Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (left) poses for a photo with San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (right) during a press conference in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII at the New Orleans Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
(KSDK Sports) -- One of the biggest complaints I hear regarding sports coverage is how "inside" we in the sports media business can be. We assume that when we say or write about a baseball player's "slugging average," that the general public knows what that means or how it's calculated. And we all know how dangerous "assuming" can be.
So it occured, at least to me, that even though I keep hearing about "prop" bets, I really didn't know why they are called that. A bit of research in the old Merriam-Webster dictionary and it revealed that "prop" is short for proposition, and that a "proposition bet" is "a bet in craps that a certain number or combination of numbers will or will not appear during a specified series of rolls."
Translate that into the very popular "prop" bets that historically precede a Super Bowl match up and it comes to mean that while you can wager on the actual outcome of the game, there are also other outcomes that don't necessarily have anything to do with the final result.
Our friend Mitch at Sportschatplace.com, a sports and information website targeting the average wagering American, wrote that
Super Bowl prop bets are part of the whole Super Bowl experience every year and this year there seems to be more options.
While Super Bowl props aren't usually a high percentage bet, they did find a few that could pay off on Super Bowl Sunday.
Shortest Field Goal: Over 24.5 yards -115 Under 24.5 yards -115:
We have two defenses who if backed into the corner in the red zone are going to be tough to get past, taking the sure three is going to seem like a good option, maybe even more than once. Mitch's Pick: Under 24.5
Longest Field Goal: Over 44.5 yards -130 Under 44.5 yards +100:
Firstly I see both kickers having big enough legs where the coaches won't think twice about kicking a 50 yard field goal and the whole before the half thing, someone might be willing to go for a real bomb. Mitch's Pick: Over 44.5 -130
Player to score the first touchdown in the game:
To me this is always one of the most fun bets out there as we have several players with big odds and just so many possibilities, it could be anyone. There are so ways to go really, take one or two of the likely characters, the number one wide receiver or running back from either team or a few longshots where if one does it, it's still a nice winner.Hey, to me props are so far out there and I play them so small, I go for the bigger ones. Mitch's Picks: Delanie Walker +2000, Dennis Pitta +1200, Ed Dickson +2500, Randy Moss +1500.
Will there be a fumble in the first half?: Yes +110 No -130:
We have two defenses that hit, a bunch of players who have never played in the Super Bowl and a ton of nerves, sounds like a good scenario for a fumble and I think we see at least one early: Mitch's Pick: Yes +110
Will a roughing the passer penalty be called?: Yes+100 No -140:
While we have aggressive defenses the referees tend to let the players play in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. While the Pittsburgh-Seattle Super Bowl was a flag fest all in one direction and the calls affected the outcome, it doesn't happen often so the odds are we aren't going to see a roughing the passer called. Mitch's Pick: No -140
Total Sacks in the game: Over 4.5 +130 Under 4.5 -160:
I play this one every year and I always take the over. The best defenses usually make the Super Bowl with usually the best pass rushers and we have plenty here. Normally this number is at 3.5 so raining it a full sack, someone else thinks both teams are going to bring the heat. Mitch's Pick: Over 4.5 sacks +130
Mitch's Pick: Always Play Prop Bet Conservatively