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Sizing up the Super Bowl 50 props through Orange & Blue-tinted glasses

Ken Pomponio Avatar
January 29, 2016


We’re late in the week before Super Bowl week, and that means the Big Game prop bets are upon us.

Some props have been out since the NFC Championship Game was decided Sunday evening, but the most eagerly awaited list dropped Thursday night at The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, and it was a whopper with nearly 400-some props being revealed on the sportsbook’s scoreboard-sized digital boards.

Superbook director Jay Kornegay, a Colorado State grad and self-proclaimed Broncos backer, was interviewed live shortly after on ESPN while throngs of sharps and squares began attacking the perceived “weakest links” at the betting windows. It’s become quite the rite of Super Bowl passage.

Scrolling through the massive list of Westgate props, here are some random but calculated thoughts on 16 of the more interesting wagers that can be placed outside of the Super Bowl 50 side and total:

Most penalty yards – Broncos -140, Panthers +120. No surprise as the Orange & Blue have averaged 11.4 more penalty yards than Carolina during their 18 games.

Total QB sacks by both teams – Over 5 -110, under 5 -110. Bettors will certainly be tempted to hit the over considering the Broncos and Panthers ranked first and sixth in the league, respectively, with 52 and 44 sacks (a combined average of exactly six per game) during the regular season.

Will Peyton Manning throw an interception? – Yes -220, No +190. Your average bettor more than likely sees this as a gimme given the Panthers led the league with 24 regular-season interceptions and then have added six more in two playoff games while Manning threw the second-most regular-season picks (17) despite missing six full games. The 39-year-old QB, though, hasn’t been intercepted in 69 post-season passes so far.

Will there be a safety? – Yes +550, No -800. The books took a beating as “Yes” paid off in three straight Super Bowls following the 2011-13 seasons, most memorably – and painfully for Broncos Country – on the opening snap in Super XLVIII.

Will there be overtime? – Yes +550, No -800. Given the Broncos’ penchant for close games (14 of their 18 have been decided by a touchdown or less) taking a shot on this being the first Super Bowl go into OT might not be a bad wager.

Total rushing yards by Cam Newton – Over 39.5 -110, Under 39.5 -110. The league-MVP-to-be led all quarterbacks with 636 rushing yards (39.8 per game) in the regular season (Hmm, wonder where Vegas got their number?) and has added 50 in his two playoff games. The Broncos, meanwhile, have allowed only nine players to rush for 40 or more yards in a game in 18 contests, and the most they’ve surrendered to an opposing QB in that span was Andrew Luck’s 34 yards in Week 9. Newton, though, obviously is a different animal.

Total points by Panthers – Over 25.5 -110, under 25.5 -110. This is the crux of the game here as strength meets strength. Carolina is averaging a league-most 32.2 points per game, including the playoffs, while the Broncos are allowing only 18.3 and have surrendered more than 24 points only three times in 18 outings.

Gross passing yards by Manning – Over 235.5 -110, Under 235.5 -110 – In the previous three seasons, this number would’ve been unfathomably low, but Manning only has averaged 199 aerial yards per outing during the postseason and threw for 236 or more six times this season – the last time in Week 9 at Indy.

Total receiving yards by Vernon Davis – Over 5.5 +120, under 5.5 -140. Broncos Country has to be asking who this player even is after the tight end has been targeted only four times and caught one pass for five yards over the last five games. Of course, that makes Davis the perfect Super Sunday weapon.

Who will have more? – Steven Curry points -4.5 -110 or Panthers points +4.5 -110. The Golden State Warriors’ stud (and Panthers fan) is averaging 29.9 per game, and the wager will be based on how many he scores the night before against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Who will have more? – Rory McIlroy 4th-round score in Dubai Desert Classic +0.5 -110 or Emmanuel Sanders receiving yards -0.5 -110. Unless you’re worried by a total collapse by one of world’s best golfers, this might be worth a look if you’re in Sin City as Sanders is averaging 98.8 receiving yards over his last five games.

Who will have more? – Arsenal Goals (vs. Bournemouth) -130 or Manning TD passes +110. Premier League soccer followers have a real leg up in figuring out this one.

Who will have more? – Chelsea-Manchester United yellow cards +115 or number of different Panthers to have a rushing attempt -135. My vote for the most obscenely obscure prop on this list.

Game MVP – Newton is the overwhelming favorite at 2/3 and Manning is favored for the Orange & Blue at 7/2, but if you’re thinking the Denver D will dominate, how about taking a shot with Von Miller (25/1) DeMarcus Ware (60/1) or Aqib Talib (100/1)? Or how about Brandon McManus becoming the first Super Bowl-MVP kicker at 100/1?

Margin of victory – Broncos 1-4 points 6/1, Broncos 5-8 points 8/1 – Convinced your underdog Broncos will shock the world again? Simply go with the flow as 11 of their 14 victories have come by a TD or less.

Final point total for Broncos – On the other hand if you have a clear vision of two defensive safeties and a woeful day for the Denver offense? This payoff will ease the pain quite effectively at 9999/1.

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