The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sports betting events of the year, and that's because of the literally hundreds of prop bets that you can wager on. They range from the exotic (what color will Katy Perry's hair be during the halftime show?) to the traditional (will Tom Brady have 300 or more passing yards?), and pretty much everything in between.
Some of the more interesting prop bets relate to the television ratings for the big game. Last year's version established the all-time viewership record with 112.2 million viewers, besting the previous record set in Feb. 2012 by a margin of nearly 900,000 fans. Will Super Bowl 49 will set another new mark? You can also bet on the actual household rating of the game, along with which region -- Boston or Seattle -- will have the higher Nielsen rating.
Although the Pro Bowl ratings have no predictive value for the Super Bowl, it is worth noting that ratings for the game Sunday night took a big dip for the second straight year. According to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily, the game on ESPN drew a 5.6 overnight rating, compared to 6.7 last year and 7.7 in 2013.
Here's a look at some of the television ratings-related prop bets from Bovada, and a quick comment on how you should wager.
How many viewers will the game have? (Over/Under: 113 million)
The popularity of the NFL continues rising to unprecedented levels despite all the off-field issues that hover around the sport, so it would not be a surprise if this matchup brings in another record viewership. Recent trends also favor a higher number than ever before: four of the last five Super Bowls have set new all-time highs for total viewers.
What will the Nielsen Rating of the game be? (Over/Under: 47 1/2)
Though the total number of viewers increases on a near-annual basis for the Super Bowl, the actual Nielsen rating -- which measures the percentage of homes tuned into the game -- has been up and down in recent years. Last year's Denver-Seattle tilt averaged a 46.7 rating, which was up slightly from Super Bowl 47 (46.4), and stands as the seventh-highest-rated in the history of the game. I would tend to bet the under on this wager, with so many different channels and options for viewing available to fans on Super Bowl Sunday.
Which region will have the higher Nielsen Rating? (Boston: +110, Seattle: -150)
The moneyline is set to favor Seattle, which is hardly a surprise given how passionate fans in the Pacific Northwest are about the Seahawks. However, I think there might be some good value in taking Boston here at +110. New England hasn't won a Super Bowl in a decade, and even the most casual fans in the region are probably more inclined to watch Sunday night with the hope of celebrating an end to their decade-long championship drought.