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An early look at Super Bowl prop bets

10 intriguing propositions that caught our eye heading into the final game of the season. Joe Fortenbaugh

January 27, 2012
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In anticipation of the most heavily bet game of the year, the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) posted over 300 Super Bowl prop bets Thursday to the delight of many Vegas gamblers. According to our friend Larry Hartstein of Covers.com, LVH put a $2,000 cap on their prop bets and had lines 20 deep after posting their menu.

Super Bowl prop bets are extremely popular for a variety of reasons. Being that it’s the last game of the year, bettors feel a bit more compelled to play a variety of props to make the game more interesting. In addition, with all of the extra attention paid by bookmakers to setting the Super Bowl side and total, very little value exists in betting the actual game.

However, the same cannot be said about prop bets, as extensive menus like the one posted at LVH offer opportunities to take advantage of sometimes less-than-solid numbers.

After spending a few hours scouring the internet Friday morning, here are ten intriguing prop bets to consider heading into Super Bowl week. We’ll be taking a more detailed look at props as we get closer to kickoff and will be sure to offer up our top selections prior to next Sunday.

How many times will Peyton Manning be shown during the game?

Line: 3.5
Over: -130
Under: -110
Where to play it: Bovada.LV

Notes: From kickoff until the final whistle, only live shots, halftime does not count.

Peyton ManningHow many times will we see Peyton Manning's mug during the Super Bowl?

Rundown: Outside of the game itself, whether or not Peyton Manning will return to the Indianapolis Colts next season is the most popular topic in the NFL at the current moment. Throw in the fact that the Super Bowl is being played inside Manning’s building and you’ve got yourself a prop bet that is sure to draw plenty of attention. The announces are definitely going to discuss the Manning situation at one point during the game, but will the cameras flash back to the future Hall of Famer three more times before the clock hits 00:00? I like the under here.

Rob Gronkowski touchdowns vs. Alexander Ovechkin total points against Boston

Line: Ovechkin -155
Where to play it: Las Vegas Hotel and Casino SuperBook

Rundown: Gronk is battling an ankle injury that will likely have him at less than 100% entering the Super Bowl, but keep in mind that the second-year tight end was targeted 15 times in New England’s November 6 showdown with the Giants that resulted in eight receptions for 101 yards and one score. Ovechkin is off to a slower-than-normal start this season with just 39 points in 47 games played and has yet to face this Bruins team that currently ranks fourth in the NHL in goals against average (2.15 goals/game). Ovechkin is currently serving a three-game suspension and has opted out of playing in this year’s All-Star game, so I think fresh legs combined with motivation will be enough to overcome a banged-up Gronk.

Total third-down conversions in the Super Bowl

Line: 11.5
Over: -110
Under: -120
Where to play it: BetOnline.com

Rundown: The first matchup between these two teams featured a total of nine third-down conversions. On the season, New York averaged just 4.8 third-down conversions per game while New England averaged 5.6. In the five combined playoff games between these two teams this January, three of those matchups have featured 12 or more conversions. This is a tough call, but I’ll take the under.

Team to receive the opening kickoff

New York Giants: -180
New England Patriots: +150
Where to play it: Sportsbook.ag

Rundown: The following stat comes to us courtesy of Mike Pierce of Sportsbook.ag: “On Sept 7, 2008, New England played the Kansas City Chiefs, won the toss and elected to receive. That was the day Tom Brady was lost for season with a torn ACL. Since that day, the Patriots have played 65 games—playoffs included—and won the coin toss 28 times. On all 28 occasions, New England elected to defer their choice to the second half and started the game by kicking off.”

That’s good enough for me. I’ll lay the -180 and will take the Giants.

How many times will David Tyree’s 2008 Super Bowl catch be shown on television during the game?

Line: 1
Over: -110
Under: -130
Where to play it: Bovada.LV

Notes: From kickoff until the final whistle, halftime does not count.

Rundown: It’s pretty much a guarantee we’re going to see Tyree’s famous grab one time during the Super Bowl. The question is whether or not NBC plans on showing it more than once. I think we’re headed for a push in this one, but I’ll take the over on the off chance that NBC decides to go overboard with flashbacks.

Wayne Rooney goals vs. Brandon Jacobs touchdowns

Wayne RooneyCan Wayne Rooney outscore Brandon Jacobs next Sunday?

Line: Jacobs -300
Where to play it: Las Vegas Hotel and Casino SuperBook

Rundown: Including the postseason, Jacobs has found the end zone only one time in his last six games, but he did score against New England back on November 6. On the flip side, Rooney has totaled 13 goals in 20 games in the Barclays Premier League this season. Laying -300 to back Jacobs is just too expensive, so I’ll take the underdog and will ride with Rooney.

Team to win the coin toss

New York Giants: +100
New England Patriots: +100
Where to play it: BetOnline.com

Rundown: This is strictly a game of chance but there are two reasons we listed it in Friday’s column. For starters, betting this prop means it will be the first time in your life that you’re standing and telling everyone around you to “shut the hell up” for an NFL coin toss. Second, BetOnline is offering this prop with no juice, so it’s a true 50-50 wager. I’ll take the Patriots.

What will be the jersey number of the player to score the first touchdown?

Line: 80.5
Over: -115
Under: -115
Where to play it: Sportsbook.ag

Rundown: 65.9% of the Giants’ 47 regular season touchdowns were scored by players who wear a jersey number lower than 81. However, 65.6% of the Patriots’ 61 regular season touchdowns were scored by players who wear a jersey number higher than 80. So in essence, this bet comes down to which team you think will score first. I like the idea of having all of the running backs, both quarterbacks and Victor Cruz on my side, so I’ll take the under.

How many average viewers will the Super Bowl have?

Line: 117 million viewers
Over: -140
Under: EVEN
Where to play it: Bovada.LV

Rundown: Here’s what the viewership for the last four Super Bowls has looked like:

2008: 97.4 million
2009: 98.7 million
2010: 106.4 million
2011: 111 million

With viewership continuing to grow each and every year, I’ll roll the dice and will bet that 6 million more people tune in this year than last, giving us a win on the over.

Points scored by the New York Giants vs. points scored by Carmelo Anthony against New Jersey

Line: Giants -1.5
Where to play it: Las Vegas Hotel and Casino SuperBook

Rundown: Anthony currently ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring with an average of 23.6 points per game, but is averaging a rock-solid 32.3 points per game in his last four matchups against the New Jersey Nets. Vegas sent out the Super Bowl total at around 55 points in anticipation of a high-scoring affair, but the Giants and Patriots combined for just 44 points in their November 6 showdown and I have a feeling we’ll see more defense in this game than most are expecting. I’ll take ‘Melo and the points.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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