Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!
Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Tom Gower and Mike Kurtz

Tom: It is time for perhaps the greatest tradition associated with Scramble for the Ball: the Super Bowl prop bets column. This is the 12th annual Scramble for the Ball Prop Bet Extravaganza. It has been a feature of the column since the beginning of Football Outsiders -- here's a link to the first one from January 2004 -- and has survived writer change after writer change after writer change.

In case some of our readers are not familiar with how prop bets work, Mike, why don't you tell people what we're doing here anyway.

Mike: Sure.

It's that time of year again, the time of year when your Scramble writers run out of ideas amuse one and all with Super Bowl odds that people are actually betting on. I'll spare you the lecture about how this demonstrates the evils of gambling (ha ha, see what I did there?) and go straight into Scrambler Emeritus Al Bogdan's perennially stolen explanation, adapted for the tenor of our times:

Most of these bets are whether a proposition is over or under the "line," usually total. For example:

Number of brain cells lost due to reading this column (9.5)
Over -115
Under +105

Here, you would be betting on how many brain cells this week's column will destroy. You would have to choose either more or less than 9.5. Since football stats are generally whole numbers, most propositions won't have "push" as a viable option. If you were to bet that more than 9.5 of your little dudes would croak, you would have to wager a hypothetical $115 to win $215: your $115 that you wagered, plus $100 more (hence the "-115"). If you wanted to take the under, you would wager a hypothetical $100 to win $205: your $100 back, plus $105 (hence the "+105"). Since I imagine your Scramble writers have almost certainly killed a number of your brain cells purely through fright at this point, the under is less likely to win, therefore you'd get more money if it actually does come through.

The other bets are those with many possible options, like wagering on who will score the first touchdown in the game. The odds there will be something like:

Which flavor of Patriots scandal tweets will have more Twitter volume?
Inaccurate tweets dripping with smug indignation +110
Willfully blind Patriots water-carrying -130

This means that if you wager $230 on the fair citizens of Boston, you will receive only an extra $100, because nobody carries water like the fine people of Massachusetts. If you instead bet on what appears to be the rest of the known universe minus Michael Tanier, you will receive your $100 back plus an extra $110 for your faith in the hyperbolic and uninformed anger of football fandom.

For the purposes of determining a winner of this column, we're laying down 100 quatlus down on any of these "pick from a crowd" bets, and for over/unders we're wagering 100 on any overs where we're receiving positive odds (e.g., anything above +101) and wagering whatever it takes to win 100 on any overs where we're receiving negative odds (e.g., anything below -101).

Tom: My tweet: [Opinion on contentious subject on which I have no particular expertise that won't convince anybody who doesn't already agree with me.]


Super Bowl XLIX Game Odds

New England Patriots -2 (-115)
Seattle Seahawks +2 (-105)

Tom: I have no idea who is going to win this game. Given that our suggested line was pretty much a toss-up and that I think the Seahawks have a somewhat better overall roster, that means I should pick Seattle Seahawks +2.

Mike: As much as it pains me to say it, Seattle's biggest weakness is against tight ends. Guess who has the best tight end in the league? He's so tough, not even the football's internal pressure is safe. NE -2.

Super Bowl XLIX Over/Under

Over 48.5 (-115)
Under 48.5 (-115)

Tom: Seattle has a defense I trust not to allow many points -- nobody since the Rams in Week 6 has scored the number of points needed to cross the mark of 25.75 points implied by the game line and the over/under total. Given last week's mostly chancy performance, I'm expecting a lower-scoring Super Bowl. Under. In the real world, though, there is no way I bet at -115 on something like this.

Mike: Offensively, this game has some great matchups for lovers of clichés. The unstoppable juggernaut vs. the Legion of Boom. Seattle's stoppable force against New England's movable object. Sure, Russell Wilson will play better in the Super Bowl than he did in the NFC Championship Game, but there is a massive difference between Mike "two scores seems like enough" McCarthy and Bill "the center is now eligible" Belichick. Plus, Seattle can't rely on the key source of its big fourth quarters from the past six or so games: anemic opposing offenses that have forced their defenses to play absurdly long stretches before they collapse at the end of the game. The Patriots' offense is too good, which ironically means less scoring! Under.

Super Bowl XLIX MVP -- Odds to Win

Tom Brady 8/5
Russell Wilson 7/2
Marshawn Lynch 4/1
Rob Gronkowski 9/1
LeGarrette Blount 12/1
Julian Edelman 25/1
Doug Baldwin 33/1
Richard Sherman 33/1
Kam Chancellor 33/1
Darrelle Revis 33/1
Earl Thomas 40/1
Jermaine Kearse 50/1
Bobby Wagner 50/1
Jamie Collins 50/1
Brandon LaFell 66/1
Shane Vereen 66/1
K.J. Wright 75/1
Danny Amendola 75/1
Luke Willson 100/1
Rob Ninkovich 100/1
Dont'a Hightower 100/1
Patrick Chung 100/1
Devin McCourty 100/1
Stephen Gostkowski 100/1
Steven Hauschka 100/1
Malcolm Smith 100/1
Byron Maxwell 100/1
Field 25/1

Mike: It's strange that Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung are given odds and Brandon Browner is not. There is a significant chance that Browner actually kills Doug Baldwin on the field, and that would definitely be the Patriot's most valuable play. I'm not saying it's likely, but to have the same chance as the guy whose main claim to fame is "player who Patriots fans convinced themselves was an amazing centerpiece of their defense" really underestimates just how dangerous Browner is.

In any case, I think the world would explode if the Patriots won and Brady wasn't the MVP. Part of me will undoubtedly wish it would anyway.

Tom: Hey, Malcolm Smith gets listed. I was not sure if he would, since he only played two snaps in the NFC title game. Depending on how the Patriots choose to play this game, and how Seattle chooses to play against the New England offense, he could easily play two snaps in the Super Bowl as well. The perennial question here is whether the odds on the quarterback are too short that another player make sense. Nope, so give me Russell Wilson instead.


How long will it take Idina Menzel to sign the US National Anthem?

Over/Under: 2 minutes 1 second

Tom: Wow, even odds on this prop. Given my preferred anthem length is around 70 seconds (though I have accepted that around 90 seconds is a customary anthem length, including from the great Jim Cornelison) I really hope we get the under here. You should never break 2: 00 without going beyond the first verse.

Mike: Despite being most well known for characters with substantial sturm und drang, Menzel actually has a pretty fast pace and is more likely to go with a longer sustain rather than pretend she's a jazz singer from the '40s. That's still faster than usual, so I think she'll be under. As usual, don't ask why I know so much about Idina Menzel's style.

Will Idina Menzel forget or omit at least one word of the official U.S. National Anthem?

Yes +400 (4/1)
No -600 (1/6)

Tom: Forgetting or omitting? I doubt it. The related prop, covering any change in the lyrics from Francis Scott Key's version is more interesting, since it covers the occasional tendency to repeat lyrics from the end of the song. No.

Mike: Really, if you're going to mess with the national anthem, you need to add words. "The rockets' red glare/the bombs bursting in air/gave proof through the night/that our flag was still there/seriously how are we not dead our navy is terrible/damn you Jefferson." No.

How many times will "Deflated Balls" be referred to during the game?

Over/Under 2½

Mike: Unless Bob Costas decides to end his career with the sports journalism equivalent of streaking, I think NBC's brass is going to have a hard cap of two mentions. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth are too professional to mess with that. Under.

Tom: As NBC's awkward Goodell shot shows, broadcasters are loath to step their toes into contentious issues like this. Plus, we have seen in past years that extraneous issues rarely make it into the telecast. Assuming this prop refers to the time between kickoff and the final whistle, I would have gone under on 0.5, let alone 2.5. The only ways I see this prop having any shot at going over are a four-plus score game in the third quarter and/or some very major disciplinary action coming down by the NFL before the game. The chance of the former is very small, and the latter makes the former seem extremely likely.

Will Marshawn Lynch be fined by the NFL for any incident on Media Day?

Yes +400 (4/1)
No -600 (1/6)

Tom: Given that Lynch's past actions show he has barely any willingness to talk at all and the pocketbook to pay whatever fines the NFL wants to throw his way, I would say yes at much closer to even odds. At +400, heck yeah.

Mike: On media day? What on Earth would you be able to do on media day that would get you fined? I expect the Seahawks to have a full palette of angry quotes about how they are disrespected/nobody believes in them/the plucky upstart world champions that nobody believes in, or something to that effect. I expect Rodney Harrison to pontificate about how the Seahawks are too respected, unlike Rodney Harrison's Patriots. I also expect to be really drunk before I'm done reading the first media day piece. No.

Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after scoring a TD in the game?

Yes +400 (4/1)
No -600 (1/6)

Tom: How many times has Lynch actually done this? I only know of a couple times, and then only after important long touchdowns. No.

Mike: Most importantly, he was just fined for it. If you're going to pull another fine, you go for something different so everyone knows you know you'll be fined but you're going to make them work for it. The better prop bet would be which piece of anatomy Marshawn Lynch grabs after scoring a touchdown. I'm going with oblique, as Seattle has unique institutional knowledge regarding this mysterious structure. No.

Which Coach will be mentioned first by name on TV after Kickoff?

Pete Carroll
Bill Belichick

Tom: Probably whoever is shown first. Given what I think of the next prop, Pete Carroll is my choice.

Mike: The double whammy of scandal and legend status makes Belichick a shoo-in for this.

Which Coach will be shown first on TV after Kickoff?

Pete Carroll
Bill Belichick

Mike: Whichever team receives the first kickoff will have its coach shown after the first commercial break. I suppose there is some chance that if the Patriots receive first then the director will go with the super-ultra-mega closeup of Tom Brady instead. I hear NBC has even hired CBS's official Tom Brady videographer to consult on this production. That slightly tips the odds in Pete Carroll's favor.

Tom: I am hoping we get the split screen we got for Super Bowl XLVII, I believe it was. If we do, then my guess is this bet will be ruled no action. Pete Carroll tends to be the more enthusiastic and telegenic, so I will go with him.

Which Color will Bill Belichick's hoodie be?

Grey 1/2
Blue 7/4
Red 7/1

Tom: Looking at NFL Shop's collection of Patriots hoodies and swears paraphernalia, grey it seems likely to be.

Mike: Swears paraphernalia is the best paraphernalia.

I actually spent three minutes staring at this prop, reviewing Patriots games in my head, trying to come up with a system of Belichickian hoodie pattern prediction. I have stared into the darkness, and it has stared back. Grey.

Bill Belichick Hoodie Type?

Sleeves Cut -150 (2/3)
Sleeves Intact +110 (11/10)

Mike: I think Bill keeps it classy for the Super Bowl and keeps the sleeves. It's also surprising that there is no "no hoodie" option. I suppose the hoodie is just another NFL institution at this point.

Tom: Given the likelihood Belichick will be commanded to wear Super Bowl XLIX-related gear, if he really does not care about fashion, then the sleeves will be intact. Sleeves cut it is.

Will Bill Belichick smile during the game on camera?

Yes +150 (3/2)
No -200 (1/2)

Tom: Frowning is better exercise, maybe. No.

Mike: Belichick has a member of the coaching staff watch each camera so that he knows exactly where they are all pointed at all times to ensure that no joviality is ever recorded. No.

How many times will Katy Perry be mentioned in the First Half?

Over/Under 1½

Tom: Ah, this one is tricky. I assume we will get plenty of promos, but how many of them will actually come during the broadcast, and when does the broadcast begin? Does it have to be Al Michaels mentioning her, and does he have to do it during the game setup? With generous definitions of "mentioned," this could hit the over, but I would not count on it. Under.

Mike: This one is nasty, because it's only during play. I think it's a trap for the unwary. In a suite of prop bets that are already traps for the unwary. Basically, betting on this is the gambling equivalent of being caught in a bear-trapped bathtub that some pirate snuck into your house. Under.

Which song will Katy Perry perform first at Halftime?

Firework 3/2
Roar 3/2
This Is How We Do 5/1
Dark Horse 12/1
E.T. 12/1
Wide Awake 12/1
Waking Up In Vegas 20/1

Tom: You learn many strange things researching prop bets. One of the things I learned is that these are all, in fact, the names of actual Katy Perry songs, so "E.T." was not thrown in as part of a 1980s movies homage when her actual song is, say, "Out of Africa." I will assuredly forget that information long before the column posts. Wide Awake.

Mike: Unlike Menzel, Roar is the only Perry song I know, so I'll go with that. Well, aside from her initial "let's hope everyone forgot about that" old shame, "I Kissed a Girl."

What will Katy Perry be wearing when she begins the Halftime show?

Skirt or Dress 4/5
Pants (below knees) 2/1
Shorts (above knees) 2/1

Tom: No need for pants as a performer in an indoor stadium. Skirt or dress.

Mike: I seem to recall Perry wearing some kind of skin-tight dress when she appeared on Sesame Street, of all places, so I think the chances of anything other than a skirt or dress is pretty low.

What color will Katy Perry's hair be when she begins the Halftime show?

Black/Brown 2/1
Pink/Red 3/1
Blue/Green 3/1
Blonde 4/1
Purple 5/1

Mike: It's going to be something weird, because as far as I can tell that's been her thing. Green isn't telegenic, but blue is. I seem to recall her hair being blue at some point, so sure, why not. This will, incidentally, gain her the enmity of my four-year-old, who is firmly ensconced in the Rosalina Purple thug life.

Tom: Speaking of 1980s movies: "You know, you're a weird kid." "Me? I'm not the one with the purple hair." "Oh, yeah, I went to a concert with some friends last night." "Really? My mom took me to see the Bee Gees a couple months ago. Who'd you see?" "Twisted Sister." "Never heard of her." Black/brown. (Just for the record, (a) my sister liked that movie more than I did, and (b) I think I would have stayed in 1986.)

Mike: That has to be the most incoherent response to a prop we have ever had.

How many times will Gisele Bundchen be show on TV?

Over/Under 1½

Tom: Continuing lesson from past years: people are shown on the game broadcast less frequently than you would think. Her best shots include a blowout game, especially if New England is winning; a Tom Brady injury; and a kneeldown with time left, so she can get the necessary appearance before the clock hits 0:00. Under.

Mike: None? Under. Who do they think Gisele is, someone photogenic like Robert Kraft?

Will Al Michaels refer to the point spread, total, odds on who wins game or any prop bet?

Yes +200 (2/1)
No -300 (1/3)

Mike: I think this refers to more specific odds than just saying something vague like "the odds are stacked against them." I think that's as close as Michaels will go to a gambling reference at the Super Bowl. I'm sure Tom is looking up the results from the last NBC Super Bowl, because Tom is weirdly obsessive like that. No.

Tom: Directly? Absolutely not. He is far too experienced a broadcaster to do so in an era where the NFL seems far less comfortable with such things than they once were (it is hard to see a handicapper like Jimmy the Greek on a pregame studio show these days). Slyly, though? Absolutely, yes.

Who will be shown more on TV during the game?

Robert Kraft -200 (1/2)
Paul Allen +150 (3/2)

Tom: Al Michaels does not have Jim Nantz's love affair with Robert Kraft, but NBC still showed him 10 minutes into the Ravens-Patriots playoff game. Paul Allen is not as out front, and his best shot of multiple TV appearances seems to be a big Seahawks win and/or somebody in his box does something outrageous. Robert Kraft.

Mike: At this point I'm pretty sure there is a league minimum number of shots of Kraft the broadcasting network must show.

Will it be mentioned that Pete Carroll was the last head coach of the Patriots?

Yes +110 (11/10)
No -150 (2/3)

Tom: That seems like potentially interesting information of the sort Michaels and Cris Collinsworth might impart. Yes.

Mike: Will it be mentioned that Bill Belichick once had a disastrous tenure in Cleveland? The Super Bowl is about celebrating football and maybe shouting about cheating and maybe a little about how disrespected every single player in the NFL is, but mostly celebrating football. There is nothing celebratory about Carroll's tenure with the Patriots. It would just give everyone watching sadface, and NBC's regular programming does that so often they need the change of pace. No.

What will the Nielsen Rating of the game be?

Over/Under 47½

Tom: Among recent Super Bowls, only Giants-Patriots II has topped 47. To get to this total, we probably need weather in the Northeast and Midwest that induces people to stay inside and a quality contest. Under.

Mike: I actually think this will be one of the most watched Super Bowls. Lots of bandwagoners since the champs are trying to repeat, lots of women because Tom Brady is a dreamboat, lots of fashion people as Bill Belichick shows off the new Derelicte line for the spring. Over.

Which region will have the higher Nielsen Rating?

Boston +110 (11/10)
Seattle -150 (2/3)

Tom: I first remember being aware of the rabid nature of Seattle sports fans when the Mariners made the postseason in 1995 and reportedly posted ratings numbers I recall as astronomical (some brief searching shows the first two games of the ALCS had 71 and 73 shares, and I recall Game 5 of the ALDS being even higher. Seattle it is.

Mike: Is this a serious question? Boston. Seriously, the Bruins are behind the Rangers, is there any reason to bother watching? Boston fans know how to back real winners.

How many viewers will the game have?

Over/Under 113 Million

Tom: Despite "only" a 46.4 Nielsen rating, Seahawks-Broncos set a total viewership record with almost 111.5 million. That was a jump of more than three million from Ravens-49ers despite a similar Nielsen of 46.3. Over.

Mike: Like I said, this game has something for everyone. Literally everyone. I challenge the commenters to find someone for whom this game has nothing. Over.

Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first in his interview?

Teammates 3/2
God 5/1
Fans/City 15/2
Coach 12/1
Family 12/1
Owner 12/1
Does not mention any of the above 2/1

Since I think it's going to be Brady, I should probably look back and figure out who he thanked in his previous MVP speeches. I'll let that fancy big city lawyer Tom do that "researching" and "reasoning" and figure that he'll thank everyone for not throwing him under the bus by thanking the fans and/or the city. Not the city where the team is located, though. That would just be silly.

Tom: I could not have won this game without the Flying Spaghetti Monster and my teammates.

Mike: You are a never-ending carousel of disappointment.

What Color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the Head Coach of the Winning Super Bowl Team?

Orange 3/2
Yellow 5/2
Clear/Water 3/1
Red 15/2
Blue 15/2
Green 10/1

Tom: As I have stated several times before, red is the best Gatorade flavor, and I dispute all arguments to the contrary. Nevertheless, though I keep picking it, teams do not actually dump red sports drink on their coach. Yellow seems to be the preferred color.

Mike: One of these years, it will be green.

What will happen with the Dow Jones the day after the Super Bowl?

Market Up -140 (5/7)
Market Down EVEN (1/1)

Tom: Market down, why not.

Mike: New York brokers will be so mad after hated rival Boston's victory that they will tank the market and double-bankrupt Curt Schilling. Just because. Down.

Who will Barack Obama pick to win the game?

New England -140 (5/7)
Seattle EVEN (1/1)

: Seattle. Something something something lattes.

Tom: I could do a lot of fake analysis of the political implications of such a pick, but given what is going on with the Patriots right now, like any publicity-conscious politician (and publicity-consciousness is a trait necessary to election to national political office in basically every country), Obama will pick the defending champion Seattle Seahawks.

What will be higher?

Russell Wilson Passing Yards -15½
US National Average Gas Price (in cents) on Monday, February 2 +15½

Mike: I am amazed how good this prop is. My first thought was "this is absurd," but then I remembered the premium I pay for gas in the city. Mid-200s is probably a good target for Wilson. Still, I'll take the U.S. National Average Gas Price.

Tom: The death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and goings-on in Yemen, plus some skepticism after Wilson's performance in the NFC Championship Game lead me to say average gas price.

Groundhog Day Parlay

Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow and Patriots win the Super Bowl 5/2
Punxsutawney Phil does not see shadow and Patriots win the Super Bowl 11/5
Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow and Seahawks win the Super Bowl 11/4
Punxsutawney Phil does not see shadow and Seahawks win the Super Bowl 12/5

Tom: First point: according to this website, shadow is roughly six times as common as no shadow, so odds need to be evaluated in that context. Given the plus odds, and the likelihood of seeing shadow, it seems to make sense to put actual money on both Patriots and shadow and Seahawks and shadow. Given the evenness of the game, the better payout means Phil sees shadow and Seahawks win the Super Bowl is the single best bet.

Mike: This is the most amazing prop bet of all time. My office is the coldest place on Earth (just trust me, I did some science at it), so it would be really nice for winter to just end as quickly as possible. I'm willing to even engage in some weird rodent voodoo to make it happen. Seriously, my office is that cold. Does not see his shadow and the Patriots win.


Total Passing Yards -- Tom Brady (NE)

Over/Under 260½

Tom: If you asked me in a week, I would have a much better idea of how this game would go. Bill Belichick is the most week-to-week game-planner in the NFL, and I am yet deeply uncertain as how he will choose to play this game. My current thinking is that the Patriots will see Seattle has a thinner and less good defensive line and try to attack them on the ground. In that case, under is the order of the day on most Brady passing props.

Mike: This actually seems like a conservative number. Yes, Seattle has an amazing secondary. New England's passing game is much more about linebackers than cornerbacks and safeties, however. Do I think Tom Brady can rack up roughly 70 more yards than Aaron Rodgers did while dragging Mike McCarthy's terrible game plan behind him? You betcha. Over.

Total Passing Attempts in the game -- Tom Brady (NE)

Over/Under 35½

Tom: This prop will depend on just how successful the Patriots are running it and on defense; Brady made it to 35 passing attempts against the Colts despite the run-heavy game plan because New England was able to run 78 plays and Indianapolis only 56. That may be overthinking. Under.

Mike: This, on the other hand, is I think a bit high, although not by much. Belichick is going to want LeGarrette Blount involved early and often to keep Kam Chancellor from sitting in the middle of the field and ball hawking. Under.

First Passing Attempt Result -- Tom Brady (NE)

Complete 4/7
Incomplete 27/20
Interception 10/1

Tom: That said, I do expect New England's passing attack to be conservative, because that is who they tend to be. Complete.

Mike: Something nice and easy to get the party started. Probably to Gronkowski. Complete.

What will Tom Brady (NE) do 1?

Throw a TD Pass -180 (5/9)
Throw an Interception +150 (3/2)

Mike: This is much more interesting. I don't think Brady has the arm to really challenge Seattle's defensive backs, but I think Belichick is going to be watching the NFC Championship Game closely and want to floor it out of the gate. I think Brady pushes it and things go bad. Interception.

Tom: If it is an interception, it will be tipped before it is caught by the intercepting player. Throw a TD pass.

Total Completions -- Tom Brady (NE)

Over/Under 23½

Mike: If I'm going under on attempts, I have to go under on completions.

Tom: Under on attempts, under on completions as well.

Total Yards First Completion -- Tom Brady (NE)

Over/Under 7½

Tom: Short passing game, not many yards after the catch at first. Under.

Mike: Again, nice and easy throw to Gronk. Something in the 5- to 6-yard range. Under

Longest Completion -- Tom Brady (NE)

Over/Under 37½

Tom: I trust Seattle's pass defense. Under.

Mike: Brady does not have the arm to throw downfield with accuracy, so the over on this will have to come via massive YAC or broken coverage. Seattle don't play that game. Under.

Total TD Passes -- Tom Brady (NE)

Over 2 (+120, 6/5)
Under 2 (-150, 2/3)

Tom: No pushing this line, tempting thought it may be. Under, I expected a lower-scoring game.

Mike: I do think that my envisioned aggressive play-calling will result in more than two touchdown passes, however. Over.

Total Interceptions -- Tom Brady (NE)

0 13/10
1 3/2
2 3/1
3 or more 7/1

Mike: While I'm not completely sold on it, I like the odds on two interceptions compared to one. I think I'm going to go with two, for gambling reasons.

Tom: For me, this comes down to Brady attempting to force a throw, either to Rob Gronkowski like the one he did that led to D'Qwell Jackson's famous ball possession last week, or in a must-score situation while trailing late in the game. one for me.

Will Tom Brady (NE) score a Rushing TD in the game?

Yes +750 (15/2)
No -1500 (1/15)

Tom: I am not sure I was aware that Brady had not scored a rushing touchdown in the regular season in the past two years. Only two of his past 36 regular season games have seen a rushing score. He is still a great sneak quarterback. Yes.

Mike: I believe in you, Tom! Yes!

Total Rushing Yards -- LeGarrette Blount (NE)

Over/Under 62½

Tom: Another bet on how the game will be played; my prediction is that Blount will be either over 15 carries or under five. Given how I expect the Patriots to try to play, over.

Mike: This actually seems a bit low. I think the book believes Vereen will get more carries than your Scramble writers think, as evidenced by the breakdown of rushing and passing props between the two. The Patriots have an excellent offensive line, and while Seattle's defensive line is no slouch, even Green Bay had success running the ball before the universe realized they weren't interested in doing anything other than running the ball. Over.

Total Rushing Attempts in the game -- LeGarrette Blount (NE)

Over/Under 14½

Tom: Over, for the same reasoning.

Mike: Steady diet gets this done. Over.

Total Rushing Yards on First Attempt -- LeGarrette Blount (NE)

Over/Under 3½

Tom: With New England in the regular season, Blount had 38 carries for three yards or fewer, 23 for four yards or more. Under.

Mike: This is a really good line. I don't like 3 or 4, and those are almost certainly the most likely culprits. I'll bow to some conventional wisdom and put money on the first run coming in an obvious running situation, where the damage is minimal. Under.

Longest Rush -- LeGarrette Blount (NE)

Over/Under 14½

Tom: This is really an excellent over/under for Blount's longest rush. He is capable of producing highlight reel runs, and I believe he is a better back now than he has been at times past in his career. On the other hand, Seattle does hit. This is a true toss-up I would not bet in real life. Under.

Mike: On the other hand, I can see a pulling guard getting to the second level and Blount plowing through to the secondary. Over.

Will LeGarrette Blount (NE) score a TD in the game?

Yes +110 (11/10)
No -140 (5/7)

Mike: I really want to go with the no, but picking against a team's primary running back not getting a touchdown seems like a really stupid move, even in the context of this stupid exercise. Yes.

Tom: If you believe Blount is likely to go over in carries, his history with the Patriots suggests he is likely to score a TD. (The foregoing statement is a gross simplification I would otherwise unpack, but in the context of this column, I have bigger fish to fry.) Yes.

Will Shane Vereen (NE) score a TD in the game?

Yes +175 (7/4)
No -220 (5/11)

Tom: I like the idea of Shane Vereen more than I tend to like the player I have seen on the field, though of course an in-depth viewing of Vereen and more comprehensive analysis of his usage and performance could change my opinion. No.

Mike: Shane Who? No.

Total Receiving Yards -- Shane Vereen (NE)

Over/Under 29½

Mike: On the other hand, Vereen is going to be out there for a good share of third-and-longs. Which means give-up screens and checkdowns! Over.

Tom: The macro-level question I am deeply uncertain on remains how the Patriots will choose to play. I know better than to attribute to coaches, especially ones who can be as hard for me to predict as Belichick, my feelings for players. Under anyway.

Total Receptions -- Shane Vereen (NE)

Over/Under 3½

Tom: Under for the same reasons.

Mike: Those checkdowns count, too! Over.

Total Yards on First Reception -- Shane Vereen (NE)

Over/Under 7½

Mike: On the other hand, 8 yards seems a bit much for an outlet receiver on any given throw. So I'll go under.

Tom: Vereen in the regular season: 30 receptions (one negated by penalty) under seven yards, 25 (two negated by penalty) over seven yards. Under.

Longest Reception -- Shane Vereen (NE)

Over/Under 12½

Tom: On the other hand… Vereen does have a catch longer than this in 11 of 18 games this season. Over.

Mike: Can Seattle sack Tom Brady? Probably once or twice, tops. The only way Vereen gets more than 12 yards on a reception is either a holding call or a sack setting up third-and-forever. Even the holding call would give the down back for more Brandy dinking and dunking. I'll go with the under.

Total Receiving Yards -- Rob Gronkowski (NE)

Over/Under 72½

Mike: Seattle's main weakness in coverage is tight ends. Gronkowski is the best receiving tight end in the game this year. The Super Bowl will be the Blount & Gronk show. Or perhaps the Gronk & Blount show. Like your local cable access shows, it will not be pretty, but will get the job done. Over.

Tom: Gronkowski's role and production is the most interesting question to me for New England's offense, and probably the game as a whole. I will be saying a lot more about that early next week, after I do a whole lot more work figuring out what the right answer is. A very, very, very tentative under.

Total Receptions -- Rob Gronkowski (NE)

Over 5½(-150, 2/3)
Under 5½(+120, 6/5)

Mike: Feed your best player. Over.

Tom: On the other hand, there is no way I can see the Patriots not trying to throw the ball to Gronkowski. I would feel more comfortable betting on a targets number than receptions, but over on receptions is my call.

Total Yards on First Reception -- Rob Gronkowski (NE)

Over/Under 10½

Tom: 9 yards on third-and-six or -seven. Under.

Mike: Again, I think these "yards on first reception numbers" are very optimistic for the kind of awful, boring, extremely effective offense the Patriots run. Under.

Longest Reception -- Rob Gronkowski (NE)

Over/Under 22½

Tom: As much as Gronk's total production, limiting his big plays will, or should, be a key to the game for the Seahawks. Under.

Mike: Unlike Vereen, Gronk can break tackles. Many, many tackles. I like his chance to get a big play on YAC. Over.

Will Rob Gronkowski (NE) score a TD in the game?

Yes -170 (10/17)
No +140 (7/5)

Tom: All he does is catch touchdowns, except I think Seattle might know that and concentrate on taking him away, forcing other receivers to execute in tight quarters. No for potential matchup rather than schematic reasons, and of course this is another area where I could completely change my mind in three days.

Mike: Is the Space Pope reptilian? Yes.

Total Receiving Yards -- Julian Edelman (NE)

Over/Under 67½

Tom: Option routes over the middle, pick plays, Edelman and Danny Amendola, rather than Rob Gronkowski, might be Belichick's receivers of course. Unless, of course, I am completely wrong. Over.

Mike: I think Brady is going to spend a lot of time spreading the ball around when Seattle is over-committing to covering Gronkowski. I think Edelman will be a big beneficiary of that strategy, but I'm not quite willing to say 68 yards' worth. If the line were 60, I'd be there in a heartbeat. Stupid books wanting to make money. Under.

Total Receptions -- Julian Edelman (NE)

Over/Under 6

Tom: I am more confident over the over here than I am on the over for yards.

Mike: Again with the close lines. Edelman has averaged almost exactly 10 yards per reception over his career. An over would mean he likely beats the receiving yards line. Then again, he hasn't spent his career playing against Seattle. I'll go with the over and expect less efficient output on Super Bowl Sunday.

Total Yards on First Reception -- Julian Edelman (NE)

Over/Under 9½

Tom: On the other hand, it may be Edelman who catches the 9-yard pass to move the sticks on third down that I gave to Gronkowski. Under.

Mike: I think the Patriots are going to try to stretch the field early. Well, at much as they can stretch the field with noodle-armed Brady, but 10 yards isn't that much. Over.

Longest Reception -- Julian Edelman (NE)

Over/Under 17½

Tom: A fairly low over/under, though like the others justified by statistics. It just takes one, and I expect Edelman to get his chances. Over.

Mike: Edelman has respectable yards after catch numbers, but again he's not playing Seattle every week. I think the long will probably be somewhere around 15. Under. Have I mentioned I hate the Patriots' offense?

Will Julian Edelman (NE) score a TD in the game?

Yes +125 (5/4)
No -155 (20/31)

Mike: I think Belichick is going to be aggressive, and Seattle is going to sell out to stop Gronkowski, so Edelman will at least get a look. A look is enough to go with the odds. Yes.

Tom: Will Edelman be the guy who breaks free and catches it if Brady throws a touchdown pass, or will he be the guy who decoys the defenders away from the receptor? No.

Will Julian Edelman (NE) have a Rushing Attempt in the game?

Yes -180 (5/9)
No +150 (3/2)

Tom: What should the odds instead be if this were for a rushing attempt or a pass attempt instead of just a rushing attempt? Would it be -200 yes? Even greater? Deception has been the order of the day for the New England offense in the postseason, and Seattle has a more formidable defense than either Baltimore or Indianapolis. Yes.

Mike: Probably, it worked all right with Randall Cobb last week. Yes.

Total Tackles & Assists -- Jamie Collins (NE)

Over/Under 8½

Tom: Lost in the wreckage of last year's prop bets disaster, the official scorekeeper for Seahawks-Broncos seemed to be neither the Giants nor the Jets man, but an extraordinarily assist-happy keeper who single-handedly sent most tackle marks over. For this game, the NFL may just import Foxborough's scorekeeper, who seems to hand out assists to everyone who breathes in air the ball-carrier exhaled. Over.

Mike: Someone has to tackle Marshawn Lynch. Over.

Total Tackles & Assists -- Dont'a Hightower (NE)

Over/Under 7½

Mike: It probably won't be Dont'a Hightower. Under.

Tom: For similar scorekeeper-related reasons, and because I believe the Seahawks will run the ball a fair amount, over here as well.

Total Sacks -- Chandler Jones (NE)

Over ½(-150, 2/3)
Under ½(+120, 6/5)

Tom: Russell Wilson got better at not taking sacks this year, coming out at just 8.7 percent Adjusted Sack Rate after last year's 9.8 percent. A dozen quarterbacks who qualified for the DVOA table actually ranked ahead of him, including three Titans lacking in pocket presence. He will go down multiple times, so I will go over on Jones.

Mike: If New England is able to contain Wilson like Green Bay did, I foresee three or four sacks. I think there's a good chance that Jones gets one of those. Over.

Total Interceptions -- Darrelle Revis (NE)

Over ½(+275, 11/4)
Under ½(-350, 2/7)

Tom: If Revis does get an interception this week, I expect it to be like his one last week, where he takes a risk and it pays off. He may need to take a risk if Seattle is able to play offense the way I think they might be able to. Under.

Mike: Much to Wilson's future chagrin, Revis is unlike most NFC West defensive backs in that he doesn't drop easy interceptions. Over.

Total Points -- Stephen Gostkowski (NE)

Over/Under 8½

Mike: Seattle's red zone defense is actually pretty terrible (10.0% DVOA), since its strength is its exceptional secondary. I also think Bill Belichick learned (although he probably already knew) that settling for field goals in goal-to-go is a bad trade when you have a good offense. Under.

Tom: Multiple field goals and multiple touchdowns, or just three field goals? I do not see it happening; New England is too aggressive on fourth down and will probably need to score too many points. Under.


Total Passing Yards -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 219½

Tom: I imagine the Seahawks trying to keep the ball on the ground, and Wilson not having that much success passing. Of course, 230 yards would not necessarily be that much success. Under anyway.

Mike: While New England's passing defense is roughly equivalent to Green Bay's, their rushing defense is much, much better. Not shutting-down-Marshawn-Lynch better, but good enough that Wilson is going to have to air it out a lot to win this game. It will probably mean boneheaded interceptions and a few sacks, but it will definitely mean the over on passing yards.

Total Passing Attempts in the game -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 27½

Tom: Under as well for game plan-related reasons.

Mike: Over. How effective they will be is anybody's guess.

First Passing Attempt Result -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Complete 5/9
Incomplete 7/5
Interception 10/1

Tom: Does incomplete pay out as well as interception? After all, an interception is just a special form of an incompletion. Does Seattle start with a shot play, or with a play to get Wilson involved in the game, possibly with the option to run? Complete.

Mike: Unlike New England, I expect Seattle to have a much more conservative opening to this game, so they can start optioning and taking deep shots later on. I think a safe first pass is complete.

What will Russell Wilson (SEA) 1?

Throw a TD Pass 1/2
Throw an Interception 8/5

Tom: There will be a shot play. He will hit one. No action is a possibility here, but I will go with throw a TD pass.

Mike: A touchdown pass to cap a long Lynch-fueled drive seems like the smart early play for Seattle. TD Pass.

Total Completions -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 17½

Tom: Few attempts, few completions. Under.

Mike: This is the weird one. Wilson will throw a lot. A good share of them, especially as the game drags on, will be deep, lower-percentage throws. New England also has mediocre cover linebackers, so we should see a decent number of midrange throws to poorly covered slot receivers and tight ends mixed in with the bombs. I'll go with the over.

Total Yards on First Completion -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 8½

Mike: Safe throws tend to gain below-average yardage. Under.

Tom: My divining rod random number generator random guess expert opinion is that I have no idea what the first play will look like. Over.

Longest Completion -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 37½

Tom: Like I said, there will be a shot play. Wilson will hit one, even though it may not go for a touchdown. Over.

Mike: This is where a big chunk of that passing yardage will come from. Wilson is going to be testing New England's secondary deep all game, and a few of those throws are going to connect for big yardage. Perhaps even huge yardage. Over.

Total TD Passes -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

0 5/2
1 3/2
2 13/5
3 5/1
4 or more 12/1

Tom: Red-zone play-calling is where gameplanning will be most important, and I have as yet no idea how it will play out. If the Seahawks throw in the red zone, there will be more Wilson touchdown throws. Run, and fewer. Banal, but I cannot go any further at this point. One.

Mike: I think New England's rushing defense is stout enough to make red-zone passing a more attractive option than an all-Lynch pounding attack. Two.

Total Interceptions -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under ½

Tom: I will say last week's sloppiness was an aberration not likely to be repeated in a controlled environment. Under.

Mike: Magic beans! Plus Darrelle Revis. Over.

Total Rushing Yards -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 40½

Mike: I will think that Pete Carroll will try to get Wilson more involved in the running game than he did last week. I don't think it will matter, however. The Patriots are going to keep contain rushing the edge and throw in a spy for good measure. Wilson will get his yards, but he's not going to break a long one, which is what a quarterback needs to do to go over 40 yards. Under.

Tom: The Patriots defense does not come with the same "please run read-option" sign as the Packers defense, but I still expect to see it this week. We saw with Colin Kaepernick against Green Bay and Atlanta two years ago how the defense can control whether the quarterback keeps the ball. Faced with the prospect of tackling Wilson or Marshawn Lynch, I will choose the one who is not Beast Mode. Over.

Total Rushing Attempts in the game -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 7½

Tom: Over for the same reason as rushing yards.

Mike: I figure there will be five or six designed runs or options, which leaves two to three for broken plays and scrambles. That seems reasonable. Over.

Total Yards on First Rushing Attempt -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 5½

Mike: One of those scrambles may very well be the first recorded rushing attempt, so I'll take the under.

Tom: As a quarterback, Wilson is tricky. Some of those sacks are scrambles that fail to gain yardage; a designed pass play with a run option where he is tackled at the line of scrimmage is a sack and not technically a rushing attempt. Over.

Longest Rush -- Russell Wilson (SEA)

Over/Under 17½

Mike: The Patriots are going to make Wilson beat them with his arm, so I don't see any long runs in the cards. Under.

Tom: Of course, if you force Wilson to keep, you need to account for him. Bill Belichick will. Under.

Will Russell Wilson (SEA) score a Rushing TD in the game?

Yes +220 (11/5)
No -280 (5/14)

Tom: Again, red-zone scheming, a great unknown for me. Random guess says yes.

Mike: Wilson doesn't really sneak and throwing off the option will be much more effective in the red zone than running, so I'll say no.

Total Rushing Yards -- Marshawn Lynch (SEA)

Over/Under 92½

Tom: If Wilson will not be throwing, Lynch must be running. Over.

Mike: I think Lynch will ground out a lot of yards in the back and mid zones. Enough to put him near enough 100 for the day. Over.

Total Rushing Attempts in the game -- Marshawn Lynch (SEA)

Over/Under 20½

Mike: Like Gronkowski, betting against a team heavily featuring its best player is just silly. Over.

Tom: I remain bullish on the Seahawks run game. Over.

Total Rushing Yards on First Attempt for Marshawn Lynch?

Over/Under 3½

Mike: I actually think Lynch is going to average somewhere in the low 4s, so hitting the average on the first attempt, fully rested and ready to run people over, seems like a good bet. Over.

Tom: That bullishness does not necessarily extend to the first carry. Under.

Longest Rush -- Marshawn Lynch (SEA)

Over/Under 20½

Tom: Another good over/under here, as Lynch has nine gains of at least 20 yards in eighteen games this season. The Patriots ranked third in Open Field Yards this season, so I will go under while noting Lynch went over this against Green Bay, the top defense by OFY.

Mike: On the other hand, I just don't see Lynch breaking a long one when he'll be such a focus of the front seven. Under.

Total Receptions -- Marshawn Lynch (SEA)

Over/Under 2½

Mike: Wilson is going to have to throw some checkdowns in the face of pressure. Over.

Tom: My passing game pessimism for Seattle absolutely does include Lynch as part of it. Under.

Will Marshawn Lynch (SEA) score a TD in the game?

Yes -200 (1/2)
No +160 (8/5)

Mike: Is the actual Pope a communist? Yes.

Tom: After I say yes, watch Russell Wilson pick up a couple of rushing touchdowns.

Total Receiving Yards -- Doug Baldwin (SEA)

Over/Under 54½

Tom: On the one hand, Baldwin is Seattle's best receiver and a reliable target for some of Wilson's favorite routes. On the other hand, a man-heavy Patriots team could choose to match up Darrell Revis against him and shut him down. On the other other hand, that seems almost like a waste of Revis' talent. On the other other other hand, I do not know the best way to use Revis against a team like the Seahawks. A very tentative over.

Mike: Those yards need to come from somewhere. Over.

Total Receptions -- Doug Baldwin (SEA)

Over/Under 4½

Tom: For the same marginal reasons as yards, a very tentative over here as well.

Mike: Baldwin is going to be the guy working the middle of the field and finding holes in the zone. I think he'll get more than four receptions just on long plays where the defense pays too much attention to Wilson and not enough to the receivers behind them. Over.

Total Yards on First Reception -- Doug Baldwin (SEA)

Over/Under 10½

Mike: Holes in short zones, most likely. Under.

Tom: I seem to keep going under on length of the first play, so why not here as well.

Longest Reception -- Doug Baldwin (SEA)

Over/Under 20½

Mike: The Patriots are going to be expecting a load of slants on third-and-long. They might convert, but that takes away Baldwin's best opportunity for serious YAC. I think he ends up under.

Tom: While he could be the guy, I would expect Baldwin to be the complement to the deep shot player(s), not the deep shot player himself. Under.

Will Doug Baldwin (SEA) score a TD in the game?

Yes +180 (9/5)
No -220 (5/11)

Tom: I expect Seattle to run the ball in the red zone. No.

Mike: If Seattle gets anywhere near the red zone, you'll see a lot of play action and fades to Baldwin. Yes.

Total Receiving Yards -- Jermaine Kearse (SEA)

Over/Under 39½

Mike: Seattle will be going long early and often, so over.

Tom: I struggle with Kearse as a player. Under.

Total Receptions -- Jermaine Kearse (SEA)

Over 2½(-150, 2/3)
Under 2½(+120, 6/5)

Tom: Under. I only like Kearse potentially on shot plays against the New England secondary.

Mike: It's going to take more than two receptions to make it happen, so over.

Total Yards on First Reception -- Jermaine Kearse (SEA)

Over/Under 12½

Tom: My lack of faith in Kearse outside of potential shot plays actually makes me want to say over here, just because I have more faith in Baldwin to convert third down on a slant route. But I may just be underrating him as well.

Mike: I'm not sure the Seahawks will bother with short routes with Kearse. Over.

Longest Reception -- Jermaine Kearse (SEA)

Over/Under 22½

Mike: Which means if anything connects, it will be in the 20-yard range anyway. Over.

Tom: Definite shot play possibility makes this an over for me.

Will Jermaine Kearse (SEA) score a TD in the game?

Yes +225 (9/4)
No -280 (5/14)

Mike: Unless he gets in on a long touchdown, I don't see Kearse really playing a viable threat in the end zone. No.

Tom: Only if it is on a shot play. No.

Total Tackles & Assists -- Kam Chancellor (SEA)

Over/Under 6½

Mike: The very best part of this game is going to be watching Chancellor flying around the field. I dislike the way he throws his upper body at ball carriers, but that's how safeties play nowadays. Perhaps Tony Dungy and I can discuss this complaint over some sarsaparilla. Anyway, Kam Chancellor. Really good. Really fun to watch. I'll bet on fun, and maximize his involvement. Over.

Tom: Given Tom Brady's limitations as a deep ball thrower and the presence of Earl Thomas, plus the aforementioned scorekeeping issue, I expect to see Chancellor a lot as an underneath defender at this Week 22, ready to contribute against the run game and the short pass game. Over.

Total Tackles & Assists -- K.J. Wright (SEA)

Over/Under 6½

Tom: On the other hand, if New England only runs so many offensive plays, there will only be so many tackles to go around. Wright is my guess as the likeliest person to go under, but not for any specific reason I can pinpoint.

Mike: Tom insisted that we include a linebacker in the tackle props for Seattle. Sometimes I hate Tom. I'm going with the under just out of spite.

Total Sacks -- Michael Bennett (SEA)

Over ½(-150, 2/3)
Under ½(+120, 6/5)

While Seattle has an above-average Adjusted Sack Rate (6.8 percent), they also have significantly fewer sacks due to fewer passing attempts against. Still, one sack isn't that hard to come by. Over.

Tom: Lowest Adjusted Sack Rates among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts: Nick Foles, Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer, and then Tom Brady fifth at 4.1%. Under.

Total Interceptions -- Richard Sherman (SEA)

Over ½(+200, 2/1)
Under ½(-250, 2/5)

Tom: Like Green Bay with Brandon Boykin in Week 1, New England may just throw Brandon LaFell out there against Sherman and ignore him all game. Under.

Mike: You know Brady is going to try it. Just to assuage his innate smugness. If the world doesn't implode over those passing attempts, I like Sherman's chances of coming down with one. Over.

Total Points -- Steven Hauschka (SEA)

Over/Under 7½

Mike: Seattle heart field goals. Over.

Tom: On 24 Seattle points, Hauschka is likely to have six of them, three extra points and on field goal. Under.


Coin Toss

Heads -105 (20/21)
Tails -105 (20/21)

Mike: Our favorite prop! We all know the drill by now. Tails.

Tom: Well, at least it is only -105 this year. Still -EV, but not as bad. Tails.

Team to win the coin toss

New England Patriots -105 (20/21)
Seattle Seahawks -105 (20/21)

Tom: New England Patriots, just because.

Mike: The Seattle Seahawks want the ball and they're going to score!

Will the team that wins the coin toss win the game?

Yes -115 (20/23)
No -115 (20/23)

Mike: The second time, as farce. No.

Tom: Before putting money down on this bet, I would light my money on fire. I have always wanted, in a very vague and non-defined version of "wanted," to watch a dollar bill burn. Betting on a random 50-50 proposition is not much different than that. No.

Will the team that chooses Heads or Tails in the coin toss be correct?

Yes -115 (20/23)
No -115 (20/23)

Mike: I must preserve my joke! No.

Tom: More money getting lit on fire. Yes.

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Team to score first in the game

New England Patriots -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks -115 (20/23)

Tom: Still -115, but at least this is something other than random chance. Seattle Seahawks.

Mike: While scoring would not actually win the game this time around, I'm not putting any bets on Seattle's somnambulant first-half offense. New England Patriots.

Team to score last in the game

New England Patriots -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks -115 (20/23)

Mike: I do think there will be a wild finish as the Seahawks try to make up for lost time. Just like... every other important Seahawks game. Seattle Seahawks.

Tom: See above, though note the below odds indicating the winner of the game is likeliest to score last. New England Patriots.

Team to score first wins the game

Yes -165 (20/33)
No +135 (27/20)

Tom: Do I hedge my Seahawks prediction? Nah. Yes.

Mike: While I don't see this match being a defenseive slugfest, there is going to be a huge strategic advantage in scoring first. I think it dictates the game, so yes.

Team to score last wins the game

Yes -200 (1/2)
No +160 (8/5)

Tom: Do I hedge my Patriots prediction, especially considering the odds and what history tells us? Nah, so no.

Mike: I do think the game will be close, but I still see a persistent New England lead, so no.

The first score of the game will be?

Touchdown -165 (20/33)
Field Goal or Safety +135 (27/20)

Tom: Seahawks go up 7-0. Touchdown.

Mike: You know, if it were just field goal, then I wouldn't want any part of this. But you're giving me the safety? For free?! How can I resist!?! Field goal or safety.

The first score of the game by the New England Patriots

Touchdown -180 (5/9)
Field Goal or Safety +150 (3/2)

Tom: Touchdown, just because.

Mike: I think it's going to take some time for Seattle to dissect Belichick's script, so I like the odds on touchdown.

The first score of the game by the Seattle Seahawks

Touchdown -165 (20/33)
Field Goal or Safety +135 (27/20)

Mike: Conversely, I think a drawn-out Lynch-based drive has a high probability of being Seattle's first scoring drive, and those often end in field goals. Or maybe Chancellor sacks Brady for a safety! The possibilities are endless! Field goal or safety.

Tom: I still predict the Seahawks to go up 7-0. Touchdown.

The first score of the game will be?

New England Patriots Touchdown 7/4
New England Patriots Field Goal 4/1
New England Patriots Safety 33/1
Seattle Seahawks Touchdown 9/5
Seattle Seahawks Field Goal 7/2
Seattle Seahawks Safety 33/1

Tom: Changing the odds are not enough to get me to move off my Seattle Seahawks touchdown prediction.

Mike: Not buying Seattle's first-half offense. Only sort of buying Seattle's defense against New England's offense. Since they cruelly took away my field goal/safety combo package, I'll go with New England Patriots touchdown.

The last score of the game will be?

New England Patriots Field Goal 4/1
New England Patriots TD Pass 3/1
New England Patriots Rushing TD 11/2
New England Patriots Safety 33/1
New England Patriots Defensive or Special Teams TD 14/1
Seattle Seahawks Field Goal 7/2
Seattle Seahawks TD Pass 4/1
Seattle Seahawks Rushing TD 4/1
Seattle Seahawks Safety 33/1
Seattle Seahawks Defensive or Special Teams TD 14/1

Tom: With the Seahawks holding a 24-14 lead, a New England Patriots field goal makes it a one-score game.

Mike: Both the props and Tom are getting oddly specific. I suppose the overwhelming odds of field goals made them break it out a bit. Still, I like the sequence of a quick-strike Seattle touchdown followed by New England actually chewing up the clock, so I'll go with Seattle Seahawks touchdown Pass.

Total First Half Team Points -- New England Patriots

Over/Under 12½

Tom: The Seahawks will lead at halftime, and the Patriots will have 7 points. Under.

Mike: This seems low. Over.

Total Team Points -- New England Patriots

Over/Under 24½

Mike: This seems more reasonable, but still a bit on the low side. Over.

Tom: With the Patriots scoring 17 points in total, they will go under.

Total First Half Team Points -- Seattle Seahawks

Over/Under 12

Tom Will Seattle's halftime lead be 10-7, 14-7, or 17-7? Two of the three are greater than 12, so I say over.

Mike: For the first half, this seems really high. Under.

Total Team Points -- Seattle Seahawks

Over/Under 24½

Tom: 24 is less than 24.5, so under.

Mike: Have any of your ultra-specific point breakdowns ever been remotely close? Anyway, late-game flourishes are their specialty. Against defenses who have been worn out thanks to their bad offenses, usually, but I believe in some magic! Over.

Longest Touchdown in the Game

Over/Under Yards 44½

Tom: Seattle will have shot plays. I know from past seasons this number is in the abstract more reasonable than it still feels to me. That does not mean I like it. Under.

Mike: The only credible source of this long a touchdown is Kearse, and I already vetoed that prop. So under.

Shortest Touchdown in the Game

Over/Under Yards 1½

Tom: My guess is at least one team will have to grind out yards in the red zone. Under, there will be a one-yard touchdown.

Mike: Brady sneak! Always believe in Brady sneak. Under.

Team to Score the Longest Touchdown in the Game

New England Patriots
Seattle Seahawks

Mike: The Seahawks are just much more well equipped for long scores than the Patriots. Seattle Seahawks.

Tom: As I have indicated several times, I like the Seattle Seahawks much more here, and would pick them at uneven odds. Consider this another one the hypothetical "Tom who bets" would lay actual money on.

Team to Score the Shortest Touchdown in the Game

New England Patriots
Seattle Seahawks

Mike: Brady sneak! Seriously, he's really good at sneaking. New England Patriots.

Tom: This one feels much more like a toss-up to me. With Seattle Seahawks scoring more total touchdowns according to my made-up game forecast, I choose them.

Total Touchdowns in the game

Over/Under 5½

Tom: A 24-17 score prediction includes five touchdowns, which is less than 5.5. .

Mike: I think six sounds like a good bar. Especially with all of the penalties on Browner and ... probably every single member of the Seahawks' secondary. We always underestimate the score in the Super Bowl. Over.

Total Touchdowns in the game by the Patriots

Over 2½(-150, 2/3)
Under 2½(+120, 6/5)

Mike: Which makes me wonder, how did I end up with a high-scoring game involving the Seahawks? I guess I just respect the Patriots' stupid offense too much. Over.

Tom: Seventeen points, the final field goal puts them under. I would love it if Al Michaels made a sly reference to this prop when they kick that field goal.*

* All predictions guaranteed to be at least as accurate as picking a Denver win last year.

Total Touchdowns in the game by the Seahawks

Over TDs 2½(-130, 10/13)
Under TDs 2½(EVEN, 1/1)

Tom: Twenty-four points means three touchdowns, which is more than 2.5. Over.

Mike: I think two is probably a good number, with a ton of field goals mixed in. Under.

Longest Successful Field Goal in the Game

Over/Under Yards 44½

Tom: With only two field goals, under seems like the safer bet.

Mike: Some day, we will augment our Over/Under series with "Tom predicts exact game scores." It will be hilarious.

This line seems really short, even for these two aggressive teams. They both have good enough kickers to try kicks in the high-40s easily. Over.

Shortest Successful Field Goal in the Game

Over/Under 24½

Mike: On the other hand, I think neither team is going to settle for goal-line field goals. This isn't quite a goal-line field goal, but for this Super Bowl I'm erring on the side of aggression. Over.

Tom: Kicking a field goal from at or inside the 6? Seems unlikely to me. Over.

How many successful 3-point Field Goals will be kicked in the game?

Over/Under 3½

Tom: Does this include fair catch kicks? The language -- "3 point field goals" -- makes me wonder a bit who crafted these props; unless University of Phoenix starts playing basketball during the game, I do not see how any field goals worth anything other than three points will be attempted. Under.

Mike: Thank god they specified three-point field goals. I was way too excited by the over before that qualification. Over anyway, because Seahawks.

How many successful 3-point Field Goals will be kicked in the game by the Patriots?

Over/Under 1½

Mike: I think I said two field goals earlier? I might be hallucinating that. Unfortunately, the second rule of prop bet extravaganza is that you never look at previous bets. Over.

Tom: My predicted score has one field goal for New England. Under.

How many successful 3-point Field Goals will be kicked in the game by the Seahawks?

Over/Under 1½

Mike: Over, and how.

Tom: My predicted score has one field goal for Seattle. Under.

Total QB Sacks in the game

Over/Under 4½

Tom: A very interesting prop, but my game script prediction for both teams has them not passing so much, which strongly suggests under.

Mike: Another nearly perfect line. I'm going to hedge a bit with this one since I have the opportunity to aggregate, and go with the under.

Total QB Sacks in the game by the Patriots

Over/Under 2½

Tom: If Russell Wilson pass attempts goes over, I like this to go over as well. Do I hedge? No. Under.

Mike: The Patriots are going to get some good opportunities for unblocked rushers. Wilson is good at evading pressure, but Belichick is good at catching opponents flat-footed. Over.

Total QB Sacks in the game by the Seahawks

Over/Under 2

Tom: Pushing, if it were an option, would be incredibly tempting here notwithstanding my prediction on the number of pass attempts. One sack in normal play, another sack as the Patriots are attempting to come back, and the under is toast. Under, though.

Mike: Eeeeeeeeh. I could go for 1.5. 2 without a push option seems optimistic. Under.

Race to 10 Points
New England Patriots 5/6
Seattle Seahawks 1/1
Neither 35/1

Tom: "Neither" is at 35-1? Even in a world of awful odds (-115 on team that wins coin toss wins game). For that to be a break-even, you would expect about seven such games in an NFL regular season. There has not been a game where the winning team had less than 10 points since one of the greatest displays of quarterbacking in modern NFL history, when the Mark Sanchez- and Greg McElroy-led Jets defeated the Ryan Lindley-led Arizona Cardinals. That was in 2012. The Seattle Seahawks are my predicted winner and have better odds than the Patriots, making them an easy choice.

Mike: These are the worst odds I have ever seen. New England Patriots.

Total Points -- Odd or Even?

Odd -140 (5/7)
Even +110 (11/10)

Tom: 24+17 = 41, which is odd.

Mike: Odd plus odd equals even. Even plus even equals even. I'm not sure they thought this one through, going by that action. Even.

Will there be a defensive or special teams TD scored in the game?

Yes +160 (8/5)
No -200 (1/2)

Mike: Sure, why not. Wilson makes a big mistake on a midrange throw and one of the generic Some Guys New England has playing alongside Revis sees some daylight. Yes.

Tom: No until it is right again.

Half Time/Full Time

New England Patriots / New England Patriots 7/5
Seattle Seahawks / New England Patriots 9/1
Tie / New England Patriots 16/1
Tie / Seattle Seahawks 16/1
New England Patriots / Seattle Seahawks 9/1
Seattle Seahawks / Seattle Seahawks 7/5
New England Patriots / Tie 35/1
Seattle Seahawks / Tie 35/1
Tie / Tie 35/1

Tom: There were 11 overtime games in the NFL regular season in 2014. None of them were tied at halftime. Seattle Seahawks/Seattle Seahawks.

Mike: What Tom said. Patriots/Patriots.

Margin of Victory

New England Patriots 1 to 6 points 7/2
New England Patriots 7 to 12 points 11/2
New England Patriots 13 to 18 points 8/1
New England Patriots 19 to 24 points 14/1
New England Patriots 25 to 30 points 20/1
New England Patriots 31 to 36 points 35/1
New England Patriots 37 or more points 30/1
Seattle Seahawks 1 to 6 points 7/2
Seattle Seahawks 7 to 12 points 11/2
Seattle Seahawks 13 to 18 points 8/1
Seattle Seahawks 19 to 24 points 14/1
Seattle Seahawks 25 to 30 points 20/1
Seattle Seahawks 31 to 36 points 35/1
Seattle Seahawks 37 or more points 30/1

Mike: How is the Seahawks with a 36-point margin longer odds than a 37-point margin? It's somewhat doubtful they can even score that many points, and if the Patriots offense produces its average score in non-Garoppolo games (31 points), the Seahawks will have scored sixty-some points. That is insane, and it would mean that both Brady and Revis died on the field, or something. In which case Seattle will win by like a million points. To put this in perspective, Seattle's high score all year was 38 points against the hapless New York Football Giants defense. I guess the book just took that, assumed New England would get a touchdown, and called it a day? In any case, New England wire to wire. New England Patriots 7 to 12 points.

Tom: 24-17 = 7, so Seattle Seahawks 7 to 12 points.

Team Offense to Cross the 50 Yard Line First in the Game

New England Patriots (Cross 50yd Line First) -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks (Cross 50yd Line First) -115 (20/23)

Tom: Better than random chance, still not as much fun as lighting money on fire might be. Seattle Seahawks.

Mike: Nothing is more fun than lighting money on fire. I think Seattle will get there early, but will have trouble sustaining drives in New England Territory.

Team to Enter the Red Zone First in the Game

New England Patriots (Enter Red Zone First) -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks (Enter Red Zone First) -115 (20/23)

Mike: Which is why the Patriots will enter the red zone first.

Tom: More money going up in smoke. Seattle Seahawks.

Team to score from the Red Zone First in the Game

New England Patriots (Score from Red Zone First) -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks (Score from Red Zone First) -115 (20/23)

Mike: Where they will score. New England Patriots.

Tom: What should be the line on a hypothetical "team to enter the red zone first in the game scores from the red zone first in the game"? Offhand, my guess based on no significant research would be in the -1200 to -1500 range. Seattle.

Will there be a score in the final 2 minutes of the First Half?

Yes (Score in Final 2 Minutes of First Half) -280 (5/14)
No (Score in Final 2 Minutes of First Half) +225 (9/4)

Tom: Final two minutes? Hmm, no. Final three minutes, which is not a prop? Yes.

Mike: I love the odds on no score, so I'm going to play against what I think will happen and bet on the obligatory late-half boneheaded Brady interception. No.

Team to score last in First half

New England Patriots (Score last in First Half) -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks (Score last in First Half) -115 (20/23)

Mike: I still think New England gets the last score of the half, though.

Tom: Seattle Seahawks, to mesh with my vision of the game.

Last Scoring Play of the Game

Touchdown -180 (5/9)
Field Goal or Safety +150 (3/2)

Tom: New England Patriots field goal or safety.

Mike: Seattle gunning for points down late, touchdown.

Last Scoring Play of the First Half

Touchdown -165 (20/33)
Field Goal or Safety +135 (27/20)

Tom: I am split on which this will be, even in my made-up game scenario that will assuredly not come to pass, so I will allow the line to direct me to touchdown.

Mike: I still think teams are going to aim for touchdown or bust, so touchdown.

Will the New England Patriots score in every quarter?

Yes (Patriots Score in Every Quarter) +250 (5/2)
No (Patriots Do Not Score in Every Quarter) -325 (4/13)

Mike: I love this prop. The Patriots have such a consistent offense you want to think they score every single quarter, but the fact is they don't. No team does. One long drive by your opponent and a three-and-out can take the whole quarter away from your offense. I have to go with No.

Tom: Weird line, and not something I recall seeing in past years or would have expected. Given the Patriots will only be scoring three times, how can they score in every quarter? No.

Will the Seattle Seahawks score in every quarter?

Yes (Seahawks Score in Every Quarter) +250 (5/2)
No (Seahawks Do Not Score in Every Quarter) -325 (4/13)

Mike: If I wasn't willing to take the yes on the Patriots, why on Earth would I take the Seahawks with the same odds? No.

Tom: Given I have them scoring four times, I am oddly tempted to say yes and chase the reward here. But no I still select.

Which will be the Highest Scoring Quarter?

First Quarter 9/2
2nd Quarter 7/5
3rd Quarter 9/2
4th Quarter 9/5

Tom: Gameflow is still somewhat opaque to me, so third quarter's superior odds make up for the second quarter being likelier.

Mike: Neither of these teams will take their foot off the gas, regardless of how the game goes. Fourth quarter.

Will the game go to overtime?

Yes (Overtime) +800 (8/1)
No (Overtime) -1600 (1/16)

Tom: Sadly, there is no prop at all on the possibility of going to a fourth half of play. It happened in the USFL! No.

Mike: One typo, and your partner never lets you forget it. This action is evil, but betting on a tie game between these coaches in the Super Bowl is just stupid. No.

The first Missed Field goal of the game will be?

Wide Left 1/1
Wide Right 1/1
Short or Blocked 5/1

Mike: I believe in Kam Chancellor's leap of faith! Short or Blocked.

Tom: No action likely on this prop, of course, but more field goals were missed wide right in the 2014 regular season so that is my choice here.

Will there be a safety in the game?

Yes (Safety) +550 (11/2)
No (Safety) -900 (1/9)

Tom: There should not be, of course. Whether there will be, as we have seen in recent seasons, is another story. A very Platonic no.

Mike: Arizona is not known for its cannoli, so no.

Team to Commit the Most Turnovers in the Game

New England Patriots (Commit Most Turnovers) EVEN (1/1)
Seattle Seahawks (Commit Most Turnovers) -130 (10/13)

Mike: I think Brady does a better job taking care of the ball than Wilson. Plus, an option offense has more points of ball transfer failure, so Seattle Seahawks.

Tom: I like the Seahawks to take control of the football and the Patriots to try to have to come back. With better odds, New England Patriots.

Team to Record the First Turnover in the Game

New England Patriots (Commit First Turnover) -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks (Commit First Turnover) -115 (20/23)

Tom: I am not so confident in my imagined game script to endorse betting on a 50-50 at -115. In this world, where I am pretending to wager fake money and cannot pass, New England Patriots.

Mike: I have nothing for this one. Seattle Seahawks.

[ad placeholder 4]

The First Turnover of the Game will be?

Interception 2/3
Fumble 6/5
No Turnover in Game 8/1

Mike: Might as well stick with the Wilson interception narrative.

Tom: No turnover in game, rendering the previous props moot.

Team to Call the First Timeout in the Game

New England Patriots (First Timeout) -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks (First Timeout) -115 (20/23)

Tom: Burn, baby, burn. Seattle Seahawks.

Mike: New England does not waste times out. Seattle doesn't either, at least not Martzian levels of waste, but I see the Seahawks needing an in-play adjustment more than the Patriots.

Team to Get the First Penalty in the Game

New England Patriots (First Penalty) -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks (First Penalty) -115 (20/23)

Tom: Seattle Seahawks, why not.

Mike: Brandon Browner! Every single member of the Seahawks defense! Twelve men enter! Approximately seven thousand flags leave! Seattle Seahawks.

Will the team with more penalty yards win the game?

Yes (More Penalty Yards wins) EVEN (1/1)
No (More Penalty Yards wins) -130 (10/13)

Tom: Penalties are bad, but not that bad. Yes, more penalty yards wins. Get penalized for the win. It worked for the Seahawks last year.

Mike: No, because Seattle is a penalty magnet.

What will be the First enforced Penalty in the game?

False Start 5/2
Offside or Encroachment or Neutral Zone Infraction 7/2
Holding 9/4
Pass Interference 5/1
Any Personal Foul or Unsportsmanlike Conduct 9/1
Delay of Game 11/2
Any Other Penalty 11/2
No Penalty in the game 66/1

Mike: I think an aggressive game plan by both coaches leads to a quick pass interference as the officials assert the rules on two heavily penalized secondaries.

Tom: I would love to hear the explanation and react if the first penalty called in the game was disconcerting signals, which is a variety of unsportsmanlike conduct and, unlike illegal contact, does not fall under any other penalty.

Team to Call the First Coaches Challenge in the Game

New England Patriots (First Coaches Challenge) -115 (20/23)
Seattle Seahawks (First Coaches Challenge) -115 (20/23)

Tom: No action, no action, no action! Seattle Seahawks.

Mike: The Patriots just run more plays on offense than the Seahawks, and considering almost all coaches' challenges nowadays are close calls on conversions or long passes, I think Carroll is just going to have more opportunity or challenges. Seattle Seahawks.

What will be the Result of the First Coaches Challenge in the Game?

Play Overturned -130 (10/13)
Play Stands EVEN (1/1)

Mike: That said, coaches are still bad at challenges, so play stands.

Tom: Given the standard necessary for overturn these days and the deference being paid to officials, play stands at even odds might almost be good enough to put real money on.

Will a 2-point Conversion be attempted in the Game?

Yes (2pt Conversion Attempted) +200 (2/1)
No (2pt Conversion Not Attempted) -250 (2/5)

Tom: Early two-point conversion-era Bill Belichick, like college Chip Kelly, would do it for the heck of it. No.

Mike: I think the math usually works out for two-point conversations late in the game. Yes.

Will there be a Successful 2-point Conversion Attempt in the Game?

Yes (Successful 2pt Conversion Attempt) +350 (7/2)
No (Successful 2pt Conversion Attempt) -500 (1/5)

Mike: That said, this prop includes the possibility of no two-point try. The action is brutal, but last week's miracle notwithstanding I like the no here.

Tom: No two-point conversion attempt at all in the game means no successful two-point conversion attempt.

Player to score the first TD in the game?

Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB 11/2
Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE 13/2
LeGarrette Blount (NE) RB 9/1
Julian Edelman (NE) WR 10/1
Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR 12/1
Brandon LaFell (NE) WR 12/1
Russell Wilson (SEA) QB 12/1
Jermaine Kearse (SEA) WR 14/1
Shane Vereen (NE) RB 16/1
Luke Willson (SEA) TE 16/1
Danny Amendola (NE) WR 20/1
Ricardo Lockette (SEA) WR 20/1
Timothy Wright (NE) TE 20/1
Robert Turbin (SEA) RB 25/1
Brandon Bolden (NE) RB 30/1
Jonas Gray (NE) RB 30/1
Cooper Helfet (SEA) TE 30/1
Tom Brady (NE) QB 35/1
Tony Moeaki (SEA) TE 40/1
Kevin Norwood (SEA) WR 40/1
James Devlin (NE) FB 50/1
Michael Hoomanawanui (NE) TE 50/1
Christine Michael (SEA) RB 50/1
Will Tukuafu (SEA) FB 50/1
Field 15/2
No TD scored in the game 125/1

Mike: Now there is a line! 125/1 is so tempting. Normally I'd really be tempted by the field, but this isn't last year's Broncos or this year's Packers. I think I have to go with Gronkowski.

Tom: Does the potential reward from choosing anybody else make me second-guess myself and choose anyone other than Lynch? Russell Wilson does, as a matter of fact.

Mike: I'm glad that numbers can force you to second-guess your completely fabricated narrative, yes.


What will be higher?

Tom Brady Super Bowl 2015 Completions +3½
Tom Brady Super Bowl 2012 Completions (27 Completions) -3½

Tom: Tom Brady 2012 followed from my other answers.

Mike: More completions, worse results. 2015. No, I didn't look at my previous bet. That was a LIFETIME ago. Also, my brain is draining out of my nose.

What will be higher?

Tom Brady Super Bowl 2015 Passing Yards +15½
Tom Brady Super Bowl 2012 Passing Yards (276 Yards) -15½

Mike: I think 250 is selling Brady short. 2015.

Tom: Tom Brady 2012, same reasoning.

What will be higher?

Russell Wilson Super Bowl 2015 Passing Yards -13½
Russell Wilson Super Bowl 2014 Passing Yards (206 Yards) +13½

Mike: I think this is another great line. I see a late-game surge getting past 220. 2015.

Tom: Does it really add more information to say Russell Wilson 2014?

What will be higher?

Russell Wilson Super Bowl 2015 Rushing Yards -14½
Russell Wilson Super Bowl 2014 Rushing Yards (26 Yards) +14½

Mike: I have no idea why they're pushing Russell Wilson around 50 yards for this game. I have no idea what they're basing this on, except that maybe the Patriots linebackers are kind of slow. They are, but quarterback mobility is still mostly a function of disciplined line play. The Patriots have that. I'll take 2014 and the yards.

Tom: Russell Wilson 2015 follows from my other predictions.

What will be higher?

Doug Baldwin Receiving Yards 2015 Super Bowl +11½
Doug Baldwin Receiving Yards 2014 Super Bowl (66 Yards) -11½

Tom: Doug Baldwin 2015, per prior pro-Baldwin rationales.

Mike: Dinking and dunking to 55 yards! 2015.

What will be higher?

Doug Baldwin Receptions 2015 Super Bowl +½
Doug Baldwin Receptions 2014 Super Bowl (5 Receptions) -½

Mike: Which means more than four receptions. 2015.

Tom: Doug Baldwin 2015, ditto.

What will be higher?

Jermaine Kearse Receiving Yards 2015 Super Bowl +25½
Jermaine Kearse Receiving Yards 2014 Super Bowl (65 Yards) -25½

Tom: Jermaine Kearse 2014, except maybe if Kyle Arrington tears his ACL in the next week.

Mike: Like I said earlier (shut up, I invent and shed rules as I please), I expect one or two bombs to connect, which makes 40 yards an easy over. 2015.

What will be higher?

Jermaine Kearse Receptions 2015 Super Bowl +1
Jermaine Kearse Receptions 2014 Super Bowl (4 Receptions) -1

Tom: Jermaine Kearse 2014, ditto.

Mike: Three receptions seems exactly right, though. Without a push, I'll take 2015.


What will be higher on games played February 1?

Marshawn Lynch Receiving Yards (Pick)
Dwayne Wade Points (Pick)

Tom: Wade averages more than 21 points per game, and Miami's foe the Celtics give up more points per game than anybody else in the Eastern Conference. Given my non-affection for Lynch's potential role as a receiver, Dwayne Wade points is the call.

Mike: I don't think Lynch is going to see many passes. If he does, they're outlets and the Patriots are good at bottling up dumpoffs. Dwayne Wade Points.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Chris Bosh Total Points (Pick)
Marshawn Lynch Rushing attempts (Pick)

Mike: I do think Lynch will be run into the ground, however. Lynch rushing attempts.

Tom: Like his teammate Wade, Bosh averages more than 21 a game and has a potentially soft matchup. But while I do not like Lynch as a receiver, I do as a rusher. Lynch rushing attempts.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Carmelo Anthony Points (Pick)
Patriots Points scored (Pick)

Tom: The Knicks face the Lakers, who will be without Kobe Bryant. That means we cannot do the Kobe Bryant prop, which means Mike had to shelve a perfectly good joke that was no funnier than any other joke we have tried to make this year. Carmelo Anthony points.

Mike: How dare you cast aspersions on my jokes. Also, aren't the Knicks terrible? Patriots points.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Carey Price Saves (Pick)
Russell Wilson Passing Attempts (Pick)

Tom: Le bleu, blanc, et rouge face the Arizona Coyotes, who are not particularly good, but I pick Carey Price saves anyway because of my Wilson passing attempts skepticism and the Montreal defense.

Mike: Unfortunately The Number One Cop in Town is injured and unavailable for this. On a serious note, Carey Price is playing out of this world and the Habs' defense is kind of terrible. Carey Price Saves.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Max Pacioretty shots on goal (Pick)
Total Field Goals made in the game (Pick)

Mike: Pacioretty is averaging somewhere in the range of three shots per game. I think this is easily going for field goals.

Tom: As of this writing, Pacioretty has 164 shots in 45 games, an average of 3.6 per game. Arizona faces an above-average number of shots. With only two field goals per my prediction, Max Pacioretty shots on goal triumphs handily.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Alex Ovechkin shots on goal (Pick)
Doug Baldwin Receptions (Pick)

Mike: On the other hand, Baldwin is going to get fed the ball.

Tom: Sadly, Alex Ovechkin plays before the Super Bowl, or else he might take this prop as a personal challenge. Still, the man cleverly nicknamed "Ovie" averages less than 5.0 shots per game. That is less than Baldwin's over/under for receptions. The game timing, plus my optimism on him, make Doug Baldwin receptions an easier call than I expected.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Sidney Crosby Points (Pick)
Russell Wilson TD Passes (Pick)

Mike: Crosby is a points monster and he's getting a week off before this game for a definitely-is-super-real-for-reals unspecified "lower body" injury.

Tom: Crosby's lower-body injury, which by NHL injury reporting standards is probably a concussion, will keep him out of this weekend's NHL All-Star Game and the Penguins' first game back, but he will be available for Super Bowl Sunday and the showdown with Nashville, a fine defensive team. Russell Wilson TD passes.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Total Points Delon Wright (Pick)
Total First Half Points by the Seahawks (Pick)

Tom: Delon Wright plays basketball for the University of Utah, for those unfamiliar with him. Utah is playing USC, which currently ranks second-worst in the Pac-12 in conference games in defensive efficiency. Wright is a high-volume, high efficiency scorer. Even with the Utes' slow pace, I will take Delon Wright points.

Mike: For serious, I had to look Delon Wright up. Pan-sports fandom is really foreign to me. I like the cut of his jib, however, so I'll go with him.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Total Points Travis Trice (Pick)
Total First Half Points by the Patriots (Pick)

Tom Travis Trice is a Michigan State basketball player. He has reasonable efficiency and volume numbers, but the Spartans are facing their cross-state rival Wolverines. Unusually for a John Beilein team, Michigan's problems have come mostly on offense and not so much on defense. If New England does only score seven points, Trice should beat them, but I will hedge and say First half points by Patriots.

Mike: I bet they make Trice play with a properly inflated ball and everything. That just isn't fair. Patriots first-half points.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Goals scores in Arsenal vs Aston Villa -½(-130, 10/13)
Tom Brady TD Passes +½(EVEN, 1/1)

Tom: To paraphrase a joke a high school classmate once made, "Microscopic of even smaller? You get the benefit of the doubt." Goals scored in Arsenal vs. Aston Villa.

Mike: Considering 0-0 is a reasonably expected result of the soccer match, I'll go with Tom Brady and the sport that actually features scoring.

What will be higher?

Amount of minutes in the Silva vs Diaz fight (Pick)
LeGarrette Blount Rushing Attempts (Pick)

Tom: This is not the amount of minutes before I get bored watching UFC, since Blount is guaranteed to at least tie that. My optimism of his potential workload makes LeGarrette Blount rushing attempts an easy call.

Mike: Blount is going to get a lot of touches, but I'm pretty sure whoever is rigging UFC fights won't let a big fight go under low-20s minutes.

UFC Parlay Special -- Silva vs Diaz

Silva wins Patriots win 5/4
Silva Wins Seahawks win 3/2
Diaz wins Patriots win 6/1
Diaz win Seahawks win 7/1

Mike: Speaking of jibs, and those whose cut of which I am fond, this Diaz fellow fits the bill. Diaz wins, Patriots win.

Tom: I guess Silva is the heavy favorite to win. Lacking any specific, or even general, knowledge of his or Diaz' abilities, I will take Silva wins, Seahawks win.

What will be higher on games played February 1?

Tiger Woods Day 1 score at the Masters (+120, 6/5)
Julian Edelman Receiving Yards (-150, 2/3)

Mike: The Masters is in April!

Tom: That means the result of this bet for us will officially be left open when tell you how terrible we did the week after the Super Bowl, but we liked this prop so much we decided to include it anyway. As a long-time Woods pessimist (if my then-co-workers and I believe in betting and betting each other, I could have made money on Woods not winning a major after the 2008 U.S. Open) and Edelman under selector, the thing that really concerns me about losing Tiger Woods Day 1 score at the Masters is if he fails to compete or finish and the bet is not invalidated.

Mike: Yeah, Woods seems like a shoo-in.


36 comments, Last at 29 Jan 2015, 10:19pm

1 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

I feel I should point out that Aston Villa are making a serious attempt on the record for fewest goals scored in a Premier League season, and are actually conceding few enough to still not be that far down the table, so going with Brady seems smart.

3 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

The Russell Wilson rushing yards line looks like it's in the neighborhood of his season average. Maybe not the best way to project his yardage but it makes some sense.

I think your model of how this game is going to go depends a lot on the level of predictive value you give to Wilson's performance last week. Personally I think it mostly shows that Wilson is sneakily bad at playing in bad weather. He was pretty poor against the Saints last year in the playoffs and if memory serves a few of the games that made up his 2013 late season slump were played in inclement weather.

It makes some sense to me that a guy who derives most of his value from putting decent touch on long passes would suffer disproportionately from 20 mph winds. Both of his non-tip drill interceptions were bombs where Wilson apparently misjudged the wind and wound up leaving the pass way short. Seeing as weather won't be a factor in Glendale I think we're more likely to see Wilson-vs-Carolina than Wilson-vs-Packers. We'll see.

4 Dreamboat? Perfect husband 10 minutes into a Lifetime movie, ok

Tom Brady is a cheater now, Mike. Ladies don't like cheaters. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson isn't an old man who's soon to retire and be underfoot around the mansion all day screwing up established routines. Wilson also has hair that's curly like lambs wool, and he's got the courage to show his sensitive side, even in public. Besides, no one falls in love in Boston. The closest thing to that is Good Will Hunting where the happy ending is a successful guy abandoning his loser friends in the final scene. Seattle on the other hand, is a magical place where even a noodle armed single dad can find love rowing a boat 30 miles in 10 minutes.

Outside of the guys who rob banks to feed oxy habits demographic, everything points to Russell Wilson being easily the dreamiest QB. Typical East Coast bias.

6 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

Is the "official U.S. National Anthem" only the first stanza? Because otherwise, that bet should be really easy, since no one ever sings the rest.

I've never heard any Katy Perry songs. And after the Super Bowl, I still won't have. I also have never heard the name Idina Menzel before.

"[R]ed is the best Gatorade flavor, and I dispute all arguments to the contrary." I submit that Gatorade is not actually consumable and therefore it is the "best color" rather than "best flavor."

7 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

Menzel's a Broadway musical actress, until recently best known for originating Elphaba in Wicked. I say until recently because she voiced Elsa in Frozen, in which capacity she recorded Let it go, so that horrible noise you may have heard emanating from any under 10s you've come across in the last six months is an attempted imitation of her.

13 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

The snowman is essentially the Jar Jar Binks analogue - pretty insufferable, although his solo number is a nice comic ditty. The song is a well-crafted if not especially remarkable uplifting MT power ballad which a regrettable number of small children insist on constantly attempting to sing. The film, despite some real structural problems, is actually rather good.

15 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

I can't stand watching Disney cartoons because I hate those big power ballads so much. I don't like that type of song anyway, and for whatever reason I especially hate Disney's. (I used to blame Alan Menkin, but I don't think he's been writing them for a while.) Even when I was a child, I always fast-forwarded through them.

31 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

Re Frozen yeah, I don't know the names of the people in the film, but I watched it with my girlfriend and her 12 year-old daughter a few weeks ago, and it's actually not horrible.

I won't go into the plot except to say that it wasn't hard for me to view the plot as a sort of X-Men/comic book story of a mutant whose powers went awry, and then the people who were out to get the mutant, all told from the point of view of the mutant's sibling, who was trying to save her.

Aside from the ridiculous "Let it Go!" song, which is hard to get out of one's head, the music is sort of drab. But there is humor along the way, and the story isn't dreadful even if you don't try to imagine that it's from Marvel.

10 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

It's possible that I have without knowing it, I guess. None of the titles listed above connected in my head to something I remembered hearing, though. I wear earbuds and listen to my iPod pretty much anytime I'm out of the house, so I don't hear music that they play anywhere other than at work, and my department is isolated enough from the rest of the store that I can't actually hear the music from in there--I only hear it when I have to go to the back.

I guess I have actually heard a Minecraft version of one of her songs. A friend sent the video to me. I was interested in the mechanics of the build but had no idea what the song was.

EDIT: Apparently I have heard "Roar." My father listens to it constantly, but I couldn't understand what she was saying (I was trying not to pay attention.), so the title didn't mean anything to me when I saw it.

30 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

Teenage Dream is fantastic

My girlfriend mocks me for liking Katy Perry and imagines it's because I think she's hot. But the reality is that I'm indifferent to her looks. (I'd much rather watch a Game of War commercial if I'm just going on looks.) I just think she-- or her writers and producers, since I have no idea who is the brains behind everything-- just puts out really tight, catchy tunes with great hooks.

34 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

Prefer looking af katy perry more than kate upton .

Have been watchunf the half ime shows ladt 5 or so years. Used to watch other stuff like beavis abd butt-head halftime show that one yr and other special stuff on other channels. Think there was some cat show pne yr.

Now just watch the real halftime show
. the who, broce springsteen. Black eyed peas, beyonce knowles, bruno mars. All good shows tp me. Think k. Perry might be better than,all tjose

14 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

OK, now that the cartel has threatened Lynch with a 15 yard penalty if he grabs his junk again, is that bet off the board? What happens to the poor degenerates who already put money on a crotch grab?

21 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

Now I realize that some of this is hedging your bets, but Mike thinks that Brady will throw 3 TDs AND run for a TD AND Blount will run for a TD. Has he forgotten who the Patriots opponent is? 5 TDs? During the Russell Wilson era, only one team has scored more than 30 against the Seahawks - Andrew Luck's Colts in week 5 of 2013 who scored 34. Sure, weird things happen in Super Bowls, but the Patriots scoring 5 offensive TDs?

22 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

I like the matchup from New England's perspective. Seattle cannot pressure Brady, and given time Brady will carve any secondary up. It'll be a ton of short throws, but Seattle is not great against throws to running backs and tight ends. I also have a feeling that, after the way the NFCCG was called, Seattle won't get away with its most egregious secondary fouls, which will extend a few drives.

So yes, I'm optimistic about New England's ability to score. Then again, I was optimistic about Peyton Manning's ability to score last year, so I have clearly been very wrong before!

23 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

You think after last week that the refs will be feeling extra lenient towards New England?

The team whose primary defense against cheating is that the stupid refs didn't catch it? They'll be lucky to not have an illegal grounding in the end zone called, when they have the ball in Seattle territory!

27 Re: Scramble's 2015 Prop Bet Extravaganza!

"There is a significant chance that Browner actually kills Doug Baldwin on the field, and that would definitely be the Patriot's most valuable play."

Wouldn't it be a more valuable play to kill Marshawn Lynch? I'd rather have him buried than the #33 best WR per FO metrics. Um, figuratively, of course.