Peyton Manning is featured prominently in several props this year. Not all of them are good. Photo via Jeffrey Beall
You’ve heard my Super Bowl 50 betting strategies on the podcast, you’ve read my Broncos vs Panthers preview, but now here’s what you’re really interested in – the Super Bowl prop bets! I’ve spent the past week searching through the 350+ bets Sportsbook.ag has on the big game and I’ve narrowed it down to my 25 favorites for this Carolina/Denver match-up. As always, the books are expecting you to take the overs and we’re playing into that a little bit, but on straight O/U bets, the value is almost always on the under. I also tried to find as many as possible with even or positive payouts since the juice can be killer on these props and that’s where a lot of the overs come in. Some of these involve multiple sports too, so prepare for things to get a little crazy. With that, let’s get into it – the Top 25 Props for Super Bowl 50.
BET: Flyers/Capitals total shots on goal (-12.5) vs Ted Ginn receiving yards
PICK: Ted Ginn receiving yards (+12.5)
This one goes on the honorable mention list since you have to enter your bet before 12:30, but here’s the deal – the Flyers and Capitals must finish with 13 more total shots on goal than Ted Ginn has receiving yards. On January 27th, the Flyers and Caps combined for 62 shots in a game the Flyers won in OT. Both teams are playing the second half of a back-to-back and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a sloppy game. If the Flyers and Caps can’t hit 65 total shots, Ginn only needs 53 receiving yards to win. I like Ginn’s chances.
BET: Coin toss (Tails -101 vs Heads -101)
PICK: Whatever you want
Yes, this is one of the bets I usually mock people for, but hear me out. On most bets, you’re getting -105 or -110 juice on the play, meaning you can’t just win 50% of the time to break even – you need to win about 53% of the time to make money in most situations. But here’s a literal coin flip that’s giving you -101 juice, better odds than you’d see in most casino games. It’s totally random and requires no skill, but things are tilted more in your favor than your average bet. This is -105 both ways at Bovada, so take advantage of Sportsbook here.
BET: Lady Gaga’s National Anthem OVER/UNDER 136.5 seconds
PICK: Under 136.5 (Even)
Two minutes and 16 seconds is a long time for the national anthem and you’re getting even money on the play. At Bovada the total is 2:20, but you’re getting -200 juice on the under. I’m willing to risk 3 extra seconds for an even money payout. Sing your heart out Lady Gaga, but keep it tight.
THE TOP 25 PROP BETS OF SUPER BOWL 50
25) BET: Will Broncos score a first half rushing touchdown? (YES +210, NO -265)
PICK: Yes +210
The Broncos run the ball whenever they get near the goal line because Peyton Manning’s arm isn’t what it used to be. Denver’s offense is far from a force, but if they get near the goal line, except them to pound the bal.
24) BET: Player To Score First TD
PICK: Cam Newton +750/Jonathan Stewart +800
You’ve got about 20 players in play for the first TD scored, but I think a combo play of Newton and Stewart gives you good potential. Like Denver, the Panthers love to run the ball at the goal line and it’s either Cam or J-Stew getting the ball down there today. Both teams have strong pass defenses, so the running games will be featured heavily.
23) BET: Aqib Talib O/U 3.5 tackles
PICK: Under (+125)
Talib’s had four tackles in each of his last three games, but those were against New England, Pittsburgh, and San Diego – three teams that just don’t run the ball. The Panthers run the ball more than any team in the NFL, so I think Talib will have a quiet day outside. He shouldn’t have any trouble keeping Ted Ginn under wraps.
22) BET: CJ Anderson +170 to score a touchdown
You’ll find this on the Super Bowl specials page on betting sites, where you can find adjusted lines and over/unders. Anyway, you’re getting +170 on a bet that the Broncos primary goal line back will score a TD. Gun to my head, if I had to pick a Bronco would score in this game, it would be Anderson so I like the +170 payout here.
21) BET: What Will Cam Newton Throw First? TD -210, INT +170
PICK: INT +170
Cam’s thrown only one INT in his last six games, but this is the top passing defense in the NFL and Carolina’s wide receivers are mediocre at best. Denver’s pass rush has been destroying quarterbacks all season and Cam will take his shots in this game. I think an INT before a passing touchdown isn’t far-fetched and +170 is a good payout.
20) BET: Will Panthers Convert A Fourth Down? Yes +115, No -140
PICK: YES +115
The Panthers have a fantastic rushing attack and how am I not going to bet on Riverboat Ron going for out on at least one 4th and short? Give me the +115 here.
19) BET: Jonathan Stewart to score a TD and Panthers win game +162
This is a good alternative to betting Panthers -6 or the Panthers moneyline. Jonathan Stewart is the workhorse back in Carolina and the Panthers are undefeated with him in the lineup this year. He didn’t score last week against Arizona, but he had touchdown in three consecutive games before that.
18) BET: First Score of the Game – Touchdown (-130), Any Other Score (+110)
PICK: Any Other Score (+110)
Would you believe we’ve had as many first score safeties as touchdowns in the last four years? I think we’re due for an opening drive field goal (which would’ve been the first score last year had Brady not thrown a end zone pick on third down). Probably not getting another safety though.
17) BET: Peyton Manning 40 or more passes (+150)
This is an excellent hedge if you bet the Broncos +6. Peyton threw 40+ times in four of his first six games, but he hasn’t topped 37 since Week 6. With two weeks to prepare, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Broncos came out more confident in their pass game. Plus, if the Panthers turn this into a romp, Manning will definitely top 40 attempts.
16) BET: Jonathan Stewart O/U 18.5 rushing attempts (-115)
PICK: OVER 18.5 (-115)
Stewart’s had 19 or more rushing attempts in 10 of his last 11 games. Carolina’s going to pound it and Stewart is one of my main guys for props in Super Bowl 50.
15) BET: O/U 5 Total Touchdowns in the Game
PICK: UNDER (Even)
Touchdowns have been hard to come by in Broncos games lately. Denver and their opponents have combined for 5 or fewer touchdowns in each of their last four games. I think that trend will continue.
14) BET: First Scoring Play – Broncos FG +450
You’re getting better odds on a Broncos field goal than a Panthers field goal, so they’re the pick in this prop. The kickers will be involved in this game.
13) BET: Emmanuel Sanders Longest Reception O/U 26.5 Yards
PICK: Over 26.5 (-125)
Sanders has a reception of at least 34 yards in each of his last five games. I have a feeling he’ll be Peyton Manning’s favorite target in this game.
12) BET: O/U 7.5 Broncos Players To Record A Reception
PICK: Under 7.5 (+165)
Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Owen Daniels are locks to catch at least one pass from Peyton Manning in this game. The running backs CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman both likely get a few targets and slot receiver Jordan Norwood sees a few balls as well. That’s six players right there, which leaves us with the following receivers – Bennie Fowler, Vernon Davis, Cody Latimer, Virgil Green, and Andre Caldwell. I wouldn’t count on 2 of those 5 guys catching a ball against Carolina’s defense. Let’s go under.
11) BET: Highest Scoring Quarter
PICK: 2nd quarter +175
The second quarter always makes sense here because like the fourth, it’s a slow-moving quarter with teams using their timeouts and positioning themselves for scores. But unlike the fourth, teams are more willing to be aggressive and go for touchdowns. The second quarter in last year’s Super Bowl saw three touchdowns scored in the final four minutes (which burned me on first half under 23.5, one of my worst Super Bowl losses ever). Second quarter has the action, so it’s the play here.
10) BET: Super Bowl MVP
PICK: Peyton Manning +360
It’s always a quarterback in a close Super Bowl, but Cam is the heavy favorite here with -160 odds. If the Broncos manage to pull out a win and Manning keeps the mistakes to a minimum, he’s getting the award. Could you ever imagine seeing Peyton Manning being +360 for Super Bowl MVP before this season? This is a great hedge if you bet Panthers point spread.
9) BET: Broncos O/U 2.5 Total Sacks
PICK: Over 2.5 (Even)
The Broncos averaged 3.25 sacks per game this year and they pounded Tom Brady into dust two weeks ago. Von Miller might hit this total by himself.
8) BET: Greg Olsen OVER 75 receiving yards (+150)
Olsen is the best target Cam Newton has and he’s had more than 75 receiving yards in 8 of 19 games this year. That’s 42% and +150 implies a 40% chance of happening. Carolina will do everything they can to get Olsen the ball and I think he tops 75 easily.
7) BET: CJ Anderson OVER 75 rushing + receiving yards (+125)
Anderson has topped this total in each of his last four games and he consistently out-touching Ronnie Hillman in the Broncos backfield. I’m expecting him to get the ball 15-20 times today, so 75 total yards is a good bet.
6) BET: Brad Nortman O/U 43.5 yards on first punt
PICK: Under (+105)
Nortman has averaged under 40 yards per punt in each of his last three games. Throw in some Super Bowl jitters and Nortman is a lock to drop his first punt 43 yards or less. And if Carolina gains some yards on their first drive but stall, you’re looking at a ‘pin-them-inside-the-20’ type punt. Go under.
5) BET: Cam Newton O/U 235.5 passing yards
PICK: Under 235.5 (-115)
Cam’s thrown for under 236 passing yards in 8 of 18 games so far this season and he’s facing the best pass defense in the NFL. Under totals on passing yards are almost always the right play and this is a fairly safe bet if you’re confident the Panthers are going to win big (and be running late).
4) BET: Demaryius Thomas O/U 5.5 receptions
PICK: Under 5.5 (-110)
I think Emmanuel Sanders is going to be Peyton Manning’s favorite target in this game and Thomas will spend most of the night battling Josh Norman on the outside. Thomas has had 5 or fewer catches in four of his last five games and Peyton’s arm strength just doesn’t allow for as many deep shots as previous years. I like this one a lot, go under here.
3) BET: Jonathan Stewart over 75 rushing yards (+140)
The +140 implies about 45% chance of happening, but Stewart has run for 75 or more wayyyy more often than 45% of the time lately. In fact, he’s run for more than 75 yards in 9 of his last 11 games. Stewart is a beast who will get 18-20 carries and he shouldn’t have too much trouble topping 75.
2) BET: How Will Cam Newton First Celebrate If He Scores A Rushing TD?
PICK: Superman Shirt Rip Motion +130
Easy money here, he does this after every touchdown and usually before the dab or ball giveaway. Don’t let me down Superman!
1) BET: O/U 10 Total Punts in the Game
PICK: Over 10 punts (-110)
The most boring prop out of Sportsbook’s 350 some listed bets is also my favorite. These are two of the best three or four defenses in the NFL and I could see a lot of stalled drives, especially early on. The Broncos have punted 6 and 9 times (nice) in their two playoff games, while the Panthers punted 6 times vs Seattle but only twice vs Arizona. Still, with defenses like these (and an offense like the Broncos), field position will be key and the punts will be early and often.