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Three prop bets for the Super Bowl

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NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time reading the ridiculous Super Bowl prop bets. From how long the National Anthem will last, to if Darrelle Revis will tweet about Richard Sherman during the game. You name it; there is a prop for it. One is if they will mention Colin Kaepernick. That seems like a no-brainer as that was the last quarterback to lead the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl. Here are three prop bets that I will be in on.

49ers over 12.5 points in the first half

The first game of the season. The 49ers didn’t reach double digits in the first half in four of their first six games. Why? Kyle Shanahan was trying to find the identity of the team. That was when Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey went down with injuries, and before we knew what Raheem Mostert was capable of. That was also before the team acquired Emmanuel Sanders. Since trading for Sanders, the 49ers are averaging a little over 19 points per game in the first half. That includes games with in-game injuries, familiar opponents like Seattle, and the weather that was in Baltimore. That’s a 12-game sample size, which is more than enough for me.

Some may point to outliers like the Saints game, or even the two playoff games, but that’s Shanahan. Seriously, he is that good, and there’s no reason to pretend otherwise. When he has a matchup advantage, he makes you pay. We’ll get into the matchups, but Shanahan scoring single-digits with an extra week to prepare on the national stage in the biggest game of the year? With his ego? Come on. OVER.

First half under 27

You have Shanahan and Andy Reid, both with stars at their disposal. The common thought would be this is a high scoring game, and we see fireworks from the start. That’s not how Super Bowls tend to play out. Players are tight, and the play-calling usually resembles that. It almost comes off as players are playing not to make a mistake. When Shanahan was calling plays for the Falcons against the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, that total was 28 during the first half. Neither team scored in the first quarter. Even scoring 21 in the second, that number still didn’t hit. I don’t know if we see a scoreless first quarter, but I’d bet on that than seeing a combined four touchdowns in the first half.

I can see both teams doing everything they can to take away the big play, which could lead to 8-play, five-plus minute drives. Red zone defense will play a factor as well. My educated guess on the first half score is 13-10, San Francisco. I feel confident in the under here.

Jimmy Garoppolo over 1.5 touchdown passes

It was Jimmy or the Kendrick Bourne props. My guess is Bourne scores the first touchdown on the typical play-action slant. There’s one touchdown for Garropolo. The Chiefs are very good at limiting your top threats through the air. Whether that’s the No. 1, 2, or tight end. The same cannot be said for running backs and your “other” receiver. Kansas City is giving up 43.8 yards per game to the third wideout and is 21st in DVOA. That’s good news for Bourne and the middle of the field.

This is less about Garoppolo and more about Shanahan. Garoppolo will have plenty of opportunities to throw two touchdowns. Screens, shovel passes, play-action passes, deep shots, you name it. Another reason it’s more about Kyle—which isn’t a slight to Jimmy G—is that he reads what’s going on. Shanahan knows what’s being said about his quarterback. Do you think he’s going to go into this game and not open it up? Going back to Shanahan’s ego, which, again, is far from a bad thing, leads me to believe we see an efficient game from Garoppolo that includes a pair of touchdowns.