Culture of Hoops

Sonny’s NFL Picks: Super Bowl Preview/Props

It’s been well-chronicled, but in case you haven’t heard, allow me to venture down this path one last time. I came damn close to a perfect postseason last year. In fact, I was only one play away from going 11-0 picking Playoff games last year, but then Pete Carroll decided he wanted to become a walking punchline and the Seattle Seahawks threw the ball, lost the game and crushed my soul.

10-1 wasn’t bad, and you know what’s even better than that … I was actually perfect on my prop bets for Super Bowl XLIX as well. I nailed the coin flip, the length of the National Anthem, the first AND last songs of Katy Perry’s halftime performance (for the record, you can’t bet on the final song of the halftime show, but I picked that right just for the fuck of it) and the color of the Gatorade that would eventually be poured over Bill Belichick’s smirking head. For the rest of my life I’ll always regret not finding a way actually place wagers on these prop bets because I’d have a whole bunch of money to show for it if I did.

After a lousy 0-2 record during Conference Championship Weekend I’m a pedestrian 7-3 with my game picks this postseason. There’s no way I could turn things around on that front, but I can take another shot at an 11-0 postseason with various prop bet selections that casinos actually allow you to bet on, plus a pick on the game itself. With that being said, it’s time to do as you’d do when the pimp is in the crib … Prop it like it’s hot!

How many times will “dab” or “dabbing” be said by the announcers during the Broadcast? Over 2 (EVEN)
Under 2 (-140)
(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

Guys, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are our announcers for Super Bowl 50. They are as white as white can be. Tubs of Sour Cream look at Jim Nantz and Phil Simms and think “Damn, those dudes are really white!” If someone relayed information to Nantz and Simms that Cam Newton had “dabbed” or was “dabbing” they would probably think that he had set up an easel on the sideline and was finishing up a painting. I don’t think we’re going to hear the words “Dab” or “Dabbing” one time.

The Bet: Under 2 (-140)

Will Mike Carey be wrong about a challenge?

Yes (+110)
No (-150)
(Note: He must be consulted on live broadcast and must clearly take a stance on his position. If not consulted wagers will be No Action.)

One of my favorite pastimes is to make fun of the timidness of, and incorrect statements made by CBS’s officiating expert Mike Carey (though, I don’t discriminate … Fox’s Mike Pereira is just as much of a dullard as Carey is). Carey was wrong last week on a Peyton Manning lateral that was incorrectly called a forward pass on the field, and over the last week or so he’s been on the offensive. A few pieces have been written about how Mike Carey is out to prove that he isn’t always wrong this Sunday, and if the thought of an overly-determined Mike Carey doesn’t make you chuckle then I don’t know what will.

If a call goes to Carey during the Super Bowl I’d expect even more waffling than normal. And I’d also expect him to get it wrong in the end.

The Bet: Yes (+110)

Which Will be the Highest Scoring Quarter?

1st Quarter (+500)
2nd Quarter (+160)
3rd Quarter (+450)
4th Quarter (+250)

This line fascinates me. Over the last fifteen Super Bowl’s the 2nd quarter has been the highest scoring quarter only twice. The 3rd and 4th quarters each have held that distinction six times and the 1st quarter, the biggest long-shot, has been the highest scoring quarter only once in the last fifteen Super Bowl’s. I have no strong statistical knowledge aside from this recent history, nor did I have a good feeling about any quarter before looking at the odds or the results from the previous fifteen seasons, but based on the odds I’ve been given I’m taking the choice where I’m getting the best value.

The Bet: 3rd Quarter (+450)

How many times will Archie Manning be shown on TV during the Broadcast?

Over 1.5 (EVEN)
Under 1.5 (-140)
(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

Think about this logically; this is likely going to be Peyton Manning’s final game, and if you don’t think CBS and the National Football League are going to beat this narrative into the ground then you clearly haven’t followed the NFL over the last, um, all of the years … you haven’t been paying attention for any of the years if you don’t think Manning is going to have every call go his way, and receive an endless amount of borderline undeserved credit and praise before, during and after the game. And with each extended session of praise from Nantz and Simms will be a long shot of Archie and Eli manning standing around in a suite looking like they smelled a bad fart.

The Bet: Over 1.5 (EVEN)

Will Peyton Manning throw a Pick 6 in the game?

Yes (+300)
No (-500) 

Hey, here’s one of those times where we get to see what Archie Manning is up to!

The Bet: Yes (+300)

Which song will Coldplay play first during the Halftime show? 

Adventure of a Lifetime (+200)
Fix You (+350)
A Sky Full of Stars (+450)
Viva la Vida (+500)
Clocks (+750)
Speed of Sound (+900)
Head Full of Dreams (+1000)
Paradise (+1000)

The key to picking this prop correctly is imagining you are solely responsible for the set-list of the artist and thinking about what song would make the most sense to kick-off, and conclude, the halftime show. Last year “Firework” was a slight pre kick-off favorite over the field, but it just made sense for “Firework” to be a tremendously conclude the show with a borderline unsafe amount of fireworks exploding to cap it off. That’s why my choice, and Katy Perry’s choice, was “Roar,” a booming arena pop-rock hit that is more suitable for a sporting event than any other Katy Perry song.

The choice isn’t so simple for Coldplay, since their inclusion in the halftime show was a highly criticized maneuver (Drake was the all-too-logical choice for the halftime show this year, though you also could have sold me on Justin Timberlake, who could do the halftime show for the Super Bowl every year without ruffling too many feathers). I had to listen to all of the aforementioned Coldplay hits to come up with a rationale, and I still don’t feel too good about it.

I’m comfortable coming out and saying the “A Sky Full of Stars” will close the show. My personal choice for the opener would be “Clocks” since the piano introduction to the song is iconic in it’s own unique way. The odds are telling me otherwise though. “Adventure of a Lifetime” is the lead single off of Coldplay’s newest album, so for them it makes sense to kick off the halftime show with their newest hit. All I know is, if “Clocks” does lead the halftime show I will agonize over not having the balls to pick it even longer than I’ve agonized picking Seattle to beat New England last year in the Super Bowl.

The Bet: Adventure of a Lifetime +200

Who Will Have More:

Klay Thompson Points -0.5 (-120)
Broncos Points +0.5 (Even)

I absolutely positively love the prop bets where I can get action on a prior nights NBA game along with the Super Bowl, and this was the bet that felt like the one where I was getting the best opportunity to make some hypothetical money. Klay has been on fire since mid-December, shooting 49 percent from the field on his way to 25 points per game, and Saturday’s game against the Thunder on ABC is due to be a high scoring affair. Meanwhile, the Broncos haven’t hit the 30 point mark since a late November game against the Patriots, and they’re facing a top five defense for the first time in that two month stretch.

This isn’t necessarily a spoiler of my pick for the game, but it should be taken as an indication that I expect that Super Bowl 50 is going to be a relatively low scoring affair. As long as Klay can get to his season average of 21 points, I think he’s got a good enough shot to outscore the AFC Champions.

The Bet: Klay Thompson Points -0.5 (-120)

 How many times will the Golden Gate Bridge be shown during the Broadcast?

Over 0.5 (-300)
Under 0.5 (+200)

Of course they are going to show the Golden Gate Bridge! It’s the Bay Area’s third most prized possession after Stephen Curry and Full House. Why the hell wouldn’t CBS show the most famous bridge in America? It’s like if the Super Bowl was being played in Washington D.C. and they didn’t show the White House. It’s like if the Super Bowl was being played in New Orleans and they didn’t show Bourbon Street. It’s like if the Super Bowl was being played in Elba, N.Y. and they didn’t show the Stumblin’ Inn (shout out to all of my people back home!). You get the idea. This is the easiest of all of the easy money bets. Bet your life savings on this one.

The Bet: Over 0.5 (-300)

What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach?

Orange (+125)
Blue (+300)
Clear (+400)
Yellow (+400)
Red (+600)
Green (+1000)
Purple (+1000)

Orange is the rightful favorite here; three of the last six Super Bowl winners have dumped Orange Gatorade on their coach, and the Panthers, a five point Super Bowl favorite, showered Head Coach Ron Rivera with Orange Gatorade after the NFC Championship Game. However, I’m going to make my selection with the same logic that I made my correct pick last year … both teams’ logos are predominantly blue, plus blue Gatorade is the best kind of Gatorade. If you think that’s a non-sensical method of making a prediction, then I invite you to check my imaginary bank amount and see that I made $13 million off of a blue Gatorade bet last year. Yes, it was a substantial imaginary wager I made.

The Bet: Blue (+300)

Will there be a penalty for excessive celebration?

Yes (+250)
No (-400)

There will be roughly 115 million people watching the Super Bowl at any given time this Sunday and every play will be dissected, critiqued and over-analyzed to no end after the game. If somebody doesn’t do something outlandish, inappropriate or excessive enough to earn a fifteen yard penalty then they aren’t doing it right. Make the most of your time fellas. Steal the spotlight. Dab on ’em.

The Bet: Yes (+250)

Super Bowl 50 Line 

Carolina Panthers -6
Denver Broncos +6 

In my Super Bowl preview last year I openly pondered whether Super Bowl XLIX could possibly be the most important Super Bowl of the 2000’s. Ultimately, I decided the answer was yes. On the line was the Lombardi Trophy, a fourth Super Bowl and GOAT status for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the potential for Seattle to become the first team to repeat as world champions since the Patriots did so a decade before, the Patriots having a chance to solidify themselves as the greatest dynasty in professional football, and in the moment, it actually felt like these were the two undisputed best teams in football, a rarity when you really think about who gets there each year.

Super Bowl XLIX would go down as one of the most important AND most memorable games in professional football history; a highly competitive affair that featured high quality play from start to finish, a fourth quarter comeback and a ton of wonky plays over the last half of the 4th quarter. It was, in my lifetime, the best played and most dramatic Super Bowl, and one of the most memorable and important sporting events I’ve ever watched live.

I don’t mean to sound like a fun sponge or anything, but doesn’t it seem a little underwhelming this year? I know I’m supposed to give the Broncos defense and “The Sheriff” a punchers chance, but this feels like Seattle/Denver all over again.

The Bet: Carolina Panthers (-6)

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