Prop Bets Add Interest to a Boring Game

Posted on February 3rd, by Rob Scichili in All. No Comments

Hope your Super Bowl Sunday was a bit more super than the actual game. Yuck, what a letdown. It must hurt to be a Denver fan. The last time I remember a game being this bad was in 1990 when San Francisco beat these same Broncos.

I have to start with two factoids: 1) The Reverse Barometer called Seattle over Denver back in September (sometimes even a blind squirrel… well, you know), and 2) Denver entered the game with an 0-3 record in Super Bowls when wearing orange jerseys (while going 2-0 in blue and 0-1 in white). Remember, no fruit sucks like the big orange. Maybe they’ll learn from this.

manningPeyton Manning is easily the most popular player in the NFL, and it probably played a role in the fact that the Broncos were favored by 2.5 points over Seattle. This line seems ridiculous after the result of last night’s game, but the role of the line is to create an even balance of money bet on each side of the number.

Let’s hope, for Vegas’ sake, that many people bet on the Broncos.

But that’s boring. Super Bowls are all about the prop bets, and they are numerous and creative.

For instance, when renowned opera singer Renee Fleming sang the national anthem, you could bet on whether she wore gloves or not (she didn’t), and what color those gloves were if she did (a moot point, but you could choose between white, black, red, or any other color). The over/under on the length was 2:25, something that (surprisingly) was considerably under (2:12). Another bet around the anthem – what would be higher? The seconds sung in the national anthem (132) or Manning passing yards in the first half (104). Would Fleming omit or forget at least one word of the national anthem? You could lay money on that too. Oh, and there were even money odds that Knowshon Moreno would cry during the anthem (he didn’t).



A safety on the first play of the game? Who had that one? Well, if you did, congratulations, and you’re buying lunch today. was offering odds of +4000 on a Seahawks safety on the Broncos’ first offensive play of the game. That means if you layed $100, you won $4,000.

Want to bet on Seattle punter Jon Ryan’s longest punt? It had an over/under of 50.5 yards (he punted once for 45 yards). How about Denver’s Britton Colquitt’s shortest punt? (over/under was 33.3 yards; his shortest was 29 yards).

Did I mention Manning was the most popular player in the NFL? Bovada had dozens of bets you could make on the Denver quarterback: total passing yards (over/under of 290.5 with an actual of 280), TD passes (o/u of 2.5; he threw 1), interceptions (he threw 2, which paid +300 if you selected that exact number), completions (o/u 26.5; he completed a Super-Bowl-record 34), and passing attempts (o/u 39.5; he threw 49). You could also bet on what Manning would do first – throw a TD pass or throw a pick (the interception was the winning wager).

Dueling quarterbacks also had quite a popular menu to choose from. For instance, would Manning or Russell Wilson throw the first TD pass of the game? If you chose Wilson, not only were you right but you received better odds (+175). Wilson also threw the last TD pass, something that paid odds of +160.

Who would be the player to score the first TD of the game? Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch was the answer, paying 7/4 odds. How about how many times Archie Manning would be shown on TV during the game? The over/under was 1.5; I believe Eli got most of the face time though. There was even a prop bet on which sideline reporter would be first seen on TV after kickoff (Pam Oliver got the honors). Would any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform shirtless? The answer was yes, times two (a bet of yes got you odds of -200).

Russell Wilson, Pete CarrollYou could even bet on what color the Gatorade would be on the first bucket dumped on the winning head coach. It’s a good thing they made  that bet clear since Pete Carroll was hit twice – once with orange and once with green.

Then there were the many two-sport prop bets you could make on Super Bowl Sunday. For instance, what would be higher? – Alex Ovechkin’s points vs. the Red Wings (1) or Seattle sacks (0)? How about total rebounds by Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo vs. the Celtics (3) or Golden Tate receptions (3).

Anyhow, there were literally dozens of prop bets to wager on and follow during the Super Bowl. Here’s hoping you were able to partake in a few to give yourself some actual entertainment during the game.

I am, however, quite fired up that Jack is back (with Chloe!). Those 24 promos were literally one of the only things that got me excited during the game. Then again, I didn’t have any money down on that first-play safety. What was I thinking?

Rob Scichili

Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks,, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.

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