Finally, after two weeks of hype that’s been anything but a San Francisco treat, it’s time for the biggest party of the year. Super Bowl Sunday. Super Betting Sunday.
Sure, at this time of the year, I’m usually not too far from the horse racing windows, as I’m gearing up for another Triple Crown season, but hey, Exacta Kenny isn’t immune to wagering on the pigskin, too. While most of the betting public will be laying 5 1/2 points and expect Cam and Co. to run away and hide from the aging Manning and his stable of ponies, I prefer to find some value – monetarily and entertainment-wise – with a few of the dozens of prop bets offered.
For those of you not headed to an out-of-state casino or who don’t have an online wagering site to throw down a Washington or two, a lot of these bets can be done with friends at your neighborhood Super Bowl shindig. Let’s take a look at 10 that have a chance to be lucrative – or are just plain absurd.
Betting on Peyton to score the first TD? Keep in mind it only counts for QBs if they run it. He’s more likely to trip into the end zone.
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1. First player to score a touchdown
I’m starting with this one because it’s my favorite every year. Anticipation is always at its highest at the beginning of the game as we see which team seizes the momentum. I decide which team I’m picking in the game and go with an off-beat player from that team, looking for at least 10-1 odds. My hunch says the Panthers will come out firing, so I’m hoping speed-burner Ted Ginn Jr. (10-1) will catch the defense off guard early and blaze away for the first score. I’m also intrigued by Carolina’s bowling-ball fullback, Mike Tolbert (16-1), sneaking away with an early goal-line TD. Peyton Manning is tempting at 50-1, but keep in mind it only counts for quarterbacks if they run it in. Yes, I said run. Peyton’s more likely to trip into the end zone.
2. Will Peyton be seen crying at any point during the entire broadcast?
The disclaimer with this prop: You must clearly see a tear. Odds are plus-600 that he’ll cry and minus-1,200 that he won’t. Are you kidding me? If you can get 6-1 that he’ll cry during this game, drive to the store and buy yourself a box of Kleenex because it’s going to be sweet victory. The tears will start flowing late in the fourth quarter when the Panthers have long put away the game. Heck, I’d take this bet at even money. This is a great one to play against a buddy at your house party. Expect waterworks from Manning.
Even the most degenerate gambler can’t be hoping to be paid off on account of a natural disaster, can they? Welcome to Super Sunday and the world of prop bets.
3. Will there be an earthquake during the game?
Well, I wish I was kidding on this one, but this one really exists. Odds are 10-1 that “yes,” there will be. There is not a wager for “no.” I wouldn’t bet yes if it was 1,000-1. In the interest of public safety, let’s really hope there isn’t.
4. Will the Panthers player who scores the team’s first TD give it to a boy or girl?
If you’ve been living under a rock this season, here’s a news flash: The Panthers love hitting the stands after a score and making a kid’s day. Now, this is a total coin flip bet in my mind, so I have to go with the pick that’s better than 50-50 odds. Here’s to seeing Tolbert hand that pigskin to a smiling girl (+150), sending all the boys (-200) back to their seats disappointed.
5. How many times will the Golden Gate Bridge be shown during the broadcast?
Who likes free money? I know I do. Well, with the over being -300 for just 0.5 times, that means all CBS needs to do is show the bridge once from the opening kick to the final whistle. Once? Think of all the commercial breaks and the chance for the network to show the iconic scenes from the beautiful Bay Area. Make this play and take the 33 cents on the dollar.
6. Will Cam Newton break the Super Bowl record of most rushing yards by a QB?
Run, Cam, run. With Denver expected to bring the pressure, the pocket should collapse on Newton a lot and he’ll be off to the races. The record is 64 yards, held by the late Steve McNair in Super Bowl XXXIV. With solid odds of +275 that he’ll hit 65 yards or more, I trust that Cam’s playmaking will get him over the hump and into the record book.
Why in the world are we worried about a Sacramento Kings game and the New Hampshire Republican primary on Super Bowl Sunday? If there is a creative cross-wager, count on oddsmakers to find it.
7. What will be higher: Cam Newton’s total rushing yards or DeMarcus Cousins’ points and rebounds combined?
Piggybacking off the last item, this cross-sport prop is gold if you’re a believer that Cam will gallop to the rushing record. I respect Boogie’s game, but he faces the Celtics, in Boston, at 10 a.m. Cali time. Boogie’s not scoring 50 points and hauling in 20 boards when he should still be in bed. Hey, don’t scowl at me, Boogie, it is what it is.
8. Will Carolina win Super Bowl 50 and the Golden State Warriors win the 2015-16 NBA championship?
This cross-sport prop is a no-brainer for me. I’m all about the Panthers in this game. And the Warriors? Well, if you ask my colleagues at The Bee, they’ll tell you they’re sick of seeing me in my rapidly fading blue Warriors sweatshirt three days a week (OK, sometimes four). This Golden dynasty is just getting started. I’ll take the meager 2-1 odds on this one and wait patiently until June.
9. Will there be a missed extra point?
The 2015 season has been a year of the shank, or the year of the pull hook, depending on your preferred ball flight on the golf course. Gostkowski, Walsh, Carpenter … the list goes on and on. The two key legs in this matchup – Denver’s Brandon McManus and Carolina’s Graham Gano – have combined to miss four extra points this season. With a +325 outcome for a miss, just be that guy (or gal) at your Super Bowl party and scream for a shank when everyone else is headed to the fridge.
10. What will be higher: Total points scored by the winning Super Bowl team, or Donald Trump’s percentage points in New Hampshire?
Last, but certainly least, let’s mix it up here. I care as much about politics as I do about the NHL, but hey, I need a reason to pay attention Tuesday night. This one’s tough. After doing some feeble research, I expect Trump’s winning percentage to land slightly on the north side of 30. The Panthers blew well past that number in the NFC title game, but I expect Denver’s defense to show up. As long as Peyton limits the mallards he tosses up and doesn’t give away points on a pick-six, I’ll side with The Donald. But, with odds of -200, he’d probably advise me to do better things with my money.
Now that football season is almost over, it’s time to think Kentucky Derby. Drop Exacta Kenny a line with your early favorite at firstname.lastname@example.org.