Super Bowl prop bets
For the past 10 days, every football gambler in America has been huddled over the Super Bowl line. Across the board, the Colts opened as four-point favorites, and now the line has settled anywhere from four to six, depending on where you look.
I’ve probably stared at the line for at least two hours, and I still have no idea if the Colts, with a limited Dwight Freeney, can cover the spread. My gut tells me the line is too big, but betting against Peyton Manning is terrifying.
That’s where prop bets come in. (Don’t know what a prop bet is? In hindsight, my prop bet for Super Bowl Media Day would have been something like this: How many questions will Freeney be asked about his injured ankle? Over/under: 55.5. Over. Definitely over. Wasn’t that fun?)
Let’s now dissect 10 actual Super Bowl prop bets from Sportsbook.com.
As always, it’s important to note that I’m not a professional gambler. It’s very likely I’ll miss all 10 of these. In fact, now that I mention it, just take the opposite of whatever I pick.
Bet: First turnover of the game will be…
Analysis: In his last five games, Drew Brees has thrown one interception, while Manning has tossed three. Meanwhile, Indianapolis and New Orleans have forced eight combined fumbles in the postseason, recovering six of them. Even with Brees and Manning throwing the ball 50 times each, it’s hard not to imagine a Reggie Bush fumble in the first quarter. Pick: Fumble.
Bet: Will there be a defensive or special teams touchdown?
Analysis: Darren Sharper is the only defender who’s a threat to score. Also, New Orleans and Indy were 30th and 32nd, respectively, in punt return yards during the regular season. Bush is always a threat to take one back, but how many times will the Colts actually be forced punt? And will the always-conservative Jim Caldwell even consider punting to Bush? Pick: No.
Bet: Total net yards by both teams.
Over 789.5 (-115)
Under 789.5 (-115)
Analysis: During the regular season, the Colts and Saints combined to allow 697 yards per game, while their offenses totaled 767 ypg. This total seems a bit high, but would you bet against either of these offenses being held under 400 total yards? Me neither. Pick: Over 789.5.
Bet: Colts total rushing yards.
Over 99.5 (-115)
Under 99.5 (-115)
Analysis: This is the easiest bet of the game. Seriously, Indy was the league’s worst rushing offense with 80.9 ypg. With Manning under center, it’s pointless to get Joseph Addai & Co. involved. Pick: Under 99.5.
Bet: Will the game be tied at any point after 0-0?
Analysis: All right, forget about statistics. This one is about common sense. With two efficient quarterbacks, it’s likely this will be a back-and-forth contest, right? Consequently, there should be lots of ties and lead changes. Plus, you only need the score to be tied once to win the bet. Pick: Yes.
Bet: How long will it take Carrie Underwood to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” (from starting note to last note sung)?
Over 1 minute, 42 seconds (+120)
Under 1 minute, 42 seconds (-150)
Analysis: I actually did a little research on this one, and found this clip, in which Underwood sang the “Star Spangled Banner” for 1:35. And here in this clip, she went 1:40. Pick: Under 1 minutes, 42 seconds.
Bet: How many times will CBS show Kim Kardashian on TV during the game?
Over 2.5 (-115)
Under 2.5 (-115)
Analysis: Everyone is going to be pounding the over on this, which was my first reaction, too. But doesn’t Kardashian’s squeeze, Reggie Bush, need to have a big game to get her on TV more than 2.5 times? Also, the “during the game” stipulation is a bit concerning. Pick: Under 2.5.
Bet: Who will have more?
Kim Kardashian measurements (34-26-39): -38.5 (-115)
Reggie Bush total rushing and receiving yards: +38.5 (-115)
Analysis: This one is hilarious on a lot of levels. First of all, Kardashian has publicly stated her measurements (go ahead and Google it). And second, someone at Sportsbook actually made up this bet. Anyway, the measurements add up to 99, and Sportsbook is giving you 38.5 yards, meaning the over/under for Bush’s total yards is 60.5. Still follow? The Colts defense is fast enough to neutralize Bush. Pick: Kardashian measurements.
Bet: Will Pete Townshend smash a guitar on stage during the halftime show?
Analysis: Watch all three minutes of this clip, and try to convince me Townshend won’t smash a guitar on stage. You can’t do it, can you? Pick: Yes.
Bet: Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first?
Doesn’t thank anyone (+500)
Analysis: The MVP is going to be Brees or Manning. It just is. Both of these guys seem to be team-first players, always shouldering the pressure but never reveling in their success. For either one, the pick is pretty easy. Pick: Teammates.
Scott Miller is a junior at the University of Iowa and a contributor to the National Football Post. Follow him on Twitter: @stmillr