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Picking Super Bowl 50: spread, total and prop bets

Let's make/lose some money betting on silly things.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Super Bowl. King of the strange gamble. While the typical Vegas sportsbook may spontaneously devolve into a hellhole of the hopeless sports fan drowning in abject failure and lack of judgement at any given moment, it's most liable to be found in February and March. However, the March crowd is marked by strange, irrational loyalties to one's college team; February is where people wager on the color of shoes during a halftime performance.

We're no different.  To that end, we've thrown together a bunch of numbers from Vegas to wager this game. I'm an on and off college football gambler, but I've never really had my head in it to take props on the Super Bowl. But as this blog is for entertainment values and you shouldn't be gambling unless you're in Nevada WINK WINK then I suppose no one's taking score.

All prop bet odds are from Odds Shark.

The spread

So while Jeremy Reisman crunches the numbers on his end, sharp money was waiting for the line to sail towards Denver +6. At that point they struck, with Denver-plus-points seeing several six-figure wagers. Bookies were, reportedly, about to move to 6.5, which is Big News in their world, but the sharps pushed back the tide. Now the line is a little more stable and even amounts of money are coming in. Like Jeremy I think Carolina's taking this without too much struggle, but it won't be the blowout Denver suffered two years ago. Carolina -5.5.

The total

This might seem a little leery, but considering that Denver isn't expected to pull too much weight in adding to the total, I think it's fair to say that expecting under 44 is a solid bet.

The coin toss

Never understood the obsession with picking a coin toss. Whatever. Gimme tails, and the team that picks will be correct. Both bets in at -105.

How long will it take Lady Gaga to sing the US national anthem?

This is like asking what the Joker is going to do to the mayor of Gotham. She's an agent of chaos and all. The o/u is set at 2:20, -120 either way. I'll take the under myself.

The first score of the game

Panthers field goal at +350.

First touchdown scorer

I think the Panthers will strike first, and I'm liable to take Tedd Ginn Jr. at +1000 for the return. I'm high on up Tedd Ginn for this game in general, although I have no good reason other than a stirring gut. Other good odds include Jonathan Stewart +800 and Demaryius Thomas +900.

Odds to win MVP

Cam Newton is -130 and Peyton Manning is +275. I think if Carolina is represented in the MVP, Tedd Ginn at +200 is a proper bet, while those looking for a long ball wager will want Luke Kuechly at +1400. I'm predicting big days for both of these guys. For the Broncos, Von Miller at +2000 and Demaryius Thomas at +2200 are both solid long shot odds.

What Gatorade color will be dumped on the winning coach?

Would you be shocked to know that green is +1000? Has the original lemon-lime Gatorade fallen so damn far?! I'm actually surprised the NFL hasn't forced Gatorade to come up with some cockamamie gold Gatorade for #BRAND; I'll take yellow (+400) because of that.

Total QB sacks by the Denver Broncos

I'm going to actually take under 2.5 at +135. Not that I think that Denver's going to slack off on defense, but expect Cam to get the ball away quick. You think he doesn't know Von Miller's out there ready to feast on his tibula? Get outta here.

Will there be a missed extra point after touchdown?

Expect this rule to bare its ass to the world and take Yes at +325.

Anytime touchdown scorer

Cam Newton (-110) is good for at least one in a short yardage red zone situation. Ted Ginn Jr. is +140 and I'll take that too, because again I'm throwing all my chips on him having a big game.

Which coach will be mentioned by name first after kickoff?

Gary Kubiak at -120.

Will Peyton Manning be seen crying at any point during the entire broadcast?

Yes at +600.

Will there be an earthquake? (+1000)

Well this is a grim little tidbit. At +1000 this barely even counts as the highest odds in the game; it's a tenth of the payout of Andre Caldwell or Benny Fowler recording the most receiving yards in the game. I don't know if that makes it more grim. I also suppose it's going to depend on your measurement of an earthquake; like, one could hit without being devastating, you know. One thing you learn being out on the coast is that there's plenty of tremors without feeling too much on a given day; this wager will depend entirely on your bookie.

Will Left Shark make an appearance on stage during the Super Bowl halftime show? (+1500)

Uh...what? I'm sorry, the Queen Bey isn't putting up with that fuckshit. Maybe Coldplay is down with that kind of lame ass stunt, but no. No.

What color will Beyonce's footwear be when she comes on stage for the halftime show?

Black is the odds-on favorite here at +150, but I'm partial to White at +275 or Gold at +250. Any other color is +700.

How many times will "dab" or "dabbing" be said by the announcers during the broadcast?

Over 2 is even money, but I don't see Nantz and Simms the sort to even bring that up on the broadcast, especially not if Simms falls asleep and has to catch up in a sudden. Under 2 at -140.

Will Mike Carey be wrong about a challenge?

Mmmm. Yes at +135.

If Steph Curry is shown on TV during the broadcast what will he be wearing?

Yes, Curry has a custom Steph Curry Panthers jersey, and that's even money on the board. Expect that or no jersey (+200).

What will be higher: Chris Paul assists on Sunday @ Miami Heat or Denver 1st half points?

Chris Paul is averaging 9.4 assists this season. Both sides carry -120, so give me Denver.

Total Goals in the Montreal vs Carolina NHL game on Feb. 7th or receptions by Greg Olsen?

The total according to Vegas for MTL/CAR is 5, so you can expect the bar to be set around here for what they're anticipating with Olsen. Olsen has had six receptions each in the past two games. That said, I'm taking the hockey game at -120, if only because both Montreal and Carolina have been putting up some high scoring affairs lately.

Trump % points in the New Hampshire Primary or total points by the winning Super Bowl team?

FiveThirtyEight is projecting Trump around 27.8% in the polls-plus forecast, 31% in polls-only forecast. Trump's side is -200, while a blowout or high-scoring affair will net you +150. Considering Carolina is on the board here, +150 is a nice waiver to take.

Carolina wins Super Bowl, Sanders wins 2016 Presidential Election (+500)


Will Peyton Manning throw a pick-6 in the game? (+300)

Yes, and follow it up with Luke Kuechly being the one to score it at +600.

Will the Panthers player who scores their first touchdown give the football to a boy or girl?

Calling the upset of the century here and taking Girl at +150.

WIll Cam Newton break the Super Bowl record of most rushing yards by a QB?

The record is 64, set by Steve McNair. It's quite possible that Denver will hold him to under that, but at -450 on that side it's not a good buy. Yes at +275 if you want to play.

How many viewers will the Super Bowl have?

The over/under is set at 117 million. The record is 114 million, which was set by Super Bowl XLIX last year. The previous year, the Super Bowl drew 112 million. Not real hot on either side, but I'll take the over at -120.

What will the Nielsen rating be?

A little trickier with the over/under at 48.5, both sides -120. 47.5 was the rating last year, but that's not the highest Super Bowl rating; that belongs to Super Bowl XX with a 48.3.

Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first?

A tricky one for semantics. You'd think God at +200 is probably the safest bet, but if you're of the mind that Carolina will the MVP I think Fans at +600 will be a good option too.

That's about it from my end. Enjoy the football everyone. You too, Vegas.

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