Doc's Sports Recommended Super Bowl Prop Bets
by Robert Ferringo - 02/02/2007
How long will the national anthem be? How many has-been Hollywood clowns will the camera pick up in the crowd or on the sidelines? Which will be higher: Prince's weight or rushing yards by the Chicago Bears?
The Super Bowl is now just hours away. And The Big Game brings with it one of the most bizarre, intriguing, fun, idiotic and wasteful traditions in all of gambling - prop bets. Most professional handicappers are of the same opinion when it comes to prop betting, and they think it's like booze: they're OK in moderation.
There clearly is money to be made on prop bets during Super Sunday. There are literally hundreds of proposition bets to play and they range from the bizarre (the over/under on Billy Joel's rendition of the national anthem is 1 minute, 44 seconds) to the practical (which team will have the ball first). The books can't possibly be sharp on all of those lines, so a bit of research and some luck could go a long way.
This week several of the members of Doc's Sports team thought it would be fun to rank our Top 10 prop bets and pass them along to you. We pared down the options to about 40 possible wagers and then had everyone choose from those. They are random and they are whimsical, but they are all ours.
Here it is, our Top 10 prop bets for the 2007 Super Bowl:
1. Indianapolis Point Total - Under 28.5 (-125)
This one popped up on just about everyone's ballot and received the most total points from my rudimentary scoring scale. It looks like most of us here are expecting a low-scoring game and for the Bears defense to be able to suppress at least some of the Colts offensive weapons. Indy averaged 26.7 points and topped the 28-point marker in just seven of their 19 games this season - and only twice did it on grass. Oh yeah, and Chicago allowed just 15.9 points per game this season.
2. Chicago Point Total - Over 21 (-110)
It appears that I'm not the only one that isn't buying the Colts defensive Renaissance. The Colts finished 23rd in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 22.5 points per game. They also gave up 21 or more points in 11 of 19 games this season. Further, Chicago actually finished No. 2 in the NFL in scoring offense - tied with the Colts at 26.7 points per game. You're getting great value with an underrated offense facing an overrated defense.
3. Adjusted Point Spread - Chicago +3.5 (+130)
This play is like a moneyline with insurance. The fact that this was such a reoccurring and highly rated prop by our team suggests that a lot of people think the Bears can either win outright or keep it close enough for another Adam Vinatieri game-winning kick.
4. Who will have more - Mary J. Blige Total Grammy wins vs. Marvin Harrison Pass Receptions? Take Marvin Harrison (-130)
I actually love this bet. Mary J. Blige received a total of eight nominations for her album "Be Without You", including record and song of the year. The odds are that she won't sweep all eight categories, leaving six as a more realistic high. Well, Marvin Harrison has been hearing all week about how he hasn't shown up in the playoffs and I think that he's primed for a big day against Chicago's relatively young secondary.
5. Odds to win Super Bowl MVP - Rex Grossman (+500)
The Sex Cannon has taken a lot of heat for his erratic play - despite the fact that he has a higher playoff quarterback rating than Peyton Manning this year. If the Bears are to pull the upset here it will be because Rex either has a monster day or manages the game well enough to put his team in a position to win. Seeing that an even half (20) of all Super Bowl MVP's have been quarterbacks these seem like a solid value.
6. Who will score more points: the Colts or LeBron James? Colts +0.5 (-110)
At first this seems like it's counterintuitive to the No. 1 prop on this board. But when you consider that LeBron is limping around on an injured toe this bet seems a bit sweeter. LeBron is averaging 27 points on the season and is facing the notoriously stingy Detroit Pistons on Sunday. This bet is only valid if he plays, and LeBron went for just 17 points in 35 minutes on Thursday. The Detroit game would be his third in four days and I think it's a phenomenal value play.
7. What will the first score of the game be? FG or Safety (+145)
I really like this play. I expect a lot of feeling each other out and a lot of conservative play in the first half of this game - and especially in the first quarter. I think this is great value, as both offenses try to minimize turnovers and both coaches press to be the first team with points on the board.
8. Total sacks by both teams - Over 4 (+155)
To me, this is a dodgy bet. But the boys were all over it. The Bears defense averages 2.5 sacks per game (eighth in the NFL) and the Colts defense just 1.6 (30th). The Colts offensive line yielded an amazing 15 sacks for the year, best in the NFL, while Chicago's o-line was up to task, finishing sixth in the NFL while surrendering just 1.6 per game. I'm not a personal fan of this play, but who am I to argue with the masses.
9. Will there be a score in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter? Yes (+110)
Maybe it's a dramatic finish, or maybe it's a garbage touchdown. Regardless, our team thinks that this one will come down to the bitter end. I don't care if there's a score or not, I just hope that either way it doesn't blow my over/under play on this game!
10. Coin Toss - Heads (-105)
This didn't make anyone's list, but I'm throwing it on there. Could you ever walk up to someone on the street and offer to bet him or her $500 on the flip of a coin? Would you ever do it? Probably not. But that's why the Super Bowl is awesome! If you win this bet you're up before the game even starts. If you lose you head for Gambler's Anonymous. It's a win-win situation.
Oh, and why 'heads' even though tails has hit in 15 of the last 28 Super Bowls and five of the last eight? Because as my man Donny Blaze used to say, "Because tail has no place on a football field."
Questions or comments for Robert? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his Insider Page here.