2012 Super Bowl Prop Bets

In addition to the traditional type of wagering on the Super Bowl with pointspreads and totals there are always countless prop bets to choose from. These bets range from fairly typical statistical projection type wagers to downright insane bets involving celebrities, the TV audience—even the band performing at halftime. While some bets offer greater betting value than others it's never a bad idea to look at the myriad of Super Bowl prop bets closely—you never know when a seemingly 'silly' bet will present a great opportunity for NFL betting profits!

One of the most common forms of proposition wager is the 'alternate pointspread'. This is pretty much as it sounds—instead of the posted pointspread (or total) on the game the bettor is able to lay or take a varying number points (or go over/under higher and lower totals) that each have a corresponding moneyline. For example, a game where one team is favored by -3 at the usual -110 straight wager price might be available at -7 for a +140 underdog takeback or at -14 for a whopping +350 return on investment. Conversely, a bettor could chose to lay points with the betting underdog on the actual line for a higher moneyline payback—so a +3 dog at -110 would become a -3 favorite at +150 or thereabouts.

Another popular type of proposition wager involves the performance of individual players. These type of props have grown significantly in recent years due to the explosive growth in 'fantasy football' and similar games. One variation of this wager allows bettors to decide whether a player will or won't perform to a certain statistical level. For example, a running back may be used in a prop speculating whether he will or won't gain 100 yards. A quarterback may be featured in a prop where bettors select if he'll go 'over' or 'under' 150 passing yards. Another type of wager is the head to head proposition—for example, will one team's running back pick up more rushing yards than the other team's running back.

Some Super Bowl betting props are appropriated from European soccer betting including the 'halftime/fulltime' bet in which the better decides which team will be leading at halftime and the end of the game. Another prop taken from soccer is the 'first to score' prop where different super bowl odds are quoted on which player will tally the first score of the game.

Since few casual sports bettors handicap propositions seriously, sports books have sought to create all kinds of new and unique wagers. One type is the 'cross sport' proposition—for example will a Super Bowl team score more points than Kobe Bryant in an NBA game earlier in the day? A more recent variation is the 'historical' matchup—will a Super Bowl quarterback pick up more passing yards than Peyton Manning in the 2010 game?

Perhaps the most entertaining props are those that have nothing to do with what happens on the field of play. For the 2010 Super Bowl, a number of props focused on the then-girlfriend of New Orleans' quarterback Reggie Bush, Kim Kardashian. Props were available on whether her hair would be worn 'up' or 'down' and on what color shirt she'd wear. The National Anthem is also up for wagering—an 'over' or 'under' bet on the running time of the anthem has become commonplace. Other Super Bowl prop bets won't be 'graded' until the next day—for example, bets on the TV rating of the game or which of the many commercials will receive the highest approval score from viewers.

The important thing to remember about proposition bets is that they can all be handicapped and that even for non-sport aspects like TV ratings there's no shortage of past performance data readily available on the Internet. With some research Super Bowl proposition bets can be not only highly entertaining but very profitable.