This is the second edition of my Super Bowl 50 props between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos in San Francisco. I published an article earlier, which touched on the funny props available in Super Bowl 50, along with some picks. I personally treat the player props a little more seriously, as there is more of a statistical element to handicapping these bets. Last season in Super Bowl 49 I nearly swept the board with my player props, ultimately finishing with a profitable record of 4-1. Here is where I made my money last season. I look to follow it up with another profitable Super Bowl. As like my funny props, I will provide my top 5 favorite prop picks for Super Bowl 50. These picks feature individual player production. There is also an article on The Sports Geek which looks at team prop picks. But let’s get to my Super Bowl 50 player prop picks now below.
Panthers vs. Broncos Super Bowl 50 Player Props
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
#1 – Longest Reception – Greg Olsen (CAR) – O/U 22.5 YARDS (-125)
Greg Olsen, tight end of the Carolina Panthers, is the one player in Cam Newton’s arsenal who the Broncos are going to need to slow down. Olsen was a gem of a find for the Panthers, who traded for him in 2011, has emerged as a pivotal factor in the Panthers’ run to the Super Bowl. It isn’t just the Cam Newton show on Carolina. Note that Olsen finished this season with 1,104 yards receiving, along with 7 touchdowns. In the playoffs, he amped it up and caught 113 yards last week against the Cardinals and 77 yards against the Seahawks. His longest receptions went for 54 yards and 27 yards.
He is a major threat to catch balls across the middle and turn them into big plays for the Panthers. In eighteen games played this season, Olsen caught a pass for greater than 22 yards in thirteen. In other words, in 72% of games Olsen had a long of more than 22 yards. I expect him to find space in the Broncos’ secondary at least once in this game, enough for Newton to find him. Remember, Olsen is more of a receiver than tight end. I like him to nab a ball for more than 22 yards in the Super Bowl.
PICK: OVER 22.5 YARDS (-125)
#2 – Total Field Goals – Brandon McManus – O/U 1.5 (-125)
This is a bet I have made money with two of the last three seasons. The prop bet I had on David Akers to hit more than 1 field goal cashed relatively early. I’m going to go back to the well and look for some more kicker money. The reason for my pick here is the fact that the Panthers’ defense is pretty strong. I see the Broncos getting into field goal range at least a couple times with the drive bogging down due to the Panther defense stiffing up. The Panthers were tops in red zone defense this season. The Broncos lost Julius Thomas to the Jaguars, taking away a big factor around the goal line.
The Panthers know that Demariyus Thomas is going to be the guy to watch for. They should be able to neutralize him with talented corner, Josh Norman. I like this game as a low scoring contest that favors field goals, so the McManus OVER 1.5 field goal prop looks attractive to me.
PICK – OVER 1.5 (-125)
#3 – Who will have more rushing yards in the game?
Cam Newton (+20.5) vs. Jonathan Stewart (-20.5)
This is a prop which features teammate vs. teammate. The quarterback, Cam Newton, will be up against Jonathan Stewart on the ground, sports betting wise, anyway. This is a bet which features a point spread. In this case, Jonathan Stewart will have to rush for 20 yards more than Cam Newton. The Broncos own the 3rd best rushing defense in the NHL. They allowed only 83.6 yards per game. Stewart has rushed for an average of 76.1 yards per game this season. I see him running for about 50 yards in this one. Newton rushed for an average of 39.75 yards. He makes a lot of his yards when the play breaks down. Stewart will be getting his yards out of a traditional set, which the Broncos have proven to be strong against. Additionally, there will be called plays for Newton to run the ball as well. I like this prop. Newton should keep the rushing yardage within 20 yards of Jonathan Stewart.
PICK: CAM NEWTON +20.5
#4 – Total yards on 1st rushing attempt – C.J. Anderson – O/U 3.5 YARDS (-130)
This bet is pretty clear. Will C.J. Anderson rush for more than 3.5 yards on his first rushing attempt? Early in the game, when you expect Anderson to get his first carry, should be facing a jacked up Carolina defensive front. Anderson posted an average of 4.7 yards per carry. The Panthers were 4th in the NFL against the run, allowing 88.4 yards per game for an average of 3.9. However, the basis of my pick here is the fact that in the Super Bowl, early on at least, the defensive lines are going to own the point of attack. I see Anderson with a rushing attempt for 2 yards on his first handoff from Peyton Manning.
PICK: UNDER 3.5 YARDS (-130)
#5 – Total receiving yards – Devin Funchess – O/U 20.5 YARDS (-130)
The former Michigan tight end came up big in spots this season. Funchess is a converted tight end to receiver, slimming down a bit and getting faster this last offseason. He has become a nice possession receiver for the Panthers and could be one of those forgotten players that comes up big in Super Bowl 50. In seven of his last eleven games, Funchess has hauled in greater than 20 yards in a game, 63% of the time. All it takes is one decent sized play, and boom, this one cashes.
PICK: OVER 20.5 YARDS (-130)