Super Bowl 50 — learning from the props

Super Bowl 50 is in the books, and football fans and handicappers will need to wait another year to get their Super Sunday pigskin fix.

And while there were many opportunities to wager on this year’s game, including the office “Super Bowl squares” contest, the more entertaining form of Super Bowl wagering comes in the form of prop bets, which takes individual events within or connected to the big game and allows NFL handicappers to bet on them.

These bets can be associated with the on-field action, like total passing yards, rushing yards or receiving yards for a particular player, or just some incredibly random Super Bowl prop bets like how long the national anthem will last, or whether the coin toss will come up heads or tails.

So, with lots of time between this year’s big game and next year’s pageantry in Houston, Texas, it’s seems only fitting to take a look at how this year’ Super Bowl bets ended up, learning and applying that knowledge to our Super Bowl 51 picks next year. This year legend Jon Price successfully predicted that the Broncos would win in a Huffington Post interview in early September.

First up — the coin toss prop.

This year the coin came up tails (-105) , and the Carolina Panthers were correct (-105) in calling the toss (-105). However, winning the toss did not turn out well for Cam Newton and the Panthers, as they did not go on to win the game (-105).

The Denver Broncos were the team to score first (+120) and they went on to win Super Bowl 50 (-160) behind 39-year-old quarterback Peyton Manning who kept things in order on offense, while a stingy defense lead the Broncos’ a 24-10 win at Levi’s Stadium.

The Panthers meanwhile, turned in a disappointing performance after leading the league in scoring (31.2 PPG), putting up just 10 points in the game, well UNDER the 24.5 points that was expected by odd makers. On the other hand, the Broncos did much better than Vegas anticipated, going OVER the 20 points that was projected.

The Denver defense was key, led by Super Bowl MVP Von Miller (20/1), who kept Newton from breaking the Super Bowl record of most rushing yards by a QB (-450), which kept him from doing his open shirt Superman motion during the game to less than 2.5 times (-140).

The game ended with a record 12 (OVER 5 -1/2) sacks by both teams, with Miller racking up 2.5 total sacks, which was OVER the .5 he was expected to get.

In the end,  the game was viewed by over 111.9 million viewers, UNDER the 117 million expected, trailing last year’s game by roughly 2.5 million.

Still, Super Bowl 50 was exciting, and the halftime show didn’t disappoint fans, as Coldplay delivered, starting out their set with their hit Viva la Vida (5/1), before giving way to Beyonce’s controversial performance in her black shoes (3/2) and revealing body suit.

And while the Broncos celebrated their Super Bowl 50 victory by pouring orange (5/4) Gatorade on head coach Gary Kubiak, Manning never mentioned his retirement in the postgame interview (-1000), shedding not a single tear (-1200), in what may very well be his final Super Bowl performance ever.