I’m still a bit sore about the Patriots losing in Denver, but I went 2-0 in my picks two weeks ago! What a historic moment and it brings my playoff record to a robust 3-6-1. Betting the game is never enough, so when I lived in Las Vegas during Super Bowl 38 I bet many props at the dearly departed Imperial Palace (now the LINQ). Let’s take a look at how I did then, and bets for this game.
Not content to just bet the Patriots money line as a poor boy on a low hourly wage, I just HAD to take on a ton of fun props for the game on February 1, 2004 that was overshadowed by Janet Jackson’s nipple.
Patriots (-17.5): This was a reverse teaser, bumping the line up by 10.5 points. It looked like a pretty good gambit when it was 21-10 Patriots but they never had a leader greater than 11 points.
Troy Brown over 4.5 catches (-115): This one seemed like a sure thing. Brown had 8 catches in the game, but most of them were in the 2nd half. Looking back, I bet thinking it was the Brown of 2001-02 who had 198 catches, but in 2003 he only had 40. Still, Brown was Brady’s binky during this period before Deion Branch emerged further in 2004.
And now for the two props that are really fun, the cross-sports ones:
Joe Thornton points total against Pittsburgh will be higher than Tom Brady touchdown passes: The Bruins played the Penguins in a matinee that day, and the Penguins were a terrible team. They were going after Alex Ovechkin and the 1st pick and settled for Evgeni Malkin, which is one hell of a consolation prize. In any event, I figured Brady wouldn’t throw many TDs because they would get a big lead. In 2003, the Patriots were a much more balanced offense and Brady had only 23 TD passes. So of course Brady throws for 3 touchdowns, but I did not lose. Thornton had three of the cheapest points in history against the Penguins because TWO of them came with the Pittsburgh net empty. Joe had no points with six minutes left in the game. So I’ll take the push on that. Here is the Bruins-Penguins box score from that day.
Penguins shots on goal at Bruins versus Carolina total points, Pittsburgh number favored by 7.5: The Patriots defense was excellent in 2003, first in the NFL in scoring defense at 14.9 points per game. I figured the Pens were good for at least 25-28 shots in the game. To my shock, they had 39 shots on goal so Carolina would have to score 32 for me to lose. Needless to say I didn’t want the game to go overtime since the Patriots won 32-29.
Verdict: That was a good day even if I woke up on my friend’s couch with a roll of nickels stabbing me in the side. We went to Suncoast Casino after the game because we clearly had a problem.
On to this year’s game:
I was shocked that Carolina was favored by only 4 when the line opened. It has since gone to 5.5 and I would still pick Carolina even at 7 points. Deal with it America: Cam Newton is a big game quarterback and he is going to drive racist assholes insane for years to come. And I love it.
And now for the prop bets, courtesy of the Bovada website. Going to give myself a $2,000 bankroll to play with here, much higher than my $60 one from 2004.
First score of the game will be Panthers rushing TD (+650) $200: Was going to bet Jonathan Stewart and first player to score a TD but I like this bet more because it rolls Cam Newton in as well on a sneak or scramble.
Denver to make longest FG (-105) $100: Denver’s kicker is pretty good and I could see them stalling out at the 35 and trying a 50+ yard FG.
Panthers win by 25-30 points (-1600) $100: Another flyer for a blowout scenario.
Peyton Manning passing yards under 235 (-105) $600: I am pretty confident on this one. He’s not going to complete long passes in this game, or at least I hope.
Peyton Manning will throw an interception (-225) $300: You mean I can bet on a guy with that arm to throw a pick? Carolina’s D is good, people!
Points of winning SB team will be higher than Donald Trump % of votes in New Hampshire on Tuesday (+150) $400: Trump is trending downward in NH and I don’t see him picking up undecided voters. They will most likely go to Rubio or Cruz. People know who Trump is and have an opinion. He’s polling at 29-36 and I see him coming in at between 25-31. In today’s NFL, I’ll take +150 odds on a team scoring high 20s low 30s to win a game.
Peyton Manning will NOT announce retirement in postgame interview (-1000) $300: He’ll milk it for a while. Peyton isn’t impulsive, unless he’s sending people after Al Jazeera.
Enjoy the game everyone!