Super Bowl gives gamblers props

The Super Bowl is full of fun prop bets. Even if you aren't placing any wagers, they are fun to think about. Here are some of our Super Sunday favorites.

Super Bowl gives gamblers props Like millions of family, friends, business associates and complete strangers, many of us will be gathering around a TV screen Sunday to watch the Packers and Steelers play in the Super Bowl. If you don't have a vested interest in either team (or a vested hatred for the one or the other), it's simply a celebration of food, beverages, football and, for a rare time, interest in commercials.

But, at just about every party will be one lonely degenerate gambler who has to get a piece of the action on anything. He will bet on anything. Let's, for the sake of argument, call this guy "Lurtz."

Lurtz will bet on raindrops rolling down a window. He will bet on preseason games. For him, the Super Bowl is Nirvana. For those unaware, welcome to the world of prop bets.

Prop bets are the way gambling websites pull in suckers to bet money on ridiculous things – ranging from the performers before and at halftime. They run throughout the game and often force casual fans but earnest gamblers to pay attention throughout. One of the leaders in the field of helping gambleholics part ways with their money is, which has prop bets on hundreds of potential game scenarios.

My personal favorites concern the hard-core fan that is willing to wager that his team will dominate. It's much like the "Superfans" of Saturday Night Live fame, where picking mini-Bears to beat the Giants 51-3, acknowledging that mini-Bears (and a mini-Ditka) would allow a field goal to the full-sized Giants. A Packers fan who is convinced that his green and gold is going to beat down the Steelers like nobody's business can bet $100 to win $450 if the Packers win by more than the spread of 14½ points.

A Steelers fan who thinks the curtain rises again as the franchise earns "One For the Other Middle Finger" (or two full hands for a retired shop teacher) can lay 10½ points and take the Steelers to win by 11 or more, a $100 bet that will bring back $475 on a win. The ultraconservative Packers fan can bet $700 and get Green Bay plus 10½ points in order to win $100. Go for it, Mr. Vegas.

But, if you're looking to add a little something different to your Super Bowl party, do a cut-and-paste on what follows – a list of popular prop bets that make people wonder why do people do such things? For those looking to insider info, go to the bottom and don't cut-and-paste that part.

1. Christina Aguilera, known for her numerous enhancements to songs that turn three-minute radio tunes into a five-minute live performances, is singing the National Anthem. Xtina Bet No. 1? How long will the Anthem take? The Over/Under is 1 minute, 54 seconds. Bet $180 on the over to win $100. Bet $100 on the under to win $140.

2. Xtina Bet No. 2. The final word of the National Anthem is "Brave" – as in, "…land of the free and home of the brave." How long will Aguilera hold the note for word "Brave?" The Over/Under is six seconds. Bet $140 to win $100 on the over. Even money (bet $100 to win $100) on the under.

3. Coin Toss Bet No. 1: Bet $105 to win $100 if you think it will be heads or tails.

4. Coin Toss Bet No. 2: Bet $105 to win $100 on whether you think the Packers or Steelers will win the coin toss.

5. Who will score first? Bet $125 to win $100 on Green Bay. Bet $105 to win $100 on Pittsburgh.

6. What will the first score of the game be? Bet $160 to win $100 on a touchdown. Bet $100 to win $130 if you think it will be a field goal or safety.

7. Will there be a score of any kind in the first 7:30 of the game? Bet $175 to win $100 if you think there will be points at the midway point of the first half. Bet $100 to win $145 if you think it will be scoreless.

8. From the kickoff until the final play of the game, how many times will the FOX broadcast team mention Brett Favre in live commentary? The over/under is 2½ times. Bet $175 to win $100 on the over. Bet $100 to win $135 on the under.

9. During the course of the game, how many times will Cowboys owner Jerry Jones be shown on screen? Over/Under is 2.5 times. Bet $140 to win $100 on the over. Bet $100 to win $110 on the under.

10. How many times will the term "lockout" be used during the game? Over/Under is 1.5 times. Bet $120 on either option to win $100.

11. Which QB girlfriend will be shown first on screen during the game? Bet $140 to win $100 on Jessica Szohr (Aaron Rodgers' girlfriend). Ashley Harlan (Ben Roethlisberger's fiancée) is even money.

12. If there is a challenge flag thrown, what will the result of the first challenge be? Bet $120 to win $100 that the play stands as called; bet $110 to win $100 that the call is overturned.

13. Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji has become the Green Bay version of William "The Refrigerator" Perry, playing fullback in goal-line situations. Will Raji play at least one play on offense? Bet $185 to win $100 if he does, bet $100 to win $145 if he doesn't.

14. The Black Eyed Peas perform at halftime. The group's female lead signer Fergie will be center stage. What will she be wearing when the band is announced? Bet $100 to win the following amounts from these four choices: Skirt/Dress $110; Pants (below knees) $125; Shorts (above knees) $250; Thong/G-String/Bikini Bottom $1,000.

15. On Sunday, the Miami Heat play the Los Angeles Clippers. LeBron James, who scored 51 points Thursday night, is on fire. Who will have more points at halftime of their respective games – King James or the Packers? Bet $125 to win $100 on Lebron. Bet $105 to win $100 on the Packers.

16. Will a Steelers player do an imitation of Rodgers' wearing a wrestling championship belt celebration? Bet $100 to win $115 if you think someone will. Bet $155 to win $100 if you think nobody will mock him.

17. At game's end, the ritual has become to soak the winning coach in Gatorade. Gatorade Question No. 1: Will the player(s) that douse(s) the coach be on offense or defense? Bet $200 to win $100 on defense. Bet $100 to win $150 on offense.

18. Gatorade Question No. 2: What color will the Gatorade be that gets dumped on the winning coach? Here are the choices and their odds: Clear/Water (9:4), Yellow (3:2), Orange (3:1), Red (5:1), Green (11:2) or Blue (10:1).

19. Bet $100 on the margin of victory – Packers 1-3 points (4:1), Packers 4-6 (11:2), Packers 7-10 (6:1), Packers 11-13 (10:1), Packers 14-17 (10:1), Packers 18-21 (16:1), Packers 22 points or more (12:1); Steelers 1-3 points (9:2), Steelers 4-6 (13:2), Steelers 7-10 (13:2); Steelers 11-13 (11:1), Steelers 14-17 (12:1), Steelers 18-21 (16:1), Steelers 22 points or more.

20. How many points will the teams combine to score – odd or even? Bet $135 to win $100 on odd. Bet $100 to win $105 on even.

21. The longest touchdown of the game will be of how many yards? Over/Under 43½ yards. Bet $115 to win $100 either way.

22. Will there be a special teams or defensive touchdown in the game? Bet $100 to win $140 if you think there will. Bet $170 to win $100 if you think there won't.

23. Who will be named game MVP? Aaron Rodgers (3:2), Ben Roethlisberger (13:4), Troy Polamalu (12:1), Clay Matthews (15:1), another Steelers player (12:5), another Packers Player (9:4).

24. At the MVP ceremony, the winner of the award will be asked a probing question like "how does this feel?" Who will the player thank first? Bet $100 to win the following amounts among the choices: God ($150), Teammates ($200), Thanks Nobody ($225), Family Members ($400), Coach ($1,000).

25. What will the overnight Nielsen rating be? Over/Under 46. Bet $155 to win $100 on the over. Bet $100 to win $115 on the under.

26. What local market share of the TV-viewing public will be tuned in to watch Sunday's game? Bet $140 on Pittsburgh to win $100. The Packers are even money.

27. Every year, USA Today runs is annual Ad Meter for most popular Super Bowl commercials. Who will win this year? The odds are as follows: Budweiser 3:1; Doritos 11:2; Pepsi Max 6:1; 10:1; Skechers 12:1; Teleflora 16:1; Anyone else 7:4.

Now that you've got the cut-and-pasting done, here are some insider tips to winning. Personally, I only want to bet on the one I think I will win. Unfortunately, the National Anthem is almost always pre-recorded in case of a microphone problem, so the Aguilera bets may be good money gone bad. However, the line on the under improved during the week (from $120 to $140 on a $100 bet), so there may be some inside information. If it's live, take the over. For No. 6, I was surprised at the amount for a touchdown. I'd go field goal and roll the dice that the top-ranked defenses won't give up an early TD. If they do, it will be long distance.

The Favre question (No. 8) is one I'd bet heavy on and take the over, especially if Green Bay wins. When Steve Young won for the 49ers, Joe Montana's name was mentioned seven times. No. 13 stinks of a gimmick. If the Packers get to the 1-yard line, Raji comes in. Don't know if they'll have the guts to give him the ball. I like LeBron on No. 15 and I'm all over at least one Steeler mocking Rodgers, which I would put significant cake on – much less getting $115 back on every $100 bet.

As for Nos. 25 and 26, expect record numbers. Two hot teams and storied franchises should put the rating over a 46. I would put enormous sums on No. 26 and take the Green Bay Nielsen rating – a 100 share is possible.

If you're not that interested in who wins, being a degenerate gambler for a day might be your best option – and make the game fun even if one team dominates and the other looks like junk.


  • The NFL will announce the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 tonight and former Vikings Cris Carter and Chris Doleman are among the finalists. No more than five modern-era players can get voted in this year and the class is deep with talent, including first-time nominees Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders, Curtis Martin, Jerome Bettis and Willie Roaf. It's going to be a tough call regardless of how the voting falls.

  • Maybe Vikings D-backs coach Joe Woods is glad he wasn't hired in Philadelphia as the Eagles new defensive coordinator. It would seem the booing expands beyond the fans and into the media as well. The Eagles pulled one of the more classic "are they serious?" coaching moves in recent memory, promoting offensive line coach Juan Castillo Thursday. To offensive coordinator? Nope. To defensive coordinator! He has 13 years experience as the Eagles O-line coach and has never coached on the defensive side of the ball. The reaction from Eagles fans has been outrage, which should come as no surprise. But it was the reaction of the media that left a lot of people questioning their fandom. The headline on the back-page sports cover of The Philadelphia Daily News said simply "WTF?" which, we can only imagine stands for "Why The Face?" given the kinder, gentler nature of the Philly media.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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