The Sports Bros.
Get your wager on — You can bet on just about anything at the Super Bowl
Naysayers of football—celebrate! The culmination of football season is upon us. There is but one game left: the Super Bowl. This means a lot of things to a lot of people: Beer, queso, wings, parties, commercials, drunkenly making a fool of yourself at a company party, being THAT guy by spoiling the party when your team loses and you take it way too seriously.
Oh yeah. And gambling.
I have no official stat, but I'm positive the Super Bowl is the most wagered upon sporting event in the United States. According to the Dallas News, half of Americans makes some form of wager on the game (including games like squares). I know that in official Nevada sportsbooks over 82 million dollars was wagered on the Super Bowl alone:
In honor of America's Day of Gambling, the Sports Bros. are going to give you a quick run-down of all the possible things you can wager on, along with our takes.
The Spread: Steelers +2.5
This means the Steelers are underdogs to win by 2.5 points. If you bet on Green Bay, they need to win by 3 points or more for you to win.
Barry's take: I'm personally buying a half point and taking Steelers +3. The Steelers O-Line is banged up, but they have one thing the Packers do not: Dick LeBeau. The Bears showed a blueprint on how to slow down Aaron Rodgers in the Championship game, and the Steelers will do so again.
David's take: This is a tricky bet because I believe the Steelers are going to win. However, I think they'll win by a field goal, so if I had to, I'd take the Steelers +2.5 because, if I took Green Bay -2.5, I would lose. However, there is no value in making this pick when I could pick the Steelers to win straight up and MAKE money on the game (see "The Moneyline" below).
The Total: 46.5 points
Combine the total points scored by both teams and there's your total. You wager on whether or not the actual game goes over the given number (46.5) or under it.
Barry's take: Personally, I’m on the under. I have no real evidence to support why. The total has been bet down on other gambling sites to around 45, so I feel good about my point total. Teams will play a little conservative at the outset, and if one team has a lead late, they’ll shrink the game by trying to run out the clock. No points for style in the championship. Just win.
David's take: Totally agree. Lower point totals as most teams play conservatively. Plus, for the first time ever, you have the #1 defense in the league playing the #2 defense in the league. I'd say that bodes well for low point totals.
Pick who you want to win. That's it. No points given or taken. The Steelers are underdogs so if you bet on them, and you win, you’ll make more money than what you bet. It's called being "plus money."
Barry's take: I don't like making moneyline bets. Here's a tip, though: If you think Pittsburgh is going to win, take the points as insurance.
David's take: Barry's a cop out. Steelers win by a field goal. I'm taking the Steelers straight up to make some money on this game.
The Wagering Gets Even Better
Those three bets are the most common, but perhaps the most awesome way to bet on the Super Bowl is through "prop" bets (prop is short for proposition). These are silly little bets that make almost every play exciting and make the most trivial of events nail biting because you’ve placed money on them. Here are some of the best prop bets we've seen:
How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the Star Spangled Banner (from starting note to last note sung)? (sportsbook.com)
Over : 1 minute 50 sec (-160)
Under: 1 minute 50 sec (+120)
We're going over. X-tina's gonna milk the spotlight and try and sell some more tickets to Burlesque.
Will a punt by any team hit the scoreboard during the game? (sportsbook.com)
Only one punt has ever hit the scoreboard in Dallas. It was a preseason game and the punter was trying to hit it. A punt WILL NOT hit the scoreboard. So if you have an extra $2,500 laying around, bet it and make yourself a quick 100 dollars.
What will Fergie be wearing when she first appears on stage during the Super Bowl Halftime Show? (bodog.com)
Pants (Below Knees): EVEN
Shorts (Above Knees): +350
Thong/G-String/Bikini Bottom: +1000
Though I'm hoping for the final choice, I can’t see her wearing anything but pants. Is there something else she could be wearing that would negate this bet? A skort? Jeggings? Alien Outfit???
Who will the FOX announcers say has better hair on TV during the Game (from kick-off until final whistle, live commentary only, any taped or past video does not count towards wager) (bodog.com)
Troy Polamalu: -120
Clay Matthews: -120
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman both rock the high and tight look, so I don't really think either is the expert on luxurious flowing locks. You CAN’T beat Polamalu. He actually hasn't cut his hair since he met his wife. So while Matthews may be more beautiful, our action is on Polamalu.
First End Zone Celebration
Touchdown spike: +200
Championship Belt: +200
Roundoff or backflip: +500
Snow angel: +1000
Chicken dance: +500
Dunks football through the uprights: +350
Dirty bird: +500
Flexes biceps: +600
The worm: +1500
Pulls out cell phone: +1200
Throat slash: +500
Takes cheerleader's pom poms: +1500
Pulls out Sharpie, signs football: +1500
Moons fans: +2000
Quiets the Crowd: +500
Military Salute: +700
The Squirrel: +1200
Funky Chicken: +1500
Lambeau Leap: +200
The Shuffle: +1500
Fun Bunch: +1500
Touchdown celebrations are one of the best parts of the game. You can bet the first touchdown goes to the Packers, it'll be "The Belt" provided they don’t spike the ball first. If I had to guess the best “value” on this bet, I'd go shows biceps. Totally possible, could earn a decent amount on your investment.
But let’s talk about some real issues: Just what is "The Squirrel?" I’d like to think it's a football player who can store the football in his mouth like a hamster. No one—and I mean no one—is going to do a roundoff or backflip. And it's +500? That's more of a favorite than “Military Salute.” Avoid like the plague.
Whatever your wagering tendencies may be, from not at all to every single prop you can get your hands on, enjoy the Super Bowl. We'll see you in September, football. You’ll be a welcome sight then. Until then, girlfriends: You get your weekends back.