wilson look2

Each day leading up to the Super Bowl, we’ll look into one of the many available prop bets, providing as much detail and analysis as possible. Next up: Figuring out what Russell Wilson’s longest rush will be on Sunday.

Prop: Russell Wilson longest rush…

Over 12.5 yards -115

Under 12.5 yards -115

Implied probabilities (converting betting line to percentage):

Over 12.5 yards – 53.49%

Under 12.5 yards – 53.49%

*note: these numbers don’t add up to 100% because of vigorish, the amount charged by the bookmaker for their services

It would seem that the oddsmakers have done a good job setting this line—if you look solely at Seattle’s regular season games this year, Russell Wilson eclipsed a longest rush of 12.5 yards eight times; exactly half of the Seahawks’ games. But those numbers are a little bit misleading.

Here are Wilson’s longest rushes this season, from lowest to highest:

2, 7, 8, 10, 10, 11, 11, 12, 15, 16, 16, 17, 22, 23, 25, 27

The first thing that you will have noticed is that Wilson has only been held to a single-digit longest rush in three of 16 games. The other five games that fell short of 12.5 rushing yards were games that saw a longest rush of 10 (twice), 11 (twice), and 12 yards. As is often the case in the regular season, quarterbacks are much more concerned with safety and will tend to slide or go out of bounds in the face of defensive pressure. That won’t be the case in the Super Bowl—a do-or-die matchup. Wilson will be looking to pick up as many yards as possible, and we’re more likely to see head-first dives than slides.

Denver had one of the stronger rush defenses in the league this season, surrendering just 3.9 yards per carry, but they did struggle to contain mobile quarterbacks. The Broncos faced six quarterbacks this season that you would consider to be “mobile” or “semi-mobile” quarterbacks. In four of those six contests, the Broncos allowed a long rush of over 12.5 yards from the opposing quarterback. The two QBs that fell short of that number? Robert Griffin III in Week 8 (who was basically playing on one knee), and Terrell Pryor in Week 17, who picked up an 11-yard carry.

The Broncos have faced two immobile quarterbacks thus far in the postseason, so they’ll find it exceptionally difficult to contain Wilson for this entire contest. I’d be surprised if Wilson doesn’t break off at least one big run.

Pick: Russell Wilson longest rush over 12.5 yards -115