A close game could make picking against the spread or the total extremely difficult, but there are other ways to make money during Super Bowl 50.
From the coin toss to the specific words said by the announcers or the color Gatorade dumped on the winning coach, there are tons of options for prop bets. Some are extremely creative, while others are more focused on the game and easier to predict.
Odds Shark provides an entire list of props available Sunday, but here is a breakdown of some of the better bets as well as a breakdown of the battle for MVP for when the Carolina Panthers take on the Denver Broncos.
|Ted Ginn Jr.||WR||CAR||+2000|
via Odds Shark
Best Value: Von Miller
Cam Newton is the odds-on favorite, and for good reason. The do-it-all quarterback has put up outstanding numbers in the second half of the season and is likely to be named Most Valuable Player of the entire NFL. If the Panthers win, it is likely because the superstar had a strong effort against an elite Broncos defense.
Even if Newton doesn't put up good numbers, his notoriety at a prime position will likely be enough to keep him in the minds of voters.
On the other hand, you can make good money on a longer shot such as Von Miller. If the Broncos do win, there is no guarantee Peyton Manning will be the one who leads the squad to victory. He has had a mediocre season and could end up struggling against a Panthers defense that led the league in interceptions.
It's also difficult to trust any one person on the Broncos offense to put up big numbers with Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Ronnie Hillman, C.J. Anderson or others all capable of racking up yards and scores.
The reality is a Denver win will likely be due to a great defensive effort, and specifically by Miller. The linebacker is one of the best in the sport at his position, as described by linebackers coach Fred Pagac, per Marc Sessler of NFL.com:
DeMarcus Ware's as good as they get. He's a great person. Loves the game of football. He's a pro's pro, he's been doing it a long time. He'll be in the Hall of Fame someday. Von might [be] as good an athlete as I've been around in 37 years of coaching. Great person. Loves the game and can't help but absorb some of the stuff D-Ware's done, so it has to be a great, great tool for Von.
His talent was on display in the AFC Championship Game where he finished with 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits and an interception. If he puts up similar numbers in the Super Bowl he could walk away with an MVP award.
Although defensive players are often overlooked, Malcolm Smith won with the Seahawks just two years ago, so it's not out of the question.
Bets Prop Bets
Cam Newton Rushing Yards (Over 39.5)
Newton could be limited in the passing game by a strong secondary. Aqib Talib and Chris Harris match up well against the Panthers receivers and there could be few openings down the field.
However, one of the key factors in this game will be the quarterback's legs. Even against the best pass-rushing teams in the NFL this year, Newton has found a way to pick up yards on the ground while avoiding the pressure. He had 76 rushing yards against the Houston Texans, 57 versus the Green Bay Packers and most recently totaled 47 against the blitz-heavy Arizona Cardinals.
Miller and DeMarcus Ware will bring tons of pressure all game long, but Newton has the ability to escape the pocket and pick up first downs and more. Expect him to do a lot of that in the Super Bowl.
Newton topped this number in exactly half of his games this year so it's a close call, but the quarterback should be a serious rushing threat on Sunday.
Ronnie Hillman Rushing Yards (Under 35.5)
This is a low number for a player who is basically the Broncos' starting running back, but the team is starting to figure out which its best option in the ground game is.
When healthy, Anderson is clearly the superior player and he has shown that with 144 rushing yards in two postseason games compared to just 54 for Hillman in this span.
Even Silva of Rotoworld noted Hillman hasn't been able to even total many big plays so far in the playoffs:
Ronnie Hillman's postseason carries: 5, 4, 0, 9, -1, 5, 1, 1, 1, -1, -4, 3, 3, 5, 7, 0, -1, 7, -1, -1, 2, 1, 4, 0, 2, 3, 0. (2.00 YPC).— Evan Silva (@evansilva) February 4, 2016
The running back was out-snapped by Anderson 34-28 in the last game, according to Pro Football Focus, and he seems to be getting a smaller role each time out. Combine this with the Panthers allowing just 88.4 rushing yards per game (fourth in the NFL), it will be difficult for Hillman to get going in likely a limited amount of carries.
Anderson could break out a few more big plays, but don't expect much from Hillman.
Will There Be A Defensive/Special Teams TD? (Yes)
The odds are in your favor with a +145 payout, which makes sense due to the usual rarity of a non-offensive touchdown. However, these are two teams that have made a habit out of scoring from the defensive side of the ball.
Denver was a great fantasy pickup this year thanks not only to the ability to get to the quarterback but also getting into the end zone. Broncos players returned four interceptions for a touchdown to go with one fumble recovery brought all the way back. The playmakers in the secondary are especially dynamic with the ball in their hands and one Newton mistake could lead to six the other way.
Carolina has been just as deadly with a league-high 39 takeaways during the year. Luke Kuechly also showed what he can do with the ball with a pick-six in each of the last two playoff games.
Look for another game-changing play to occur in the Super Bowl with these two teams.
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