Betting on the Super Bowl Coin Toss
by Alan Matthews - 1/22/2015
It's that time of year again for perhaps my least favorite story of football season and one I struggle to flush out with new information each year, but the Super Bowl Coin Toss story is always a popular read because so many people like to bet on that prop for the big game. I honestly never have, but I get that you want to get some betting momentum going and start your bankroll off right on Super Sunday.
I'm already wondering if the Patriots somehow will try to bend the rules for this year's coin toss in the wake of "deflate-gate," which by the way is the most ridiculous big story I've heard in a long time. Maybe the Patriots send their guys out with magnets to influence on which side the coin lands? Perhaps the New England equipment manager -- sure Bill Belichick, you didn't know anything about the deflated footballs in the AFC title game! -- gets his hands on the coin before the game and manipulates it to land on one side or the other. Think I'm kidding.
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One thing I will guarantee you about the Super Bowl XLIX coin toss on Feb. 1 from the University of Phoenix Stadium is that it will not be anywhere near as entertaining as last year's was at MetLife Stadium outside New York City. In case you don't remember, Joe Namath was brought out as the ceremonial coin-tosser. First off, Namath looked drunk, which as we know wouldn't be a new thing on a nationally televised NFL game. Second, he was resplendent in a waist-length, hooded mink coat even though it was unseasonably warm in the area. Third, Namath tossed the coin in the air before the referees could ask Seattle its choice of heads or tails.
Thankfully, ref Terry McAulay was paying attention and he caught the coin in mid-air. He then asked the Seahawks (visiting team makes the call) what they picked. Seattle said tails. McAulay gave the coin back to Namath, and he flipped it again without any problems. The Seahawks won the toss and deferred, and that turned out to be brilliant because Seattle scored a safety on Denver's first offensive play of the game. Really the Super Bowl was over after that.
I expect Seattle to send out backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson as part of the group for the coin toss next Sunday. That's because Jackson has been a good-luck charm for the team on the toss. In overtime of the NFC title game, Green Bay called heads on the coin toss and Jackson quickly exclaimed: "We will take the ball." That was dangerous because if a team doesn't score on the initial possession of overtime, the other team simply needs a field goal. It obviously worked out as the Seahawks did score a TD. In addition, in Week 3's Super Bowl rematch vs. Denver, the Broncos lost the coin toss in overtime in Seattle with Jackson out there. He said the Seahawks wanted the ball, and they drove down the field and scored a TD to win the game.
The Bovada props for the coin toss are the same as always, just with different teams:
*-Heads & tails each -105
*-Patriots & Seahawks each -105 to win it; New England will call as the visitor.
*-Yes & no each -115 that the team that wins the toss wins the game.
*-Yes & no each -115 that the Patriots are correct on the coin toss.
Whichever team wins will of course defer, although what was interesting about the College Football Playoff National Championship Game was that Oregon won the toss but took the ball immediately. The Ducks obviously prefer their offense on the field right away. They did score.
Heads & tails have come up 24 times each in Super Bowl history. Heads had come up in five straight Super Bowls before tails last year. The NFC has won an absurd 15 of the past 17 coin tosses. New England in Super Bowl XLVI ended a 14-year winning streak for the NFC, and then Baltimore won it the next season before Seattle ended that mini-two-game winning streak for the AFC last February.
For what it's worth, the last time the Super Bowl was held at University of Phoenix Stadium seven years ago, the huge underdog New York Giants won the toss with tails and of course upset the unbeaten Patriots.
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