In Las Vegas alone, an estimated $115 million was bet on last year’s Super Bowl, which likely is just a small percentage of what was actually wagered when factoring in millions of dollars in illegal betting.
So if you’re looking to make some quick cash Sunday, a little dab will do ya.
Because you can actually bet on the number of times the announcers use the phrase “dab” or “dabbin’” when describing the touchdown celebration made famous by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.
You can also bet on whether Newton will give a football to a kid in the stands and whether that kid will be a boy or a girl, or – because the Super Bowl is being played in suburban San Francisco – you can wager on whether there will be an earthquake during the game, with a yes bet paying 1,000 to 1.
“With the teams we’ve got this year, with the Peyton Manning retiring storyline and the cast of characters the Panthers have, this is the perfect storm of props,” Johnson said. “You just have so much you can bet on the field and with off-field antics.
“While it may not be the best game on the field, from a prop-betting standpoint I don’t know if we could have gotten a much better matchup.”
The bet that looks like the easiest way to make money this year is whether the Golden Gate Bridge will be shown during the broadcast. The yes is an overwhelming favorite at -400. It’s a given CBS will show a shot of the bridge at some point.
Unlike setting the line on the game itself, coming up with prop bets comes down to more of a hunch than science.
Thompson pointed out one of the biggest misses came two years ago when they set the line on the number of time viewers would hear Peyton Manning yell “Omaha” prior to the snap at 27. Manning said it twice.
As for what words or may not be uttered this year, bettors can wager on whether CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz will say “last rodeo” in reference to Manning, how long Lady Gaga’s rendition of the national anthem will last (over or under 2:20), which song Coldplay will perform first during the halftime show or Thompson’s favorite, whether CBS rule analyst Mike Carrey will incorrectly predict the outcome of a replay challenge, which he usually does.
Other strange props include:
Someone parachutes into the stadium (9/1)
Pyrotechnics start a fire in the stadium (35/1)
The power goes out at some point (20/1)
A sideline Microsoft tablet malfunction (9/1)
A brawl in the stands among fans (9/2)
A streaker runs on the field (40/1)
Many of the prop bets offered target the explosion of fantasy sports, with sports books setting over/under lines of the individual performances of players, such as the number of passing yards for Cam Newton (232.5) or Manning (235.5), rushing yards by Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart (66.5) or receiving yards by Denver wide receiver and Dayton native Cody Latimer (a mere 6.5).
Some lines even stretch beyond the bounds of the Super Bowl with props such as what will be greater:
Points scored by LeBron James or the longest field goal in the game
Points scored by the NBA’s Kevin Durant or passes completed by Manning
Alexander Ovechkin’s shots on goal or total touchdowns scored
Rory McIlroy fourth-round score or receiving yards by Emmanuel Sanders
The list goes on and on. And if you’re in Las Vegas, you can even propose your own wager, which is where the term “prop bet” originated.
Now, back to the color of the liquid dumped on either Denver head coach Gary Kubiak or Carolina’s Ron Rivera, orange is the favorite at 3/1.