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Super Bowl LVI Props: Twice the Fun

Two-Point Conversion Attempts No Longer Buck the Odds

The days of NFL teams automatically kicking extra points after touchdowns are long gone. With the league pushing extra-point attempts back and the pervasiveness of analytics in coaching decisions, teams are going for two much more often than they had before. There’s no reason to think that trend won’t carry over to next Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams.

It’s just much more commonly accepted for coaches to go for two in all types of situations now. If a team is down by nine points late in a game, coaches go for two on the front end rather than on the back end; or if they’re up by 12 points, for example, and want to extend a lead to two full touchdowns.

How To Bet The Two-Point Conversion Props For Super Bowl LVI
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

So, let’s take a look at this Super Bowl matchup, the tendencies of coaches Sean McVay and Zac Taylor, and the NFL betting odds for two-point conversion attempts and successful conversions on the BetUS sportsbook:

The Odds

Either Team to Attempt a Two-Point Conversion: Yes (-150); No (+110)

Vegas expects there to be at least one two-point conversion attempt in the game, which is a really fair bet considering how there’s a good chance either the Bengals or Rams will be in a position where they have to go for two at some point. That doesn’t even consider instances where it just might be smart to go for two, like if either team misses an extra point early and wants to get that point back.

While “no” provides plus-value, it would be a big ask in today’s NFL for there to be no two-point conversion attempts at all. There were a league-record two-point conversion attempts in the 2021 regular season as league-wide extra point success rates went under 93 percent, marking a low point not reached since the late 1970s.

There Will Be A Successful Two-Point Conversion: Yes (+265); No (-350)

Of course, there cannot be a successful two-point conversion without at least one attempt. But, considering that there were 72 successful two-point attempts in 272 regular-season games in 2021, there’s a slightly better than one-in-four chance of a game having at least one two-point conversion. Based on that math, +265 is a good number to bet “yes.”

Roughly speaking, around 50 percent of two-point conversion attempts have been successful in the NFL this season and the year-over-year data puts the figure at slightly below 50 percent. So, if there is about one two-point conversion attempt per game and around half of those attempts are successful, there is essentially a 25 [percent chance of a successful conversion in any one game. Thus, the +265 line is a fair one.

If you’re betting online, you’d have to put down a lot of money on “no” in order to get any profit, but that’s just the nature of such a heavy favorite. And, with how the NFL is trending, it might not be the kind of overwhelming certainty that it has been in the past.

The Teams and Coaches

McVay and Taylor know each other very well, as Taylor worked as an assistant wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach with the Rams under McVay in 2017 and 2018 before getting the Bengals job.

Neither coach is a particularly aggressive play-caller when it comes to going for two. The Rams have only gone for two on three occasions this season, including the playoffs, while the Bengals have attempted six conversions and were successful on one — to tie up the AFC Championship Game.

If you’re making NFL predictions, though, it’s tough to rely so heavily on those regular-season numbers because of the small sample sizes. The playoffs are a different animal and both McVay and Taylor are such good play-callers that they’ll have the perfect play dialed up if they decide to go for two in the Super Bowl. The question here is if sufficient opportunities to attempt a two-point conversion will arise.

The Verdict

A smart way to thread the needle with these two prop picks is to take “no” on whether there will be a two-point conversion attempted and “yes” on whether there will be a successful two-point conversion. If there are no attempts, you would be in the green and, if there is at least one attempt, you have roughly a 50 percent chance of coming away with a sizable plus-money win.

But, if you want to just take one bet here, go with “yes” on whether there will be a conversion. It’s more fun to root for the points and, with the way the NFL is heading and the likelihood of one team being down by eight points in the second half (or just a missed extra point along the way), there should be chances for conversion attempts. If there are, you can be sure McVay and Taylor will have high-probability plays called for those situations.

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