Everything is gambling now. Finance? Gambling. Currency? Gambling. Your video games are probably gambling, too. It’s all gambling. It’s everywhere. You can’t escape it.
In the shadow of at least one NFL owner being accused of trying to get his coach to throw football games, the biggest gambling cards were released: the annual Super Bowl prop bets. Did this give anyone pause at all, that Stephen Ross had allegedly tried to move things below the board? Of course not. We’ve got picks to make.
Ryan Mathews and I take the best (and not-so-best) of our Super Bowl prop cards and lay them down for you, going against each other and enjoying the Big Game only the way we know how.
All props were selected blindly, and all lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook and may be subject to change.
Jersey number of first touchdown scorer?
Under 23.5 -140
Over 23.5 +110
Chris: This is a brave new world for the NFL. Jersey numbers don’t matter no more. Who cares what your signifier was in the past, you are liberated. Fullbacks wearing the numbers for safeties, quarterbacks wearing WR digits, who cares? Who cares at all? It’s all unique and free.
Let’s do some research. The Rams skill position players that wear 23 and lower include all of their wide receivers, Matthew Stafford and Cam Akers, while the remaining RBs and all TEs wear 24 and higher. The Bengals are split evenly between upper and lower numbers among their WRs, while their RBs and TEs all take numbers above 23. Given that, I’m getting the best players from the Rams plus Ja’Marr Chase and both quarterbacks, I’ll take Under 23.5.
Ryan: You’ve done the research, Chris, and you’ve shared your discoveries. For that, on the behalf of everyone here, we are grateful. But man, we’re really setting people up for something this article is not: rational, in any sense.
I like where you’re heads at with this one, and I’m surprised the odds are so close to even on Under 23.5. You’re telling me I could have Akers, Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., both the quarterbacks, as you mentioned, and Ja’Marr Chase to win a little over $7 on a $10 wager? Under 23.5, please.
Will any kick hit the uprights?
Ryan: Ah, the classic prop where you play the safe odds at large, far-too-oversized wager just to earn a little scratch—you’d have to wager $100 just to win $18. What an awful way to spend the Super Bowl, rooting for normalcy just to win $18. Cue the music, Chris. Yes +400.
Chris: A nation waits for the audible dong. One day, it shall return. Yes +400.
Will there be an octopus?
Chris: A few years ago we hit peak trend in animals picking the Super Bowl. Parrots, dolphins, hyenas, volcano snails, whatever these zoos could trot out to drum up a bit of social media buzz. Octopi are apparently real smart, but I don’t know if they’re smart enough to comprehend the Spider 2 Y Banana. I suggest it’s more sheer luck that an octopus in Greensboro took the Buccaneers last year. It’s good fodder for local news broadcasts before and after the game, but will it make NBC? I doubt it. No -2500.
Ryan: In my best Detroit Vs. Everybody voice: “why the hell are people trying to steal OUR traditions??? This is Hockeytown!”
I’m glad you explained to our audience why an octopus is a prop bet on DraftKings because I sure as hell didn’t have a clue. More puppies, less wretched sea creatures. No -2500.
Any Non-QB to Throw a TD Pass In Super Bowl 56
Chris: We’re mostly including this to piss off Jeremy, right?
Jeremy: Y’all realize most flea flickers—and the one I despise the most—are thrown by the quarterback, right? Okay, carry on with your fun.
Ryan: Of course we do, boss man. Hopefully, it’s a flea-flicker that ends up in the hands of Odell Beckham Jr. out wide, and from there it ends up in the hands of Matthew Stafford after he runs a wheel route for a last-second touchdown to win the whole thing. It’ll be the longest developing play in the modern era. I’m not sure if Jeremy would puke or cry or what. Yes +1400.
Chris: These sorts of plays are happening more and more, I don’t see the harm in taking a flier. I want to believe. Yes +1400.
First touchdown type
Bengals passing -200
Bengals any other TD +160
Rams passing -225
Rams any other TD +175
Chris: I think I understand why passing touchdowns are such a favorite here—both these teams are threats in the red zone in that manner—but it’s not like they’re slouches when it comes to shoving the ball through to finish a drive. I guess I like both Bengals passing -200 and Rams any other TD +175.
Ryan: After spending far too long staring at these odds, I’ve come to the conclusion I hate all of this. This is truly a fool’s prop. Sprinkle some dollars on Bengals any other TD +160 and Rams any other TD +175 and be done with it. Scream at the television any time one of these quarterbacks drops back to pass. Mutter “establish the run” under your breath when the teams enter the red zone. Do these things and you’ll set yourself apart from the rest of your family and friends at this year’s Big Game watch party.
Ryan: The odds are long for a reason: Burrow got sacked a league-leading 51 times this season and Aaron Donald, wrecker of worlds, is lined up opposite... *checks notes* rookie Jackson Carman! Carman’s play has been up and down in his rookie season, but he earned (?) a 0.1 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus in the AFC Championship game. Rams -225.
Chris: It might seem sucker on those odds to take the Bengals, but I do think they have an underrated pass rush. But that as it may be, they may have a pass rush, Los Angeles has an Aaron Donald, mumbling to himself, doing crazy things. Rams -225.