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Top Dog's Top 10 Cross-Sport Props For Super Bowl LII

Mike "Top Dog" Tierney broke down all the wild cross-sport Super Bowl props and offers his 10 best bets, including one on whether the temperature in Minneapolis at kickoff will exceed the total points scored in the first quarter.
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News flash: Other sports happen this weekend besides a certain football game.

The large shadow cast by the Super Bowl might obscure tournaments and other games, but that doesn't mean the rest of the athletics world stops. With Super Bowl-related wagers proliferating, it was only a matter of time before some creative type came up with the cross-sport prop.

A total from the Super Bowl is paired with one from an event with a different-shaped ball, and our mission is to decide which will be greater. 

There is no limit to oddsmakers' collective imagination for devising a cross-sport prop. Here are 10 of the most popular, including one that mixes meteorology and football, along with my picks. (The source of the prop is listed in parentheses.) 

Which will be higher? (BetDSI) 

Phil Mickelson average driving distance on Sunday (-110) 

Tom Brady passing yards (-120) 

Old man Mickelson is off to a smashing start this season, averaging 300.6 yards off the tee. That's higher than his 294.8 clip in 2016 and 293.8 a year ago. Brady's Over/Under is ranging from 285 to 295. The Phoenix Open is staged in a city with an elevation higher than most major U.S. metropolitan areas, so Phil could keep pounding his drives 300-plus yards. 

Pick: Phil Mickelson average driving distance on Sunday 

Which will be higher? (BetDSI) 

LeBron James assists, points and rebounds vs. Houston on Saturday (-115) 

Patriots, Eagles combined points (-115) 

In his last three encounters with the Rockets, Cleveland's James displayed consistency, with a combined total of 44 this season and 40 and 42 in 2016-17. Those numbers mirror his overall aggregate average of 44 this year (27 points, nine rebounds, eight assists.) It's the same amount for James' nine Saturday games so far on the current schedule. 

Those figures are well south of the Super Bowl's total of 48. 

Pick: Patriots, Eagles combined points 

Which will be higher? (BetDSI) 

Russell Westbrook assists, points and rebounds vs. Lakers on Sunday (-130) 

Patriots, Eagles combined points (+100) 

Yes, Westbrook could pretty much call his number against often defensively challenged Los Angeles. However, Oklahoma City has reduced his minutes - the average is nearly two fewer from a year ago - and a third Thunder blowout of the Lakers this season could mean a third 28-minute work day. Westbrooks' sum was 38 in a 37-point cakewalk and 32 in a 24-point win. 

The Super Bowl total of 48 is well above Westbrook's season points/rebounds/assists average of 45. It would take an unexpectedly tight game for him to log enough minutes and approach the football total. 

Pick: Patriots, Eagles combined points 

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Which will be higher? (BetDSI)

Trae Young assists, points and rebounds vs. Texas on Saturday (+100) 

Patriots, Eagles combined points (-130)

Is this a win for the roundball sport? Young, the freshman phenom at Oklahoma, remarkably leads the NCAA for points and assists. He reels in rebounds, too, and averages for the three categories add up to 44. The problem is, Young caught heat for launching 39 shots in a recent game, which was preceded by 20-plus attempts in the previous four outings. Since, he has limited field-goal attempts to nine and 17. His assists have increased slightly, but each only counts for one on the stat sheet - unlike two or three for a basket.

What's more, the Longhorns, who rank last in the Big 12 for points scored and third for points allowed, ascribe to low-scoring gamesIf the football teams collaborate for anywhere near the established total of 48, the baller will come up short.

Pick: Patriots, Eagles combined points 

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Which will be higher (BetDSI)

Thunder, Lakers combined points on Sunday (+140) 

Nick Foles passing yards (-170) 

Props on Foles' aerial yards tend to range from 235 to 240, much higher than OKC and L.A. are likely to score collectively. Their previous meeting on Jan. 17 produced 204. The Lakers' defense was dreadful a few weeks ago. Since the loss to the Thunder, though, no opponent has exceeded 107 points on them in four games.

The legions of Foles doubters who expect him to resort to the hapless QB pre-Vikings might be tempted by the NBA game, especially with the plus-140 attached to it. But the public's anticipated output for Foles well exceeds what the guys in shorts and sneakers should ring up.

Pick: Nick Foles passing yards

Which will be higher? (BetDSI)

Jordan Spieth final-round score on Sunday (-115) 

Jay Ajayi rushing yards (-115)

This prop looks too easy, even if Spieth's small sample of last-round scoring on the TPC Scottsdale course in the Phoenix Open reflects his card on Sunday. Spieth recorded a 67 on closing day last year and a 65 in 2015 - he skipped the tourney in between - but those scores are substantially higher than the spectrum of 56 to 61 most widely posted for the Philadelphia RB's ground output. Maybe the rested Spieth, who took off the previous weekend, will flirt with 60. But I will take my chances on Ajayi with a lower count.

Pick: Jordan Spieth final-round score 

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Which will be higher? (Bovada)

Temperature in Minneapolis at kickoff (-150)

Total points scored in first quarter (+110)

The average high and low for Minneapolis on Feb. 4 is 26 and 9. With kickoff at 5:30 p.m. (CT), shortly before dusk, the thermostat pick might seem preferable to the scoreboard's. The Weather Channel's 10-day forecast suggests otherwise: high of 10, low of minus-1. Though some weather experts regard such a peek into the distant future as more guesswork than science, it's all we have to go on. The total for first-quarter points probably will wind up around 11.

Pick: Total points scored in first quarter

Which will be higher? (Bovada)

Combined goals in the Knights-Capitals NHL game on Sunday (-180) 

Combined quarterback sacks (+140)

The standard props number for QB sacks in this game is 4.5. Hockey's new team in Las Vegas and old team in Washington each has played only a dozen games with four or fewer goals, yet one of those was a 3-0 shutout by Vegas on Dec. 23. To anticipate a repeat might be far-fetched, but a precedent has been set. This is more of a value selection at +140. And because Tom Brady tends to throw more in the playoffs than the regular season, the 4.5 could be surpassed based simply on a higher frequency of dropbacks.

Pick: Combined quarterback sacks

Which will be higher? (William Hill)

Kyrie Irving's points vs. Portland on Sunday (-110) 

Rob Gronkowski's longest reception - 1/2 (-110)

As a new Celtic, Irving averages 24.5 points per game. Portland wields the league's eighth-ranked defense, with a yield of 103.1 points per game, so Kyrie's output might dip slightly. Assuming Gronkowski gets the green light out of concussion protocol, Tom Brady will lean heavily on his favorite receiver. Of 15 regular season games in which he played most of the way, the tight end's biggest gain was greater than 24 yards eight times. In nine career playoff appearances with the Patriots, he has bettered 24 for long gain on five occasions. A "chunk" gain seems inevitable.

Pick: Rob Gronkowski's longest reception

Which will be higher? (William Hill)

Alex Ovechkin shots on goal (+105) 

Combined quarterback sacks (-125)

Through Saturday, Ovechkin averaged 4.2 attempts per game, slightly below the 4.5 widely accepted QB sacks total. In January, though, the Washington star has accumulated as many as five shots in just two of nine gigs as perhaps fatigue is gnawing at the veteran. In light of Las Vegas shutout win over the Caps, the Big O must ramp it up to reach five attempts.

Pick: Combined quarterback sacks

Mike Tierney