Player props have become a huge part of the sports betting landscape at BetMGM. You can bet on which player will score the first touchdown in each NFL regular-season game, or whether LeBron James will score over or under 25.5 points against the Houston Rockets on a Monday night.
But prop betting all started with the Super Bowl.
The origin of player props goes back to Super Bowl XX and whether William "The Refrigerator" Perry would score a touchdown for the Chicago Bears. The game was expected to be a blowout so oddsmakers wanted to offer something else for bettors. The Bears did blow out the New England Patriots, and Perry did score. That started a prop betting trend.
Super Bowl prop betting is still a huge market, with seemingly endless offerings at BetMGM on yards, touchdowns and even the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach. Here are five interesting props among the early odds at BetMGM for the Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII:
Christian McCaffrey Super Bowl MVP, +450
Patrick Mahomes is the Super Bowl MVP favorite at +125 and rightfully so. Five of the last seven Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks. It's hard to thread a needle in which the Chiefs win, but Mahomes doesn't play well enough to get the MVP votes. But that's not the case for the 49ers.
Brock Purdy isn't an easy Super Bowl MVP vote like Mahomes, and he hasn't been great in the playoffs. McCaffrey has been great this postseason. He has 260 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in two playoff games. 49ers players were pushing McCaffrey as their regular-season MVP candidate over Purdy. If the 49ers win, it seems there's a better chance than usual that it won't be a quarterback as Super Bowl MVP, considering how many star players the 49ers have on offense (and the general skepticism about Purdy being an elite player). That means there are some feasible Super Bowl MVP long shots like Deebo Samuel (+3500) and Brandon Aiyuk (+5000), but McCaffrey perhaps should be San Francisco's MVP favorite over Purdy.
Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy passing yards
There's not a big gap between the passing yardage totals for Mahomes and Purdy. Mahomes is 260.5 and Purdy is 247.5. You'd expect a bigger difference between the two-time NFL MVP and the former Mr. Irrelevant.
Some might be surprised that Purdy had more yards per game than Mahomes this regular season. Purdy threw for 267.5 yards per game. Mahomes had just 261.4 per game, well off his career norm. Mahomes' previous low mark over a full season as a starter was 284.6. Having Mahomes' total ahead of Purdy — albeit not by much — is based more on the perception of the two players more than the results of the season.
The Super Bowl Gatorade prop bet is here. Which color do you think it will be? 👇 pic.twitter.com/w98zNtuelG
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 30, 2024
George Kittle O/U 46.5 receiving yards
Kittle’s receiving yardage total may seem pretty low at first. After all, he had 65 catches for 1,020 yards during the regular season.
However, the line reflects just how boom-or-bust Kittle has been since he tallied three catches for 116 yards in a blowout win over Jacksonville on Nov. 12. In the nine games since then, Kittle has just one 100-yard receiving performance and has recorded fewer than 46 receiving yards three different times.
Kittle had three catches for 19 yards against Seattle on Thanksgiving and had three catches for 29 yards against the Washington Commanders in Week 17. After four catches for 81 yards against the Packers to open the playoffs for the 49ers, Kittle had just two catches for 27 yards in the comeback win over the Lions on Sunday.
The Chiefs gave up just four catches for 31 yards to the Ravens’ Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely on Sunday, and have been strong against tight ends recently. Excluding an 83-yard performance from Donald Parham in Week 18, when the Chiefs played their backups for the entire game, the Patriots’ Hunter Henry is the last opposing tight end to have more than 46 yards receiving against Kansas City. Henry had seven catches for 66 yards on Dec. 17.
Despite that recent history, over 46.5 yards is a slight favorite at -120, while under is -110.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling O/U 18.5 receiving yards
Are you counting on "big-game" Marquez Valdes-Scantling to show up? It’s the question that should serve as the basis for your bet on his receiving total after his big catches against Buffalo and Baltimore over the Chiefs’ last two games. Both the over and the under have odds of -115.
Patrick Mahomes has shown that he still has faith in MVS as Valdes-Scantling had 62 yards on two massive grabs against the Bills and caught the 32-yard game-sealing catch against the Ravens to send the Chiefs to their fourth Super Bowl in the past five seasons.
Until his 62-yard performance against Buffalo, Valdes-Scantling didn’t have more than 17 receiving yards in a game since he had two catches for 22 yards against the Bills on Dec. 10. For the season, MVS has 10 games with fewer than 18 receiving yards and has been shut out entirely on three different occasions.
However, he’s still an important part of the offense. He was on the field for 83% of Kansas City’s offensive snaps against the Ravens, which ranked No. 2 among all receivers, including Travis Kelce. Mecole Hardman had just one snap. That presence on the field could be another factor in considering the over — unless you trust the 49ers to not let MVS get behind the secondary.
This is the ultimate 50/50 proposition. Both heads and tails have odds of -105 as past history is not indicative of future results.
If you are interested in the past results, heads is on a bit of a roll lately. Tails was the winner a year ago as the Chiefs called the toss and won it. But before that, the coin had landed on heads in four of the five previous Super Bowls after tails had a four-year streak.
The last time the Chiefs and 49ers met in the Super Bowl in 2020, the coin landed on tails and the 49ers won the toss.
Last year, the Chiefs also broke a trend of coin-toss winners losing the game. Until Kansas City won the toss and won the Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 had been the last team to win the toss and win the Super Bowl.
Overall, tails has a 30-27 lead over heads through the first 53 Super Bowls.