Below you will find the the current Superbowl MVP Props Odds for Superbowl Sunday as well as two value picks for this Superbowl MVP prop. You’ll also find some detailed anyalsis on how to find value in props
Current odds to win the 2014 Super Bowl MVP
Champ Bailey +6000
Danny Trevathan +6000
Demaryius Thomas +1200
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie +5500
Doug Baldwin +3000
Earl Thomas +4000
Eric Decker +2000
Golden Tate +3000
Julius Thomas +2500
Knowshon Moreno +1500
Matt Prater +6000
Montee Ball +4000
Percy Harvin +1800
Peyton Manning -125
Richard Sherman +2500
Russell Wilson +325
Steven Hauschka +7500
Wes Welker +2500
Zach Miller +5000
Before I get into my Superbowl MVP value picks and the ones I think I overpriced & under-priced, I want to talk a bit about Superbowl prop bets and the industry secret behind them. Superbowl Sunday to gamblers is New Years Even to drinkers; Amatuer Hour. Superbowl Sunday is the one day of the year that the sportsbooks as well as bookies (the ones who accept props & have large client bases) get the most about of sucker action. It’s the one day where Vegas can get the same amount of action on each side of of the side and total and still rake in the same amount in vig that they would make on an NFL sunday where all the underdogs won and the public bettors lose their shirt. The truth is that on Superbowl Sunday, books make more money on prop bets than they do on regular spread bets. If you are wondering how that is possible read further.
This morning I went to a sports betting forum that I enjoy visiting and the members were discussing superbowl prop bets and were looking for good “Superbowl prop value plays”. This is almost an oxymoron as in general, most superbowl prop plays have little value at the average book, except for a few future props and head to head prop matchups in each game (and at 10% vig or less).
The problem is that the sportsbooks will generalty take moneyline props and skew the line differential in such a big way.
For those of you who don’t understand what I mean by line differential.
For example, on a head-to-head prop, you might see:
Who will have more rushing yards;
Player A -170
Player B +140
This is a 30 cent line differential -170 (170 to win 100) on the favorite and +140 (100 to win 140) on the underdog. A 30 cent line differential for a favorite at -170 is outrageous. This is equivalent too 30% in juice (or vig) on a spread bet. For every $100 the book gets on each side, they will make $30). If this were baseball, an avid MLB handicapper would never accept +140 on a -170 favorite. During baseball season, books will do 10 cent differential (or dimelines) up to -140 or -150. A 20 cent differential is fair for -170. regular baseball bettors. However, due to everyone’s desire to bet the Superbowl, the books gauge the prices on props and moneyline bets. They know there is no need to entice players with favorable lines. Even if more books did offer better prices, it would only entice sharper players.
Now some sportsbooks may have reduced price prop promos and some may offer 10cent lines on props. These are offers to entice you to play at their place. These rarely every happen at the big online sportsbooks such as (WagerWeb & JustBet) or at the biggest casinos on the strip (such as Hilton Superbook, MGM Casinos, etc). This is why these books will will make a fortune on props rather than straight bets. Their unreasonable prop lines (such as the ones above) combined with all the prop action.
Now the question as to which type of Superbowl props will have value is answered by looking at the actual game, as this can depend on the Superbowl matchup…
- In this years NFC Championship (2013-14), you would likely find some value in some of the props where you are betting against the defenses. This is due to the fact that most of the public would have likely gone up to the betting window assuming that it would be a defensive game all the way though. This would cause line movement, skewing the lines to the point where it’s not worth it to bet on props that favor the defense.
- Alternatively, in the 2013-14 AFC championship, you would find value in the defensive favoring props as the public will lean toward the props that payout for high scoring and lots of offense.
Again, where to look for value in the props, depends a lot on;
- What’s in the news
- The public perception
- Where the lines will move,
- How each team is perceived compared to their actual play on the field.
This past week, the biggest Superbowl headlines involved;
- Richard Sherman – He’s even out trending Peyton Manning with his WWF-style trash talk.
- Peyton Manning – Of course. He’s the NFL’s Version of Jesus Christ.
- Seattle Seahawks Secondary – Side from Sherman, maybe not getting enough credit. I’d take Earl Thomas on my team any day.
- Broncos Passing Offense – Still seen by fans as a big play offense due to Manning, but they’re more of a “dink & dunk” offense this year.
So, where do you look for value?
- “Player Props Against / Unders on Richard Sherman” – Such as “under” in “total Ints”, “total tackles”, Etc.
- “Player Props Against / Unders on Peyton Manning” – Such as “under” in “total passing TDs”, “passing yards”
- Specific Over/Unders involving the Seahawks – where you a betting against Seattle’s defense
Why? First, not only does the public bet these and move the lines; where they move so much that betting on the public perception has no value (and in turn, betting against them is where the value is). These are sharper coaches, who are in the Superbowl for a reason. These coaches will often look to catch the other side by surprise, and doing what is least expected (especially if their least expected is better than it’s perceived).
Other side stories include (which usually are even less important to the outcome);
- Percy Harvin Being Activated – This is more tactical IMO and he will be a decoy.
- Champ Bailey’s First Superbowl – One of the best ever at his position & he doesn’t have to tell everyone (Talking to you Richard Sherman)
- Lynch Not Talking To Media – This is nothing new. Yet, any other player who constantly did this would be vilified by the “media gang”.
A member on the above forum said he thought Percy Harvin at 18-1 to win the MVP was a good value bet. In my eyes, there is no value in this play at all.
How can you see value in a guy who;
(a) hasn’t played productive football in over a year (regardless of his athletic ability); and
(b) when last suited up for the Seahawks (the first playoff game), was injured again after one series.
This is also an offense that struggles to move the ball through the air. If not for a free play heave (on a defensive off-sides penalty) by Russell Wilson in the NFC Championship, Seattle would have had less than 100 yards passing and no passing touchdowns in either of their playoff games at home. Seattle didn’t win their games on offense or on the arm of Wilson. They won them on defense and by taking advantage mistakes by their opponent.
So, where do the sharps look for value when it comes to the odds to win the Superbowl MVP?
How about this….? Denver’s Running Game
Denver may be a prolific pass offense against some of the weaker AFC secondaries (such as San Diego, New England, Oakland, etc.) Still, John Fox has never been known to abandon the run and has always seemed to use the run at the right time and to show balence. They have two very talented young backs in Knowshon Moreno and rookie Monte Ball. Both of these guys are getting no significant media coverage. These guys rushed for a combined 1600 yards and 14 TDs this season.
One might say “Well Seattle has a good run defense.”
(1) Sure they look like a brick wall against when they play teams such as their rival in San Francisco; who loves the power run game and has a young gunslinger who’s inexperienced when it comes to throwing into zones and hitting his second read.
(2) Yes, they also look great at home, with the stadium-amplified crowd noise, eliminating the possibility to make run-blocking pre-snap adjustments. Look at San Francisco and Frank Gore when they played in San Francisco. Seattle has weaknesses and one of their biggest weakness that people are forgetting about, is their ability to win on the road.
(3) This doesn’t take away the value in the two backs. When was the last time you saw the two running backs for the Superbowl favorite at 15-1 and 40-1 to win the MVP? Perhaps is was Manning’s last Superbowl.
For my money, these are best values on that list and are worth two small plays:
Montee Ball: 40 to 1
Knowshon Moreno: 15 to 1
If you the average bettor who will lay 200 doll-hairs on the Superbowl, why not put a few bucks (Say 25) on these two;
- 15 Doll-Hairs (to win 225) on Moreno
- 10 Doll-Hairs (to win $400) on Ball.
Even if you like the Seahawks in this game, these are still two value plays that you could benefit from. These would offer you a slight hedge against your main bet; where if Denver does win (and cover), you can make your money back if they win it on the backs of their running game.
Best of Luck Everyone!