29 January 2019

Betting on the Superbowl

A former roommate of mine from the 1970s sensibly moved west to Colorado and Nevada while I headed to the polar vortex north.  This week he sent me a clipping from his local Las Vegas newspaper detailing the incredible variety of bets that can be placed on this weekend's Superbowl.
The Westgate released its popular Super Bowl prop bets — 442 two-way props on the Patriots-Rams game and more than 1,000 betting options — and sharp bettors quickly pounced on any number they deemed off.

A steady stream of bettors — 90 percent of them sharp, according to Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay — waited in line to place up to two $2,000 wagers apiece before going to the back of the line to do it again...
Here are some of the possibilities you can place bets on:
Coin toss heads or tails
Which team receives opening kickoff
First play from scrimmage run vs. pass
First turnover of game fumble vs interception
Will TD passes outnumber field goals
Which team uses coaches challenge first
Will there be at least one scoreless quarter
Will either team score in the final 2 minutes of the first half
Will there be a missed extra point kick
Shortest field goal will be over/under 26.5 yards...
Word for the day "prop bet" :
In gambling, a "proposition bet" (prop bet, prop, novelty, or a side bet) is a bet made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence during a game (usually a gambling game) of an event not directly affecting the game's final outcome.

Proposition bets in sports are differentiated from the general bets for or against a particular team or regarding the total number of points scored. Traditionally, proposition bets can be made on outcomes such as the number of strikeouts a pitcher will accumulate in a baseball game, whether a non-offensive player will score in an American football game, which team will score the first points of the game, the discipline record of teams in a match, the timing of certain events, the number of specific events per team or in the entire match, realistically any statistically discrete event contained in a match or game could be bet on.

Fixing part of a match for a certain result in a proposition bet is called Spot-fixing.
Prop betting is coming to professional golf.  I'll be blogging that later this week or next.


  1. I suspect my fellow Australian TYKIWDBI readers will be surprised this is blogworthy as 'TYWK' as opposed to commonplace or even ubiquitous. It’s not common knowledge here that the betting culture we have is unusual globally. Betting on such things is advertised on television here, the betting agencies even try to outdo each other on unusual, creative and entertaining betting options for punters (betting enthusiasts) to flutter (bet) on. Many televised sporting events will have short dedicated gambling segments, often hosted by a former player of whatever sport is being televised. All of this can be shown at any time of day, I believe. I shudder to think of all the children watching Sunday afternoon football, being spruiked (pitched) at charismatically by salesmen for the gambling industry. It’s normal here and it oughtn’t be.

  2. This seems an unnecessarily limiting definition of proposition bet. I'm fairly certain you can wager on most any arbitrary event that (a) occurs in the future and (b) is verifiable in some way to the satisfaction of both parties. For example, you can place "props" on what words are used in the state of the union address, on which tiara is worn at a royal wedding, or most any damn thing.

    Around election cycles you will hear Vegas odds for various candidates. Those are a form of prop bet as well.

  3. I used to deal poker for a living. Poker pros are notorious for being action junkies and will prop bet on any thing they can. I've had players make $1000/hand side bets on whether the flop could come out with 2 red and 1 black cards, or 1 red and two black cards.


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