Betting on the Super Bowl should be thought of as a marathon and not a sprint, especially when it comes to betting on any number of player and team props that will be released for what is easily the biggest single-day betting event of the year.
During the week off leading to Super Bowl 50 between Denver and Carolina on Sunday, Feb 7, I decided to delve into some of the most basic team props for my early picks. Many times you can find some solid value in the numbers before the bulk of the betting action starts rolling in. I have narrowed my search down to three Super Bowl team props based on betting odds from 5Dimes for this week's top-valued plays.
Super Bowl 50- Which Team Scores First?
Right now, 5Dimes has the Carolina Panthers favored by six points, which has been significantly bet up since the line opened at four points this past Sunday. The betting moneyline that they score first in Super Bowl 50 has been set at -130. The betting odds that Denver draws first blood with a score have been set at +110.
Carolina jumped all over both Seattle and Arizona in its first two postseason games with early scores in the first quarter. The Panthers quickly punched in a touchdown against the Seahawks following a 59-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, but they had to settle for a field goal as the first score against the Cardinals.
The Broncos opened up a three-point lead in the Divisional Round win against Pittsburgh, and they struck first against New England in the AFC title game with a touchdown. Denver is more than capable of moving the ball downfield against the Panthers on the opening kickoff to grab the early lead with a score, but my rational for the best value in this prop is overall firepower.
Carolina was the highest-scoring team in the NFL in the regular season with 31.2 points a game, and it tacked on another 80 points in two playoff games. I will go with the added risk on the current -130 moneyline with the prediction that the Panthers go on to score first.
Super Bowl 50- First Score a Touchdown?
This prop is always one of the most popular ones with the sportsbooks and one of the most heavily-bet props with the betting public. The moneyline odds that the first score is a touchdown have been set at -150, while the betting odds it is a field goal or safety are set at +130.
The sportsbooks know that both the typical NFL fan as well as the betting public in general love to see teams score touchdowns. They tend to take full advantage of this fact by setting the betting odds well in their favor for a prop like this.
Any NFL head coach would love to see their team get off to a fast start in the Super Bowl with a touchdown, but they also know the value of getting on the board first with any kind of score. My rationale for going with the better value on the +130 odds that the first score is not a touchdown is based on both of these teams' defense.
Everyone knows just how good Denver's defense has been all season long with a points-allowed average of 18.5, but Carolina has been almost as stingy with a points-allowed average of 19.2.
Super Bowl 50- Team to Make the Longest Field Goal
The moneyline odds on 5Dimes' Super Bowl 50 board for this prop have Carolina listed at -120 to make the longest field goal of the game, and they have been set at -110 that Denver kicks the longest one. I decided to breakdown this prop in its simplest terms to make my pick.
The Panthers' field goal kicker for Super Bowl 50 is six-year veteran Graham Gano. He finished the regular season hitting 30 of his 36 field goal attempts for a conversion rate of 83.3 percent, which was ranked 20 in the NFL. His longest field goal of the year was 52 yards, and he went 17-for-21 from 40 yards or longer. He was a perfect three-for-three in the playoffs, including two kicks from 40 yards or more.
Denver's field goal kicker in the Super Bowl will be second-year player Brandon McManus. He made 30 of his 35 field goal attempts in the regular season, and he connected on all seven of his attempts in two playoff games. He gets the first edge in this head-to-head matchup with a 57-yard field goal as his longest in the regular season, and he really earned the edge with a perfect 5-fo-5 performance from 40 yards out or longer in the postseason. This includes two field goals made from 50-plus yards.
The thin air at Mile High may have contributed to McManus's stellar performance in the playoffs. However, this gives Broncos' head coach Gary Kubiak a ton of confidence that his kicker can connect from long yardage should the need arise. In light of Denver's more favorable -110 odds for this prop, I am going in that direction as my pick.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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