Super Bowl XLVII: Five Prop Bets And Game Prediction
We are about there now, that time of the week leading up to the Super Bowl where everybody is getting antsy and we all just want the game to get here. I've been on Radio Row in New Orleans the better part of the last three days (humblebrag alert!), and all the signs of "anticipation fatigue" are setting in -- radio people complaining about having to interview athletes and celebrities for a living (mind-boggling, by the way), bleary-eyed players staggering around doing their one-hundredth interview pimping batteries or tires or whatever, the lines for free food actually dwindling because the media is tired of gumbo and shrimp. (Just kidding, the media never gets tired of free food.)
Sunday, all will be revealed, including your prop bets
As storylines go, let's take a quick inventory of the stories shaping Hype Week and the game on Sunday:
1. Jim and John Harbaugh. They both emerged from the same womb about fifty or so years ago. Not sure if you were aware of this. You might hear about it on Sunday, too.
2. Apparently, there's a way to throw the media off of the scent of a double murder that you may or may not have been involved in at the Super Bowl thirteen years ago. Three simple words -- deer antler spray. I guess there are accusations that Ray Lewis used this substance to return from his triceps injury sooner than expected. If I cared, I'm sure I'd be pissed about this.
3. Randy Moss had the only media day doozy (and given Chris Culliver's comments on Artie Lange's show about gays in NFL locker rooms, I do need to caveat -- media day doozy) when he said that he considered himself the greatest wide receiver of all time:
As you can see there, he specifically compares himself to Jerry Rice, which as a member of the 49ers, takes some serious balls. Probably the only way for a Niner to offend the city of San Francisco more than saying he is greater than Jerry Rice would be for a Niner to gay bash, soooooo....
4. ...what up, Chris Culliver?
This is so obscenely idiotic, it might deserve its own post.
Anyway, these are the stories that have carried the day in New Orleans this week. As Super Bowl drama goes, on the "compelling" scale, these yield a solid 5.6 on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the weather in Dallas two years ago and 10 being the aforementioned double murders in Atlanta in 2000).
As we head into the weekend, I am still waffling on who I think will win (and/or cover the spread) in this game. I'm hoping after processing a few prop bets that by the end of this post, I'll have figured it out. So let's hand out a few easy wins for you on the prop-bet buffet for Sunday:
49ers kicker DAVID AKERS UNDER 1 1/2 field goals +110
The thinking behind this one is two pronged and pretty simple: 1. David Akers has been abysmal the second half of this season and during the postseason. He's missed fourteen field goals this season, many of the makeable variety. If the 49ers can avoid Akers being an integral part of this game (i.e. going for it on fourth down when it's somewhat sensible), they will, and 2. With Kaepernick at quarterback, in the playoffs, the team has been a machine in the red zone, going 7 for 9 in red zone chances with the only two failures being a Michael Crabtree fumble at the one yard line against Atlanta and an Akers field goal on the final play of the half against Green Bay.
49ers tight end DELANIE WALKER OVER 1 1/2 receptions -125
I wanted to go over 20 1/2 yards on Walker, too, but the -160 juice on it is a little too rich. That said, I love this prop bet. Walker and Vernon Davis are a HUGE mismatch issue for the Ravens linebackers and Bernard Pollard. Here's why I like Walker -- the prop bet numbers on Davis are 3 1/2 receptions and 50 1/2 yards, yet since taking over as quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has targeted the two of them virtually the same number of times (Davis 33 times, Walker 32). Great value with Walker. And while we're at it with tight ends, how about.....