With the year's biggest sporting event upon us, let's look at some interesting props/bets for Sunday's game. If I miss something or if you agree/disagree with one of my opinions, hit up the comments below.
I'm not sure what is worse: people complaining about the possible weather this Sunday or that the NFL has been adverse to playing the Super Bowl in cold-weather stadiums. Obviously the weather in the northeast hasn't been good this season, and anytime an outdoor game is scheduled in late January or early February, expect the worst. But I really need to hear a legitimate reason why we haven't had the Super Bowl in a cold-weather venue before. It's not as if all of the playoffs take place in domes or warm-weather stadiums, so why change it for the Super Bowl? For the record, that seems to be getting it right as far as playoff games. The Saints would have been favored at home against the Seahawks if they had the better record/seeding but they didn't "take care of business" during the regular season. It's not a coincidence that cold-weather or warm-weather teams play better in their home environment. The solution? I'm not sure about that. Do you rotate the Super Bowl between all the teams in the league? Or do you pull a stadium out of a hat each season? I'm not sure of the answer, but all stadiums should be in play every season in some way.
I'm a little late to the party, but I'm totally fine with what Richard Sherman did after Seattle's NFC championship game victory. These are professional athletes and even without knowing any of the background of the Sherman/Crabtree feud, these guys get paid a lot of money to do what they love. If Crabtree wants to shut Sherman up, go up and get the ball or at the very least stop him from doing something to get his team an interception. That said, be prepared twice a season for this rivalry to be overblown. Now I'm a little mad at myself for bringing it up again.
Wagers/Prop Bets I'm Taking Seriously
I'm not going to lie, once the teams were decided without knowing a point spread I figured either way it was going to be three or less. Immediately I loved the Seahawks no matter the spread as I see the weakest of the four sides of the ball being the Broncos defense. Even if Russell Wilson can't move the ball, I have to think Marshawn Lynch will have a monster day on the ground. Manning hasn't been sacked in either of his two playoffs games, and I think that will change Sunday. Seattle should be able to pressure him rushing only four players, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Seahawks come up with some interesting blitz packages on occasion. The contrarian in me loves that in many places Seahawks were initially favored and have now moved to getting three points. Take Seattle and the points.
If you completely disagree with me on Seattle or think somehow they cover but the Broncos win, taking Peyton Manning +120 to win the MVP is the play over taking the Broncos against the spread.
I had this conversation with my friend Mark Stopa, and he immediately pointed this out the night of the Conference games. The probability of the Broncos winning and Manning not being the MVP is so miniscule that it's worth giving up the odds to take him with any time of plus odds. This also takes out the possibility of losing against the spread in case the Broncos win by a field goal or less. Again, I like Seattle but if you're on the other side of the fence, I think this is the right play.
Marshawn Lynch will score a touchdown (-175)
I'm typically never a fan of taking the favorite and said odds like this but it seems inevitable, especially if I like Seattle to win and cover. In two of the three losses by Seattle this season Lynch hasn't scored, but in eight of nine games he's had at least 20 carries, he's scored a touchdown. I have to think that Seattle goes into this game with a run-first mentality. Obviously, I think Lynch scores.
Doug Baldwin under 39.5 receiving yards (Even)
Too many times people look at what has just happened and not at the bigger sample size, which Vegas knows and puts into lines. Baldwin had a monster NFC championship game but the fact is Russell Wilson likes to spread the ball around. In the three games prior to his 107-yard outburst, Baldwin had 38 total receiving yards. Also, Percy Harvin should be healthy and be the focal point of the passing attack.
Speaking of Percy Harvin, I like a small play on him to win the MVP at 16/1.
He's probably not in shape to play a ton of snaps or the entire game, but there's a scenario where he scores on a kick return and maybe again on a passing play. Two touchdowns in this game plus his comeback from an injury would be enough to get the MVP if Seattle wins.
Andre Caldwell over 9.5 receiving yards (-105)
I'm not sure what the deal is with this number. Caldwell doesn't get a ton of targets but has at least 11 receiving yards in each of his last five games. I have to think that he gets the softest coverage out of any of the Denver receivers and in all likelihood needs only one catch to surpass this number.
Super Bowl 48 Nielsen rating over 47.5 (-120)
If it does go over, it would be the all-time record. The Nielsen rating has crept up over the last decade with the population growing and the popularity of the sport booming as well. Last year's Super Bowl had a rating of 46.4, and I think this year's game will garner more interest.
Eli Manning will be shown on television over 1.5 times (-140)
Archie and the whole family will be there, and I swear I remember seeing Peyton a few times when Eli won his titles. I can see the camera panning to the family, going to a play and then back to the family talking about Eli and Archie.
It will snow during some point of the game (+300)
The forecast currently calls for normal temperatures and no snow. However, there's a good possibility that changes over the next few days. In three of the last five years there has been snow on Feb. 2 in the Meadowlands, and one of those years that date didn't have any snow got three inches of snow the next day. I wouldn't be as interested in this prop if it was at even money, but 3/1 odds is enough for me to bite. Finally, if the weather somehow changes in the 48 hours leading up to the contest, this line could drastically swing and allow you to hedge or make guaranteed money if the forecast call for greater than a 50 percent chance of snow.
A member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be shirtless during their performance (-120)
First off, I'm not sure if America's youth (23 and under) are familiar with the Chili Peppers. This is going to make you feel old, but "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" was released in 1991, or 23 years ago for those mathematically challenged. It isn't tough to imagine Flea with his shirt off, after all he's performed wearing nothing but a sock before. It's not going to be crazy cold, though the temperature should be around freezing. Still, I have to think Anthony Kiedis or Flea does something to get some buzz around the band.
The halftime show will not break the record for the most ever watched (Madonna's record of 114 million) (-300)
After the Janet Jackson performance in 2004, the halftime show went on a nice run – Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and The Who. Since then it seems the show has tried to attract a younger audience, keeping in line with that thinking with Bruno Mars this year. Is Bruno Mars enough of a draw to break Madonna's record? I highly doubt it.
Prop Bets I'm Taking But Not Too Seriously
Knowshon Moreno will not cry during the National Anthem (-200) (Note that it stipulates it has to be from the beginning to end of the anthem)
I actually think he'll be too nervous to get caught up in the moment and it won't happen. After all, it's only happened once (well, at least that we know of), so I don't think it's going to happen again.
"Beast Mode" will be said over 2 times during the game (+110)
You have to think at least once the announcers will mention this after one of Marshawn Lynch's trademark, punishing runs. I'm just surprised I couldn't find a prop involving Skittles. I'd lean toward the over since if it's directly at two you only push.
The announcers will not say the word "Marijuana" during the game (-500)
Both of these teams are from states that have legalized marijuana. I hate laying such big odds but if forced to make a choice here, it's definitely no. In case you haven't realized it yet, we get the combination of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling this Sunday's game. Both seem so politically correct ("that is a disgusting act by Randy Moss!" - Buck) that I doubt either one even thinks about saying such a controversial word.
Again, hit up the comments with your thoughts. All lines were taken from Bovada.lv, so get your predictions on record now.