Super Bowl betting — and prop bets, in particular — attract sharks and suckers alike who can’t afford a $3.8-million, 30-second commercial spot on CBS’s telecast or a $2,500 nosebleed seat at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, but do have some lunch money to wager on Super Sunday.
Here’s a quick look at this year’s popular Super Bowl bets, along with advice on where the smart money should play. For consistency’s sake, all odds and lines are courtesy of Bovada.lv — the online gambling website formerly known as Bodog.com.
(For the average Joe who doesn’t speak in Vegas tongues, when the odds are –150, you must wager $150 in order to win $100; when the odds are +150, your $100 bet nets $150. Just FYI.)
How long will it take Alicia Keys to sing the National Anthem?
Over 2:10 (+120)
Under 2:10 (–160)
The all-time record is Whitney Houston’s 1:55 effort — which included an 11-second — “brave” finale before Super Bowl XXV. Last year, Kelly Clarkson clocked in at an economical 1:34. The year before, Christina Aguilera went 1:54 without even knowing the lyrics. Alicia Keys would have to add another verse to over 2:10, right?
Heads or tails?
Heads has a 24–22 all-time lead over Tails in this head-to-tail showdown. Expect Tails to make a comeback in the Big Easy.
Which team will win coin toss?
Baltimore Ravens (–105)
San Francisco 49ers (–105)
The NFC has a 31–15 all-time lead, but its streak of 14 straight coin toss victories was snapped last year. Still, the NFC has had the hot hand for 15 years or so, let it ride. Historically, the coin toss hasn’t mattered much; the winner has a 22–24 record.
Will Beyonce be joined by Jay-Z on stage during the halftime show?
A Destiny’s Child reunion won’t be enough. Blue Ivy’s dad has to make an appearance. Expect Shawn Carter to stomp on stage and steal the show in the N-to-the-izz-O.
Total touchdowns scored in game
Over 5.5 (–125)
Under 5.5 (–105)
The Ravens and 49ers have combined to allow 20 second-half points over five games. If there aren’t fireworks on the scoreboard early, there probably won’t be much scoring late.
How many times will Harbaugh be said during the game?
Over 22.5 (–150)
Under 22.5 (+110)
Jim and John are tremendous storylines leading up to kickoff. But neither is playing in the game. There should be long stretches where neither Harbaugh is mentioned at all.
Will the team that scores last win the game?
Let’s hope it’s that kind of Super Bowl.
Will the game go to overtime?
There has never been an overtime game in Super Bowl history. Ofer-46. Go ahead and bet $1,000 to make a sweet $100 profit that there will be no free football. Seriously, don’t do that. Put all your money on the coin toss.
What color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the winning coach?
Four of the last 10 Gatorade baths have been clear, with orange, yellow and purple each coming in at twice apiece over that same time. Jim Harbaugh was dumped with yellow Gatorade after clinching the NFC West title last season.
Who will be named Super Bowl MVP?
Colin Kaepernick (8/5)
Joe Flacco (11/4)
Frank Gore (7/1)
Ray Lewis (7/1)
Ray Rice (12/1)
Michael Crabtree (14/1)
Anquan Boldin (16/1)
Vernon Davis (18/1)
Torrey Smith (20/1)
Ed Reed (33/1)
Patrick Willis (40/1)
Seven of the last 12 Super Bowl MVPs were the quarterback of the winning team. Ray Lewis is one of the five that wasn’t and he will look to become just the sixth player — and first non-quarterback — to win the award multiple times.
Baltimore Ravens (+4) (+140)
San Francisco 49ers (–4) (–160)
Deer antler spray aside, Ray Lewis will ride off into the sunset as a two-time Super Bowl champ. “Smokin’ Joe” Flacco will hit a deep ball at some point and Ed Reed might just make a splash play in front of his hometown NOLA crowd. Win or lose, the Ravens should keep it close enough to pay out.
Over 47.5 (–110)
Under 47.5 (–110)
The teams combined to score 22 points in the first Har-Bowl on Thanksgiving last year. There will be more points than that this time around, but don’t expect a shootout. Go low.