Saturday, February 05, 2005

Super Bowl Proposition Bets

Last week I picked the Patriots to win by 18 points and earlier this week I reaffirmed that position. Picking the winner of a game is something you can do on any game though. What really makes the Super Bowl special are the proposition bets (whenever I hear or read those words I always think, "Hey bet - you going out? You're not a cop are ya?").

Coin Flip: there is a statistical advantage that says a coin tends to land with the same side up as what was up when it was tossed. Now since the Eagles are the visiting team and since they will most likely call heads and since heads will be probably up when the ref tosses the coin - take the Eagles to win the coin flip. This bet is literally a toss up.

First team to score: the Patriots always score first and Sunday should be no different. However, the Patriots are a big favorite here -$170 to the Eagles +$150 (meaning you would have to risk $170 to win $100 on the Patriots or risk just $100 to win $150 on the Eagles) and this really is a coin flip of a bet. If someone said that they would pay you 1.5 times on tails - you'd have to think that was a smart percentage bet. (Although to be upfront - I'm not betting against the Patriots in any way except for the coin toss.)

The Philadelphia Eagles were originally known as the Frankford Yellowjackets - I'd give the points on none of the other party guests or bar patrons knowing that bit of trivia (bet void in Frankford and surrounding towns).

Total sacks by each team: the over / under is 5. I say take the under. Tom Brady does not get sacked much in big games and Donovan McNabb is more prone to scramble past the line of scrimage or throw the ball away.

Total field goals by each team: the over / under is 3.5. I say take the over.

Here's an intersting one. There is a proposition bet on which coach will challenge a play first. This bet is pure circumstance and luck but there is a second proposition bet that goes along with this. The second bet is whether the play will be overturned (+$110) or stand (-$150). Neither coach will want to waste a timeout in this game and coupling that with the fact that there will be replays on everything including the water boys bring gatorade out onto the field tells me to take "overurned" on this bet.

Team to commit the most turnovers: Philly (-$165) or Pats (+$125). Take the Phillies. This is free money.

I'm not putting money on this bet but I think it is telling that it exists at all. The bet is "Will the Eagles ever hold the lead?" and the odds are -$180 for YES and +$130 for NO. Have I mentioned that the Patriots will win by 18?

Total number of kickoff returns: the over / under is 10. This one is tricky. Don't forget that there is no return on a ball kicked off out of bounds or downed in the end zone. Just saying.

Betting arbitrage: the lines for the specific number of points to be scored by the Patriots are all over 15-1 once you get to 36 points. If you think the Patriots will score a lot of points (and I do) then you could place a bet on everything over 36 and almost guarantee yourself a win. You would hope that 38 didn't come in (just 15-1) and you would root for 39 (40-1), 46 (45-1) or 48 (48-1) to come in. Put it this way, if you put $10 on the 15 bets from 36 points to 50 points or more and 38 was the final number - then you'd break even. If 48 points was the final number then you'd win $330 ($480 minus the $150 total placed on all the numbers).

There is an alternative game line that would pay $325 for ever $100 bet if you take the Patriots giving 17.5 points. Just saying.

I'm Spartacus! Really. I'm Spartacus.

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