The Super Bowl props are arguably as big as the game itself. There are hundreds of them ranging from the normal (number of FGs) to the off-beat (color of Gatorade used at end of game). My favorites are the cross-sport ones as they tie-in the NBA and NHL into this huge event.
There are several things to consider when wagering on the props. First off, you have to envision how the game is going to go. A lot of the props mentioned in this article will go along with my Denver victory that I predicted in my other article. If you think Carolina is going to win, then you may have some completely different ideas then I do.
Personally, I like to take underdog props as well. It's always fun to have a little bit on something that is not likely to occur. Imagine if you had the safety as a first score prop in the Seattle/Denver Super Bowl. Finally, bet wisely as it is very easy to get carried away and go past your budget. Give yourself a stable number and stick to it.
All that said, let's give you my favorite props that are sure to win… if Super Bowl 50 goes as I think it will. We'll use the prices and props from the world famous Las Vegas Superbook in the Westgate.
Will both teams make 33-yard or longer field goals?
Listen, I've made it clear how good these two defenses are. New England kicked two FGs in the AFC Championship Game while Cardinal kicker Chandler Catanzaro was shut out, but his team down 17-0 before the Cardinals realized what had happened. Carolina’s Graham Gano and Denver’s Brandon McManus are very good kickers so I'm not exactly asking for much from them in terms of distance. Denver's offense has stalled quite a bit in the playoffs. Some books will even offer this wager with a little extra yardage, which I would consider as well.
Will Peyton Manning throw an interception?
Since coming back from injury, Manning has thrown 78 passes, completing 43 with nary an interception. The Broncos’ offense has reduced a lot of the risk for their quarterback, making it less likely for him to get picked off. Yes, Carolina got several picks off Carson Palmer, but that's a different, more open offense compared to what Denver is employing right now. If you like Carolina to blow out Denver, then this prop is not for you.
First touchdown of the game will be
Any other TD +145
I think this is pretty good value for us to get a rushing touchdown or something from the defense. Cam Newton could very easily run one in and if not him then maybe Mike Tolbert or Jonathan Stewart. Denver could contribute here, but it's more likely that the Broncos are throwing the ball to get into the end zone.
Will the Panthers convert a 4th down attempt
They don't call Panthers head coach Ron Rivera "Riverboat Ron" for no reason. Carolina went for it on 4th down 10 times during the regular season and converted six of those. I think that we will see at least one such attempt in this game and I'll take the solid price for the Panthers converting that opportunity.
Total touchdown passes by Peyton Manning
Over 1.5 +140
The Panthers’ secondary is there for the taking and I think Denver capitalizes. Remember, this is in my scenario where the Broncos win the game. I think a Denver win comes with two TD passes from Manning… probably one to Demaryius Thomas and one to Owen Daniels.
Who will have more (Chris Paul points vs. Demaryius Thomas longest reception)?
Chris Paul points +4.5 -110
Here's our first cross-sport prop that I really like. Demaryius Thomas is going to see a lot of All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman, which likely means the Broncos’ No. 1 WR won't be that busy. Thomas had a long catch of 15 yards against the Steelers and just seven yards against the Patriots. Ten times during the regular season, the WR matched up with Norman had a long catch of 25 yards or fewer. On the other hand, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers head to Miami to face the Heat on Super Sunday (2 p.m. ET on ABC). Back on Jan. 13, Paul scored 15 points (on 6-of-17 from the field), while adding 12 assists in a 104-90 home win. For the month of January (13 games), Paul averaged 21.3 points per game. I think there's some value here as the stars of the NBA try to separate themselves Sunday afternoon before the NFL takes over.
Who will have more (Chris Bosh rebounds vs. Demaryius Thomas receptions)?
Chris Bosh rebounds -1.5 EVEN
Once again, taking into consideration that Thomas is likely going to see a lot of Norman meaning his role in Denver’s offensive game plan will be reduced. Good corners in the past have been able to take the the Broncos’ top WR out of the game. Chris Bosh had 12 rebounds in the first meeting with the Clippers. He's averaging 7.6 per game this season, but that took a slight dip in January (6.6 rpg). We're getting a little crazy here with this prop, but with the price being even, I'll take a shot.
Which is larger (SMU vs. South Florida margin of victory or largest lead in Super Bowl 50)?
SMU vs. South Florida Margin +1.5 -110
For me, this is an easy one considering I think the Broncos are going to win and I don't think either team is going to ever be ahead by that much. SMU is nationally ranked and pounding opponents, especially when the Mustangs are the better team. They have road wins of 15, 12, 24 and 15 points already this season. South Florida is awful and shouldn't put up much resistance, even though the Bulls are at home. Last year SMU beat South Florida by 11 when it made the trip to Tampa. I think the margin of victory is bigger this year.
First touchdown scorer
Mike Tolbert 18/1 (12/1) & C.J. Anderson 10/1 (5/1)
Always a favorite play of mine is to pick the first touchdown scorer. The reason I put two prices up there is because one is involving both teams and the other is for first touchdown scorer of the specific team. I'm going sentimental with Mike Tolbert hoping it's a short TD. He's one of my favorite players to root for considering he does everything to help Carolina out. Anderson is my first Denver scorer because he's been the more effective runner out of its backfield. A Broncos sleeper is Emmanuel Sanders too as he could be the more targeted WR.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.