So, what if you happen to be a football fan with no vested interest in the outcome of Super Bowl LI? What happens if you really don't have any really compelling reason to root for or against the Atlanta Falcons or New England Patriots?
How can you make the Super Bowl more interesting for yourself, outside of simply enjoying the last football game of the season?
Simple: make a few wagers. While sportsbooks often allow you to make individual and interesting wagers for many of the 256 regular season and 10 postseason games that take place before the Super Bowl, the number of individualized and highly niche bets you can make for the Super Bowl is pretty amazing.
Five Things to Bet on for the Super Bowl LI
Here is our list for five interesting, cool, and fun things you can bet on for Super Bowl LI:
The Coin Toss
For the majority of the 256 regular season games and 10 postseason games, the coin toss is a pretty overlooked part of the actual game. But in the Super Bowl, it's an event which you can make several different wagers upon. Sportsbooks allow you to make bets on whether the coin toss will land as heads or tails, which team will win the toss, whether the team that calls “heads” or “tails” ends up choosing correctly, and whether the team that wins the coin toss will also win the game. The odds are basically even for all of these bets, so basically, you can make wagers on the coin toss which give you the same odds as the result of a coin toss in general.
The First Scoring Play
When it comes to the actual game play itself, one of the first bets you can make is about the first scoring play of the game.Historically, there's about a 50% chance that the first score of the game will be a touchdown, a 45% chance that the first score will be a field goal, and a 5% chance that the first score will be a safety.
Accordingly, the odds you'll receive when making a wager on each of those are commensurate with the likelihood it'll happen. But if you want to get more granular with this type of bet, the sportsbooks will allow you to do so.
In most cases, you can not only bet on the type of score that will take place in the game first, but which team makes that scoring play, which player makes that scoring play, and whether the touchdown comes via rushing, passing, or defense if the first scoring play happens to be a touchdown. If you want to make it even more nuanced, you can not only bet on what's the first scoring play of the game overall, but also the first scoring play for each respective team.
For instance, in the case of Super Bowl LI, you could make a hypothetical wager that the first scoring play for the Atlanta Falcons will be a touchdown, and the first scoring play for the New England Patriots will be a field goal, or vice-versa.
Most Valuable Player
The player who wins the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the Super Bowl is often forever-remembered for their performance in the biggest game of the year.
If you're correctly able to predict who wins the MVP award for the game before the game actually happens, you could stand to win a lot of money. Historically speaking, quarterbacks win the MVP award over 50% of the time in these games, so the return for these bets may not be as lucrative if you wager conservatively. However, in 23 out of the 50 Super Bowls played, the MVP was not a quarterback, so if you happened to correctly predict the non-quarterback that wins the MVP award after the game, the returns are much, much higher.For instance: in Super Bowl 50, people who predicted that outside linebacker Von Miller of the Denver Broncos would win the MVP award were getting 20-to-1 odds, meaning they would get back $20 for every $1 spent. That's a fantastic return on investment.
Quarterback Prop Bets
Whether it's the NFL, or football in general, there's no more important position on the 53-man roster than the quarterback position. Naturally, in the single-most important game of the year, the quarterback's performance in this game is only going to have more importance.If he plays well, that performance will be remembered for years to come. That's why the Super Bowl MVP is the quarterback, more often than not. If he performs poorly, he could live in infamy. Given that, there's no player on the field with more position-centric bets than the quarterback.
Many sportsbooks will allow you to make bets on nearly every possible quarterback statistic that is measured: the total attempts and completions thrown by each quarterback, the total passing yards and rushing yards by each team's quarterback, and the total touchdown passes and/or interceptions thrown by each quarterback. These bets are all based on an over/under number that the sportsbook will establish.
In addition, you can also make simple bets on whether a quarterback will pass certain statistical thresholds. For instance, in Super Bowl 50, you could make wagers on whether Cam Newton or Peyton Manning would throw for more than 350 yards, run for more than 50 or 100 yards, throw for a certain amount of completions, or even simply score a rushing touchdown themselves.
Individual Player Prop Bets
Even though quarterbacks are usually the most visible and well-known players on the field, that shouldn't take away from the ability to make wagers on the performance of all the other guys who also share the field.
Sportsbooks will often take wagers on different performance measures for nearly every other skill position player on offense, and highly-regarded players on defense.In Super Bowl 50, you could not only make wagers on which individual player will lead their respective teams in rushing or receiving, but you could also make wagers on each of 10 different offensive skill players, as to whether they'll exceed a certain threshold of rushing or receiving yards (based on an established over/under number that is set).
As an example, the odds for correctly wagering that running back C.J. Anderson of the Denver Broncos would lead his team in rushing were +130 (or 1.3 to 1), and the odds for correctly wagering that wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders of the Denver Broncos would lead his team in receiving was +325 (or 3.25 to 1).
Similarly, on defense, the sportsbooks place odds on whether some individual (and often highly recognizable) players will record a certain number of tackles or sacks during the game.