Super Bowl XLVIII Prop Bets are Big Business

Posted on: January 31, 2014, 05:30h. 

Last updated on: January 29, 2014, 11:03h.

Are you ready for Super Bowl XLVIII? Check out some entertaining prop bets you can make on the big game (Image: islandathleticclub)

By now, the line on the Super Bowl is almost as well known as the teams that are playing in the game. For the uninitiated, the Denver Broncos are now a 2.5-point favorite over the Seattle Seahawks in what is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated Super Bowls in recent memory.

But while there will be enormous amounts of money bet on who wins the game and the total points scored, sportsbooks also do a lot of business on another kind of Super Bowl wagering: the proposition bet. These prop bets allow gamblers to bet on every last-minute detail of the contest, in hundreds of different ways that often incorporate events entirely outside of the game itself.

Touchdowns, Manning Bets Popular

Some of the more common prop bets tend to revolve around who will score the first touchdown (and how), as well as the game’s most popular players. And in a Super Bowl headlined by possibly the best offense in football history led by an all-time great quarterback in Peyton Manning, the most common prop bets are pretty obvious to the bookmakers.

“The first touchdown is a big deal,” said Jimmy Vaccaro, oddsmaker at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. “Everyone is betting on Manning to throw the first touchdown pass.”

While the public – and prop bet gamblers – tend to enjoy scoring, there are also bets that are based on the possibility that these two teams fail to produce much offense at all. For instance, South Point is offering a bet at 1,000-1 odds that there will be no touchdowns scored in the game.

“I would say that’s a little low, especially with these two teams playing here,” Vaccaro said.

One popular bet among prop bettors has been all about defense. There’s usually a fair amount of money wagered on whether or not a safety will be scored by one of the defenses, with most of the money coming in on the “yes” side thanks to the fairly long odds. That bet has paid off for the public two years in a row, with safeties occurring in each of the last two Super Bowls. Given Seattle’s strong defense, it might prove to be a popular bet again, even as sportsbooks lower the odds after being burned two years in a row.

Cross-Sport Betting Offers Fun and Profits

One of the ways that sportsbooks can increase the number of wagers available for the Super Bowl is through cross-sport prop bets – those that combine the results of the game with results from contests in other sports. These let casual bettors have a lot of fun, while also giving the bookmakers and serious gamblers more to consider when looking for an edge.

For instance, the LVH SuperBook has over 350 Super Bowl prop bets, many of which involve other sports. You can bet on whether the number of Julius Thomas receptions will be greater than the number of completed rounds in the Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber fight at UFC 169. Or you can take a guess as to whether Peyton Manning’s passing yards will be greater than the combined points scored by the men’s college basketball teams from Michigan, Indiana, Purdue and Penn State on game day.

If all this is a little too intimidating for you, though, there are always easier bets to make. The LVH SuperBook is also offering action on whether the opening coin toss will be heads or tails, with a bet of $103 returning $100 if the flip goes your way.