The Super Bowl isn't awesome just because it's a culmination of a season's worth of NFL action, though it is awesome for that reason. It's also awesome because everyone you know ends up gambling on the game in some form or fashion.
Super Bowl parties fill up with those square games and the true degenerates among us lay money on stupid things like "What color will Beyonce's shirt be at the beginning of the halftime show?"
Such bets are called "prop bets," and we've got a full breakdown of some of the more exotic ones from Bovada.lv and Sportsbook.ag below.
Dive on in and leave your picks in the comments or let me know how awesome my picks were on Twitter @WillBrinson.
And check out the answers that various celebrities gave CBSSports.com's Adena Andrews on their picks for the prop bets.
|Entertainment Prop Bets|
There are two critical props when it comes to the Super Bowl that every upstanding citizen has to bet on: the coin toss (an old standby) and the length of the national anthem (the hot new prop).
Bet: How long will Alicia Keys take to sing the national anthem?
Line: Over/under 2 minutes, 15 seconds
Pick: This is a LARGE line; Kelly Clarkson's line last year was just 1 minute, 34 seconds. Go back and watch Whitney Houston's rendition (one of the all-time greats, but a long, note-holding version). First note to last note it's like two minutes. I can't fathom Keys going over 2:15.
Bet: Will Alicia Keys add at least one word to the national anthem?
Line: Yes +200, No -300
Pick: What is she going to drop? "ROCK-ETS RED GLARE ON FIRE"? You don't add words to the National Freaking Anthem.
Bet: Will Alicia Keys forget or omit at least one word of the national anthem?
Line: Yes +150, No -200
Pick: Professional singers don't leave out words to the National Anthem. Only people like Carl Lewis and Christina Aguilera do that.
Bet: Will Alicia Keys be booed during or after her rendition of the US national anthem?
Line: Yes (5/1)
Pick: There's almost zero chance of this happening, barring Keys pulling a Roseanne. But if you're really feeling "all in" on the anthem, bet that she adds a word, misses a word, goes over 2:15 and then bet yes here. The combo could get her booed.
Bet: Will Beyonce be joined by Jay-Z on stage at halftime of the Super Bowl show?
Line: Yes +110, No -150
Pick: Logic says no. But if you, like me, have two ears and a heart, you're thinking yes here.
Bet: Will Beyonce's hair be curly/crimped or straight at the beginning of the Super Bowl halftime show?
Line: Straight -140, Curly/Crimped EVEN
Pick: Mrs. Brinson says "curly, or at least voluminous." Do not bet against Mrs. Brinson.
Bet: What predominant color will Beyonce's top be at the beginning of the Super Bowl halftime show?
Line: Black (9/4), Gold/Yellow (11/4), Silver/Grey (7/2), White (5/1), Red (13/2), Pink (15/2) Orange (12/1), Blue (15/1), Green (15/1)
Pick: My best guess is gold/yellow because of New Orleans. But Mrs. Brinson points out that Beyonce's baby is named "BLUE." This a sleeping cash cow, kids. Like I said: Don't bet against my wife.
|Harbaugh Family Prop Bets|
Bet: Will either Jack or Jackie Harbaugh be shown on TV wearing any clothing that has either a SF or BAL log on it?
Line: Yes +200, No -300
Pick: No. It doesn't pay out well (see above) but load up on no and ride the neutral clothes that the parents will wear (they've said that's what they'll wear) to free money. It's a mortal lock.
Bet: How many times will Jack Harbaugh be shown on TV during the game?
Line: Over/under 1.5
Pick: Now, you're not getting even money for "over" (it's -140) so this isn't free money, but unless Jack Harbaugh's hiding in the basement of the Superdome, our CBS cameras will find him more than two times during the game. You can run, but you cannot hide, Mr. Harbaugh.
Bet: How long will the postgame handshake/hug last between Jim and John Harbaugh?
Line: Over/under 7.5 seconds
Pick: I'm predicting a Ravens win and I'm assuming that Jim won't hang around to hug it out that long, so ... under.
Bet: How many times will the game be referred to as the Harbaugh Bowl or Har Bowl or Super Baugh during the game?
Line: Over/under 2.5
Pick: [Moves to Las Vegas] [Bets first-born child on the over]
Bet: Who will be shown first during the game?
Line: Jim Harbaugh (1/1), John Harbaugh (1/1), Split screen shot of both (4/1)
Pick: I'd guess Jim because the 49ers are home, but we (CBS) do AFC games so maybe John's the better bet? Split screen is the smart money, though, for the upside.
Bet: Who will be mentioned more by full name during the game?
Line: Jim Harbaugh (-120), John Harbaugh (-120)
Pick: You're just as good of betting on the coin flip.
Bet: How many times will Harbaugh be said during the game?
Line: Over/under 20.5
Pick: This line must be a typo. I would take the over on 20,000.5.
Bet: Will any Baltimore or San Francisco player on the active roster be arrested during the week before Super Bowl XLVII?
Line: Yes (5/1)
Pick: New Orleans makes this an interesting possibility, but don't set your money on fire. Avoid.
Bet: Who will Barack Obama pick to win the game?
Line: Ravens (-200), 49ers (+150)
Pick: Apparently Las Vegas is forgetting who was a quarterback for the Bears: Jim Harbaugh, y'all. Load on the Niners despite the proximity of Baltimore to D.C.
Bet: What will the TV rating be for the Super Bowl?
Line: Over/under 46
Pick: I'd take the over, but there's not enough immediate satisfaction involved here for my liking.
Bet: How average viewers will the game have?
Line: Over/under 111 million
Pick: Again: over, but a lack of satisfaction here.
Bet: Which region will have higher ratings?
Line: Baltimore (-150), San Francisco (+110)
Pick: I can't get noooooo ... satisfaction.
Bet: What will happen with the Dow Jones after the Super Bowl?
Line: Market Up (+140), Market Down (Even)
Pick: After I reinvigorate the New Orleans economy by purchasing $5,000 worth of beignets, the market will spike up.
Bet: What will be the highest tweets per second during the Super Bowl?
Line: Over/under 15,000
Pick: Always take the over on this stuff; it's growing rapidly.
|Post Super Bowl Prop Bets|
Bet: What color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the winning coach?
Line: Clear/Water (7/4), Orange (5/2), Yellow (5/2), Green (13/2), Red (13/2) Blue (13/2)
Pick: Will the Ravens give John Harbaugh one regardless of what the outcome is? Looks to me like the Ravens and the 49ers are dumping yellow these days. That would be my pick.
Bet: Who will the Super Bowl MVP of the game thank first?
Line: Teammates (5/4), God (5/2), Coach (12/1), Family (12/1), Owner (15/1), Doesn't Thank Anyone (9/4)
Pick: I generally don't bet against God, particularly when the Big Guy is getting odds.
Bet: If Ray Lewis is interviewed after the game on the field or in the locker room how many times will he mention "God/Lord"?
Line: Over/under 3
Pick: The only bigger lock than God Himself is Ray Lewis mentioning Him at least 10 times in an interview.
|Super Bowl MVP Award Odds|
Bet: Who will win Super Bowl MVP?
Colin Kaepernick (7/4)
Joe Flacco (11/4)
Frank Gore (7/1)
Ray Lewis (7/1)
Ray Rice (10/1)
Michael Crabtree (14/1)
Anquan Boldin (16/1)
Vernon Davis (18/1)
Torrey Smith (20/1)
Ed Reed (33/1)
Aldon Smith (40/1)
Dennis Pitta (40/1)
Randy Moss (40/1)
Patrick Willis (50/1)
Terrell Suggs (50/1)
Dashon Goldson (66/1)
David Akers (66/1)
LaMichael James (66/1)
Navorro Bowman (66/1)
Bernard Pierce (75/1)
Justin Tucker (75/1)
Ted Ginn, Jr. (75/1)
Alex Smith (100/1)
Delanie Walker (100/1)
Pick: OK a few things. First: Ray Lewis is a horrible bet, even if people who vote on these things will want to give it to him for sentimentality's sake. Second: Why does Akers have the same odds as LaMichael? Third: Alex Smith is spiiiiiicy. Fourth: I'd roll dice on Torrey Smith. Since Super Bowl XXXVII, only four non-QBs won the MVP. Safety Dexter Jackson and three wide receivers (Deion Branch, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes). Boldin's a sleeper, too, and if he and Smith split the Ravens yardage and Baltimore wins, it'll go to Flacco. But I like Smith and the deep threat.
|First TD Scored|
Bet: Who will score the first touchdown in the Super Bowl?
Frank Gore (13/2)
Ray Rice (15/2)
Michael Crabtree (15/2)
Anquan Boldin (8/1)
Colin Kaepernick (8/1)
Vernon Davis (9/1)
Torrey Smith (10/1)
Dennis Pitta (12/1)
Randy Moss (12/1)
Delanie Walker (18/1)
Bernard Pierce (20/1)
Ed Dickson (25/1)
Jacoby Jones (25/1)
Joe Flacco (30/1)
Vonta Leach (33/1)
Ed Reed (33/1)
Anthony Dixon (33/1)
Ted Ginn, Jr (33/1)
Ray Lewis (50/1)
No TD (75/1)
Pick: Where's LaMichael on here? I'd LOVE him if he were like 20/1. Don't like him on the field bet quite as much however. I'm a fan of the Torrey Smith bet again here -- Julio Jones scored early and often for the Falcons against the 49ers.
|Team Prop Bets|
Bet: Will there be a safety?
Line: Yes (+700), No (-1000)
Pick: Could there possibly be a safety TWO YEARS IN A ROW? Yes, it's possible. But not likely. On the other hand, aren't the Harbaughs the type of guys who will take an intentional safety?
Bet: Coin toss results
Line: Heads (-105), Tails (-105)
Pick: I'm a tails kind of guy, but knock yourself out heads people. Just make sure if you're betting you're betting on this one. It sets the stage for the rest of the game.
Bet: Will the team that wins the coin toss win the game?
Line: Yes (-115), No (-115)
Pick: I'd take yes, mainly because I'd expect them to defer and get the ball first in the second half. Wind is not a factor in a dome.
Bet: Team to score first wins the game?
Line: Yes (-180), No (+150)
Pick: Love no here, especially after these teams got in big holes during the NFC and AFC Championship Games.
Bet: Will either team score three unanswered times in the game?
Line: Yes (-180), No (+150)
Pick: This bet is always mind-blowing. You'd think no is a lock, right? Not true at all. This happens more than you think and it happened in both of the championship games.
Bet: Will there be a score in the final two minutes of the first half?
Line: Yes (-280), No (+220)
Pick: Yes is a safe bet since John Fox is not coaching in the Super Bowl.
Bet: Which will be the highest scoring quarter?
Line: 1st (4/1), 2nd (8/5), 3rd (3/1), 4th (2/1)
Pick: The fourth is the bet here -- traditionally fourth quarters are the highest-scoring in recent Super Bowls.
Bet: Will there be a scoreless quarter in the game?
Line: Yes (+300), No (-400)
Pick: Both teams are defensive-minded squads, so yes looks like a nice bet ... but these teams have explosive offenses. The game is in a dome so a track meet is possible. I wouldn't touch this.
Bet: Will the game go to overtime?
Line: Yes (+600), No (-1000)
Pick: It's quite unlikely we get overtime (though it is a Harbowl so who knows) and it's not that great of value to gamble that we will.
Bet: Largest lead for either team will be ...
Line: Over/under 13
Pick: Both teams were down by at least 13 in their conference championship games and if you think at least one team will score three times in a row, the over is a pretty good bet.
Bet: Will there be a lead change in the second half?
Line: Yes (+150), No (-180)
Pick: Love yes here -- I'd expect things to be close and the two teams to swap scores and the lead at some point.
Bet: Longest touchdown will be ...
Line: Over/under 46.5
Pick: My man Pete Prisco predicts at least a 50-yard play for Torrey Smith, so take the over. Wait, maybe that means you should take the under.
Bet: Will there be a defensive or special teams touchdown in the game?
Line: Yes (+160), No (-200)
Pick: No is the safer bet, but yes pays pretty good money and you've got Jacoby Jones, Ted Ginn, Jr., Ed Reed and a plethora of defensive playmakers on both teams.
Bet: How many successful field goals will be kicked in the game?
Line: Over/under 3.5
Pick: The over (+120) pays a little better than the under (-150) and with good reason: there will only three field goals total in both the championship games. I'd expect these coaches to get aggressive and they can run the ball well/score in the red zone effectively, so take the under.
Bet: Will either team successfully convert a 4th down attempt?
Line: Yes (-250), No (+200)
Pick: Pretty sure yes is a total lock (BE. AGGRESSIVE. B-E-A ...) but the payoff isn't worth the investment.
Bet: Total number of penalties by both teams
Line: Over/under 13.5
Pick: Under, under, under. We're talking disciplined teams here.
Bet: Will there be a successful two-point conversion?
Line: Yes (+350), No (-500)
Pick: I'd roll dice on yes. Aggressive coaches who aren't afraid to bust out some sneaky stuff and/or fakes.
Bet: Total Joe Flacco passing yards
Line: Over/under 250
Pick: Flacco's gone over 250 in four of his past six games, throwing for 240 against the Patriots and 34 against the Bengals after he was pulled early. The over's a good bet here.
Bet: Longest completion by Flacco
Line: Over/under 40.5
Pick: Flacco's probably got the best deep-ball arm in the NFL. How could you take the under here?
Bet: Ray Rice total rushing yards
Line: Over/under 69.5
Pick: Hey diddle, diddle, Bernard Pierce up the middle. Take the under.
Bet: Longest Ray Rice rush
Line: Over/under 17.5 yards
Pick: With the 49ers linebacking corps being as good as it is, I'm a fan of the under.
Bet: Total recieving yards by Anquan Boldin
Line: Over/under 67.5
Pick: Boldin's been a beast in the playoffs and likely would've topped 68 yards for the third straight game if the Ravens weren't melting clock late against New England.
Bet: Longest reception by Anquan Boldin
Line: Over/under 27.5
Pick: But Boldin's not exactly the definition of a deep threat; he had a 50-yard catch against the Colts but the 49ers cornerbacks are better. Under.
Bet: Total receiving yards by Torrey Smith
Pick: Over/under 65.5
Pick: Smith's gone over this total in his last two games and he's Baltimore's deep threat. Over.
Bet: Longest reception by Torrey Smith
Pick: Again, they're going to take shots. He just has to catch one.
Bet: Over/under tackles by Ray Lewis
Pick: The under id the technically accurate play here, but people LOVE to give Lewis more tackles than he's actually accrued so I wouldn't touch this one.
Bet: Will Ed Reed intercept a pass?
Line: Yes (+300), No (-500)
Pick: You want to bet against Ed Reed for very little return or gamble on the gambler for a big pay day? Exactly.
Bet: Total passing yards by Colin Kaepernick
Line: Over/under 232.5
Pick: He went over this total against the Packers and the Falcons. What am I missing here?
Bet: Longest completion by Colin Kaepernick
Line: Over/under 37.5
Pick: That's a big chunk of yardage but Kaep has a big chunk of laser on his right arm.
Bet: Total rushing yards by Colin Kaepernick
Line: Over/under 50.5
Pick: WHERE'S JOE FLACCO'S RUSH YARDS BET? Just kidding. Joe Flacco can't run. I'd guess the Ravens approach this game more like the Falcons (limit Kaep at the cost of Frank Gore running) than the Packers (don't bother preparing on defense at all).
Bet: Will Colin Kaepernick score a rushing touchdown?
Line: Yes (+110), No (-140)
Pick: The lack of a payday for no only reinforces my belief that Kaep won't run wild in this game. Don't like him to score.
Bet: Total rushing yards for Frank Gore
Line: Over/under 82.5
Pick: With Kendall Hunter out, LaMichael James has stepped in and done some nice work backing up/relieving Gore. But Gore's still gone over 90 yards in each of the 49ers playoff games. The Ravens have allowed 91 yards to Vick Ballard, 83 yards to Ronnie Hillman and 70 yards to Stevan Ridley. Love the over here.
Bet: Longest rush for Frank Gore
Line: Over/under 17.5
Pick: Also like the over here as well: the 49ers are capable of creating big holes and letting Gore get lose. He had a 26-yard run against Green Bay and an 11-yard run against the Falcons as his long runs of the game.
Bet: Total receiving yards for Michael Crabtree
Line: Over/under 77.5
Pick: Over here as well: Crab was bottled up by the Falcons, but that's primarily because the 49ers exploited Atlanta's willingness not to defend Vernon Davis. He gets back on track against the Ravens.
Bet: Longest reception for Michael Crabtree
Line: Over/under 29.5
Pick: Don't love the over here, but Crabtree does too much damage after the catch to take the under.
Bet: Total receiving yards for Vernon Davis
Pick: Not a fan of expecting big numbers from Vernon, if only because he was a forgotten man until the Atlanta game. Could see him go low here.
Bet: Longest reception by Vernon Davis
Line: Over/under 20.5
Pick: See: above.
Bet: Who will have more tackles?
Line: Ray Lewis XLVII -5.5 vs. Ray Lewis XXXV (five tackles)
Pick: Crazy that Lewis only had five tackles huh? He also batted four passes though. I'd expect his number to be much higher in this one and I like the over, as I expect the 49ers to run the ball, which will lead to Lewis being near Gore/James when they go down and that'll mean getting credited for tackles.
Bet: Who will have more passing yards?
Line: Steve Young in Super Bowl XXIX (325 yards) vs. Colin Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII +89.5 yards
Pick: How you feel about Kaep's regular over/under (232.5) should impact this bet, because you need him to get 236 yards to top Young. If you like his regular over (I do) then don't touch this. If you like his regular under, don't touch it and hit this instead. It's three free yards.
Bet: Who will have more rushing yards?
Line: Steve Young in Super Bowl XXIX (49 yards) vs. Colin Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII - pick 'em
Pick: Again, same thing as above. If you like his regular over (50.5), take it here instead. If you like the under, don't mess with it.
Bet: Who will have the longest rush?
Line: Steve Young (-130) had a 21-yard rush in Super Bowl XXIX versus Colin Kaepernick (even)
Pick: I like the under for his rushing yardage, so I inherently don't like this.
Bet: Who will have more rushing yards?
Line: Jamal Lewis, 102 yards in Super Bowl XXXV versus Ray Rice in Super Bowl XLVII +30.5 rushing yards
Pick: So basically can Ray Rice go over 71.5 rushing yards. His normal over/under is 69.5 rushing yards so, again, if you like the over don't touch this. But if you like the under, hit it here instead of on the regular line.
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