Prop bets aren’t like the line for the actual outcome of the game, which has moved to favor the Patriots over the Rams by 2.5 points. Short for proposition bets, the wagers concern the occurrence of a specific event within (or around) the game. The Super Bowl seems to bring out peak prop bets, with wagers ranging from the traditional to downright obscure.
For example, will a certain player win MVP? Bookmakers have Tom Brady as the current favorite at +110, meaning that someone who bets $100 would win $110 if he does win the award. According to Oddsshark, Rams quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley are the next best bets, at +225 and +1,300, respectively.
But what if you think that, say, Patriots fullback James Develin will win? There’s a line for that, too: +40,000, if you’re actually serious.
There are lots of in-game props concerning player yards and touchdowns. But they get increasingly more ancillary, from the coin toss to the length of the national anthem to Maroon 5’s first halftime show song to the classic wager on the color of the winning coach’s Gatorade bath (lime green/yellow is the current favorite).
This year, however, we have some weird ones.
Will CBS announcer Jim Nantz say “Hello friends” when he and color commentator Tony Romo come on air? The sports book BetDSI has -10,000 odds that he will and +2,500 odds that he will not. Will either Nantz or Romo bring back bad memories for Patriots fans with a mention of the term “Philly Special“? The “yes” odds are +250, and “no” odds are -330.
How many times will the broadcast mention the age of the Rams’ 33-year-old wunderkind coach Sean McVay? OddsShark has the over-under at 1.5, with the over favored at -175. Alternatively, how many times will the broadcast mention McVay’s “get back” coach Ted Rath? OddsShark has that line at 3.5.
Sean McVay has an assistant coach just to keep him off the field ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 21, 2019
If you’re looking to get political with your bets Sunday, there are also, of course, prop bets on Donald Trump.
How many times will he tweet Sunday? Bookmaker.eu has the over-under at 9.5. Will there be any typos in Trump’s tweets? You can get +270 odds that the answer is yes.
Over at BetDSI, there’s also a prop bet on whether yardage of the longest made field goal made during the Super Bowl is more than Trump’s approval rating Monday. Notably, the prop bet is using approval rating numbers from the relatively Trump-friendly Rasmussen Reports, in case those few extra percentage points tip your decision.
For the Super Bowl commercial enthusiasts, OddsShark has a number of bets on which brand’s ad will be seen first. Avocados from Mexico (-120) or Planters (-120)? Doritos (-135) or Pringles (-105)? Audi (-200) or (Kia +150)?
In other non-football bets, Boomaker.eu has prop bets on the chance that Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine (+1,862) or fellow halftime performer Travis Scott (+940) will be shirtless at any point during the show. In the likely scenario that Levine keeps his shirt on, OddsShark has a bet on its color: Black (-200) versus any other color (+150).
Perhaps the most obscure of all the Super Bowl prop bets being offered also relates to the halftime show. Following a viral petition and a cryptic message from Maroon 5, Bookmaker.eu released odds on whether a Spongebob Squarepants inflatable or costume will be used during the halftime show (in tribute to the Nickelodeon show’s late creator).
According to the sports betting website The Action Network, the odds on “yes” started out at the +500. By Friday, they had dropped to +428, indicating that bettors and Spongebob hopefuls like their chances. After all, watch Maroon 5’s teaser video:
— Maroon 5 (@maroon5) January 13, 2019
While still unlikely, the chances that Spongebob makes a halftime show appearance seem like an almost sure bet compared to the longest odds on the prop bet sheet of sportsbook William Hill. According to the Action Network’s Darren Rovell, you can get 9,999 to 1 odds — the equivalent of +999,900 — that the Patriots or Rams score exactly four points.
While Super Bowl safety prop bets have actually proved surprisingly lucrative this past decade, bookmakers think the odds of a team solely scoring two safeties (or a field goal and an incredibly rare one-point safety) are less likely than any of the other wacky wagers on the list.
Even more unlikely than James Develin winning MVP.