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Betting the Bowl: Super Bowl props, odds, best bets and more

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The Bears aren’t in it so the only way to make the game interesting might be to have money on it

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-Opening Night Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

For football fans, the Super Bowl is a national holiday. The game, the spectacle, all that goes into it and the lead up to it make it the unique sporting event it is and has cemented it as the premiere sporting event in the country.

Just one of the elements that goes into that is the betting. Now that sports betting is entering the mainstream, with seemingly new states every day joining the legal sports betting side every few months, it’s no longer the hush-hush taboo subject it once was.

Betting has long been discussed around the Super Bowl moreso than other games if only because of the fun prop bets that get thrown around. How long will the national anthem be? How will the coin toss end? What color Gatorade will the winning coach be doused in?

I’ve been getting a lot of prop bet lines in this week so I decided to go over a few of them and offer some that I like. I’ll even weigh in on the game itself, for whatever that’s worth.

How betting lines work

For the uninitiated, American betting lines are typically posted in a -/+ format. The easiest way to think about it is that a plus (+) number is how much you would win on a $100 bet. A minus (-) number is how much you have to wager to win $100.

So if the line is +110, that means a $100 bet would pay $210 (you get your original wager plus $110).

If a line were -110, a $100 bet would also pay $90.91. A $110 bet on a -110 would pay the same $210.

This means that the plus wager is better value because you are risking less to possibly win more.

Another way to think about it, is if you’re used to horse racing odds, divide the number by 100 to get its ratio. So +110 is 1 to 1.1 odds while -110 is 1.1 to 1. If it’s “even money” you will win as much as you bet.

Make sense? I probably didn’t explain it very well...

Props

Will Jim Nantz or Tony Romo mention the spread? (BetOnline.AG)

Yes +350

No -600

My take: This is a hilarious prop, but there’s no value here. Point spreads are not often mentioned bluntly, usually only alluded to and that’s only by the great Al Michaels.

Will a play that Tony Romo predicts result in a touchdown? (Bookmaker.eu)

Yes +200

No -280

My take; This is one you throw a couple bucks at yes for fun, but I think no is more likely. I get the impression that maybe the network doesn’t always like Romo calling out what is likely to happen.

Will phrase “Greatest of All Time” be mentioned during the broadcast (BetOnline.AG)

Yes +105

No -145

My take: There’s not a huge payoff here but, to me, it seems like even if it comes up in an innocuous way, it might be worth a couple of dollars on yes.

Gladys Knight attire during national anthem (BetOnline.AG)

Dress/skirt -200

Pants/shorts +150

My take: Gladys Knight is old school and she is a classy lady so I would think that she’s

Length of Gladys Knights national anthem

Over/under - One minute, 50 seconds

My take: I really don’t know much about this. I would say under, but I really don’t know. Research how long she’s taken in the past.

Gladys Knight microphone

On mic stand -150

Not on mic stand +125

Headset +1400

My take: On The Favorites podcast, Chad Millman said that he looked back at some clips that suggest Knight doesn’t use mic stands, but take that for what it’s worth.

Color of Liquid Poured on Winning Coach

Clear/Water +200

Yellow +250

Red +300

Blue +700

Purple +700

Green/Lime +700

My take: I feel like clear/water is the easy answer here because that’s the normal stuff. However, if you want to get dangerous go with red.

Who Will MVP Mention First in Speech?

Team/Teammates +200

God +300

Coach +600

Family +600

Owner +750

Fans +1000

Referees +5000

None of the Above +400

My take: Seems like a couple dollars on God and a couple on team/teammates would be the best value.

Coin toss

Heads -105

Tails -105

Team that calls heads or tails will be correct (BetOnline.AG)

Yes -110

No -110

Will there be a successful 2-point conversion? (BetDSI)

Yes +200

No -270

My take; There’s a ton of value in the yes camp. Belichick and McVay are not exactly conventional and it seems like there could be a point where one of the coaches looks at the ‘going for two’ chart and decide that it’s the best call.

Game line

Spread: Patriots -2.5

Over/under total points: 56.5

My take: The Patriots opened at a lot of places as 1.5 point favorites but are getting hit so heavy by the public that it’s moved up a point. They remain the favorites as far as betting tickets go. According to BetOnline.ag, as of last Friday, 82 percent of the bets were being made on the Patriots.

So, if you like the Rams, I would wait to bet them because the line could bump up a little more. Bet the Rams late if you favor the Rams.

As for the total, it’s come down about one or two points, depending on which book you look at. It was the largest totals ever on a Super Bowl, according to BetDSI, when it opened at 57.5. At 56.5, I am tempted to take the over. It’s a whole lot of points for an NFL game, but the Patriots haven’t exactly been a defensive powerhouse, especially in their two most recent Super Bowl trips, when they allowed 28 and 41 points.

Granted, the Rams defense has played better this postseason, I think both of these teams will put up some points. The question, to me, is do you think that the losing team can score 28 points?

If you think they can then I would take the over, if you think that the defenses will figure out ways to slow each other down, then take the under.

Like I said, I’d take the over.