One of my favorite parts of the Super Bowl are the outrageous prop bets that emerge during the week. Since I moved to Chicago for school in 2014, the Patriots have made the Super Bowl four times, and each time I’ve had a lot more than my fandom for the Patriots on the line. Whether it be money wagered or stupid college bets, I’ve experienced my share of W’s and L’s as the Patriots have finished 2-1 overall in their last three Super Bowls. Let’s dive right into the action.
Game stat prop bets
James White total receiving yards: Over/Under 44.5 yards
I tried to not list too many of the vanilla game stat prop bets so I could get to some of the crazy ones, but I had to throw in a few that I felt really confident about. For me, the over 44.5 receiving yards is free money. It has been a trend that Tom Brady looks to get his running backs involved in the passing game in the Super Bowl, from Danny Woodhead to Shane Vereen to the present 3rd down back, James White. White is a fantastic matchup against the Rams because they play only one linebacker in dime (Cory Littleton) and the 1st year starter and former UDFA struggles mightily in coverage. The only other player that I think could get major time against White, S/LB hybrid Mark Barron, also struggles against the pass.
Total rushing yards for Tom Brady: Over/Under 0.5 yards
In Brady’s eight Super Bowls, he’s rushed for at least 1 yard in half of them, but he has hit the over 0.5 yards in each of the last two against the Eagles and Falcons. While Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh represent dangerous interior rushers, the Rams are much weaker on the edge. The midseason acquisition of Dante Fowler helped Los Angeles a lot, but Fowler has the tendency to lose gap discipline and rush too far up the field at times. I’d bet on the over, as I see Brady getting at least one scramble to cash that bet.
Will any touchdown be overturned by replay? Yes +155 No -220
In this era of football, long and convoluted replay reviews are commonplace in the game. But an overturned touchdown in the Super Bowl? A lot more rare than you’d think. In the Super Bowl, the referees are taken from the best crews all year. John Parry, the head referee, only overturned a single touchdown all year. And the last time a touchdown was overturned in the Super Bowl was ten years ago in Super Bowl 43. The odds aren’t that great so I wouldn’t go all in on this one, but I’ll bet no -220 and feel pretty damn confident about it.
Commercial prop bets
How many commercials will have a dog in it? Over/Under 5.5
I feel like there are so many dog commercials, largely because Super Bowl commercials are longer and they focus on a storyline. Often times this storyline includes some kind of family or coming of age timeline, stories that inevitably include a pet dog. Add in maybe one or two dog food or dog product commercials and I feel really good about the over. I have absolutely no data to back up this bet, so I won’t be answering any questions when we only see 4 dogs on Sunday.
Which commercial will appear first? Budweiser +150, Bud Light +210, Michelob Ultra +400, Stella Artois +400, Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer +400
I’ll cross off Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer immediately because I have no idea what the hell that is. Michelob and Stella are some pretty good bets considering the odds, but I wouldn’t overthink this one. Anhueser-Busch is an official sponsor of the NFL and you better believe they’ll be first in line. That brings us to whether Bud heavy or Bud lite takes the victory. Historically, Budweiser commercials are more of the typical storyline commercials while Bud Light comes up with some Dilly Dilly shit to get some laughs.
I’ll take Budweiser +150. Save the laughs for the 2nd or 3rd quarter when everyone is drunk. Side note: the Budweiser commercial has already been released, and it is good news for my over dog bet.
Which commercial will appear first? Bubly -120 Pepsi -120
This is one of those prop bets where the line makes no sense to me. Vegas has to know something that I don’t because there’s no way in hell that Pepsi, an official sponsor of the NFL gets their commercial in after Bubly, a company that I had to google, which is apparently a poor man’s La Croix. This is almost certainly a trap, but I’m stupid so I’ll take Pepsi -120 and never look back.
Musical prop bets
Will Travis Scott be shirtless at any moment during the halftime show? Yes +940, No -2188
I saw Travis Scott live in August at Lollapalooza and he’s electric. His set included his new stuff from Astroworld and ten minutes in, his shirt was off. Now Lollapalooza and the Super Bowl halftime show are entirely different animals, especially in the eyes of the NFL trying to give their viewers a family-friendly experience. Just to be clear, I don’t think that a rapper with his shirt off would make the show not family-friendly, but after the Janet Jackson debacle and M.I.A. flipping off tens of millions of people on live television there have been really no extravagant outfit choices or actions by the artists.
I texted my friend that was at Travis’ show at MSG in November with Kanye and he confirmed to me that he didn’t take off his shirt then. But those odds are just too enticing to pass up. I’ll bet yes +940. Throw 20 on it and it could cover your other bad bets and your bar tab for the night. Here’s to hoping that Travis takes off his shirt.
How long will it take Gladys Knight to sing the national anthem? Over 105 seconds -140, Under 105 seconds +100
I don’t know if this makes me uncultured or not, but I had to google who Gladys Knight was. Wikipedia tells me that she’s a 74-year-old that’s known as the “Empress of Soul”. An older singer that is known for soul? To me, that’s a clear indication that it will run long. According to CBS, only two artist have sang the anthem in less than 105 seconds. Taking the over -140 might be my mortal lock.
Will there be a Spongebob costume or inflatable? Yes +465, No -638
In an era of social media and marketing that will do anything to reach the millennials and Gen-Z kids, major companies and corporations will often times become the living embodiment of the “how do you do fellow kids” video to stay hip and relevant. So predictably, the movement to bring Spongebob to the Super Bowl started on Gen-Z twitter... and eventually ended up in a change.com petition that has almost 1.2 million signatures for “Sweet Victory” to be played, in honor of Spongebob creator Stephen Hillenburg’s death earlier this year.
The idea that Spongebob would actually make an appearance at the halftime show sounds absurd, but the NFL might actually be that cringy awkward to do it. The odds are pretty good and for that reason alone I’ll take yes +465. It took four years, but left shark’s reign as the most ridiculous cartoon costume at the Super Bowl may come to an end.
Broadcasting prop bets
Total times Jim Nantz and Tony Romo say “Gronk”: Over/Under 2.5
Tony Romo is a big fan of shortening Gronkowski to “Gronk” so I think this will comfortably be an over. In just the overtime alone, Romo said “Gronk” four times and Nantz chipped in with two more mentions. With the Rams’ linebackers and safeties questionable at best in coverage, I expect Gronk to be in the gameplan in the passing game. In all honesty, this prop could hit the over halfway through the 1st quarter with one catch and one pancake block.
Will Jim Nantz or Tony Romo say “underdog”? Yes -400 No +320
The media has been hammering the “Patriots are done” narrative throughout the regular season. That resulted in the Patriots playing the “underdog” card as they traveled to the AFCCG as underdogs against Kansas City. And that resulted in the media getting upset that the Patriots played that card as they head to their 3rd straight Super Bowl. For those lost at home, it’s a non-story for both sides that gets amplified during Super Bowl week. It happens every year.
The odds aren’t very profitable, but I would be shocked if the broadcasting crew made no mention of arguably the biggest Super Bowl storyline coming out of the Patriots’ side. Give me yes -400.
Will CBS show replay of missed pass interference call on Rams vs. New Orleans (Nickell Robey-Coleman on Tommylee Lewis)? Yes -130 No +100
The first time Nickell Robey-Coleman gets any meaningful screen time, whether it be a tackle, a broken up pass or a missed coverage, you better believe that the missed call montage is locked and loaded. That’s just science. Robey-Coleman will have his hands full with Edelman all night, I love the yes -130.
Cross sports and miscellaneous props bets
Who will have more? Brandon Pirri points on 2/2 -130 Sony Michel Touchdowns +110
This is another one of those prop lines that looks like a trap. Apparently Pirri is a right winger for the Vegas Golden Knights that was pretty pedestrian before this season (101 points in 228 games) before suddenly being elevated to top power play unit and top line play with William Karlsson and Jonathon Marchessault. But after a quick start, Pirri is pointless in his last 3 and the Golden Knights will be in the 2nd game of a back-to-back in Florida. If you’re wondering how I know all this, blame my friend for coercing me into joining his fantasy hockey league.
I can’t bet against Michel here. I would think that it’s more likely that he finds the end zone twice than not at all. Give me the Michel touchdowns +110
Which will be higher? Zion Williamson total points and rebounds on 2/2/19 -140, Total Brady pass completions on 2/3/19 +110
Ok let’s start cooking here. Let’s consider the last three Super Bowls in this sample size because they were all with Josh McDaniels as the offensive coordinator. Brady had 37, 43, and 28 completions against Seattle, Atlanta, and Philly respectively for an average of 36. Even with a postseason where the power running game has been given a lot of emphasis, Brady completed 34 and 30 passes against the Chargers and Chiefs.
Meanwhile, Duke hosts St. John’s on Saturday, a team that’s 15-5 but is an ugly 2-3 away from home with a loss to DePaul. A quick look at their roster shows that they don’t have a single rotation player that’s taller than 6’6. I love Tom Brady, but Zion is going to FEAST. Gimme those points and rebounds -140.
Which will be higher on 2/3/19? Kawhi Leonard points -130, James White rushing yards +100
The Clippers will travel to Toronto for a 2:00 pm game after playing the night before in Detroit. Give me Kawhi’s points on 2 days rest against a tired Tobias Harris, who isn’t really a good defender to begin with. While James White rushed for 45 yards in last years’ Super Bowl, it’s a clear outlier when looking at the rest of his playoff games where his 2nd highest total is 29 yards.
Total Donald Trump tweets on February 3rd? Over/Under 6
President Trump has been on a roll on Twitter in January, averaging well over 8 tweets per day. On Sundays in January, Trump has tweeted 5 (6th), 8 (13th), 11 (20th), and 6 (27th) times. Add on the fact that President Trump will tweet to congratulate the Patriots if they win the Super Bowl, as he has done in the past, and I think I can safely take the over 6 tweets.
What color will the liquid be that is poured on the game winning coach? Lime/green/yellow +225 Orange +300 Blue +375 Red +400 Clear/Water +400 Purple +1000
This is my favorite one every year. I’m betting these with the assumption that the Patriots will win, as they will be my pick to win when I write up my film review later in the week. Belichick has always been a tough one to peg because in three of his Super Bowl wins (36, 38, 51) he avoided the gatorade all together because the games ended with no time remaining. Against Seattle, Belichick was doused with blue and against the Eagles back in 2005, he got the clear bucket.
I’m going to go with Blue +375 here. Honestly I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in this pick, but I will defer to the Seattle Super Bowl as evidence, as well as the fact that blue also makes a lot of sense for the Rams if they win. The Rams will wear their blue throwback jerseys on Sunday, and the last couple non-Patriots Super Bowl winners have all gone with a Gatorade that fits their color scheme (Eagles lemon-lime, Broncos orange).
And that’s all I got for you for the game within the game. Feel free to check out some of the prop bets that I couldn’t get to here, here, here, and here. Look out for my X’s & O’s breakdown of some actual football later in the week.