to go over again. The over is actually the underdog here at -105, which makes it the comfortable play in my mind. The under is a much less attractive -125.
Total third down conversions for the Rams - o/u 5.5: The story is slightly less compelling, but the outcome is the same. The Rams averaged just 5.4 converted third downs per game, but they had six in the last game and have averaged seven in their last three games. The edge isn't as big, but the over at the same price as the Patriots still feels like the right price.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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