It is almost time for Super Bowl 50 and that means that many sports bettors, especially those who are looking to have some fun rather than make some cash, will be checking out the many proposition bets that bookies will offer. Prop bets should not be made in order to attempt to make a big score or make up for losses. Why not?
That’s because most, although not all, prop bets, are based on happenstance. It’s almost impossible to properly handicap them. Still, some of these prop bets, such as the over/under on Newton’s or Manning’s passing yards, may be made after careful consideration of specific stats
Why Offer Props?
Many online bookies will offer eight, 10, or more props on every NFL game. Others will focus on basic meat and potato wagers such as the spread, moneyline, and over/under. But the Super Bowl seems to inspire a long list of wagers, many of which are ridiculous, that you never seen at any other time. Why do bookies offer these wagers that may include calling the coin flip, the over/under on the length of the national anthem, and other such bets?
The easiest answer is because they know people will bet on them. Why will people bet on them? That occurs for two basic reasons. The first is the Super Bowl inspires a carnival atmosphere that attracts a wide range of people, many of whom don’t care very much about football. The big game also attracts casual bettors and many new bettors. They tend to look at props as having great entertainment value. So they bet on them.
The other reason that so many proposition bets are offered has to do with the fact that this is the final game of the NFL season. Thus, bookmakers know that bettors are willing and wanting to make extra wagers. All of a sudden, in a few short playoff weeks, NFL bettors have gone from having 14 to 16 games on which to bet to just one. And that one game signals the end of the season. Unlike baseball, hockey, or basketball, with the NFL, there’s no series to bet on. It’s one game and then the most popular sports venue for American bettors closes down. After the Super Bowl, avid NFL sports bettors will, of course, instantly turn to next year’s futures.
Should You Bet Props?
Bet props if you want to but don’t try to make a killing doing so. As mentioned, many prop bets are based on chance and they usually offer even odds. Other props ask that you choose between two very different types of occurrences, like trying to determine if the field goal kicker will make more three-pointers than receptions made by a specified player. This is an apple and oranges wager and there’s no way to properly handicap it.
In the end, the bettor should beware of props. Treat them as what they are, entertainment wagers, and focus on making your cash on those old standards, the point spread, moneyline, or over/under.
Here are just a few of the common props you’ll find at many online books. There are many more.
Coin Toss (Total guess)
Will there be a safety? (Probably not)
Will there be a successful two-point conversion? (It depends)
Will there be a missed extra point? (It’s probable)
Who will have more? (I give up!)
Stephen Curry three-point field goals made: pick ’em +110
Greg Olsen receptions: pick ’em -130
Who will have more? (Same reaction as the last bet)
Rory McIlroy fourth-round score: +0.5 -110
Emmanuel Sanders receiving yards: -0.5 -110
Enjoy the Super Bowl
Whatever you decide to do as a sports bettor remember that the Super Bowl is just one game. Wager on it carefully, enjoy the spectacle, and have a great time watching the game, the half-time show, and the commercials. After that, there’s the NBA, NHL, and MLB, as well as college basketball, on which you can bet. And don’t forget about soccer!