Prop: Will there be a missed field goal?
Implied probabilities (converting betting line to percentage):
Yes – 60.00%
No – 45.45%
*note: these numbers don’t add up to 100% because of vigorish, the amount charged by the bookmaker for their services
If this game were played in a warm-weather environment or inside a dome, the odds on this prop would likely be reversed, with ‘Yes’ providing the underdog price.
Instead, this game is being played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, where the weather could most definitely play a factor. With that being said, it seems as though the forecast for Sunday’s game is improving. As of Wednesday, the Weather Channel is calling for a high of 44 degrees, a low of 27 degrees, a 20 percent chance of precipitation and winds of 6-to-8 miles per hour. For the purposes of this prop, we’re mainly concerned with the chance of precipitation and the wind; both of which aren’t likely to play a factor.
Even if weather does play a factor, I think we can rely on two of the most consistent field goal kickers in the game. If you include the playoffs, Steven Hauschka was successful on 39-of-41 field goal tries this season (95.1% success rate), and 19-of-20 away from home. The only miss on the road was a 48-yard attempt in Indianapolis that was blocked—an act that isn’t likely to be duplicated again. Hauschka played 12 of his 16 games outdoors and has connected on 57-of-62 field goals outdoors in the least three years, with three of those misses coming from 50+ yards.
Broncos’ kicker Matt Prater has also been exceptional this season, connecting on 30-of-32 field goal tries (93.8% success rate), including a perfect 13-for-13 on tries away from home. Prater is 6-for-6 in conditions that were considered windy, with four of those six field goals coming on kicks of 40 yards or longer. In games where the temperature was less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, Prater was also 6-for-6, including a successful 64-yard field goal attempt.
Inclement weather can also prove to be a benefit when playing this prop because John Fox and Pete Carroll will be less likely to send out their field goal units to attempt long kicks, especially in a game that could very well be decided by field position. I really think the oddsmakers have missed the mark with this proposition.
Pick: There will not be a missed field goal +120