One of my favorite parts of the Super Bowl is finally here: prop bets. On Thursday, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and Bovada.lv released over 5oo prop bets that gamblers can actually place money on. They range from the mundane (Will Cam Newton score a touchdown?) to the absurd (Will Peyton Manning be seen crying at any point during the broadcast?) to the completely obvious (Will Mike Carey be wrong about a challenge?). I’ve sifted through the wagers and placed my favorite ones on the sheet above. I even added some of my own. I’ve split up the bets and grouped them under Special (not related to football) or Game (related to football). Together, they form Inside NFL’s Prop Bet sheet. Print it out, pass it out, and see who wins.
I used the odds on the betting sites to roughly match the point totals for each option. For instance, Bovada placed the wager for Coldplay first performing Adventure of a Lifetime at +200, Fix You at +350, etc. I’ve made some adjustments to the others but the idea is that each option provides a chance to earn some points. Obviously, the lower the point total, the more likely that option is to occur. If you want to have the most points by the end of the night, it’s time to get ballsy.
Note: There is a second prop sheet included at the end of this post that is designed for people who arrive early. It includes the coin flip and national anthem props, and removes the Panther touchdown ball prop.
Now let’s break these down and see if we can win some money:
Will the Panthers player who scored the first touchdown give the football to a boy or girl? (Boy: 200 points, Girl: 300 points)
By now, you know the Panthers players–Cam Newton especially, but not exclusively–have a tradition of giving a touchdown ball to a child in the front row. Vegas set the winnings slightly higher on a girl getting the ball because there is almost certainly going to be more males in attendance (I assume this is the reason). That being said, I bet a girl gets the ball after the first touchdown. Kids in general are not afraid of being loud and obnoxious, but little girls especially have a knack for catching the attention of people. This really could go either way, so we might as well take the higher return.
My pick: Girl
What song will Coldplay perform first? (Adventure of a Lifetime: 200, Fix You: 350, A Sky Full of Stars: 450, Viva la Vida: 500, Clocks: 750, Speed of Sound: 900, Paradise: 1000, Other: 1000)
This is a really tough one, for multiple reasons. First, this bet in itself has eight choices, two of which offer an 1000 point return if correct. That’s already enticing. Second, it’s often hard to predict how a band wants to kick off a concert. At least, for me it is. It seems logical to start off with a “banger,” but Coldplay doesn’t exactly have a lot of those to offer. If they kick off the show with A Sky Full of Stars, they aren’t left with a lot of songs to get a crowd pumped up in the middle or end. Adventure of a Lifetime lends itself to a good leading song. It’s one of their newer songs and it’s “dance-y” enough without being too intense, hence being the favorite. I’m going to play it safe here and stick with the oddsmakers. Adventure will make a good starting song with Sky Full of Stars and, hopefully, Paradise ramping things up later on.
My pick: Adventure of a Lifetime
What color will Beyonce’s footwear be? (White: 200, Black: 250, Gold/Brown: 350, Silver/Grey: 500, Other: 700)
The color bets are always fun because there’s no real logic to picking them…..is what a bad gambler would say. It’s true, we don’t have any real idea what color Beyonce’s shoes will be when she joins Coldplay on stage. White and black are the obvious favorites because they’re the base colors of most shoes. But this isn’t just any show. This is the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Not only that, it’s Super Bowl 50, a.k.a. the “golden” game. Golden logo, golden lettering on the field, and golden Beyonce shoes to go with it.
My pick: Gold/Brown
How many times will Cam Newton dab (over/under 5.5)? (Over: 300, Under: 300)
This is one of the ones I created myself and I’m actually surprised it’s not something we can wager on in Vegas. Besides the Superman, Cam’s dab is his staple celebration, not to mention the dab is the latest dance move everyone loves to do. It just seems logical to count Cam’s dabs. Vegas does have a wager proposing how many times the announcers will mention the word “dab,” so that’s something. Anyways, I set the over/under at 5.5 because I figured Cam dabs almost every time he scores and often when he runs for a first down. On top of that, he could dab on the sideline with teammates (note: the bet ends when the game officially ends). A touchdown here, a couple of first down runs there, some teammate fun on the sideline and Cam is dabbing around 5-6 times a game in my estimation (I could be way off). Cam says he wants to look back on his career and say he had fun playing in the NFL, for better or for worse. It’s the Super Bowl, the ultimate party. Expect Cam to dab it up.
My pick: Over
What color will the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach be? (Orange: 150, Blue: 250, Clear/Water: 300, Yellow: 300, Red: 450, Green/Purple: 750)
Ah, the ol’ classic. No prop bet sheet is complete without the Gatorade shower. The color is often pretty hard to predict. I’m guessing orange and blue are the favorites because they’re the team colors of Denver and Carolina, respectively. On top of that, the Gatorade dumped on Ron Rivera in the both the NFC Championship and the NFC South clinching victory was orange. I’m going to play it safe again here and follow the research. I doubt Carolina would risk changing up the color in such an important game and even if Denver wins, there’s a chance they use orange (team color) as well! This is a good opportunity to steal some points over the people that will automatically assume blue just because of Carolina’s colors. Although I have to say, two reasonable colors (Green/Purple) sitting at 750 is super tempting. If you’re feeling gutsy, go for it.
My pick: Orange
What will be the result of Cam’s first pass? (Complete: 300, Incomplete: 600)
We’re now onto the football-related prop bets. They’re admittedly not as fun as the “Special” bets, but I still tried to pick some interesting ones. I like spreading out the bets across the entire game; some in the beginning, some at halftime, and some totals at the end. This is one we can look forward to right away. And it’s deceptively tough. My first instinct is to go with complete. Cam Newton is a great passer and I think he’ll start off with an easy throw to get in rhythm. On the other hand, it’s a huge game and even Cam should be nervous. Some early-game jitters could be enough to force his first ball to hit the turf. Add in the amazing Denver defense and I’ve got my pick.
My pick: Incomplete
What will the first score be? (Field goal: 300, Touchdown: 400, Safety: 1500)
This bet offers the highest possible point total. Correctly predict a safety as the first score and that’s 1500 points right there. Before telling me it’s too far-fetched, don’t forget that it happened in Super Bowl XLVI, just four short years ago. Also, Super Bowls 46-48 featured a safety at some point in the game. Something to think about. With two incredibly good defenses, I have to go with the field goal. Touchdown is just not enough points to make it worthwhile. I have a feeling it’ll be tough to get into the endzone early.
My pick: Field goal
Who will commit the first penalty? (Broncos: 200, Panthers: 300)
Broncos are the favorite here because they rank 9th in most penalty yards per game, whereas Carolina ranks 10th least. I could go with the logic, but I have a hunch that the Panthers defense will get called earliest. I only lose out on 200 points if I’m wrong.
My pick: Panthers
Will the game be tied at halftime? (Yes: 600, No: 50)
Only two Super Bowls have been tied at halftime in the past 20 years (XLIX, XXXIX). Not only is it unlikely to happen at all, but it’s extremely unlikely to happen two years in a row. Again, the temptation for the 600 is there. And this time, we take it. Unlike the other enticing bets with lots of options, you only lose 50 if you’re wrong here. If you’re right, it’s 600 points and you look like a genius.
My pick: Yes
Will there be a missed extra point? (Yes: 700, No: 200)
A new rule this season? Gotta include that. We’ve seen the number of missed extra points increase noticeably this season, but will we see one when it matters most? Carolina kicker Graham Gano missed three this season (none in playoffs), but he’s also attempted the most. Denver kicker Brandon McManus missed one all season. We find ourselves in a similar case as the halftime prop. A high ceiling and small loss if we go with Yes. Instead, I’ll take the easy 200 with two decent kickers in the game.
My pick: No
Who will have more rushing yards? (CJ Anderson: 300, Ronnie Hillman: 500)
I find this particular one interesting because these two Denver backs have shared carries all season, making it pretty tough to figure out who will gain more yards on a game-to-game basis. Here’s what makes it even tougher: Hillman gained more on the season than Anderson (863 vs. 720), yet Anderson has led Hillman in both playoff games. It’s not hard to see either back breaking a big one and throwing off the entire bet. However, I have to assume this won’t happen and go with the trend.
My pick: CJ Anderson
How many total sacks in the game (over/under 5.5)? (Over: 200, Under: 200)
Carolina and Denver are #2 and #3 in total sacks this postseason. There’s no doubt these defenses can get to the QB. The real question is, can the offensive lines protect the QB? Cam has only been brought down twice these entire playoffs, Peyton four times. It’s a tough call because these lines haven’t dealt with the caliber of pass rush of the other, but I’m going to go under. Get rid of the ball!
My pick: Under
How many drops will Demaryius Thomas have (over/under 1.5)? (Over: 300, Under: 300)
This is another one I created myself. Thomas, a great receiver, is building a reputation as a dropper. I predict many will take the over here for the comedic effect (“You should’ve put the over/under at 11.5! Hahaha!”), so I’ll go the other way. I don’t mind putting my faith in Demaryius for one game. Please, DT, don’t drop the ball on this one.
My pick: Under
How many total points will be scored (over/under 44)? (Over: 300, Under: 300)
This is a pretty low over/under. A 24-21 game already hits over. This makes it tough because that’s exactly the score I think this game will hover around. I’ll follow my gut again and take the under. I don’t see Carolina lighting it up like in the last two games.
My pick: Under
Who will win Super Bowl 50? (Broncos: 600, Panthers: 200)
Most of the time, the point of prop bets is to bet on things other than the winner. Not here. Picking the winner is the cherry on top and it’s always more fun with an underdog. Carolina opened as clear favorites and will stay that way, but expect the actual line (at -6 last time I checked) to keep moving. Do you have the guts to go with Denver and steal 600? I hope so, because I sure don’t. A small part of me thinks this game could get ugly. More on that later in the week.
My pick: Panthers
For the early birds:
How long will the National Anthem be (over/under 2:20)? (Over: 300, Under: 300)
Lady Gaga was finally announced as the singer of the National Anthem for Super Bowl 50. It’s a good choice. She has a great voice and will respect the moment. The bettors set the length at 2:20, which is LONG. The average length of these SB anthems are around 1:55 (last year’s was around 2:04), so they have her enjoying the spotlight. I have to take the under here, 2:20 seems like a lifetime.
My pick: Under
Result of coin flip? (Heads: 200, Tails: 200)
Coin flipping physics says that if a coin is tossed and caught, it will land on the same face it started on 51% of the time. I’m serious. Now, the SB coin will not be caught and will hit the turf, adding randomness. However, I’m willing to bet the weight of the coin won’t let it flip much, if at all, once it slams into the grass. I’m also fairly confident the ref will flip with heads facing up. Using those assumptions, I have to go with heads. If you don’t, you’re just asking for Vegas to take your money.
My pick: Heads