There’s more to Super Bowl Sunday than football, musical acts and commercials.
There’s gambling — lots and lots of gambling.
From spreads to parlays to props, even the novice gambler can strut into work on Monday morning with a fat stack … or shirtless, depending on how he did during football’s title bout.
NESN.com editors John Beattie, Luke Hughes, Mike Cole and Doug Kyed toss their picks into the ring for the big game, the game MVP and some prop bet picks below.
John: These two teams are pretty damn good, which is why they’re playing in Super Bowl XLVIII (duh). So how do you pick the winner? My formula is as follows: Seattle’s offense isn’t Denver’s but it doesn’t have play against Seattle’s defense. Get it? Good. The Seahawks’ defense is too strong for Peyton Manning’s passing attack, and despite being away from CenturyLink Field, the ‘Hawks will be flying high all night long, building momentum after every big hit, incomplete pass and broken play. Russell Wilson’s job on Sunday will be pretty simple: don’t turn the ball over and keep it simple. With Manning trying to chuck the ball all over the field, Seattle will have ample opportunity to get the ball back in Wilson’s hands. As long as he can hand it off to Marshawn Lynch and complete a handful of simple pass plays, it will be smooth sailing for the Seahawks. SEAHAWKS
Luke: It’s a rarity to have the No. 1-rated offense and defense meet in a key regular season game, never mind the Super Bowl. So, Sunday’s game should be especially exciting. The Broncos’ offense is one for the record books, and their long list of weapons is mesmerizing, but I’m a big believer in the old saying: offense wins games but defense wins championships. Peyton may find some success early on against Seattle, but Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Cliff Avril and Bobby Wagner among others will wind up being just too much for No. 18 to conquer. I don’t know what I’m looking forward to more: Peyton’s postgame Manningface, Sherman irrationally berating (insert Broncos receiver) or Marshawn Lynch frantically doing snow angels in a flurry of Skittles at midfield — all guaranteed to happen. With all that, you must’ve figured out how I expect this one to end. The 12s will rejoice. SEAHAWKS
Doug: The Seahawks’ defense and Broncos’ offense could cancel each other out, since they’re both so great. So this game might come down to who wins out between the Seahawks’ offense and Broncos’ defense. Russell Wilson will need to play like he did through Week 13, when he was still in the MVP race, not like he did from Week 14 through the NFC Championship Game. The Seahawks managed to beat the San Francisco 49ers in the conference title game, but Wilson fumbled twice in that game, losing one. Getting wideout Percy Harvin back will be huge for the Seahawks, though. It’s tough for the Broncos to game plan for Harvin, who played just two games all season for the Seahawks. The Seahawks will definitely be throwing out some new wrinkles for Harvin.
Mike: This has kind of been Peyton Manning’s season all year long, and he and the Broncos have just about run the table dating all the way back to that incredible performance on the season’s first night. Now, destiny isn’t going to win Denver the Super Bowl, but it certainly feels like Manning has brought them too far not to hoist the Lombardi. He’s playing as well as he’s ever played, as the Patriots can certainly attest. He won’t get nearly that much time and Seattle’s secondary is pretty good from what they tell us. But I think Manning will figure out the right mix of run and pass to solve Pete Carroll’s defense. I’m also expecting a big game out of Wes Welker just to stick it to Bill Belichick one more time. That should be enough to win, right? Right? BRONCOS
How long will it take Renee Fleming to sing the official US National Anthem?
Over 2:25: +120 (Beattie)
Under 2:25: -160 (Kyed, Cole, Hughes)
Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless during their performance
Yes: -150 (Beattie, Kyed, Cole)
No: -200 (Hughes)
What Color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the Head Coach of the Winning Super Bowl Team?
Clear/Water: 5/2 (Cole)
Yellow: 15/4 (Hughes)
Red: 15/2 (Beattie)
Blue: 10/1 (Kyed)
Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first in his speech?
Teammates: 1/1 (Kyed)
God: 3/1 (Hughes)
Other team or player on other team: 10/1
Coach: 14/1 (Beattie)
Does not mention any of the above: 9/2
Will Richard Sherman receive a pass interference penalty in the game?
Yes: +150 (Beattie, Cole)
No: -200 (Kyed, Hughes)
Super Bowl XLVIII MVP:
Beattie: Doug Baldwin 40/1
Kyed: Richard Sherman 20/1
Cole: Peyton Manning 11/10
Hughes: Russell Wilson 15/4