The Super Bowl Brings Out the Zaniest Bets

Cam Newton - this year's Super Bowl MVP?

Cam Newton – this year’s Super Bowl MVP?

It’s Super Bowl Sunday soon.  I always look forward to the food, the ads, the libations…..oh, yeah, there’s a football game, too!

Another great thing about the Super Bowl is the many “Prop Bets.”  What are prop bets you ask?  Prop bets, or “proposition bets” are bets made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence during a game (usually a gambling game) of an event not directly affecting the game’s final outcome.  Seemingly prop bets got their start with the “fridge.”

The "Fridge."

The “Fridge.”

No not the refrigerator containing all those delicious snacks and brews, but William Perry who was called “the fridge.”  As a lineman, it became quite a surprise to have him line up as fullback and run the ball for a TD, a played called by then Bears coach Mike Ditka during the regular season in 1985. It became the first major proposition bet in the Super Bowl that year if he was going to rush for a touchdown.  Thus the prop bet was born!   Nowadays, prop bets may account for as much as 40% of the $100 million wagered on Sunday’s Super Bowl.  I like to think there are two types – the silly, and serious.

Silly prop bets really don’t have much to do with the play of the game.  Props bets of the silly genre are usually about the ads, the entertainment, the production by the network, or even the color of things. For example, this year would include those provided by CBS Sports, such as:

  • How many times will Peyton Manning say “Omaha” during the game?
  • Who will be seen first on TV after kickoff?
  • How many times will Archie Manning be shown on TV during the game?
  • Will Cam Newton break the Super Bowl record for most rushing yards by a QB?
  • Will Peyton Manning announce his retirement in the post-game interview?
  • How long will this year’s National Anthem take to sing?
  • What color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the head coach of the winning Super Bowl team?
  • What color will Beyonce’ be wearing on at the start of his halftime performance?

In a week, many more will be offered and discussed.  The fun is just beginning.

Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

Mike Shackelford – The Wizard of Odds

But many sports gamblers take prop bets seriously.  Maybe not those above, but others over the years that have been more game-related.  For example, the best place to start in my opinion is Mike Shackleford’s website The Wizard of Odds.  A link to his website can be found to the right.  He has a calculator that will calculate the fair line on some common props. He breaks them down into categories such as:

Games Props – First score is a touchdown, will the be a Safety, is the game going into overtime, game scores including 0-0 at halftime, timed at halftime, one team with three consecutive scores;

Comparison Props – first team to 8 points, home team / away team scores first; and specific props for home and away teams.

So, watch the lines, check out the internet, and betting should be done a few hours before the game to cover any type of prop – silly or serious.

That’s all for now.



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