Like turkey and Cowboy games for Thanksgiving day, proposition wagering is now part of our traditional Super Bowl betting culture. The problem is that the public has become willing to accept wagering on anything connected to the game and more often NOT connected to the game to keep their interest going hours before kickoff well beyond Vince Lombardi trophy time. The real holiday has become one for the bookmakers who feast on the public's appetite, dying to get even on the very last football game of the season.
Yes, there are some very appealing prop bets to consider on Super Bowl Sunday on a limited basis from a reputable list of notable offshore sportsbooks. But can we use some restraint in at least trying to handicap our wagers based on some evidence, past performance or statistical fact? Let's have fun but can we base our opinion on some intelligent reason?
As evidence, the following are in my humble opinion some questionable wagers best to avoid if you are investing Super Bowl Sunday other than the traditional game line or over/under total. The aforementioned odds are current from a comprehensive list of proposition wagers available at Bovada.lv Similar proposition bets are available at other online sportsbooks.
Will Idina Menzel forget or omit at least 1 word of the official U.S. Language in singing the National anthem?
Yes + 500
No - 800
Analysis: I confess to "Googling" Idina Menzel to find out who she is and I'll wager you at 50-1 odds you'll do the same before you potentially place this bet.
Will Bill Belichick smile on camera during the game?
Yes + 150
No – 200
Analysis: I actually think -200 for NO might be good odds as I never recall seeing Belichick ever smile on camera period. And remember if the Patriots win, a post-game smile or laugh doesn't count. Still, are you going to watch the game or focus on Belichick 's facial expressions to cover?
Will Al Michaels refer to the point spread, total, odds on who wins game or any proposition bet during the game?
Yes +200 No – 300
Analysis: This one bothers me as Al loves to slyly mention gambling references at least once during each telecast, having started his career as a horse racing tout sheet writer. However, he's likely under house arrest order from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, hence the -300 for NO odds.
Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after scoring a touchdown in the game:
Yes + 400
No – 600
Analysis: Maybe a trick bet. First, we have to assume that Lynch will score a TD and how many TD opportunities will he have to grab his crotch. It's unlikely but then again knowing Lynch's reputation he might learn of this generous 4-1 opportunity and go for it to add extra controversy. We hope not as this might lead to an investigation and potentially end NFL fantasy wagering.
Will Robert Turbin of Seattle score a TD in the game?
Yes + 550
No – 900
Analysis: Not too far behind Idina Menzel do many know who Robert Turbin is? He's the third-year running back from Utah State that plays behind Lynch for the Seahawks. Problem here is that the odds are unplayable at -900 than he won't score a TD and a bettor deserves much better than 5.5-1 that he will. This is typical of desperation type prop bets.
Total Game Points: Odd or Even
Odd – 140
Even + 110
Analysis: Someone must have run a statistical analysis on this one. Did they look at all Super Bowl point outcomes, Seattle and New England outcomes or all outcomes of all football games in the last fifty years? Why is "odd" statistically favorable? Possibly because a touchdown plus extra point and a field goal are odd numbers? Who knows but this doesn't make any sense therefore if you must wager this odd bet, I'd bet EVEN at +110.
Cross Sport: What will be higher?
Tiger Woods Day 1 Score at The Masters + 120
Julian Edelman receiving yards -150
Analysis: This is typical of the many "cross sport" props available where the wager depends on the outcome of two completely different sports. In this case, the winning outcome will not be decided until the first week of April when The Masters is played at Augusta. And if Tiger is injured again, your wager will be refunded. Please.
The Super Bowl Coin Toss
Heads – 105 Tails - 105
Analysis: I have a novel alternative suggestion. Before kickoff, take your own coin out of your pocket and wager your friend at any amount based on this proven statistical outcome model with 0.00 margin of error and better -100 straight up odds.
Flip it and then enjoy the Super Bowl on Sunday.