By Marc Lawrence
Super Bowl XLVI in
Indianapolis kicks off February 5 when New England meets the New York with the
Patriots looking to avenge losses to the Giants in Super Bowl XVII, and also a
24-20 defeat at Foxboro this season in a game which snapped a 20-game regular
season home win streak by New England.
Aside from betting the game
itself, a myriad of betting propositions abound in every Super Bowl as amateur
gamblers with an opinion come out of the closet more often this time of the
year than first-timers at a gay rally.
It’s important to remember
that when betting Super Bowl props the oddsmaker holds a huge edge as many of
the props carry as much of a 40-cent ‘juice’ edge in his favor. Thus, it’s critically important to make sure
you have some sort of built-in advantage working in your favor before taking
In addition, the props are
designed to create more action for the books.
"The props were designed not only to get us publicity but to
spread the money out. We didn't just want one big decision for the day; we want
10 or 20 big decisions. Our chances obviously are better if we have 20 major
decisions compared to one," said Jay Kornegay, director of Race and Sports
at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Furthermore, it’s important to realize that props are set for the
public and because they tend to bet on teams and players to succeed (yes bets),
most of the money is going to be bet on the 'positive' side of a prop.
According to Kornegay, this is the only NFL game of the year where
he doesn't set the line with the professional bettors in mind. The
professionals, he adds, do bet on props but the handle taken in from the public
masses that flock to Las Vegas during Super Bowl weekend far outweighs the
Here are some “tips” on some of the more popular propositions when
it comes to prop wagering on this year’s Super Bowl.
A wildly popular prop that
fans love betting on is the Coin Toss.
It’s fast and it takes place just prior to kick-off. It has also seen
the NFC winning the pre-game coin flip each of the last 14 years in a row!
What does it mean? Nothing.
The odds on the NFC winning this year’s coin flip: 50/50.
2. We’ll Take The Ball
In addition, similar props
abound on which team will receive the ball first. The Giants are currently -180.
The reason being, as reported by Joe Fortenbaugh of NationalFootballPost.com is “On Sept 7, 2008, New England played the Kansas City
Chiefs, won the toss and elected to receive. That was the day Tom Brady
was lost for season with a torn ACL. Since that day, the Patriots
have played 65 games - playoffs included - and won the coin toss 28 times. On
all 28 occasions, New England elected to defer their choice to the second half
and started the game by kicking off.”
3. Quarterback Action Tops Player Props
Bets involving the quarterbacks are extremely popular and for all
the right reasons as signal callers have won the Super Bowl MVP award 24 times
in 45 previous Super Bowl games.
Running backs and wide receivers have carted home the MVP trophy
seven times each, with others (read: defensive performers) also totaling seven
New England’s Tom Brady and New York’s Eli Manning lead the charge
this year. In head-to-head proposition
competition the Hilton favors Brady by 11 yards over Manning. You also have to lay an extra -$1.10 more on
Brady than Manning in total TD passes for the contest.
4. When Tackles Are Not Tackles and Penalties Are Not Penalties
When betting on the
over/under number of tackles it’s important to know that sacks are not recorded
as a tackle.
In addition, propositions
involving penalties are good only if the penalty is accepted.
5. Team Scoring Tendencies
Certain edges can be found when it
comes to scoring props but rest assured, you are not pulling the wool over the
Here is a breakdown of
quarter-by-quarter scoring and averages for-and-against in all games played
this season for both squads. Note the
Giants have played 19 games this campaign; the Patriots 18:
1Q – New York: 80-81 /
1Q – New England: 99-86 /
2Q – New York:
135-124 / 8.53–5.37
2Q – New England: 179-100 /
3Q – New York: 72-79 /
3Q – New England: 151-63 /
4Q – New York: 188-145 /
4Q – New England: 152-122/
Notice that both teams’
defense has been its stingiest in the 3Q this season.
On the flip side, the
Giants’ offense has performed at its best in the final stanza, whereas the
Pats’ attack tends to rev up in the 2Q of games.
Incidentally, New England’s
defense has been en fuego in the 3Q of its last 10 games, allowing just 20
points. The Patriots have also not
allowed a point in any of their last three games during the final quarter.
6. Player Scoring Tendencies
The leading candidate to
score the first touchdown in Super Bowl XLVI is New England TE Rob Gronkowski,
high ankle sprain and all. He led the
Patriots in touchdowns with 17 this season.
Behind Gronkowski is New York
WR Victor Cruz. New England’s other TE,
Aaron Hernandez and RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis make up the leading four
Over the previous 45 Super Bowls, wide receivers lead the brigade,
scoring the first touchdown 18 times. Green
Bay WR Jordy Nelson found the end zone first for the Packers against the
Steelers in Super Bowl XLV last year.
Running backs are right on their heels with 16 initial scores.
Tight ends have scored first five times, with quarterbacks, kick returners and
defensive players two times each.
7. Odd Props
Melding Super Bowl props
with other sports is another popular prop.
One personality prop that fans are sure to be attracted to is Eli
Manning completions versus LeBron James points. Manning goes up against the NFL’s 31st
ranked pass defense while James and the Miami Heat will be hosting a Toronto
Raptors defense that is surrendering less than 95 PPG on the season.
Meanwhile in a Beantown prop, Tom Brady’s touchdown tosses are
paired against total team goals scored by the Boston Bruins in their game
against the Washington Capitals.
One of our favorites, though, is who will the Super Bowl MVP thank
first - with the choices being Teammates, Coach, Family, God, Owner or no
If you like the Pats in this game you probably like the chances of
acknowledging owner Robert Kraft in memory of his recently departed wife
Myra. If you like the Giants it’s likely
the winner will acknowledge his teammates.
One thing is for sure. It’s
a good thing Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos will be watching from the
sidelines. Otherwise God would have been
an odds-on favorite.