As the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons prepare to face off in Super Bowl LI on Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET on FOX), thousands of fans will be betting big bucks on the game. It seems quite probable that Vegas will break the record of money wagered that was set last year, when $132.5 million was bet on Broncos-Panthers -- underdog Denver's win meant that the sportsbook had a good day. However, while simply betting on who will win and how many total points will be scored may be popular, it's not necessarily "fun."
That's where prop bets come in.
Every year, hundreds of prop bets are made and can be gambled on. Just like how you make dumb bets with your friends, sportsbooks are willing to make dumb bets with you on everything from the color of Lady Gaga's hair to whether or not Joe Buck is going to shave before the game (tougher thing to predict than you might think). From the straightforward to the downright insane, these are some of the more interesting prop bets around -- plus a few extra that we made up.
Coin toss: player will call "heads" is -700 compared to +450 for "tails."
Interestingly enough, this is a simple wager that caused instant regret at gambling site bookmaker.eu. A "low-level" employee there set the odds at 50/50, like a coin flip -- which makes sense, right? Except that the Patriots are going to be calling the toss and New England always calls "heads." Always. The line has since moved and you'll be paid quite well if you bet on "tails" and the Pats decide to get weird, but otherwise this is a really obvious call to make. Not all coin flips are 50/50.
Peyton Manning commercials: over/under 1.5
There is more mystery to Super Bowl commercials than you may think, even as more and more of them "leak" to YouTube before the big game. But it seems as if we've seen at least three different Manning commercials just today without even turning on the TV. Take the over.
Broadcast booth will say "Matty Ice": yes at -450, no at +300
There are many prop bets about what Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and the other members of the FOX broadcast team will do and how often they'll do it … which seems strange, because they are human beings who are perfectly capable of reading the prop bets ahead of time and then just doing, or not doing, those things.
On "The Howard Stern Show" this week, Buck said he will not be saying "Matty Ice" because it sounds cheesy. He said he won't get into Aaron Hernandez (was +450), or Michael Vick (over/under at 1.5). He did however say he'd probably mention Tom Brady being a sixth round pick ("yes" at -170) and that he might indeed be sporting a beard (10-to-1 odds that he'd be clean shaven.) He did say on Stern that Bill Belichick is "the greatest coach" and the over/under on the broadcast team calling any player, coach, or team "the greatest of all-time" is 5.5. Buck also said he might just place some money on himself because nobody is stopping him.
Number of times "Deflategate" is said: over/under at 2.5
Buck knows he can't help himself and most people are betting the "over" on this one.
• Lady Gaga's hair color: favorite is blonde/yellow at -465, longshot is orange at +2860
• Lady Gaga's first song: "Bad Romance" was the leader at -115 but now "The Edge of Glory" is at -105. Longshot is "Paparazzi" at +2500. "Born This Way" went +800 to +2000.
• Lady Gaga mentions Trump: yes +250, no -350
As usual, there are plenty of bets for the Super Bowl halftime show. One thing we know for sure is that there won't be anything to bet on as far as "surprise appearances," because it's already confirmed that Gaga will be working alone. As far as the hair, the odds of the pop star being blonde have gotten greater and greater since the prop bets opened, and she's most recently been seen with short blonde hair. But of course, wigs are in play. Another big question leading up to the game has been whether or not Gaga would use the platform to speak out against Donald Trump. The NFL even had to come out and say that they did not ban her from saying something about Trump. There are also 12-to-1 odds that there will be a halftime sound malfunction. That's doubtful but fun to consider.
As far as the classic "length of the national anthem," the over/under has been set at 2 minutes and 7.5 seconds for country singer Luke Bryan. There's evidence of him going way under that and way over that in previous renditions of "The Star-spangled Banner." I say take the over -- this is Bryan's chance to shine.
Player prop bets
Julio Jones receiving yards: over/under 98.5
The Patriots have a great corner with Malcolm Butler, but he's way undersized to cover Jones on his own, meaning that Eric Rowe may be lining up against Jones for much of the game. Take the "over."
LeGarrette Blount rushing yards: over/under 53.5
Belichick is a monster to try and predict what he does with his running backs on any given day. Take the "under."
Devonta Freeman rushing yards: over/under 35.5
Freeman has gone under 35.5 yards only three times all year. Take the "over."
Dion Lewis rushing yards: over/under 38.5
So unpredictable. "Under."
Tom Brady yards: over/under 311.5
Not only should he throw for more than 312 yards, he could also break the record of 414. The odds that either him or Ryan will do that? +1000 for "yes," -3000 for "no."
Danny Amendola receiving yards: over/under 18.5
Sure, give the kid the "over."
Choose the higher value
• Grayson Allen fouls or Blount yards on first rush?
• Lebron James points or Taylor Gabriel rec yards?
• Atlanta Hawks points or Freeman total yards?
• Oregon Ducks points or Blount rushing yards?
• Steph Curry threes or Freeman rec?
• Russell Westbrook triple-double numbers or total combined points?
You can also find places that will take bets on whether or not something in the Super Bowl will be more or less than something in another sport taking place on the same day. Like if Duke's Grayson Allen will commit more fouls than Blount will have yards on his first rush of the game. (I'll go with Blount yards, the Falcons run defense is awful.) Or if the Ducks basketball team will score more points than former Oregon player Blount will have rushing yards. (I'd go with the Ducks!) And if Westbrook's combined points, rebounds, and assists is more or less than the total number of points in the game. (Take the points in the game.)
Super Bowl MVP
Tom Brady favorite at +120, Matt Ryan second at +200, but Vic Beasley may be the best bet
It's likely that the QB on the winning team will win Super Bowl MVP, but those don't pay very much. Jones is third at +900, but a lot of money is being laid on Beasley, who has 10 people ahead of him as the "favorite" for the award. Beasley is at +5000, so why do people like him as a good bet? Well, the NFL leader in sacks could absolutely have a major impact on the game if he can get to Brady two or three times. He had four games this season with multiple sacks, plus six forced fumbles on the year with one fumble recovery for a touchdown. He's definitely in the running.
Quick-hitting prop bets
Will there be a safety? (No.)
Will the game be decided by exactly 3 points? (No.)
Will there be at least one scoreless quarter? (No)
Special teams or defensive TD? (Yes.)
Will LeGarrette Blount score? (Of course.)
Will there be OT? (Hasn't happened in any of the 50 Super Bowls, so … it's due, right?)
Will there be a successful 2-pt conversion? (Sure, why not?)
Will a drive start inside the five? (No.)
First team to use a challenge? (Belichick, all the way.)
Completed Hail Mary? (No, Aaron Rodgers didn't make it here.)
Missed PAT? (Not this week.)
Will a fullback score? (Only if Julio Jones switches to FB.)
Over/under height of tallest player to score is 6-foot-3? (Jones is 6-foot-3, so this one was always meant to be a push or likely under, unless Martellus Bennett scores. Take the "over" to be safe.)
Heaviest player to score: over/under 249.5 lbs (Blount is listed at 250 lbs, Bennett is 270, so definitely "over.")
Which color Gatorade will be used in celebration? (Orange is the odds-on favorite at 7-to-2 odds, but I'm going with "clear or water" at 4-to-1 odds. Just seems like a water kind of day.)
Color of Belichick's hoodie? (Grey all day at 3-to-1 odds.)
Belichick retires: 12-to-1; Brady retires: 11-to-1 (Neither of these guys are retiring if they lose, but if they win, they'll also still not retire … these are sucker bets.)
Bonus bets we made up
More people inside the stadium watching the game or outside the stadium protesting? (With NFL security what it is today, go with inside.)
What will be mentioned more often: All-Pro center Alex Mack or "Lethal Weapon" on FOX? (Er, we have a feeling the network's going to promote that show as many times as possible.)
The over/under on GIF-able Tom Brady moments: 2.5 (GIFs that keeps on GIF-in'.)
Over/under on mentions that the players get severely underpaid to play in a Super Bowl ($97,000 to winning team players, $49,000 to losing team) that will be watched by 120 million people and have over $140 million bet on it and that a 30-second ad costs $5 million for: 0 (Just sayin'.)
Over-under on number of times David Tyree is mentioned, even though that was 10 years ago: 1.5 (Helmet catch continues to live on.)
Will FOX show B-roll of Dan Quinn at Super Bowl XLIX vs, Patriots when he was with Seahawks? 1-to-4 odds say "yes" (This is an easy one.)
Over/under on how many times "The Malcolm Butler pick vs Seahawks" is shown: 4.5 (Even easier.)
Did you know Kyle Shanahan is going to be the head coach of the 49ers? Yes (They'll remind you.)
Number of times "When I played in Super Bowl (blank)" is said by Aikman: Incalcuable (Vegas has taken this one off the board.)
All ready now? Place your bets!