Home > NFL > Super Bowl 2011 Prop Bets: Recap

Super Bowl 2011 Prop Bets: Recap

The Super Bowl is over and as it is already an afterthought in most people’s minds; the real motivation for caring who won or lost is dependent on who had how much money on the outcome. One of the hilarious things about the Super Bowl (other than the many quirks that Kai pointed out in his article) is the fact that people bet on so much more than just the outcome of the game.

To the chagrin of some gamblers, Christina had her hair "down and straight" not "up and curly"

Proposition gambling bets (better known as prop bets) is where you can wager money that almost any event will or will not occur at some point in time. When this is applied to the mega-event that is the Super Bowl, you are presented with well over 300 different scenarios which you can wager on. The subject of what you can bet on may at first seem laughable (Christina Aguilera’s hair, see right), but they become more intriguing as you make your way down the list and discover bets such as “Will Ben Roethlisberger be seen hitting on Fergie at halftime?” and “Will the football hit the jumbo-tron during play?”.

I must divulge right now that I am in no way an avid, experienced, or even knowledgeable gambler and I would not want to be known as one. But after receiving my winnings from placing third in my NFL Fantasy League this year, I decided this fun money could go towards some prop bets, and make this game a little more interesting. Although I picked the Steelers to win in my previous column, I didn’t really care who won.

So, let’s take a look at the bets I made, why I made them, and how they turned out. I tried to stay away from some of the really ridiculous bets that I mentioned above, and stuck to some that I felt I could make a somewhat educated guess on. Sadly, I think by saying “somewhat educated guess” in a column on prop bets may discredit anything I have or will write for years to come.
I have organized the bets I made in three distinct categories, starting with:

Useless Bets That Didn’t Add Much To The Excitement Of The Game And Leave You With Betters’ Dissidence Afterwards

Bet: Will there be more or less than 3.5 field goals scored in the entire game?
My pick: Over 3.5
Odds: 2.15 to 1.00
Outcome: Lose
Reasoning: Not too sure on this one. For some reason I thought it was going to be a low scoring game, as my later bet on the total game score will show, but looking back, why would I root for a bunch of field goals, and how did I think there were going to be at least 4? I think to make this bet you need to be more experienced in the type of games that result in many field goals, and I don’t have that knowledge obviously. I think I should have saved my money from this lame bet and put it on the over/under of the national anthem. At least I would have gotten a minute and a half of excitement out of it rather than forgetting about field goals until the end of the game then realizing it was less than 4.

Bet: Winner of the Game
My pick: Steelers plus 2.5 points
Odds: 2.00 to 1.00
Outcome: Lose
Reasoning: This bet might not seem like it deserves to be in this category, but in hindsight and because of my lacking team allegiance, it makes sense to put it here. The Steelers lost by more than 2.5 points, I lost the bet, and I’m not overly concerned with who won the game outside of this bet. Also, I could just be bitter that I lost this bet and it didn’t really fit in any other category. Either way, I still have betters’ dissidence with this one.

Un-Fun Bets That Are Probably The Smart Bets To Make But Encourage You To Root For A Boring Game

Bet: Will either team score in the first 7 minutes and 30 second of the game?
My Pick: No
Odds: 2.25 to 1.00
Outcome: Win
Reasoning: My thinking behind all of the bets in this category, and this one specifically, are based on the fact that both the Steelers and the Packers had two weeks off prior to this game, and that they are on football’s largest most nerve racking stage. I felt comfortable with the “no score in the first 7:30” because most Super Bowls start out slow and realistically, 7:30 is only the half of the first quarter. People who are excited about a Super Bowl shootout from the start would all be betting on “yes” for this one, but I think “no” was the smarter bet. Not only did I win this one but it also fits perfectly in this category as I think I was the only one in the room who was cheering when the game clock hit 7:30 in the first quarter when nothing exciting was happening.

Bet: Total Points scored in the game, plus or minus 45
My Pick: Under 45
Odds: 1.95 to 1.00
Outcome: Lose
Reasoning: The rationale for this one really pulls straight from the last bet. Partially I wanted to go against the public opinion that this was going to be a shootout, but also I wanted to hedge the fact that it might be a boring game. Did the hedge work? Kind of, it was a fairly good game and it was a pretty small bet. Too bad it got to the point in the game where the Steelers couldn’t win the game (the bet above) and keep the score under 45. Not to worry, the Steelers lost and it still went over 45…

Bet: Will there be a successful 4th down conversion?
My Pick: No
Odds: 2.35 to 1.00
Outcome: Win
Reasoning: This one really comes out of the “two weeks off” factor that I talked about above. Usually 4th down conversions are attempted when an offence has a good rhythm and is working on a long drive in a close game. I guess I didn’t expect that situation to occur and if it did, it would not be a successful one. If I remember correctly I don’t even think that there was an attempt. I was worried though when the Steelers punted in the first half and the guy back to receive it for the Packers bobbled it and the Steelers almost recovered. Would that have counted as a 4th down conversion, since technically it was on a 4th down, and the Steelers would have gotten the first down and a 50 yard gain? Not sure what would have happened but the Packers recovered it anyways.

Non-Team Specific Bets On The Chances Of Fun/Exciting Events Occuring During The Game

Bet: Will there be a successful 2-point conversion?
My Pick: Yes
Odds: 5.05 to 1.00
Outcome: Win
Reasoning: Oh yeah! My big win for the day. This category was by far the best. The theory behind these bets is the complete opposite than the last category, and in turn, these were much more fun. So, for the 2-point conversion, as I stated before I thought it was going to be a close low-scoring game. Those types of games need small point advantages wherever possible, hence the 2-point conversion. I just had a feeling that if one was attempted it would be successful.
(Ok, maybe I just got lucky on this one)

Bet: Will there be a defensive/special-teams touchdown?
My Pick: Yes
Odds: 2.35 to 1.00
Outcome: Win
Reasoning: Looking back, this bet makes the most sense and it fits in great with this category. Not only were these two of the best defenses in the NFL this year, but it made watching the Green Bay defender running Big Ben’s interception for a touchdown just that much more exciting!

Bet: How many players will attempt a forward pass? Plus or minus 2.5
My Pick: Over 2.5
Odds: 2.95 to 1.00
Outcome: Lose
Reasoning: Despite the loss, this was probably my favorite bet of the whole weekend. Props to fellow First Off The Bench writer Seanz for pointing it out. The trick plays in football (the wildcat, flea-flicker or others) are always great, even if they don’t work. So what else would better fit into this category than hoping that either team would run one trick play? Aside from that, if either Ben Roethlisberger or Aaron Rogers got hurt in this game after making at least one throw attempt, the backup would come in and right there you have three players make a throw attempt. I thought it has a pretty good chance, and as I said, I was really happy with this one. The hope for a trick play was worth the ridiculously small denomination bet I put down.
(During the game, someone did point out that they don’t remember either of these teams even attempting one of these plays all season. Ah whatever, it was fun.)

In recap of the Super Bowl, I won 4 of 8 bets, and with the heavy odds of most of them I think I came out slightly on top. Not too bad, but really it doesn’t matter considering the small amount of money this risk-adverse writer was willing to put down on the game.

My lesson learned from Super Bowl Weekend 2011 is, if I don’t feel strongly towards one of the teams playing and I think it is a toss-up, stick to betting on random fun events to take place during the game. It makes them even more exciting.

  1. February 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Do you do a lot of betting or just when it is a big game?

    • February 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      Mostly just when it is a big game. Why do you ask?

  2. February 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I just curious because I didn’t realize they had ridiculous bets like that. Pretty sweet.

    • February 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      Haha ya, there are even more ridiculous ones. Some of them were like ” money line on, Aaron Rogers total completions vs. Blake Griffins total points plus rebounds for the Clippers game on Super Bowl Sunday”

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