The Super Bowl is synonymous with gambling. According the American Gaming Association (AGA), nearly 23 million Americans will wager $6 billion on this year’s game. A large chunk will be placed on typical point spread bets or perennially popular box pools. But plenty will be based on props bets, wagers on specialized outcomes during a sporting event.
During Super Bowl season, sportsbooks offer a ton of props, like over/unders for passing yards or which player will score the game’s first touchdown. But many props don’t have anything to do with the game itself. People can bet on halftime show performances, broadcaster hijinks or even what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach.
“These kind of [bets] drive a lot of interest,” says Dave Forman, the AGA’s senior director of research. “Like a lot of people who bet on props, I’ve not had a great history with them. But they’ve enticed me, and I’m sure it entices tons of people.”
Football superfans and passive observers alike love prop bets, which makes them big business. Just how big, though, remains somewhat of a mystery.
“Unfortunately as of right now, Nevada and other states don’t break down how the bets are placed, whether it’s the outcome of a game, halftime score or some kind of prop bet,” Forman says. “So it’s hard to measure exactly how many [are placed] or what the dollar figure is.”
Placing a prop bet is an easy way to heighten the stakes. Even if you’re not a football fan, fun wagers make your Super Bowl more interesting. Here are some of the silliest, best and most crucial props available to bettors this week.
(All lines via BetDSI)
Pregame Coin Toss: Heads (-103) or Tails (-103)
We’re starting off with a simple bet, the coin toss. You’ve got a 50/50 chance on this one, unless you’re a nerd who enjoys explaining why coin tosses aren’t actually 50/50. This is also a good way to measure your luck for the rest of the night, even though luck isn’t real. Unless you already bet the over on national anthem length. (Pro tip: always bet the over on this.)
Will Jim Nantz or Tony Romo say ‘Hotlanta’? Yes (+200) or No (-260)
The big game’s in Atlanta and one of the play by play guys could try to claw their way out of a lull in on-field action by dropping the city’s cliched nickname, Hotlanta. But who’ll do it is a mystery. Nantz is a broadcasting legend. Romo’s ability to predict plays in real time wows fans. They can be a little silly, but they’re mostly professional. There’s a good chance this doesn’t happen, hence the odds. But really this bet is about imagining how it would sound if one of them says ‘Hotlanta.’ No one should bet against this, because If it winds up happening, everybody wins.
How Many Commercials Will Have a Dog in it? Over 5.5 (-115) or Under 5.5 (-115)
In our post-doggo society, canines are everywhere. There will undoubtedly be several in this year’s Super Bowl commercials. Six is a lot to hope for, but given the even odds, this feels like free money. The real odds should be on how many “awws” you’ll hear from people when a dog actually appears on screen. Over/under 10,000.
Will Adam Levine, Travis Scott or Big Boi Take a Knee? Yes (-300) or No (+220)
The NFL chose Maroon 5 as their halftime headliner, even with their biggest game in perhaps the most influential hip hop city in America. Rappers Travis Scott and Atlanta native Big Boi were added later, only after several other stars said no because of the ongoing Colin Kaepernick controversy. Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters just called on Adam Levine to take a knee in solidarity.
The Super Bowl halftime show has seen political statements before. Given the odds, the oddsmakers might know something the betting public doesn’t. BetDSI also has a prop on whether a halftime performer will wear a Kaepernick jersey. I can hear the third quarter political arguments already. Speaking of which …
Which Will Be Higher: Trump’s Approval Rating on 2/4/19 according to Rasmussen (+110) or Yardage of Longest Made Field Goal? (-140)
Sportsbooks love Trump props. Bettors can wager on anything from his number of tweets to if he’ll actually attend the game. This one’s particularly interesting, though. As of this writing, Rasmussen Reports has Trump’s approval rating at a paltry 43 percent. Both the Rams and Patriots have strong offenses and aggressive coaches, so field goals might be few and far between. But both teams’ kickers are capable of hitting from long range—LA’s Greg Zuerlein hit an insane 57-yarder in overtime two weeks ago.
Total Amount of Million-Dollar Wagers at Nevada Sportsbooks: Over 6.5 (-110) or Under (-120)
America’s financial elites and problem gamblers are going to go hard betting on the game. If you can guess how hard, you get to make some coin off of people who siphon money away from you on most days.