How to Successfully Navigate Super Bowl Prop Betting

By David Nelson
BU News Service

While the focus of the sporting world has been squarely on the upcoming Super Bowl matchup between Peyton Manning and the league’s top offense and Richard Sherman and the league’s number one defense, the most fun part about Super Bowl Sunday, if you’re not a loyal follower of one of the two teams (and maybe even if you are), is prop betting.  I’m going to take a look at some of the more unique prop bets posted by the Bovada online sports book.


Will Knowshon Moreno cry during the singing of the National Anthem?

Yes (+170)

No  (-250)

This bet clearly links back to when Niagara Falls was pouring out of the Denver running back’s eyes during the National Anthem prior to the Broncos’ Week 13 clash in Kansas City.  While the quantity and velocity of those water works was hilariously remarkable, the odds of a repeat performance from Moreno, not to mention whether FOX has the cameras on him at the right time, has to be worse than 2.5/1.



How many times will Archie Manning be shown on TV during the game? (Opening kickoff to final whistle) Over/Under 1

Over (-160)

Under (+120)

Given that FOX showed Peyton Manning seemingly every other play during Eli Manning’s Super Bowl XLII win over the Patriots six years ago, the tendency here would be to take the over.  However, I think Archie really wants to take stay out of the limelight and make sure this is Peyton’s moment.  I believe that zero Archie shots is a real possibility, so I’ll take the odds here.



Who will be seen first on TV after kickoff?

Erin Andrews (-140)

Pam Oliver (EVEN)

Erin Andrews got all the attention following her epic interview with Richard Sherman after the NFC Championship game, but Pam Oliver has been the top sideline reporter for FOX’s number one broadcast crew of  Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for years now and I think they give her the first post-kickoff appearance.  Who interviews Sherman after the game if the Seahawks win is another question altogether.



Speaking of which,

Will Richard Sherman be interviewed on field after the game by Erin Andrews on the live FOX broadcast?

Yes (+250)

No (-400)

The Seahawks would almost certainly have to win the game in order for this to happen.  I think even if the Seahawks have a 50/50 shot at winning, I would put the odds at less than 40% of this happening given a Seahawks win, making the -400 “No” bet a good one.  Sherman eventually apologized for his antics and how it took the spotlight off of his teammates and I see the Stanford grad being less volatile and more inclined to celebrate with his teammates as opposed to doing an interview with Andrews if Seattle were to win.  I would prefer to get a little better than -400 though, as you know that FOX will try for sorry-receiver-gate part two with the Andrews-Sherman pair.



What will Bruno Mars be wearing on his head at the start of his halftime performance?

Fedora (-150)

Fur Hat (+550)

Tuque (+500)

No hat (+250)

The weather is the key factor in this bet.  I’ve never seen Bruno without a fedora on, but the cold and windy weather could potentially sway him to choose warmer apparel.  However, I can’t see him straying from his trademark for such a short performance just because of the cold.  Another factor in the fedora bet’s favor is that the bet is based on the “start” of the performance.  If the fedora gets blown off by the wind mid-performance, you still get paid.



Now lets get into some bets for the true gambling degenerates out there.

What color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the Head Coach of the Winning Super Bowl Team? (If nothing is dumped, there is no action)

Orange (1/1)

Clear/Water (5/2)

Yellow (15/4)

Red (15/2)

Blue (10/1)

Green (15/1)

If I’m going to go so far as to bet the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach, I want a serious payout if I win, so I’m ruling out the orange and clear options.  The only logic I can come up with is that both teams have a shade of blue in their team colors, not to mention the game is being played at the home of “Big Blue,” the New York Giants.  Also, Glacier Freeze is my favorite Gatorade flavor.  It’s overwhelming evidence in favor of Blue.



And finally, the ultimate coin toss of a wager, if you will.

What will be the result of the coin toss?

Heads (-105)

Tails (-105)

Let’s take a hard look at the numbers, so that we can be the first people in history to make an educated guess about the result of a single coin toss.  Out of 47 previous Super Bowls, there have been 24 Heads and 23 Tails, which is 51.06% Heads.  Unfortunately, for a -105 bet, you need to be greater than 51.22% to win in order to make it profitable, so we have to find another factor.  In John Fox’s previous Super Bowl with the Panthers in Super Bowl 38 and Seattle’s previous Super Bowl, Super Bowl 40 against Pittsburgh, both called the coin toss as the road team and both times the result was tails.  I’m counting on that trend continuing.  Also, heads has been the result five straight years, so I’m banking on regression to the mean, as tails is clearly due for a win (disregard my obscene hypocrisy).  Once gain, this bet seems to be a lock.


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