Super Bowl XLVIII is less than a week away, which means it is time to start considering your prop bets for game day. The NFL regular season and early round playoff action feature plenty of wagering on spreads and the over/under, but the Super Bowl provides a chance to bet on virtually anything connected to the game through prop bets. You can bet on anything from the length of the US National Anthem to what Bruno Mars will perform first at halftime to what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach.
Odds Shark released their full list of prop bets for Super Bowl XLVIII, and one of the more interesting bets is actually a cross-sport matchup. Cross-sport wagers allow the bettor to wager on one event in the Super Bowl against another event in another sport. For Super Bowl XLVIII, my favorite has to be betting against Liverpool vs. West Brom in the English Premier League.
There are three sets of odds related to this game:
- What will be higher: Total combined goals scored West Brom vs. Liverpool OR Peyton Manning touchdown passes
- What will be higher: Total Liverpool goals vs. West Brom OR Russell Wilson touchdown passes
- What will be higher: Total West Brom corner kicks vs. Liverpool OR Total penalties in the Super Bowl
Of those three, the best bet is taking Peyton Manning touchdown passes against total combined goals scored. This season, West Brom and Liverpool have combined to score 3 1/2 goals per game through 22 games this season. That doesn't tell us quite enough, so I spoke with SB Nation soccer editor Kevin McCauley. He provided some insight into Sunday's match:
Liverpool have a big rivalry game against Everton in the middle of the week, so they'll be putting all of their energy into that. West Brom are almost certainly going to play very defensively, and they might be able to squeak out a low-scoring draw at home. Luis Suarez can go off for a hat trick at any time and throw this out of whack, but a two- or three-goal game seems most likely.
Peyton Manning faces off against an incredibly talented Seahawks secondary. During the regular season, Manning averaged 3 1/2 touchdowns per road game. In the Broncos two playoff games (both at home), he has thrown two touchdowns per game. In the divisional round he faced a Chargers squad that ranked near the bottom of the league in pass defense. In the AFC Championship Game, he faced a Patriots squad that is in the middle of the pack.
Sunday, he faces the best pass defense in the league. The Seahawks defense has shown some weakness against the run, so maybe we see a lot of Knowshon Moreno. Additionally, in his two Super Bowl appearances, Manning has thrown for one touchdown per game.
Bettors cannot expect a big game out of Manning, but it comes down to figuring out what to expect from West Brom and Liverpool. You will want to hold off on wagering until after both teams have played their midweek matches. Liverpool faces Everton, and West Brom faces Aston Villa. Once we see how they come out of those matches, then you can make your bet.
As it currently stands, logic dictates taking the combined goals of Liverpool and West Brom. Manning will be relying more on the run game, and even if he throws a pair of touchdowns, a 1-1 West Brom/Liverpool draw guarantees at least a push on this wager.