Over the two weeks ahead of the 2019 Super Bowl, the sports betting focus is largely on the spread of the game. It’s understandable, as that’s the measuring stick for who bettors and oddsmakers believe will win the big game and it’s where the bulk of the action goes as well. But as we’ve seen many times over the years, some of the best bets can be found in places other than on the spread.
After searching over the prop bets and a few other options, there are multiple choices that standout in the Super Bowl 53 matchup between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams. But it’s been narrowed down to just two that make a lot of sense and a variety of things point to them working out well at the end of the night.
Let’s jump in and break down the two Super Bowl bets which could prove to be better options than the picking either of the teams against the spread.
*Note: All odds are courtesy of Odds Shark and provided by Bovada.
Chris Hogan Over 3 Receptions (-120)
Even if you want to base this purely on numbers and statistics, it makes sense to take Chris Hogan to finish above three catches on Sunday. In the past three games, he’s hauled in 14-of-23 targets, an average just north of 4.5 per game. While Hogan has taken a backseat to Julian Edelman and hasn’t found the end zone as often as Phillip Dorsett recently, this spot still bodes well for him.
The Rams have done a great job against opposing slot wideouts, holding Michael Thomas in check last week, which means Edelman could have his hands full. While I don’t believe the Los Angeles secondary will be able to completely contain Tom Brady’s favorite target, I think we could see a large number of targets get funneled Hogan’s way.
In turn, envisioning Hogan finishing the night up with 5-7 catches seems very possible, especially if this turns into a high-scoring game.
Todd Gurley Over 3.5 Receptions (-115)
Todd Gurley has continuously made it known that he’s not hurt and hasn’t been playing with any type of injury this postseason. As NFL.com’s Kevin Patra revealed, the Rams star running back said he just played “sorry” in the team’s win over the New Orleans Saints.
“I was sorry. I was sorry as hell today,” Gurley said. “I was sorry. So, C.J. (Anderson) did his thing. The whole team did its thing. Everybody kept me up during the game. That’s why it’s a team sport. This is the greatest team sport in America. It takes everybody, everybody on the team and that’s what we did.”
The good news is that Gurley isn’t hurt. The bad news is that he had just five total touches in the NFC Championship Game, one of which was a catch. So why are we targeting the over on his receptions against the Patriots? Sean McVay knows the deal and openly made it known that they need to “get him more opportunities.”
Throughout the 2018 NFL regular season, the Patriots allowed just six rushing touchdowns and 1,490 yards to opposing running backs. The touchdown mark comes in as the second-lowest in the NFL, but they’ve also given up 88 receptions for 776 yards to the position, per ESPN. That obviously bodes well for Gurley, but how the Patriots’ two playoff games have gone makes this even more appealing.
Against the Los Angeles Chargers, they gave up seven catches to running backs. Then in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots allowed Damien Williams to catch five passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns while Spencer Ware tacked on one catch for good measure.
Although C.J. Anderson has impressed on the ground since joining the Rams, he’s totaled just one catch for five yards this postseason. During the regular season, Gurley’s 59 receptions were the third most on the team and the next-closest running back was Malcolm Brown with five catches.
It’s tough not to like these two bets based on the matchups and history of each player. Obviously, anything can happen, but both of these spots make sense for Hogan and Gurley to have success and clear the above numbers.