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Sunday Stakes: Super Bowl Pick, MVPs, Prop Bet and BUSANDA STAKES Plays
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2020
by: Rich Bieglmeier
Stakes racing steps aside this Sunday to let the Super Bowl have the spotlight. There is just one race with a $100,000 prize pool. The BUSANDA STAKES at Aqueduct, race seven.
Before we get to the race, let's talk about Super Bowl LIV. Las Vegas sees a close game with the Kansas City Chiefs as the 1.5 point favorite versus the San Francisco 49ers. The money lines are -115 for the Chiefs (bet $115 to make $100) and the 49ers at -105 (Bet $105 to make $100), according to Fanduel's sportsbook.
The game total stands at 53.5 combined points for the game. In other words, Chiefs 27.5, 49ers 26. How a team scores 27.5, we don't know but beware of the hook (gamblers' jargon for a 1/2 point).
WHO WINS AND WHY
The key to this game is simple, in our humble opinion.
Can the San Francisco 49ers' defense get to Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes rushing their front four, with an occasional blitz? If they can, then the 49ers move the high-powered Chiefs offense to the sidelines, limit instant points via the big play, and run the ball to control the clock and shorten the game and win.
If they cannot get to Mahomes with four or five, then the Chiefs' wide receivers are way too fast for the 49ers secondary. Green Bay's wide receiver Davante Adams and tight end Jimmy Graham got behind the 49ers secondary in the NFC Championship game, neither is fast by NFL standards.
By contrast, the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill is talking about trying to qualify as a 2020 Olympic sprinter. Rookie Mecole Hardman might be just as fast and Sammy Watkins a close third.
Running the ball and stopping the run is the key for when San Francisco is on offense and Kansas City is on defense. The 49ers dominated the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers with a physical, gut-punching rushing attack. They want to do the same in LIV.
Expect to see the Chiefs' defense crowding the line of scrimmage, filling the gaps and trying to close running lanes. Kansas City's game plan will be to make 49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo win the game throwing the ball. Number 10 put the ball up for grabs a couple of times when the game was close against Minnesota in the divisional round.
If the Chiefs can succeed in making the game a shootout duel between Garoppolo and Mahomes, it's a Kansas City win by knockout. If the 49ers can impose their will and run, run, run, then San Francisco wins a close one.
The Kansas City Chiefs win and cover the spread. Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid is 18-3 (regular season) in his career when he has an extra week to prepare. They will find a way to force Garoppolo to win the game with his arm instead of 49ers' running back Raheem Mostert's legs.
GAME MVP CANDIDATES
The storyline is the Chiefs offense versus the 49ers defense; so, the Most Valuable Player is likely to fit in the narrative.
Kansas City Offense
Patrick Mahomes is the obvious choice at +110 (bet $100 win $110). We are going to dig a little deeper. If the 49ers play the defense we expect, Kansas City should be able to run the ball and complete short passes underneath. That means running back Damien Williams is likely to see more than 20 touches. If he can go over 150 total yards and two TDs, MVP, MVP at +2400 (bet $100 win $2400).
San Francisco Defense
If the 49ers win the game, it will most likely be because their defensive line dominated the game, opening the door for the MVP award, ala Denver's Von Miller in Super Bowl 50. Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead are the two leading sack artists for the 9ers. Bosa is +2400 and Armstead is +10,000 (bet $100 get 10gs). We think Armstead is four times the value and is equally as effective a Bosa.
SMART PROP BET
The first play of the game is -135 (bet $135 to make $100) for RUN and +105 (bet $100 to make $105) for PASS.
Statistically speaking, -135 equates to something that happens at 57.5% and +105 at 48.75%. Looking back at San Francisco's and Kansas City's first plays all year, we get the following combined first play stats 21 runs and 15 passes. That breaks down to 58.3% runs and 41.7% passes.
Considering the odds, RUN is the play because you are only paying at a 57.5% rate on something that happens at more than 58%. In other words, the odds are in your favor. Whereas you are way overpaying for pass when it happens at 41.7%, but the bet is set at 48.75%.
First play a run at -135.
Oh, we haven't forgotten the $100,000 BUSANDA STAKES. Here is how our handicapper stacks them in our Pro Subscribers' Bonus Commentary.
"WATER WHITE is dropping in class after running the highest, last race speed figure. TRUTH HURTS is undefeated in two starts and looks like she is getting better. HARVEY'S LIL GOIL won his second race after flopping on turf. Trainer William Mott wins at 14% following the maiden score. PERSISTO has hit the board in her four starts with a win, two seconds and a third."
Good luck at the races!
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