Super Bowl Props

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By Mike Harrison

Almost as big as the Game itself, prop wagers have become synonymous with the Super Bowl and everything that goes with the big Game.

The popularity has grown in direct proportion with the oddsmaker’s creativity. What was oNCe an afterthought, or an obliGAtory task has now become an art form for sports books, as they create hundreds and hundreds of proposition betting options for their clients.

If you’re old enough, you’ll likely remember when the prop bet took that big step into the spotlight: It was Super Bowl XX in 1986, featuring the brash Chicago Bears and the sacrificial lamb New England Patriots.

The Bears had personality to burn with compelling storylines on both sides of the ball. One of the biggest stories of the year was William “The Refrigerator” Perry, the D-end who also scored a few TDs on offense.

He grabbed the attention of even the most casual fan and much of the focus of this attention building up to the Game was whether or not he’d Scorea TD. Caesars Palace in Las Vegas jumped on this and put up a “Will William “The Refrigerator” Perry Scorea touchdown” prop. It received a massive amount of attention (Perry did in fact Scorea TD, and Walter Payton fans will always wiNCe when they think about that) and the prop wager said “Hello world”…and it has gone on from there.

The Super Bowl prop wager is now a part of pop culture, with everyone from school teachers to grandmothers to nuns enjoying “watercooler” conversations about prop offerings. They’re impossible to avoid this time of the year with the mainstream media loving the topic and delivering story after story focused on them.

I remember a few years back, one of the more popular prop bets that grabbed a ton of media attention was related to Billy Joel’s version of the national anthem.

Online sports book posted up the prop “How Long Will It Take Billy Joel To Sing The National Anthem?”

The over/under was set at 1:44. Bettors all over started singing the anthem and timing themselves as well as hitting Youtube searching for footage of previous Billy Joel anthems (and at least one version was posted).

Billy Joel sang the anthem at the 2000 World Series. The hit count for that video started to rack up as the Bill Joel prop was talked about on TV and radio across North America, as well as spread across the web and print media.

The Youtube version clocked in at 1 minute and 37 seconds.
When Billy wrapped up his song on Super Bowl Sunday “Under” 1:44 bettors smiled, as they pocketed a winning bet before the Game had even kicked off.

This year’s Super Bowl is no different. The surprising Arizona Cardinals make their way to Tampa to face a tough Steeler team.

Checking the prop wagering options at some of the online sports books we see has a full lineup of them, ranging from the obvious (who will Scorefirst, who will be the MVP) to the more exotic (who will have more points on Sunday, the Steelers or Cleveland’s Lebron James)…there are literally hundreds of prop options. It’s entertaining just surfing through and reading what’s available.

A very common proposition amongst various books is the coin toss bet.
Heads and Tails both pay out at -105 at

In line with the coin toss bet is the “Team to win the coin toss” prop. The Steelers are listed at -105 to win the coin toss and the Cardinals are listed at the same.

Another coin toss-related prop is the “Team to receive the opening kick off” bet; Pittsburgh is at even money and Arizona is -130.

There are also props related to the actual Game as well, iNCluding which team will Scorefirst. Will it be the Steelers who are -150 or will it be the Cardinals at +120?

Kurt Warner is one of the reasons that Arizona earned its first berth to a Super Bowl; the Cards’ QB threw for 4,583 yards and 30 TDs during the regular season and another 770 yards and 8 TDs this postseason.

Obviously Warner is the topic of a number of props.

Books have the Over/Under for Warner’s total passing yards set at 255.5 yards.

Will Warner’s longest completion be Over (-115) or Under (-115) 39.5 yards?

If Arizona’s QB does manage to complete a pass that is longer than 40 yards, chances are it will be to WR LArry Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald has been the best receiver during postseason, leading the league in receiving yards with 419 and with 23 receptions.

The Over/Under for Fitzgerald’s Total receiving yards in the Super Bowl is set at 95.5.

While Pittsburgh does have some good players on the offensive side of the ball, its strength has been its defense.

Strong safety Troy Polamalu, a key cog in the Steelers’ secondary, intercepted a pass late in the Fourth quarter of the AFC title Game and returned it for a TD.

If Polamalu picks off a pass in the Super Bowl, it will pay out at +170, it he doesn’t it will pay out at -220.

The aforementioned props are only the tip of the iceberg…check them all out.

Good luck with your wagers!




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