With Super Bowl 52 set to kick off Sunday, you might have heard a lot about prop bets — and maybe you’ve wondered what those are, exactly. A prop bet is a wager on a specific occurrence that doesn’t impact the outcome of a game.
There’s a host of football-specific Super Bowl prop bets that might be intimidating for people who don’t know that much about the Patriots, the Eagles, or the NFL. Will the first play of this Super Bowl be a handoff or a pass? Will Tom Brady throw an interception? Will Nick Foles pass for more than 242.5 yards? Will the Patriots cover the spread?
If that gives you pause, don’t worry. There are tons of prop bets you can throw your money at, and you won’t need a bit of sports knowledge to win them. Hell, you don’t even have to know who’s playing in the Super Bowl. All you need to know is that a) the Super Bowl is a thing that is happening on Sunday, Feb. 4, and b) there’s a national anthem, a coin toss, and a halftime show.
Setting the odds for these prop bets is a departure from just establishing a favorite to win and the point spread, according to Pat Morrow, Bovada’s head oddsmaker.
“I can guarantee you it’s not as scientific or mathematically driven as we would like,” Morrow told SB Nation. “Stuff like this for the Super Bowl certainly takes us out of our comfort zone, where we’re used to algorithms and ratings and stuff like that, trying to figure out who’s going to win and by how many points.
“So we kind of quash all the analytics for stuff like this, and all of a sudden we’re on TMZ and Twitter just trying to figure out — any whispers, any kind of rehearsal information, historical performances.”
Here are the best prop bets and odds, courtesy of Bovada, for non-sports fans to wager on for Super Bowl LII.
Coin toss prop bets
There’s a coin toss to decide which team gets the ball first. But you don’t even need those details. All you need to know is that coins have two sides, heads and tails, and then pick one.
As of Thursday, bettors are leaning toward heads by a narrow margin. But that could change by Sunday.
“I’m not quite sure why heads would be up a little bit so far, but by Sunday it could switch to tails,” Morrow told SB Nation. “It could be right down the middle. It’s really just something that players like to bet because they have a winner, potentially, before the game’s even started.”
National anthem prop bets
Pink will perform the national anthem before Super Bowl LII. Anthem length is a Super Bowl prop bet mainstay. But it’s not the only anthem wager available.
Will the anthem be longer or shorter than 2:00?
This one threw Bovada for a loop, because they couldn’t find any record of Pink performing the anthem at any point in history. So they did the best they could to come up with a 2:00 over/under.
“We looked at historical averages for celebrities that sing during the Super Bowl, and they usually range between 1:50 and 2:10,” Morrow said.
She’s expected to go over, because the line is set at -150, with the under at +130. If you take the over, that means you’d have to bet $100 to win $150. If you take the under, you’d have to bet $130 to win $100.
Will Pink be airborne at any point during the anthem?
Pink is known for doing trapeze stunts during her concerts. Being airborne during performances is nothing new for her, so it’s a possibility. Yes has +300 odds, and no is pulling -500.
What color will Pink’s hair be when she starts to sing the national anthem?
This has several options, and it only refers to the predominant color. She could have some green highlights or something, but that’s not a factor in this particular bet. White/blonde is pulling the strongest odds at 3 to 1. If you want to win some cash, put money on blue/purple or brown/black at 9 to 1 and hope she does something completely unexpected and rolls with one of those options.
Will Pink forget a word in the national anthem?
We’ve all known the words to this since we were in elementary school. But singing it at the most-watched sporting event of the year adds a little pressure. Just ask Christina Aguilera, who flubbed the words when she sang the national anthem before Super Bowl XLV. The line on Pink screwing it up is +400, and nailing it is -700.
Halftime show prop bets
Justin Timberlake is performing at halftime, and that’s generated some of the more unusual props out there.
What color will Justin Timberlake’s shoes be when he starts his halftime show?
Much like the prop bet on Pink’s hair color, this one has a bunch of options, and you’re picking the predominant color. Here are the choices, ranked in order of odds:
Will Justin Timberlake be wearing a hat when he starts the halftime show?
Great question. This one’s pretty straightforward. Yes is set at -140, no is even.
Will Timberlake cover a Prince song?
The Super Bowl is being held in Minnesota, the home state of one of the finest performers to grace this world. Frankly, if Timberlake doesn’t do some sort of tribute to the late, great Prince, we’ll be disappointed. Yes is set at -230, and no is +160.
Will any NSync members perform with Timberlake?
Justin Timberlake used to be a member of NSync, and Super Bowl halftime performers often pull in other artists to join them for the show. Yes is +300, no is -500.
How many times will “wardrobe malfunction” be mentioned?
You may remember the last time Justin Timberlake performed in a Super Bowl halftime show. That was the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” that ended with everyone seeing Janet Jackson’s bare breast. The over/under on this one is 1.5. I’d take the over, but the line on that is +170. The under is -250.
You can also bet on the number of times Jackson is mentioned during the broadcast and whether the word “Nipplegate” will be mentioned.
Odds (no pun intended) and ends
Donald Trump’s ongoing beef with the NFL and his tendency to just tweet through it has landed him in the prop bet realm.
Will Donald Trump be mentioned during the broadcast?
This one’s hard to call. But the line is set at +110 for yes, -150 for no.
How many times will Trump tweet on Super Bowl Sunday?
The over/under is set at 5. I’d take the over here for sure.
How many times will the temperature outside the stadium be mentioned?
The over/under is 1, and I’d definitely take the over (not that I’m telling you to bet). The Super Bowl is in Minnesota. It’s February. It’s cold. It’ll come up.