As we approach what could possibly be the last 60 minutes of Peyton Manning's illustrious career, will his potential swan song define his legacy as a quarterback who could not win the big game (one Super Bowl title in 3 opportunities) or will it have a Disney movie-type ending for the record-holding quarterback out of Tennessee?
We will find out the answer to that question come Saturday night around 10:30 p.m. EST. As of right now, the ageless wonder finds himself as a5.5- to 6-point underdog depending on where you look. All odds can be found SportsBettingOnline.ag.
I'm torn on what to expect in this game. My heart wants to cheer for Peyton and see him go out on top of the football world, but my instinct thinks this game should not even be close. Carolina looks like a team of destiny. They have been dominating opponents all season long, and their "us-against-the-world" mentality fits that group of players just fine.
Cam Newton can't even celebrate scoring a touchdown without having some sorry sap write into the local newspaper and complain about sportsmanship.
While the Panthers may be void of any real talent at wide receiver, what they have in the running game and whom they possess on defense seem to always make up for it.
I am passing on picking a side, but I do like some of the more value-driven prop bets that the Super Bowl spectacle has to offer.
All prop selections and odds can be found at All odds can be found SportsBettingOnline.ag.
Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers
Levi's Stadium, 6:30 p.m. EST. Feb. 7, 2016
By all accounts, this has been a breakout season for Cam Newton. The fifth-year signal caller has already laid claim to the Heisman Trophy, the college National Championship and the honor of being the first overall draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. While some would rest their laurels on what they have accomplished in the past, Cam is focused on the future. He wants to win Super Bowls, and he wants to do it in Carolina.
He has been the ringleader and catalyst of two dominating performances this post season after destroying Seattle and Arizona to reach Santa Clara. He is the favorite to win his first MVP Award, and his squad of "Dabbers" currently sits at a price of -110 to cover the -5.5 spread bestowed upon them.
Anytime Touchdown Scorer:
Cam Newton -111
It's hard not to like Cam's chances of finding the goal line and dabbing all over the Levi's Stadium endzone. He has already rushed for 10 touchdowns this season. And one would think that with an extra week to prepare the Broncos should be able to stop him. That probably won't be the case considering we are dealing with a freak of nature. He is 6-foot-5, 248 pounds. He is built like a fullback, with size and strength, with the vision and mobility of a running back. If I were Carolina, I would use the Denver pass rush against them, allowing the defensive line into the backfield around the edges allowing Cam to scramble into the open field in front of him. Any time Carolina gets inside the five-yard line, expect a QB run. Carolina is the best team in the league at implementing designed quarterback runs, and Cam is going to take full advantage of his opportunities.
Pick: Cam Newton -111
Will a special teams or defensive TD be scored?
"Yes" +163, "No" -225
The Panthers had seven defensive TDs in 18 games, and the Broncos had five. So that is a two-thirds chance at least one happens based on past performance.
Ted Ginn Jr. is an explosive punt returner for Carolina, so he is always a threat to bust open a lengthy punt return. On the other side, both defenses should be able to get pressure on the quarterback causing a deflected ball or maybe a sack fumble returned for a TD. I like my chances on the "Yes," especially in a Super Bowl where weird things tend to happen.
Pick: "Yes" +163
What Color Will the Liquid Be That is Poured on the Winning Coach
Orange +125, Blue +300, Clear +400, Yellow +400, Red +600, Green +1000
Cam Newton is on record for saying his favorite Gatorade flavor is the citrus cooler. That would fall under the Orange category color and thus, with Carolina winning the Super Bowl, Riverboat Ron can expect an orange Gatorade shower.
Not much more to say about this prop, but the clear value comes from the mouth of the potential MVP of the league. If you can trust Cam laying five and a half points, you should trust him in terms of his favorite drink.
Pick: Orange +125
The First 1st Down in the Game Will Happen on a Pass or Run Play
Passing Play -175, Rushing Play +145
The way I see this prop playing out is that both teams will want to establish a run game early and often. We all know the ability of the Carolina Panthers running game. And if they get the ball first, this would not surprise me if it happened on their first or second play from scrimmage. On the flip side of the ball, the Broncos will want to try and protect Manning for the first couple of series. They will look to establish C.J Anderson and Ronnie Hillman as best they can. And barring a third-and-long, which I don't see happening on the first series, they will be able to pick up a first down via the ground game in a short-yardage situation.
Pick: Rushing Play +145
Will the Broncos Successfully Convert a 4th Down?
"Yes" +100, "No" -130
This is the Super Bowl. You leave no stone unturned. You give it everything you have. Coaches call plays on their play sheets they didn't even know they had. Of course there will be a successful fourth-down conversion by the Broncos. Heck, it will probably even happen in the second quarter as opposed to the fourth quarter when they are down a couple of scores and have nothing to lose. Kubiak knows he cannot play this game conservatively. Peyton will not let that happen. Call it a gut feeling, or call it aggressive coaching; either way, this even-money prop is hitting.
Pick: "Yes" +100
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