Super Bowl 50 is just days away and sportsbooks have posted more proposition bets than ever. Last Thursday, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released nearly 400 prop bets while offshore sportsbooks like Bovada and BetOnline are featuring more ridiculous props than a vaudevillian performance.
Over the past few years, the popularity of these prop bets have seemingly reached a fever pitch, with fans gravitating towards the most ridiculous options. Will Mike Carey blow another challenge? How many Buffalo Wings will be consumed? What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach? These are just a sample of the most frequently discussed bets.
Whether you’re a casual bettor just looking for some goofy props to have fun with or a statistician who has been systematically running the numbers, everybody loves betting Super Bowl props.
The props start early with bets regarding the duration of the National Anthem and the opening coin flip and some, like those cross-sport props involving the 2016 Presidential Election, won’t pay off until several months down the road.
Most of these prop bets take relatively small limits, and many of them are juiced up so heavily that there is very little value being offered. That said, the following list represents the most interesting, funny, or potentially valuable prop bets according to the team here at Sports Insights.
Disclaimer: The following article is for entertainment purposes only.
David Solar – Content Manager
Emmanuel Sanders Longest Reception: O/U 26.5 Yards (via 5Dimes)
Since joining the Broncos, Emmanuel Sanders has emerged as one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers. In just two seasons, the 5’11” receiver has hauled in 194 receptions for 2,666 yards and 15 touchdowns. However with Peyton Manning posting the worst statistical season of his career, many people have begun doubting the entire Broncos offense.
Oddsmakers at 5Dimes set the over/under on Sanders longest reception at 26.5 yards, even though he has hauled in at least one reception of that length in 25 of 35 games since signing with Denver. That 71.4% probability works out to implied odds of -250, yet bettors can actually take the over at plus money (+105).
Although Manning no longer seems capable of whipping the ball downfield, Sanders is very quick and shifty in space. He’s one of the few players who are consistently able to turn short screen passes and slant routes into big gains. Considering that Sanders has a reception of at least 34-yards in each of his past five games, this line seems like an excellent value.
Most fans have been pessimistic about the Broncos passing attack, but we’ll take the contrarian viewpoint and say that this overreaction has created excellent value for opportunistic bettors. It’s also unlikely that Josh Norman will be covering the slot receiver, which means Sanders could see a high number of targets on Sunday.
The pick: Sanders Longest Reception Over 26.5 Yards
Travis Reed – Bet Labs Manager
Total Sacks O/U 5 (via 5Dimes)
Denver led the league with 52 sacks during the regular season and they are coming off a game where they got to Tom Brady on seemingly every snap. The Panthers defense was no slouch either, tallying 44 sacks during the regular season.
If you have watched Peyton Manning, he’s not exactly fleet of foot these days, and you’ll often see him simply fall down behind the line of scrimmage rather than taking a hit. Either way it counts as a sack for the defense and one more towards the total that I project to go over the total of 5.
The pick: Over 5 Sacks (-125)
Dan McGuire – Operations Manager
Arsenal Goals (-120) vs. Peyton Manning TD Passes (via Bovada)
Over the years I’ve chosen a cross-sport prop involving the English Premier League since the “other” football is my passion, and this year I’m going with more Arsenal goals (-120) than Peyton Manning TD Passes (-120). I don’t mind laying the -120 since it’s a pick ’em line, meaning the bet is refunded if Arsenal scores the same number of goals as Peyton Manning throws TDs.
My logic isn’t too complicated– I expect Arsenal to score at least 1 goal at Bournemouth, while I don’t think Peyton Manning will throw at least 2 TDs against a solid Panthers defense. Arsenal are currently small road favorites with a game total of 2.5, so this isn’t exactly a slam dunk like last year against Aston Villa (winning 5-0 on Super Bowl Sunday).
However, Arsenal have played better on the road and will be on the front foot after being shutout at home on Tuesday afternoon. Give me Arsenal goals (-120) over Peyton Manning TD passes on Super Bowl Sunday.
The pick: Arsenal Goals (-120)
Josh Appelbaum – Customer Service Manager
Presidential Election Outcome: Carolina wins Super Bowl and Bernie Sanders Wins 2016 Presidential Election (via Bovada)
Carolina is currently -5.5 on the spread and -240 on the moneyline. I am hesitant to lay the points because I believe the game will be closer than many expect, but I am confident that the Panthers will win the game straight up. I am similarly confident in Bernie Sanders becoming the next President of the United States. (No, I’m not crazy.)
Bernie’s insurgent, grassroots campaign has struck a chord with the American people, causing his poll numbers and Vegas odds to surge in recent weeks. In early January, Bernie was +800 to win the 2016 Election at Bovada. Now he is down to +350. After a strong showing in Iowa, it’s clear that the Revolution is not only real, but here to stay.
Note: You may have to wait until November to collect your winnings, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from taking advantage of this profitable opportunity.
The Pick: Take Carolina to win the Super Bowl and Bernie to win the Presidential Election (+500)
Dave Ferrick – Director of Marketing
Will there be an earthquake during the game? (via Bovada)
Rare is the case where sports gambling and plate tectonics join to conceive such an ethical maze. Do I wretch at the notion of wishing a violent shaking of the US’s 13th most populous city, birthplace of the United Nations, the Ellis Island to Irish coffee? Or do I play God, tipping the scales of fate in a selfish grab for a measly pouch of shekels? How can one navigate such rocky seas of morality? By burying his head in numbers, of course.
According to the frighteningly up-to-the-minute Earthquake Track website, San Francisco has played host to no less than 583 earthquakes in the last year – 10 alone within the past 7 days! Taking a sudden trip to CNN.com I see that California has not yet slide into the ocean so I assume this frequency is commonplace if not expected by the natives. In fact I’d wager it’d be more upsetting if a day passed without the Earth heaving itself up for a spell.
If these numbers truly paint an accurate picture then not only am I fine with betting on a little tousle of terra firma, I’m also confident in the locals’ ability to brush of any shake, rattle or roll with impressive indifference. Buckle up, Bay Area.
The pick: Yes (+1000)
Nicole Patti – Marketing Coordinator
Which song will Coldplay play first during the Halftime show? (via Bovada)
Although I found it anticlimactic when Coldplay was announced as the halftime performer, I am intrigued to see how they’ll stack up against Katy Perry and some of the other more eccentric past performers. What I know about Coldplay is slim to none, but I do know that Chris Martin had a conscious uncoupling, re-coupling and uncoupling with Gwyneth Paltrow – whatever the heck that means.
That being said, I’m going to have to go with “A Sky Full of Stars,” for 2 reasons:
1. The beat of the Avicii-produced dance track is sure to get the crowd hyped right from the get-go.
2. It’s the only song on the list that I’ve actually heard before.
The pick: A Sky Full of Stars (+450)
Andrew Fine – Sports Information Specialist
Chris Paul Assists on February 7th vs. Denver 1st Half Points (via Bovada)
Chris Paul and his Clippers will face the Heat and in the last meeting between the two teams, Paul recorded 12 assists, but that was with Blake Griffin, who is out with a broken hand, in the lineup. However, Paul is averaging 10.4 assists (per NBA.com/stats) in Griffin’s absence. In contrast, Denver is averaging 13 first half points in the playoffs, however they have yet to face a defense as strong as Carolina’s. Sorry Denver, but I’m taking Chris Paul.
The Pick: Chris Paul Assists Feb. 7th (-120)
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David Solar is the Content Manager for Sports Insights and can be reached directly at David@SportsInsights.com