Super Bowl Props are fast becoming the most entertaining and sought after past-time for bettors in the lead-up to NFL's curtain closing weekend. These proposition bets deserve a responsible tickle.
Super Bowl XLIX Props
The Super Bowl offers a plethora of betting opportunities, everything from run-of-the-mill betting odds typically offered on any sport to outrageous, wacky proposition betting, the latter of which has taken a life of its own in recent years. Nothing is sacrosanct to odds makers. If it's got a speculative value, it can be bet on. So the coin toss, the length of the anthem, the Halftime Show program, the artists themselves (from head to toe) are exposed to the quantitative and qualitative process and rolled out on to the odds board for your betting pleasure.
In fact, a good chunk of the bets that come in on the BIG GAME are on the smorgasbord of Super Bowl props offered across all betting platforms. There have been reports by some sportsbooks that half of their betting comes in the form of prop speculation, which is a fair amount. That figure is undoubtedly steep and probably not the average at every betting institution. Needless to say, if just 20% of the money wagered on the Super Bowl comes in the form of props, we're still talking about a tidy sum. Consider last season's Super Bowl collected a record $119.4 M of bets at Nevada Casinos (source Yahoo Sports), then by our safe estimation approximately $20 M would have been in proposition betting profits.
It's not just that sportsbooks make money on proposition betting, but also that they come out of the pocket for bettors. Therein lies the true appeal, with a wide range of odds that offer anywhere from decent returns on investment to massive returns on investment. For instance, last year, the first score of the game was a safety, a bet that was trading from around +3300 to +5000 (depending on your sportsbook of choice and the exact wording of the prop bet). A wager on that of just $100.00 would have paid out $3300 to $5000 (plus the stake). Not bad.
So towards that profit-making endeavour, we've collated a few game props and player props for bettors in this handy prop cheat sheet, looking at some of the more specific action props that offer triple or quadruple digit odds, which in plain English means rather absurd payouts if they cash. What the hey, it's a once a year opportunity to cash on outrageous value. As they say, go big or go bust.
Tom Brady's First Pass Will Be: Complete -200, Incomplete +150 or Intercepted +2800
You've heard of the "carrot and/or stick,"...donkey idiom? Then you'll agree this prop is worth a tickle. Thing is, it's a 1 in 3 shot to win this bet, which isn't bad as far as probabilities go. Throw in a carrot into the mix and well...why not be the donkey that follows. Obviously, we're not referring to the first two safe options in this prop: to complete (at -200 or 1/2) or not to complete at (+150 or 6/4 ), but rather to be intercepted, which is on the hilarious offers of NFL odds +2800 or 28/1.
The Super Bowl Prop Pick: Interception at +2800
Russell Wilson's First Pass Will Be: Complete -175, Incomplete +138 or Intercepted +2500
Of course, if you're a Patriots fan you may prefer a stake in Russell Wilson botching his first pass. He was intercepted three times in the first half of the NFC Championship game after all, with the first coming three plays into the first drive. Naturally, Wilson and Brady don't often make mistakes so this is going out on a limb. Given the high stakes, the nerves that are sure to be on the surface, it's not entirely unforeseeable. Once again, the first two options are the safe options, but if you're looking to roll the dice with a reasonable stake on the interception at +2500 or 25/1 in prop picks, you could end up laughing all the way to the payout window.
The Super Bowl Prop Pick: Interception at +2500
Seattle Player To Receive First Pass Interception
There's a whole slew of options in this category for bettors to spot on their NFL picks. Given the length of the list, the probability of winning a bet on this proposition comes down decidedly. Bet365 has rolled out 20 different options which boils down to a 1-in-20 probability of cashing (19 players are accounted for on the list and the last option is "any other player." Getting this NFL pick right isn't going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but the odds trading are in the absurd range, which fits into the parameters of this column.
Little fun fact: there's no love lost between Tom Brady and Richard Sherman. Well, there's no love lost between Richard Sherman and just about every other player that isn't a Seahawk. Over two years ago, the Seahawks rallied to beat the Patriots 24-23 and immediately after the game Richard Sherman unabashedly tweeted a picture of himself with Tom Brady passing by with the amicable caption "U Mad Bro?" Theirs is a rivalry that doesn't go under the heading of passive aggressive and if there is one thing Richard Sherman would love to do is get under Tom Brady's skin right off the bat (the initiated NFL bettor knows exactly just how salty Tom Brady can get when things don't go his way on the field).
So while we don't know which player will be the first to receive a pass interception or whether there'll be one at all, it wouldn't be going out on a limb to put some money down on Richard Sherman giving Brady some fits on the field at the tempting price of +900. Earl Thomas is another attractive option at +1000 and, while you're at it, why not tickle the "any other player" at +1200.
The Super Bowl Prop Pick: Richard Sherman at +900, Earl Thomas at +1000 or "any other player" at +1200
First Score Method
It's only fitting to end this column on the very proposition bet that paid out huge rewards in Super Bowl 48. The proceedings between Denver and Seattle got off the mark with a safety (then trading at +3300 or 33/1). Bet365 has served up 3-way options (irrespective of the team) for the first score method with a touchdown and field goal trading on reasonable -188 and +150 odds, respectively. Any other method, though, is matched at a deliciously attractive +2500. For the bolder bettor, the 6-way option includes the team as well and here you'll find the any other option trading at +4500 on both the Patriots and Seahawks.
The chances of back-to-back Super Bowls unfolding in the same fashion are slim. HOWEVER...Lightning does strike twice, so they say. Consider it's the same Seattle Seahawks returning to the BIG GAME, wouldn't it be grossly irresponsible to allow such odds to go without the slightest tickle?
The Super Bowl Prop Pick: Any Other Method +2500 at Bet365