During what he called the "busiest week of the year" at sportsbook.com, our old friend Dave Staley was nice enough to answer some questions about the Super Bowl.
What are some of the more popular prop bets?
Coin toss - Yup. People love to bet on this prop every year. It is pretty much a Super Bowl tradition for die-hard Super Bowl bettors. Kind of amazing that people love to wager on something that is impossible to handicap. We actually give our members a great bargain on this prop as we offer -101 juice on both heads and tails. I always get a kick out of being in a bar for the coin toss and watching people yell “Tails never fails!” Interesting little fact I came across is that the NFC has won 12 straight Super Bowl coin tosses. If you believe that a trend like this is fate, ‘The Saints to win the Coin Toss’ prop at -105 might be worth a shot.
Will there be a safety? - Although we get more action on plenty of other props, this one always makes our lines guys sweat a little bit. The action is always very one-sided as people back the high payouts associated with the Yes (+800). Whereas most years it is a decent win for us, we got absolutely murdered last year on this prop as the Steelers had a holding penalty in the end zone, resulting in a safety.
Over/under jersey number of player to score the first TD - Our props guys have this number handicapped at 25.5. The under has more players capable of scoring the first TD of the game with Austin Collie, Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and both QBs. However, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne are the three favorites to get in the end zone first, and all would cover the over.
Drew Brees & Peyton Manning props - There are plenty of props available for each of the two quarterbacks, but the prop that is getting the most love is the over/under of passing yards. Manning’s magic number is 305.5 yards, while Brees’ number is 285.5 yards.
Cross sports props - Bettors always love these on Super Bowl Sunday, and the bigger the star from another sport, the greater the action. LeBron James props are getting lots of early action. Who will score more points? The Colts, or James against the Knicks on Saturday?
Player to score the first TD - People love this prop for two reasons. First off, they don’t have to wait the whole game to get paid. This prop will be a winner and graded sometime in the first quarter most likely. Secondly, these have generous payouts. You can get a guy like Bush at 12-1 or Colston at 10-1. Even the three favored players mentioned earlier (Clark, Wayne, Addai) are paying out at a lofty 7-1.
What are some of the more creative/unique prop bets that sportsbook.com is offering?
Over/under of time when the winning coach gets the Gatorade bath by his players: Over 45 seconds in fourth quarter (-150); under (+120).
How many times will CBS show Kim Kardashian during the game? Over under is 2.5.
Will Kardashian be wearing a Saints jersey? Yes (+160). No (-200).
Will Pete Townshend smash a guitar on stage during the halftime show? Yes (+160). No (-200).
Who will the MVP thank first? Coach (+900). No One (+500). Family (+400). God (-125). Teammates (+200).
What about the line and over/under? What are the numbers, and which way is the public siding?
We opened the Colts as 4.5-point favorites, but immediately moved the number to 5, and a few hours later adjusted it to 5.5. That’s where the number remained until Tuesday morning when our odds-makers moved it back to 5. Then Wednesday morning, it was adjusted (back to 4.5). Although most of the action since opening has been on the Colts, on Tuesday, more Saints money came in. It is no coincidence that the Saints money has picked up with all of the Dwight Freeney injury talk the last couple days. Currently, 67 percent of the bettors are on the Colts. This is down significantly, considering it was in the high 70s all last week and through the weekend. I’ll be very surprised if this number goes any lower, and I actually think it will creep back up.
We opened the total, albeit very briefly, at 55.5. We quickly moved it to 56, and then again to 56.5. Following their usual M.O., the betting public is hammering the over as only 24 percent of the cash is on the under. It isn’t surprising that the betting public is pounding the over, considering that these teams combined to average almost 58 points per game during the regular season.
Finally, on an Eagles note, we opened odds on whether or not Donovan McNabb would be on the Eagles roster for Week 1 next season: Yes pays out at 2-5. And no at 7-4. The odds say McNabb wll be back.