Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Analyzing the Super Bowl Prop Bets

[Update: My bad on missing "What Color Will the Gatorade Be That Is Dumped on the Head Coach of the Winning Super Bowl Team?" Clear/Water is at 23/20.]

I'm home on a snow day and I'm getting pretty jazzed about the Super Bowl. Since high school, my memories of the Big Game have been overwhelmingly positive. The Rams, Pats, and Giants wins were nail-biters, and I was too trashed to remember the rest of them. (The Buccaneers? Oh yeah...) I expect this contest to be just as enjoyable.

I guess that happened. I was doing the same thing with Miller High Life.

For many though, the level of competition is relative on Super Bowl Sunday. They're more interested in the minutiae of which player will score the first touchdown, whether Kurt Warner's first pass will be a completion or incompletion, and whether or not Matt Leinart will auto-erotic asphyxiate himself during half-time (+530). Save maybe the first day of March Madness, this is the gambling holiday of the year. Pittsburgh has stayed a seven point favorite all week, and the 47 point over is getting a lot of action, but the prop bets are the most exciting part of this weekend. And as an independent website, it gives me pleasure to ensure you that these are not solely for entertainment purposes.

(Note: All of these lines are from Bodog, which is the only site into which I can still deposit money.)
What Will Be the Result of the Super Bowl XLIII Coin Toss?- A coin toss is pretty much synonymous with 50-50 odds; it's the exact reason why we use it to determine who receives the ball in a football game. Leave it to Vegas to mess with one of the only dependable measures of probability we have. The bookies get their Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on by slightly favoring tails at -105. So if you bet a dollar, which you're allowed to do on something this stupid, you can win a whopping $1.05. And if you have a problem, you can call...

Who Will Be Tackled by His Hair First in the Game?- This is real. Troy Polamalu is +450, and Larry Fitzgerald is -650. That makes sense because Troy Polamalu plays defense, so the only way he would be tackled at all is if he intercepts the ball or returns a fumble. So what you really want to do is parlay this bet with the +170 odds of Will Troy Polamalu Get an Interception in the Game? That's where the real money is. For Vegas. Because that won't happen.

Odds that Larry Fitzgerald will have one of those superhuman plays in which he destroys a pylon? Even.

Which Super Bowl Commercial Will Have a Higher Rating on USA Today's Annual Ad Meter?- Anheuser/Busch is the prohibitive favorite at 5/6 odds, but the real surprise here is the Other bet at 9/4. The house seems to always mess up the probability of the field winning, instead of something like How often is the most memorable ad something like FedEx or a movie trailer or even Nike, which always comes to play but is not listed here? The odds are clearly in your favor that an ad other than the five huge companies Vegas lists will make an impression. I do appreciate that McDonald's is 29/4. Even Vegas knows that racially-indeterminate people rollerblading is no longer cool.

Which QB Will John Madden mention by Full name first after the Opening Kickoff?- I always wonder about the bets involving sportscasters. You're telling me that Madden went two weeks without one person mentioning this to him? One time I lost money on "Over-Under of Joe Buck mentioning Jessica Simpson's Name," and it seemed shady. The smart money here is on Kurt Warner (-190), both because the Steelers will probably kickoff even if they win the toss--so Warner will be first behind center--and because no one says Ben Roethlisberger's full name. All bets are off with Madden though. Well, not all bets are off. I guess all bets are--nevermind.

At least half of all John Madden photos can be described with the interjection "but hey."

What Song Will Bruce Springsteen Sing to Begin His Halftime Show at the Super Bowl?- "Born to Run" is a lock at 9/4. And none of this is stupid at all.


Will said...

Allow me to educate you on how sports betting works. When a line is -105, that means you have to lay $105 (or some fraction thereof) to win $100. On the coinflip prop, both picks are -105. This means that whatever you pick, you have to wager $1.05 for the chance to win $1. That extra 5% is the vig, ie, how bodog makes money with no risk.

You're welcome.

P.T. said...

I love Will.

adam said...

Man, I remember that High Life game... sneaking into Boozeman the massively cheap high life. I also remember the 20 pack of Bud for $11.55. That was amazing.