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Giving props: Shanahan 100-1 to blow 28-3 lead
24th January, 20:07At one U.S. sportsbook, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is a long shot to blow another 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. Bookmakers in Indiana and New Jersey are busy stirring up odds on which color of Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach, and the coin flip is already dividing the betting public.
The annual phenomenon that is Super Bowl prop betting has begun, and when it's over, millions of dollars will be on the line practically every play.
This week, sportsbooks around the nation released hundreds of different proposition bets on Super Bowl LIV between the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. Bookmaker William Hill U.S. boasted of having more than 1,000 ways to bet on the big game. The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas on Thursday released 33 pages of wagers and took more than $500,000 in bets in the first 12 hours they were on the board.
"It's a crazy scene," said John Murray, executive director for the SuperBook. "It really is."
Historically, the most popular props with bettors have been some of the simplest offerings like, "Will there be a safety?" or "Will there be overtime?" The betting public loves to back the "Yes" at plus-odds on both. A safety is paying around 6-1, and overtime around 8-1. Roughly 5% of games have gone into overtime, and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, a safety has been recorded in 0.067% of games.
The most popular Super Bowl prop bet of all, though, takes place before the game even kicks off, heads or tails, on the coin flip. Last year at William Hill sportsbooks, there were more bets on just heads than there were bets on almost every other proposition offered.
The betting on the coin flip is already heating up this year. PointsBet told ESPN on Thursday that the coin flip was the most popular Super Bowl prop bet so far "by a good margin." Just over 50% of the bets were on heads, but the 70% of the early money was on tails, the book said.
The really wild propositions are restricted primarily to offshore sportsbooks, where the over/under on Demi Lovato's rendition of the National Anthem was hovering around two minutes. Offshore, you'll find odds on anything from if a player will be arrested after the game to how revealing Jennifer Lopez's outfits worn during her halftime performance will be.
The American sports betting market is becoming more liberal, too, as it expands into new jurisdictions. In January, the Indiana Gaming Commission authorized the state's sportsbooks to offer betting on who the Super Bowl MVP will thank first and what color of Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach. Some New Jersey sportsbooks offered Gatorade betting last year and plan to do so again this year.
Green/yellow has been installed as an early favorite.