Yes, betting on the Super Bowl coin toss is one of the most popular football props of the entire season – some sites release the following season’s SB coin toss props literally the day after the game. After all, it’s not like the odds exactly are going to change. I’d be interested to find out if people actually bet on coin toss futures odds. There are self-help groups out there if you do!
For the second Super Bowl in a row, you can also add a free pizza if you nail the correct coin toss. In a brilliant marketing campaign, Papa John’s is again giving away a free one-topping pizza to those who pick correctly. You have to go to the Papa John’s Web site and sign up by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 2. I did get it right last year and partook of the freebie, thank you very much. I don’t really know what’s stopping people from creating two accounts and picking each side, but I’m sure Papa John’s has a failsafe on that (IP address, for example; but if that’s the case, just use another computer). But let’s just say both of my parents and my girlfriend so happened to vote this year, unbeknownst to them. So I am guaranteed two free pizzas at a minimum. No, I didn’t get greedy and vote for one side of the coin on all four.
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If there is such a thing as a dramatic coin toss, it might be this year’s in New Orleans. Last year in Indianapolis, New York Giants caller and special teams captain Zak DeOssie chose tails, something he had done all season. It came up heads, and the Patriots deferred to the second half. It worked, as the Giants didn’t score on their first possession, but the Pats scored a TD to open the second half to take a 17-9 lead they would blow.
New England’s coin toss victory ended a streak of 14 straight seasons where the NFC had won the toss; the chance of that happening was .006 percent. The NFC had won three of the previous four Super Bowls while winning the coin toss. It was the first time tails came up since the Patriots and Giants faced off in the Super Bowl four years prior. The longest either side of the coin has come up consecutively is four in a row (both have done it).
The AFC won nine of those 14 games in the NFC’s coin toss run. Because the Baltimore Ravens are the visitors for Super Bowl XLVII against San Francisco, they will call it this year. I can almost guarantee you whichever team wins will defer. For what it’s worth, heads still leads all-time 24-22 in the Super Bowl. The NFC has won the toss a total of 31 times, the AFC 15. . The last time the AFC won back-to-back coin tosses was in Super Bowls XXIV (Broncos destroyed by 49ers) and XXV (the Scott Norwood game when Bills were upset by Giants).
Since 2008, when the NFL followed college football’s lead and allowed teams to defer to the second half after winning the coin toss, a little over 52 percent of the teams winning the toss have won regular-season games. Baltimore won the coin toss last week in New England and deferred. It technically didn’t affect the game as the Ravens punted on their first third-quarter possession down 13-7 before scoring 21 straight points to win, 28-13. The 49ers also won the coin toss last week in Atlanta and deferred. The Falcons took advantage and scored a TD on their first possession on the way to a 24-14 halftime lead. But San Francisco scored on its opening drive of the second half to recapture momentum on the way to a 28-24 victory.
At BetOnline, all coin toss options are at -103 each, including the team that wins the coin toss wins the game. The team that has won the coin toss is 22-24 overall. I am leaning heads here only because that has been the call at the past three Super Bowls at the Superdome. And the team winning the toss lost all three.
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