The AFC champion Denver Broncos are on track to enter the Super Bowl as slight favorites over the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. That's far from the only line generating interest, however, as prop picks continue to grow in popularity.
Although props are also available during the regular season, they tend to attract more attention leading up to the Super Bowl because there's a line for basically everything. That group includes pregame activities, the game itself, the halftime show and the postgame celebration.
With that in mind, let's check out some of the most interesting and intriguing props on the board with one week until the big game. All odds used are courtesy of Bovada.
Most Valuable Player
|SEA||Marshawn Lynch (15/4)||Russell Wilson (15/4)||Percy Harvin (22/1)||Richard Sherman (22/1)|
|DEN||Peyton Manning (11/10)||Knowshon Moreno (20/1)||Demaryius Thomas (22/1)||Wes Welker (22/1)|
Bovada -- All Others 25/1 or Higher
Peyton Manning is the clear MVP favorite, and that certainly comes as no surprise. He's had a record-breaking season. Capping it off with the top individual honor en route to his second Super Bowl title would be the storybook ending.
Yet, when picking these types of props the key is finding good value. Manning doesn't provide it because he checks in at basically even odds. Instead, his teammate Knowshon Moreno jumps off the page at 20-1.
Moreno emerged from the team's AFC title-game triumph over the New England Patriots with a rib injury. Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reports he's fully expected to play in the Super Bowl, though:
The early word on Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (ribs) and cornerback Tony Carter (arm/concussion) is that both should be back and ready to play. X-rays revealed no fractures for Moreno. There's always more to the story with rib injuries than just bone. Still, indications are he'll be suited up for the biggest game he's ever played in his home state—or anywhere, for that matter.
A healthy Moreno is a do-it-all back for the Broncos. He's averaged 20 touches per contest through the first two playoff games. A similar workload in the Super Bowl and all it takes is one or two key plays for him to move into the MVP lead.
Marshawn Lynch Rushing Attempts
Seattle certainly doesn't try to hide its plan of attack. The Seahawks are going to line up and let their workhorse back carry the load until the opponent forces them to do something else. That's why Lynch has carried the ball 50 times in Seattle's two playoff wins.
As Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated pointed out, he was particularly pleased with the effort against the rival San Francisco 49ers:
marshawn lynch said the win was special not just b/c of the trip to the sb, but b/c it was agt sf. "i'm from oakland, so it was personal."— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) January 20, 2014
The reason the line probably seems a bit low at 21.5 is due to the Broncos defense. Denver has done a nice job of limiting the running game so far in the playoffs. Add in a high-scoring offense and teams have been forced to abandon the run, leading to just 34 combined carries.
So the deciding factor in this prop is actually the Seahawks defense. As long as they can prevent the Broncos from racking up a lot of points early, and they should, Lynch will once again be the focal point of the offensive attack with 25 or more carries.
Snow During Game
Obviously, the snow angle is one of the main talking points heading into the game. A snowy night at MetLife Stadium could force both teams to alter their game plans. It would also create quite an interesting spectacle for fans.
Are you cheering for a snowy Super Bowl?
It's interesting that "No" is such a sizable favorite. The early forecast from the Weather Channel shows an 80 percent chance of precipitation on game day with temperatures in the 20s at night. Of course, the accuracy of such a long-range forecast is always up in the air.
That said, it would at least appear there's a closer to 50-50 chance of snow falling at some point during the game. The odds will probably shift as the forecast starts to come into greater focus, so taking a chance at +200 now is an intriguing option.