Super Bowl gambling and the craziest bets this year

Continuing our Super Bowl XLV coverage for the week, I wanted to approach the big game through the eyes of one of history’s age-old professions: gambling. Our First Research profile on gambling operations indicates, “The US gambling, or gaming, industry consists of about 500 casinos, about 400 Indian casinos and bingo halls, and lotteries in about 40 states with combined annual revenue around $80 billion.”

Those are some impressive numbers.

Even more impressive? This year’s Super Bowl is projected to generate around $10 billion alone. You are probably familiar with the game’s more conventional betting lines: who is favored to win, the over/under for total scoring, etc. But c’mon, that’s just B-O-R-I-N-G.

A recent Forbes.com article (found here) lists some of the craziest proposition (prop) bets, or side bets used by sports bookies to bring in more money after a gambler places their more traditional bets. Apparently, prop bets really took off in the ’90s when there were so many blowout games. Not excited that Dallas is destroying the Bills by a gazillion points? Place a bet on the amount of “first down dances” Michael Irvin will perform! (I have no idea.) Bored with Brett Favre conquering the Patriots? Bet on the amount of times John Madden refers to Brett Favre as “a heck of a guy.” (Pretty sure it was around 150.)

Here are some of the wackiest bets people are betting on this year:

  • Fergie, of the Black Eyed Peas, dressing like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader during the half-time show (Odds: 5 to 1)
  • A punt hitting the jumbo-sized scoreboard floating above Cowboys Stadium (Odds: 10 to 1)
  • Amount of times the announcers mention the looming NFL/lockout for the 2011 season (Over/under 1.5 times)
  • A Steeler player mimicking Aaron Rodgers’ belt celebration* (Odds: 1.35 to 1)
  • More points scored during the day — the Packers or NBA sensation Blake Griffin (Odds: Even)
  • Kicking game vs. LeBron James — will the distance of the game’s longest field goal surpass LeBron’s total points and assists against the Clippers?** (Odds: Even)

Naturally, we at Hoover’s do not encourage any sort of gambling, but the over/under on the number of NFL/lockout mentions seems surprisingly low, considering it’s a huge hot button topic at the moment. Oh well, what do I know? I’ve got everything riding on pop diva Christina Aguilera finishing the national anthem in just over two minutes. Don’t let me down, you little genie in a bottle, you.

 *Apparently, whenever Aaron Rogers scores a touchdown, he pretends to strap on an imaginary championship belt around his waist. As an avid football fan, this was news to me.

**I’m not even sure I understand this one.

~

Photo by Bert Kaufmann, used under a Creative Commons license.
Adam Anderson

Adam Anderson is the managing editor of Bizmology. He has worked at Hoover's in several editor roles writing about various industries since 2004. He has his BS in media studies from the University of Texas. Follow Adam on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. “I’m not even sure I understand this one.”

    If Bron scores 30 and has 10 assists his value equals 40. The longest field goal in the game would then have to be 41 yards or better in order to win the over on that particular bet.

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