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Betting on the Super Bowl Coin Toss
by - 1/21/2014

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Super Bowl Coin Toss

I have to admit that I'm a fairly long-winded person. I seemed to always do well on term papers in high school and college simply because I would usually double the amount of pages that the teacher requested. You know, overwhelm them with more quantity than quality.

That said, writing about the Super Bowl coin toss every January is something I rather dread. Why? How on earth am I going to fill up a good 600-words-or-so? I mean, how many interesting facts can I come up with? I have no idea if they will be using a special coin this year or who the honorary person to do so will be. I just know that bad boy is probably going to bounce pretty hard on the MetLife turf with temperatures expected to be around freezing by kickoff on Feb. 2. I have yet to hear confirmation that Papa John's is doing its annual coin toss promotion for free pizza, which is a bummer because I've capitalized on that the past two years. One would think the promotion would have been announced by now, but perhaps it was too much of a money loser.

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Yet the coin toss bet continues to be one of the biggest moneymakers every year for the books. People just can't help themselves when it comes to this because it's an immediate return and a way to generate a little financial momentum into the kickoff. And the book makes out like a bandit because it always wins when bets are mostly 50-50. Obviously the odds for either heads or tails is never going to change. It does surprise me that some book looking for a little marketing edge doesn't make either heads or tails a small favorite just to draw customers. I'm also surprised some big company hasn't bought that air time because so many people are watching it: the Super Bowl coin toss presented by Burger King or something.

The coin toss odds currently up at Bovada are as follows:
*-Will the team that chooses heads or tails be correct: both -115
*-Team to win the coin toss: Denver and Seattle both -105
*-Will the team that wins the coin toss win  the game: both yes and no -115
*-Heads or tails: both -105

If you are looking for me to give you some sort of insight on what to pick here, well sorry to disappoint. But I will simply give you some recent trends. For one, the Seahawks are the visiting team and thus will call it. Teams now generally defer to the second half, but I wonder if Seattle might prefer to take the ball first, hope for an early lead and keep that Peyton Manning offense off the field as long as possible. Could the weather be a factor in a team deferring or not? What if a snowstorm is projected to hit sometime around halftime?  Just saying -- I'm trying to hit my word count here.

The coin toss result has been rather streaky of late. Heads won for the fifth straight year last season in New Orleans. The Ravens won the toss, becoming the second straight AFC team to do so. They became the fourth straight team to win the toss and then the game. Before that, we had that crazy 14 straight coin toss wins by the NFC. Manning's former Colts team lost both coin tosses and of course went 1-1 in those Super Bowls. The Seahawks won their coin toss against Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL and lost that game. Also prior to this current five-game winning streak for heads, tails won nine of the previous 11.

Denver won the coin toss in the AFC title game when New England called heads and it came up tails. The Pats did nothing on their opening drive, while the Broncos scored a TD on their first after intermission. The 49ers won the coin toss last week in Seattle and deferred. That worked out quite well at first as Russell Wilson fumbled on the Seahawks' first play and the Niners would kick a field goal.

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