Super Bowl LIV: High-scoring game should see Garoppolo slinging in side-market selections

Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo hasn't had to throw much in the playoffs so far, but that should change on Sunday

It's the Super Bowl and there's a mind-boggling amount of markets to consider when weighing up your wagers. Mark Kirwan looks at some of the stand out side markets for the NFL decider....

"Jimmy Garoppolo attempted just 19 passes versus the Vikings and a measly eight against the Packers. It'd be enough to make you think Kyle Shanahan views him as more Blake Bortles than Brett Favre. But don't be fooled by the numbers."

Super Bowl LIV: San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday February 2, 23:30 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Action

Coin tosses, half-time songs, and Gatorade colours. Yes, it seems every betting market imaginable goes live for Super Bowl week.

The only market I'm yet to see is what meal Andy Reid celebrates with should the Chiefs win - though if you can get better than 10/1 anywhere on macaroni and cheese, I'd take it.

The array of side markets is enough to bamboozle even the shrewdest NFL bettor, so we thought it'd be worth picking out some props that could pay out come Monday morning.

Pass on Jimmy G?

One of the storylines of the postseason has been the 49ers determination to run all over their opponents. You can hardly blame them when they do it so well, but one consequence has been a lack of work for their quarterback.

Jimmy Garoppolo attempted just 19 passes versus the Vikings and a measly eight against the Packers. It'd be enough to make you think Kyle Shanahan views him as more Blake Bortles than Brett Favre.

But don't let the numbers fool you. While he started the season with some up-and-down play, it's been the game-flow in recent weeks that's dictated Shanahan's approach. San Fran smashed their last two opponents on the ground and didn't need to let Jimmy sling it.

When they've been in shootouts this season, though, he's been let loose and surpassed 30 attempts on seven occassions. As discussed last week, I'm expecting this to be a back-and-forth game, with the Chiefs capable of scoring very quickly because of their QB. That means more passing for the Niners, and over 29.5 attempts seems reasonable to me at 17/20.

Perfect Pat

The Chiefs QB, meanwhile, has been sensational over the last few weeks, reminding us all that, oh yeah, he was last season's MVP for a reason. But he's not just a superstar playmaker, he's also exceptionally careful with the ball.

Pat Mahomes ranked third this season, behind only Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, in terms of interception rate, throwing 484 times and seeing just five of those picked off.

This is a huge game, but he's played in quite a few of those at this stage, so I'd see little reason to expect him to suddenly start impersonating Jameis Winston. 8/11 on Mahomes not to throw an interception should be good, whatever the result.

Working overtime

Three years ago, San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan looked to have secured a first Lombardi trophy for the Atlanta Falcons as offensive coordinator when his team built a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots.

We all know what happened - Tom Brady and all that - but what's easily forgotten is that was the first Super Bowl ever to go to overtime.

I'm not going to predict a similar swing in fortunes for either team in this game, but these are two sides capable of scoring when needed. They can barely be separated by the betting markets, with the Chiefs a one-point favourite at the moment.

It makes sense to speculate on the 12.011/1 available for overtime to be played again.

Roaring scoring

The total line has landed on 53.5 points at the moment, reflecting the likely score-fest we have on our hands.

Now, it should be said that last season's Super Bowl had closing lines of around 56, so there are no guarantees, but these two offences have been involved in plenty of heavy-scoring match-ups this season.

The Niners defence did grade out as second to only the Pats statistically this season, but the Saints, Seahawks, Falcons and Rams managed to put points on them, and Pat Mahomes is more than capable fo doing the same.

49ers Sherman defence.jpg

As such, I have to expect over on the Total Touchdowns line of 6.5 at 11/10. I'd also look at the #OddsOnThat punt of Each Team Scores 1+TD & 1+FG In Each Half at 11/1.

Bourne to do it

Finally, I simply can't write a piece like this without a couple of speculative touchdown scorer bets.

Playoff games are where teams often break out trick plays and go against expectations to catch their opponents off guard, and the Super Bowl is no exception.

Kendrick Bourne has the fourth-highest number of receptions for the 49ers this season, but ties George Kittle for the most receiving TDs, with five. He caught two of those in the pivotal New Orleans showdown in the Superdome, and I wouldn't rule him out of featuring significantly in the 49ers gameplan for this. He is well worth looking at for the first score at an eye-popping 22/1.

And if he's really feeling it, he could get two - how about the first two TDs of the game? There's an #OddsOnThat prop of 300/1 on him to do just that, of which I have had a very small taste.

Kyle Jusczyk is another Niner name I like in TD markets. He's 40/1 for the first score, though the 7/1 anytime is juicy enough for me. The fullback has had 20 receptions this season, and just one TD, but this is exactly the kind of game where teams go against their season usage trends, and Jusczyk is beloved by Coach Shanahan and the Niners organisation for doing the dirty work that helps others. I can see him getting rewarded for it on this stage with some unexpected goal-line usage.

For more tips, bets and predictions on this year's Super Bowl, check out our podcast NFL...Only Bettor featuring Mike Carlson

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