Super Bowl 2014 Prop Bets: Predictions for Best Specialty Player Picks

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Super Bowl 2014 Prop Bets: Predictions for Best Specialty Player Picks
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One of the many ways to tell the Super Bowl is a special event is the sheer number of prop picks available for the game. Just about anything you can think of involving the players, the performers and even the coin flip is on the board.

A majority of the options available involve those taking part in the big game. That includes everything from full-game selections to those broken down by quarters. It leaves no shortage of things to watch as the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos battle for the title.

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Knowing that, let's check out some of the picks that stand out among the sea of props and make predictions for how they'll play out. All of the picks and lines are courtesy of Bovada.

 

Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

When: Sunday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go

 

Peyton Manning 1st-Quarter TD Passes (Over/Under 0.5)

The biggest concern for this prop is not whether Manning and the Broncos offense can move the ball against Seattle's vaunted defense. Rather, it's whether or not he will get more than one chance to touch the ball in the quarter, because Denver likes to defer if its wins the toss.

That said, Manning will want to make an early statement after spending the last couple weeks hearing about his legacy and potentially diminishing athletic ability. The Seattle Times passed along his comments after Richard Sherman said he throws "ducks":

The legendary quarterback is smart enough to joke about it with the media, not wanting to give the Seahawks any added motivation. But that's the type of thing that will probably stick with him. Expect the Broncos to come out firing in the first quarter, finding the end zone through the air.

Prediction: Over (+115)

 

Marshawn Lynch Total Rushing Attempts (Over/Under 21.5)

One of the biggest misconceptions about the Super Bowl is that the extra week of preparation means teams are going to drastically change things. These two squads reached this point by playing their distinctive styles, and that's not going to change.

The Seahawks are a team that leans heavily on Marshawn Lynch and their defense to win games. The powerful running back is averaging 25 carries per game in the postseason after another very productive regular season, as ESPN The Magazine points out:

Seattle must prevent this game from becoming a free-flowing, wide-open contest. The only way to do that is to constantly give the ball to Lynch to wear down the Broncos defense and burn the clock. So Lynch should go over the 21.5 line by early in the fourth quarter.

Prediction: Over (-125)

 

Demaryius Thomas Total Receiving Yards (Over/Under 75.5)

There are two major factors working against Thomas. The biggest one is Sherman, who backs up his talk with extremely strong play on the field. He's a true shutdown corner. Then there's Denver's receiving depth, which means Thomas' place in the pecking order can change from week to week.

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If there's one thing Manning has shown throughout the season it's that he's not going to force throws to anybody. He's going to take the safe pass, which means there's a lot of screens, crossing patterns and check-down throws to move the chains.

With Sherman on Thomas, he probably isn't going to represent the easy throw on many plays. Julius Thomas is probably the best matchup for Denver, and there's still three or four other options for Manning. So unless the talented wideout breaks off one huge play, he'll likely end up under 75 yards.

Prediction: Under (-125)

 

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