The Super Bowl can be a fun time for the casual bettor as the bookies overload the market with hundreds of props ranging from the serious to the silly. Some common ones are the length of the national anthem and the color of the Gatorade poured on the winning coach but some truly outrageous ones have been popping up more often that can involve other sports or as to whether a performer will show cleavage or not. Here we outline some tips that everyone from the casual to serious bettor can follow to improve their outlook and we include a few of our own prop bets at the end!
- Always make sure the rules are crystal clear in determining what wins and loses
For instance, the National Anthem prop caused a bit of a stir in 2016 when Lady Gaga belted out the Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl L in Santa Clara, CA. Lady Gaga repeated the final line of the anthem which created a discrepancy as the first ending finished before the O/U length while the repeat carried it over. Some sportsbooks considered the under to have won while others just the opposite. Some were gracious and awarded all bets as winners while some refunded one side! Nowadays, the anthem prop is quite clear at most places that the singing of the first "brave" is the official end of the song for betting purposes. Nevertheless, there are still many props that go for maximum creativity but leave it open to a lot of interpretation. We would suggest avoiding these kinds of markets lest you have a major headache afterwards! To reiterate, make sure there is no doubt as to what constitutes a win and a loss!
- Always shop around for the best odds
This goes for any bet but we feel it bears repeating here. Every book will likely wildly vary as to what props are offered and at what price. As these markets generally have low liquidity, prices tend to fluctuate wildly as well, especially when someone or a group of people find a significant edge. Arbs or scalps are also certainly possible though we would again stress to be clear on the rules to make sure that it is indeed a scalp!
- Avoid popular bets or bets with no discernible edge
For instance, betting on "Will there be a safety" is an extremely popular bet with an overwhelming percentage of people betting on Yes. There is almost always no value in the popular side here! Also avoid bets without an edge such as the coin toss which is a true 50/50 proposition but offered with oftentimes exorbitant vig!
- Remember that this is still just one game and there will always be other opportunities
Some people feel like they have to bet more just because it's the Super Bowl. We don't subscribe to that thinking as we approach each game as an investment opportunity and nothing more. Remember there will always be another opportunity so if you feel there's no value, then move on to the next!
Here are a few of our prop bets we like at current market. All lines are from Pinnacle:
- Will 49ers have a made 4th down conversion?
YES 1.840 (-119)
- Total number of 49ers to have a rush attempt?
OVER 5 PLAYERS 2.110
UNDER 5 PLAYERS 1.769 (-130)
- Number of different Chiefs to score points?
OVER 3.5 PLAYERS 1.925 (-108)
UNDER 3.5 PLAYERS 1.925
- MVP mentions which 1st after given award?
COACH OR COACHES 5.750
WINNING CITY 6.000 (+500)