Nothing is bigger in the world of sports than Super Bowl Sunday and the world is anxiously awaiting the remaining days leading up to this year’s big match-up. The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are two of the most dangerous offenses in the league, meaning there should be plenty of fireworks when the two teams take the field for Super Bowl 44. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Super Bowl, sports betting has evolved into an extravaganza for Super Sunday. Outside of your normal side and total bets, the Super Bowl offers countless proposition bets to draw action for the big game. It is estimated the nearly $8 billion is wagered on the Super Bowl in the United States alone.
As a result, bettors can find the most bizarre proposition bets ranging from the amount of time Carrie Underwood will take to sing the National Anthem to how many times Bourbon Street in New Orleans will be shown during the telecast. However, it is important for bettors to not get caught up in the excessive betting lines being offered. With all the activity, it is easy to throw money on simple “chance” bets and find yourself losing plenty of money. Stay away from those risky bets and stay focused on the betting lines that actually have some reasoning behind their outcomes. I have picked out a few of those bets that are high percentage profit opportunities for our viewers to consider. All of these betting lines can be found at Bodog Sportsbook.
Prop Bet No. 1 – Which team will receive the opening kickoff?
Indianapolis Colts (-115)
New Orleans Saints (-115)
Predicting the team that will be the recipient of the opening kickoff is always a popular bet, but has also been a bad wager for the betting public in year’s past. Last year Arizona won the toss and shocked everyone by putting their defense on the field first against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This year we have two extremely potent passing offenses proposing the idea that this would be a “toss up” bet because the winner of the toss will put their offense on the field. However, I do not think that is entirely accurate.
For the Saints maybe so, because it is extremely important they get off to a good start. The Saints have openly stated they expect Brees and the offense to make a statement early in the game. Given the up-and-down season the Saints defense has experienced, I just can see New Orleans putting their defense on the field first. The confidence for the Saints defense is critical and will play a big factor in stopping the Colts offense. The Saints coaching staff will not put their defense on the field, giving Manning the chance to destroy their confidence before the offense even takes the field if New Orleans indeed wins the toss.
On the other side of the coin, most would expect the Colts to put Manning and company on the field if they win the toss. However, do not be surprised at all if the Colts were to defer to the second half. The Colts defense has played really well giving up just 20 points combined in two postseason games. The Indianapolis defense normally sets the tone for the offense. If the Colts do win the toss, they may very well put the defense out first and hope to force a quick change of possession giving the offense the short field.
Pick – Indianapolis Colts
Prop Bet No. 2 – Shortest touchdown of the game
Over 1 ½ (+120)
Under 1 ½ (-150)
This may be a sucker bet, but I will bite. Basically the question here is will there be a one-yard punch-in type of touchdown during the game. Both offenses have very little confidence in their running game and typically find more comfort passing the football down towards the goal line. In fact, the Colts have not scored a rushing touchdown during the postseason and none of their five touchdowns have been less than four yards out. The Saints have scored nine touchdowns during the postseason, but only once from less than two yards out. I expect the quarterbacks to really shine and capitalize on scoring opportunities this Sunday. Therefore, chances for any touchdowns inside the two-yard line should remain limited. Expect the quarterbacks to make some plays and keep any short touchdowns from reoccurring.
Pick – Under 1 ½
Prop Bet No. 3 – Drew Brees completion percentage
Over 68.5% (-115)
Under 68.5% (-115)
I understand everybody expects the quarterbacks to put up daunting numbers this Sunday in a high-scoring game due to both offenses perceptions, but it would not be surprising to see the numbers stay pretty moderate. Brees completed 71 percent passing against the Cardinals terrible secondary and backed that up by completing just 55 percent of his passes last week against the Vikings. In fact, Brees holds just a 60 percent completion percentage over his last four postseason games during his career.
Pressure is everything to keep either quarterback from staying in any type of rhythm. This particular line means that Brees would have to put together a fairly remarkable performance. While I think the Saints will make some plays through the air, I do not expect it to be a consistent march down the field each time they get the ball. The closer it gets to Sunday the more it appears Colts DE Dwight Freeney will be playing. Even if he is not at 100 percent his presence gives the Colts pass rush a boost. If the Colts can just get some moderate pressure on Brees similar to the Vikings last week, his completion percentage should be pretty modest.
Pick – Under 68.5
Prop Bet No. 4 - Team to score first
Indianapolis Colts (-150)
New Orleans Saints (+120)
One thing that has caught my eye this season about the Saints is that they normally do not get off to any blazing starts despite the offense’s ability to score quickly. In fact, the Saints have only scored first once in their last seven games and that was not during either of their playoff victories. The Colts, on the other hand, have struck first in both postseason outings this year. Peyton Manning does a great job at keeping the offense calm and collected resulting in early offensive production. The Saints offense has been very emotional during their postseason success. However, it would not be surprising that their offense come out with a bit too much emotion entering the game. Therefore, I think the Saints will have to settle into the pace of the game before they really start producing any points. The juice really hurts this bet, but it is another high probable opportunity to score a winner.
Pick – Indianapolis Colts
Prop Bet No. 5 – Largest lead of the game
Over 15 ½ (+110)
Under 15 ½ (-140)
If you are enjoying this article be sure to check out our page. Doc's Sports NFL Season Win Total Predictions page is and excellent NFL resource as well. Our How to bet on NFL games page is also must read when studding the NFL. For 35+ years the team at Doc's Sports Service has provided and insight on NFL handicapping.
Luckily over the last two years the Super Bowl has provided some thrilling excitement. Last year Santonio Holmes brought in a sensational touchdown catch in the final seconds of the game to lift the Steelers over the Cardinals. In 2008, Eli Manning constructed a come from behind win to upset the undefeated Patriots by just three points. Blowout type Super Bowls have become a distant memory and most expect this year’s matchup to be another nail bitter. In fact, it has been seven years since a Super Bowl had a lead of more than 14 points at any time of the game. I do not expect this year’s to be any different. There is a lot of money riding on the underdog Saints as they are carrying a ton of momentum into the contest. However, the Colts have the best quarterback in football in Peyton Manning and I never encouraged betting against Manning. Those factors should make this year’s battle another exciting close game that is once again likely decided in the fourth quarter. With that being said despite the (-140) juice, I do not mind laying some big money on the ‘under’ here.
Pick – Under 15 ½