Best Super Bowl Player Prop Bets: Buccaneers Edition
A roller-coaster season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers comes to an end this Sunday. After their dramatic victory in the NFC Championship game, the Bucs will make history as the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Despite this home-field advantage, Tampa comes in as underdogs for the third straight game, as Tom Brady and company will look to avenge their Week 11 loss to the Chiefs. Make sure you check out our full-game preview for the huge matchup, which includes picks on the side and total, and to also check out our Super Bowl Hub to ensure you’re as informed as possible before making any wagers.
Of course, the Super Bowl marks the end of the season for NFL bettors as well. With a personal 63% winning percentage this season, the last game will be a bittersweet goodbye. But alas, the show goes on, one last time.
When given the ability to focus on only one game, books are typically razor-sharp with their lines. However, through some exhaustive research and analysis, I found two undervalued props relating to the Buccaneers’ passing attack.
Leonard Fournette over 3.5 receptions
Line available at publishing. Playable up to -135.
With fellow running back Ronald Jones still working back from injury, Fournette has emerged as Tampa’s first option in the backfield. The fourth-year back has outsnapped Jones 71 percent to 29 percent over the last two games, with Fournette running 81 percent of the pass routes. Fournette has been the preferred receiving game back all season, and I don’t see that changing before the big game.
From a statistical standpoint, Fournette has 50 catches in 15 games this season. In the regular season, he caught at least four balls in a game only three times. However, in the playoffs, he’s reached this mark in all three games. In fact, his playoff target share from Brady is 16 percent, and his catch share sits at 23 percent. He’s actually tied for the team lead in playoff receptions with Chris Godwin (14).
The matchup is more than ideal for Fournette to produce in the passing game. The Chiefs allowed the highest percentage of targets, receptions, and yards to running backs during the regular season. Brady did have success finding his receivers during the regular-season matchup between the teams but still fed Fournette three passes, despite him running less than half of the running back routes.
And, you can’t overlook Brady’s propensity to find his running backs in playoff games. In the last three postseasons, Brady’s running backs have a 32 percent catch share, with six of the seven games seeing at least one running back catch at least four passes. Yes, this Bucs offense is dramatically different than Brady’s last few seasons with the Patriots. But you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (no pun intended), and that’s proven true by Fournette’s playoff production.
When considering the usage bump and matchup, I have Fournette projected at seven targets and five catches.
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Tom Brady over 0.5 interceptions
Line available at publishing. Playable up to -160.
Another prop involving Brady throwing the ball, but this one to the other team. This isn’t a knock on Brady — he had a fantastic year. In fact, he only threw 15 interceptions in his 19 total games. However, this is the biggest game on the biggest stage, and even the best of the best (which Brady is) can fall victim to the moment.
In the last six Super Bowls, 10 of 12 starting quarterbacks threw interceptions. Brady himself has thrown an interception in 23 of 44 career playoff games, including five out of nine Super Bowls he’s played in.
Statistically, this play continues to make sense. Kansas City’s defense forced an interception in 13 of their 18 games this season, including two by Brady in their regular-season meeting. Seventeen of the team’s eighteen total interceptions came from players slated to start the Super Bowl in the Chiefs secondary, including ten by starting safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorenson. Brady threw eight of his 15 interceptions this season to opposing safeties. And lastly, it’s noteworthy that Brady threw at least one interception in six of eight games at Raymond James stadium.
This prop comes a bit pricey (-145 at the time of publishing). But, I see value up to -160, as I have the odds of a pick being thrown calculated at close to 70 percent.
Free Super Bowl 55 Picks and Predictions
Be sure to check out our full-game preview for the big matchup:
We’ve also got plenty of expert articles to make sure you’re fully informed before making your Super Bowl bets:
- 2021 NFL Playoff Schedule – Super Bowl, Predictions, and Where to Watch
- Super Bowl MVP betting odds and best bets
- Best Super Bowl LV betting trends
- Where the public money is going for Super Bowl 55
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