But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Covers has in store for you, as the following 50 need-to-know sports betting notes for Super Bowl 50 should put you firmly on the right track toward beating your bookie one final time this football season.
Enjoy, best of luck and enjoy the game.
*All prop bets courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook unless otherwise noted.
1. Super Bowl 50 will be played in Santa Clara, California at the open-air venue known as Levi’s Stadium, which features a natural playing surface comprised of Tifway II Bermuda grass and Perennial Ryegrass.
In outdoor games played on a natural grass surface this season, the Carolina Panthers went 13-0 SU and 11-2 ATS (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS on the road), while the Denver Broncos went 13-3 SU and 8-7-1 ATS (5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS on the road).
2. As it pertains to the Super Bowl coin toss, it is imperative to make one fact abundantly clear: no amount of research, trends or statistical data will give you an edge when it comes to selecting the winning result. This is an independent event with only two possible outcomes, so your chances of winning are exactly 50 percent. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun…
3. In the 49 previous Super Bowls, the coin toss has landed on “Heads” 24 times and “Tails” 25 times. Five of the last seven coin tosses have come up “Heads,” but “Tails” has been the outcome in each of the last two Super Bowls.
In addition, the NFC has won a staggering 16 of the last 18 Super Bowl coin tosses. Finally, of the 49 Super Bowl coin toss winners, 24 have gone on to win the game, with four of the last six coin toss winners eventually emerging as Super Bowl champions.
4. Peyton Manning-led Super Bowl teams are 0-3 when it comes to the coin toss.
5. The team to record the first score in the Super Bowl has gone on to win 33 times (33-16, 67.3%), which includes each of the last five Super Bowls. PROP: Will the team that scores first win the game: YES -180, NO +160.
6. Weather update: Sunday’s forecast for kickoff in Santa Clara is currently calling for temperatures with a high of 73 degrees and a low of 50 degrees. There is currently a zero percent chance of precipitation with the humidity expected to hover around 61 percent and winds out of the north-northwest at 8 miles per hour.
7. Of the 50 quarterbacks to start the last 25 Super Bowls, not one recorded a lower regular season passer rating than the 67.9 Peyton Manning posted in 2015.
In addition, only one of the last 25 Super Bowls (Patriots vs. Giants in Super Bowl XLII) featured a greater disparity in regular season passer ratings between the two starting quarterbacks than Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 (Newton: 99.4, Manning: 67.9).
8. Super Bowl 50 will pit the offense that made the most trips inside the red zone during the regular season (Carolina, 63) against the defense that allowed the fewest trips inside the red zone during the regular season (Denver, 37).
The good news for the Panthers is that if they can make it inside the Broncos’ 20-yard line, there’s a reasonable chance that Carolina will turn those opportunities into touchdowns, as Denver’s opponents found the end zone 59.5 percent of the time this season after entering the red zone (13th-most in NFL).
9. The Carolina Panthers are 9-4 ATS over their last 13 playoff games, while the Denver Broncos are 2-5-1 ATS over their last eight postseason contests.
10. With eight years and 123 games of NFL experience under his belt, Clete Blakeman was named as the head official for Super Bowl 50 last week. Blakeman served as a field judge from 2008-2009 before earning a promotion to head official in 2010, a role he currently serves to this day.
In games officiated by Blakeman, the Denver Broncos are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS, the most recent of which was a 47-14 throttling of the Oakland Raiders back in 2014. On the flip side, the Carolina Panthers are 2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS in games officiated by Blakeman, the most recent of which was a 24-17 win and cover over Houston on September 20.
11. In 2015, home teams went 8-8 SU in games officiated by Blakeman, while favorites went 8-7-1 ATS. As for the total, Blakeman’s crew was on the field for eight Overs and eight Unders in 16 games this season. Of those 16 aforementioned matchups, an average of 46.1 points per game was scored, with nine of those 16 contests featuring more than 45 total points.
12. NFL officiating crews threw an average of 13.7 penalty flags per game in 2015, with Blakeman’s crew throwing an average of 14.0 penalty flags per contest.
13. Teams that have ranked first in total defense during the regular season are 9-2 SU when playing in the Super Bowl. However, the Seattle Seahawks ranked first in total defense last season and lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. The Denver Broncos ranked first in the NFL in total defense this past season, surrendering an average of just 283.1 total yards per game.
14. Of the 49 Super Bowls played prior to Sunday’s showdown in Santa Clara, not one has gone into overtime. The price on whether or not Super Bowl 50 will go into overtime is currently listed at YES +550, NO -800.
15. PROP: Total first half points scored by the Carolina Panthers: 13.0 (Over: Even, Under: -120). Through 18 showdowns this season, the Panthers are averaging 17.8 points per game during the first half, with a plus-10 turnover differential.
In addition, the Panthers scored 13 or more points during the first half in 12 of 18 games this season, which includes 10 of the last 11 contests. The Broncos surrendered 13 or more points during the first half in six of 18 games this season. Through their last seven matchups, the Broncos have surrendered an average of just 7.8 points per game during the first half.
16. The underdog is a highly profitable 14-5-1 ATS over the last 20 Super Bowls. That’s good news for Denver fans, as the Broncos opened the week as 6-point underdogs for Super Bowl 50.
17. Sunday will mark Cam Newton’s first Super Bowl appearance, while Peyton Manning will be under center for his fourth Super Bowl. Quarterbacks making their Super Bowl debut have won four consecutive matchups over signal-callers with previous Super Bowl experience.
Manning won in his Super Bowl debut back in 2007 against Rex Grossman and the Chicago Bears, but lost to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (2010) and Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks (2014), both of whom were making their Super Bowl debuts.
18. The Over (currently listed at 45) is 4-0 in Carolina’s last four playoff games, while the Under is 5-1 in Denver’s last six postseason contests. In addition, the Over is 20-7-1 in Carolina’s last 28 games against teams with a winning record, while the Under is 5-2 in Denver’s last seven matchups against opponents with a winning record.
19. PROP: Total made third-down conversions by the Carolina Panthers (conversion by penalty does NOT count): 5.5 (Over: -120, Under: Even). Carolina converted an average of 5.6 third downs per game in 18 contests this season, which includes six or more third down conversions in five of the team’s last six outings. Conversely, the Broncos permitted an average of 4.6 third down conversions through 18 games this season, with opponents converting five or fewer third downs in seven of the club’s last 10 contests.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars signal-caller Blake Bortles was the only NFL quarterback to throw more interceptions (18) during the 2015 regular season than Peyton Manning (17), despite the fact that Manning appeared in just 10 games. However, Manning has yet to throw an interception through 69 playoff passing attempts, which is notable because the Denver quarterback has never made it through a postseason that features more than one game without throwing at least one interception. PROP: Will Peyton Manning throw an interception: YES -220, NO: +190.
21. Through 18 total games, the Denver Broncos are averaging 5.5 punts per contest while the Carolina Panthers are averaging 4.3 punts per outing. Take note that the Broncos have punted the ball five or more times in four of the team’s last five outings, while the Panthers have punted the ball three or fewer times in three of the club’s last four matchups. The current Over/Under for total punts in Super Bowl 50 is 10.0 (-110 both ways).
22. The Carolina Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals by 34 points in the NFC Championship game on January 24 and in the process became just the sixth team since the merger to win a conference championship game by 30 or more points. Of the previous five clubs to win a conference title game by 30 or more points, only two went on to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy (1991 Washington Redskins and 2014 New England Patriots).
23. The Denver defense led the NFL in sacks during the regular season, with 52 (3.25 per game) and have since added seven more to that total through two playoff games. Cam Newton was sacked a total of 33 times during the regular season (12th-most in NFL) and was brought down while attempting a pass twice more during the postseason. In addition, Newton was sacked three or more times in a game just four times in 18 contests this season. PROP: Total number of quarterback sacks recorded by the Denver defense: 2.5 (Over: +150, Under: -170).
24. PROP: Will there be a safety scored in Super Bowl 50: YES +550, NO -800. Nine safeties have been scored in the NFL’s previous 49 Super Bowls. However, four safeties have been scored since 2009, with a safety occurring in each Super Bowl from 2013-2015 before that streak was snapped last February.
25. For those of you predicting a Carolina blowout that rivals what the Seahawks did to Manning’s Broncos two years ago, you may be interested in wagering on an alternative pointspread. At the moment, you can play Carolina -14.5 at +350, Carolina -17.5 at +475 and Carolina -21.5 at +600.
However, be advised that only four of Carolina’s 17 wins this season came by more than 21 points, with nine of those 17 victories coming by 11 or more points. Take note that Denver lost just one game by more than seven points this season (29-13 vs. Kansas City in Week 10).
26. Of the 13 successful field goal attempts that occurred over the last five Super Bowls, none came from a distance of greater than 38 yards. You have to go back to February of 2010 to find an instance of a successful Super Bowl field goal attempt of greater than 40 yards, when Saints kicker Garrett Hartley connected from 47, 46 and 44 yards in New Orleans’ 31-17 win over Indianapolis.
PROP: Longest made field goal in Super Bowl 50: 45.5 yards (-110 both ways). Carolina kicker Graham Gano went 15/20 from outside of 40 yards in 2015 while Denver kicker Brandon McManus went 10/15 from 40 yards or longer during the regular season.
27. PROP: Total field goals made by both teams: 3.5 (Over: +105, Under: -125): The last five Super Bowls have featured an average of just 2.6 made field goals per game. Denver kicker Brandon McManus is averaging 2.05 field goals made per game through 18 contests this season, while Carolina kicker Graham Gano is averaging 1.83 field goals made per game through 18 outings this season.
The Broncos surrendered an average of just 1.6 made field goals per game during the 2015 regular season, while the Panthers permitted an average of only 1.3 made field goals per game this year.
28. The Denver Broncos allowed an average of just 3.3 yards per rushing attempt during the 2015 regular season (first in NFL), but Sunday’s matchup with Cam Newton will provide a unique challenge for a variety of reasons. For starters, the Denver defense faced just 21 designed quarterback rushing attempts through 18 total contests, but 14 of those were kneel-downs and two were mishandled snaps or handoffs.
Conversely, Newton recorded 124 designed rushing attempts through 18 games this season, good for an average of 6.8 designed rushing attempts per matchup. So you can’t help but ask yourself how Wade Phillips’ defense will react to something it hasn’t faced all season.
29. Speaking of Newton’s ability to create positive yardage with his legs, the Carolina quarterback notched 28 scrambles this season, which resulted in a total of 211 rushing yards (7.5 yds/scramble) and two touchdowns.
Defending the scramble has been a weak spot for the otherwise stalwart Denver defense, as only three NFL teams permitted more yards per scramble this past season than the Broncos. Of the 22 quarterback scrambles the Broncos were tasked with defending in 2015, 12 went for 10 or more yards.
30. Cam Newton rushing props include: Cam Newton’s first rushing attempt: 6.5 yards (Over: Even, Under: -120), Total rushing yards by Cam Newton: 37.5 (-110 both ways), Longest rush by Cam Newton: 12.5 yards (-110 both ways).
31. PROP: Which team will accrue more penalty yardage: Denver (-145) vs. Carolina (+125). During the 2015 regular season, the Broncos ranked eighth in the NFL in penalty yardage (1,063 yards) while the Panthers ranked 19th (887 yards). However, Denver has notched 51 or fewer penalty yards in seven of its last eight matchups, while Carolina has not recorded more than 45 penalty yards in any of its last four showdowns.
32. 2015 marked just the seventh time in NFL history that a team (Carolina) won exactly 15 games during the regular season. Of the previous six franchises to win exactly 15 games during the regular season, only the 1984 San Francisco 49ers and 1985 Chicago Bears went on to win the Super Bowl.
33. The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos tied for 10th in the National Football League during the 2015 regular season in big-play touchdowns (touchdowns of 20 or more yards) with 11. Only three playoff teams recorded a higher total than the Panthers and Broncos this season (Seattle with 19, Arizona with 15, Green Bay with 13).
34. Will Super Bowl 50 score at least the fourth-highest Nielsen Household Television Rating in Super Bowl history? That’s what you have to ask yourself if you want to beat the following prop currently being offered at Sportsbook.ag: Over/Under Nielsen Household Television Rating for Super Bowl L: 48.5 (Over: -115, Under: -125).
Of the previous 49 Super Bowls, only three (Seattle vs. New England in 2015 with a 49.7, Washington vs. Miami in 1983 with a 48.6 and San Francisco vs. Cincinnati in 1982 with a 49.1) went over the 48.5 total currently on the board. Here’s a breakdown of the Nielsen Ratings for the last five Super Bowls:
Seattle vs. New England in 2015: 49.7
Seattle vs. Denver in 2014: 46.4
Baltimore vs. San Francisco in 2013: 47.1
New York Giants vs. New England in 2012: 47.1
Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011: 46.0
35. Fun fact: This Sunday will mark Denver’s eighth trip to the Super Bowl since the franchise joined the American Football League in 1970. Did you know that seven of those eight Super Bowls will have featured a Broncos starting quarterback who was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts (John Elway: 5, Peyton Manning: 2)?
36. Each of the last five Super Bowls has featured a first score that was not a field goal (three touchdowns, two safeties). However, in the five years prior to that stretch, the first score of the Super Bowl was a field goal four times. PROP: First score of the game will be: Touchdown (-150), Any other score (+130).
37. When it comes to the all-important turnover battle, the regular season edge definitely resided with the Carolina Panthers, who finished the season plus-20 in turnover differential (first in NFL), while the Denver Broncos ranked 19th in the league in turnover differential (-4). Of the 12 teams that qualified for the postseason, no club recorded a worse turnover differential during the 2015 regular season than the Denver Broncos.
38. During the Super Bowl’s 49-year history, only six games (12.2%) have been decided by exactly three points. However, five of those matchups have taken place since 2002 when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots defeated Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI. PROP: Will the Super Bowl be decided by exactly three points: YES +375, NO -450.
39. Coming from someone who lives in the city of San Francisco, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it infuriates Bay Area residents to no end that this is being considered a “San Francisco Super Bowl,” even though the actual game is taking place an hour south in the city of Santa Clara.
PROP (courtesy of Bovada.LV): How many times will the Golden Gate Bridge be shown during the broadcast: 0.5 (Over: -300, Under: +200). A steep price to pay, but I personally guarantee that the “Over” cashes in this situation, if only to piss off the fine people of this great city one more time.
40. Including the 2015 postseason, the Carolina Panthers have rushed for 100 or more yards in 31 consecutive contests, which is the third-longest streak since the 1970 merger. Through 18 games this season, the Denver defense has permitted an opponent to run for 100 or more yards just seven times.
41. PROP: Will the Denver Broncos score in all four quarters (Overtime does NOT count): YES +300, NO -360. The Broncos scored in all four quarters in just five of 18 total games this season, while the Carolina Panthers allowed the opposition to score in all four quarters just four times in 18 matchups in 2015.
42. The Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award has been given to a quarterback 27 times (55.1%), an offensive player 39 times (79.6%), a defensive player nine times (18.4%) and a kick returner/punt returner one time (2%). Your top-five favorites to win the Super Bowl 50 MVP Award are:
Cam Newton: 5/7
Peyton Manning: 7/2
Jonathan Stewart: 15/1
Greg Olsen: 18/1
C.J. Anderson: 20/1
43. PROP: Total solo and assisted tackles by Von Miller (Sacks do NOT count): 3.0 (-110 both ways). Eliminate Miller’s sack total and the Denver pass rusher is averaging just 1.6 tackles per game this season, with all but one of 18 contests resulting in three or fewer tackles.
44. Key to the game: Third down conversions. The Carolina Panthers ranked seventh in the NFL in third down conversions during the regular season at 42.4 percent, while the Denver Broncos ranked 25th at 35.3 percent. Defensively, the Panthers ranked 13th in the NFL at 37.9 percent, while the Broncos ranked seventh at 35.2 percent.
45. If the current spread of Carolina -6 holds until kickoff, Super Bowl 50 will mark the eighth consecutive year in which professional football’s championship showdown featured a closing line of -7 or less. In addition, take note that 13 of the last 14 Super Bowls have featured a pointspread of -7 or less.
46. Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem for Super Bowl 50, with the Over/Under set at 2 minutes and 20 seconds. While there’s currently no information available as to how long the six-time Grammy Award winner will take to perform the Anthem, history has shown us that credible intelligence regarding the performer’s rehearsal will leak sometime prior to kickoff. As of now, here’s a rundown of the last 10 Super Bowl National Anthem performances, which saw the “Under” cash six times:
Super Bowl 40: Aaron Neville & Aretha Franklin at 2:08
Super Bowl 41: Billy Joel at 1:30
Super Bowl 42: Jordin Sparks at 1:54
Super Bowl 43: Jennifer Hudson at 2:10
Super Bowl 44: Carrie Underwood at 1:47
Super Bowl 45: Christina Aguilera at 1:54
Super Bowl 46: Kelly Clarkson at 1:34
Super Bowl 47: Alicia Keys at 2:35
Super Bowl 48: Renee Fleming at 1:54
Super Bowl 49: Idina Menzel at 2:04
47. Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart averaged 18.6 rushing attempts and 78.5 rushing yards per game through 15 total outings in 2015, which equates to a total of 4.2 yards per rushing attempt. On the flip side, Denver’s defense surrendered an average of just 3.3 rushing yards per attempt this past season, which ranked first in the NFL. PROP: Total rushing yards by Jonathan Stewart: 66.5 (-110 both ways).
48. Only one team in Super Bowl history has scored more than 14 points during the first quarter, which took place in 2014 when the Seattle Seahawks outscored the Denver Broncos 16-0 during the first quarter of what turned out to be a 43-8 annihilation in Super Bowl XLVIII.
49. PROP: Total solo and assisted tackles by Luke Kuechly (Sacks do NOT count): 8.5 (-110 both ways). The three-time Pro Bowler averaged 9.1 tackles per game this season and has notched eight or more tackles in five straight contests and nine or more tackles in three of his last five outings. In addition, Kuechly is currently listed at 25/1 to win the Super Bowl 50 Most Valuable Player Award.
50. Through 49 Super Bowls, no team has ever been held scoreless and no field goal kicker has ever converted an attempt from 55 yards or longer.
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