The Super Bowl is 48 hours away, and normally I'd say the time for talk is over, but there's been almost zero talk between these two teams during this buildup week. The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos have both handled their business in the most professional manner possible, which really sucks for those of us looking for some sweet, sweet content. Such is life!
One way to help soothe the wounds of a relatively boring lead-up is to make money, and the Super Bowl is flush with opportunities to do that. Yes, PROP BETS! Now, I've identified five prop bets that I really like below, but the Super Bowl has literally hundreds of prop bets available. WARNING — do not gorge on prop bets! Find a few you really like, and ride those!
Now let's kick off my prop bets in the most patriotic way possible...
LADY GAGA NATIONAL ANTHEM UNDER 2:20 -180
I scoured the Internet for old Lady Gaga national anthems (yes, I am a really, really sick bastard), and all I could find was this edition from a New York Pride Parade...
This appears to have gone 2:18, which is a really, really long anthem. Also, my friend Paul Bessire of predictionmachine.com has gotten only one anthem prediction wrong in his time running that website, and he's taking the under. Good enough for me!
1st TD NOT PASSING TD +145
If you're looking for a solid underdog bet, where the amount risked is significantly less than the payout, this is a solid bet. The number appears to be driven by a) the fact that we live in a predominantly pass-happy NFL and b) the perception that Peyton Manning's noodle arm may be back to the level of "slightly al dente" as opposed to "full-on soggy pasta." Between the Broncos' lean toward running the ball, Cam's ability to use his legs in the red zone, and the possibility of a special teams or defensive TD, we love this one.
CAM NEWTON OVER 40.5 RUSHING YARDS -140
The Panthers have played 18 games this season, and Newton has gone over 40.5 yards in exactly half of them. So why do I like laying the moderate juice on the over here? Because the Panthers' wide receivers are still decidedly, barely average (if that) and the Broncos' secondary is elite. Put simply, Cam Newton is going to need to run the football to win. Also, expect pressure from DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller, which means Newton is going to have to scramble to escape, which he's perfectly capable of doing.
COLDPLAY FIRST SONG PLAYED AT HALFTIME, CLOCKS +750
If you're the halftime act, you need to start off with a signature song that has a recognizable opening rift. For Coldplay, that is "Clocks," plain and simple. Love the +750 value here.
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C.J. ANDERSON OVER 62.5 RUSHING YARDS
After taking a backseat to Ronnie Hillman early in the season, Anderson has kind of re-established himself as the Broncos' lead back, especially in the postseason, when he's rushed for 72 yards in each of the two Bronco wins. One thing you can bet on for sure, Gary Kubiak will be overly stubborn in trying to establish a ground game. That means a decent dosage of Anderson.
GAME PREDICTION: Panthers 24, Broncos 16
Last Week: 2-0
Season Record: 55-62-1
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.