There’s nothing quite like the spectacle that is the Super Bowl. But it’s not just the television ratings that attract eye-popping numbers.
Super Bowl prop betting focuses on hundreds of on-field and off-field aspects of the National Football League‘s biggest game. The contest itself is one of the most heavily bet games every year. Super Bowl props, however, take the experience to an entirely different betting level.
Super Bowl prop bets can get extremely varied and all-encompassing. If something happens on or off the field during the Super Bowl, you’re likely able to bet on it. If you’re in Michigan and interested in making a Super Bowl prop bet or two for this year’s game, here’s a short, easy-to-follow guide.
The first thing you need to do before you can even think about making a Super Bowl prop bet at an online sportsbook app in Michigan is to register for an account.
The process is pretty simple — no more difficult than signing up for any kind of service, really — and you’ll be able to complete it all fairly quickly once you begin.
In terms of the timing of your bets, you can make all of them right up until the coin toss in most cases. For those who are interested in live betting, or in-game betting, then you can use your apps to make bets and see adjusted odds throughout the Super Bowl.
That all depends on your definition of “best,” but we do have some of our favorites, along with those that are extremely popular. Also, keep in mind that not all of the following prop bets will necessarily be approved for wagering in Michigan.
First and foremost is the opening prop bet for the Super Bowl, and that’s the coin toss.
We’ll take a look at this prop bet from the 2021 Super Bowl as an example:
That was the line at both DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook for last year’s championship game. You would have to place a $103 bet to win $100 in this instance, and a toss that lands the other way means your bet slip will be a loser.
Another very popular bet is on which color of Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach at the end of the game. This bet usually requires that the dumping of the sports drink be visible on television when it happens.
In Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, the lines looked like this at DraftKings:
What we can tell from those lines is oddsmakers expected the color to be purple (there was a rumor going around it would be a tribute to Kobe Bryant in Super Bowl LIV). All the same, red, yellow/green and orange were heavily considered as well.
In any of these cases, a $100 wager would win you the amount of the odds stated. For example, a $100 wager on orange at +400 would pay out $500 if correct — $100 for the original bet and $400 for the win.
Player props are also a big fan favorite — for NFL betting in general, but especially for betting on the playoffs and Super Bowl. They can range anywhere from yards per carry for a running back, to the person scoring the first touchdown, to which player will win the MVP award, and more.
There can also be bets on what kind the first play of the game will be and how the first touchdown will be scored. In Super Bowl LV, the prop bet for what kind of play would open the game carried these betting odds:
Oddsmakers expected a run, but only by a small margin. Instead, Tom Brady and Tampa Bay threw a 1-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Godwin against Kansas City.
These are just a few of the many prop bets available for the Super Bowl. You’ll never really know what you’ll find until you look at the listings available in your sportsbook.
Like many forms of betting, defining what makes a “good” prop bet or a “bad” one isn’t a black-and-white discussion. It comes down to the bettor and what they’re looking for.
But there are prop bets that make more sense than others, especially if there is any real amount of money being wagered.
If you’re looking for serious bets with potentially solid returns, you should look at:
The less serious bets — also commonly referred to as “exotic” prop bets — are far more volatile, and way more difficult to research and handicap.
Like the terms indicate, one is focused specifically on how well a player will perform. A team prop relies on the overall group effort.
For example, team props include markets such as how many touchdowns a team will score in the first half, or if it will score a defensive touchdown. Player props narrow the possibilities down to things such as passing yards for a specific quarterback, the number of touchdowns for a particular player, or over/under bets on performance totals throughout the game.
The most popular player prop for the Super Bowl is which player will earn the MVP award. This award quite often goes to the winning team’s quarterback, which has been the case in 31 of 55 Super Bowls.
Sometimes that prop bet has a lot of value, especially when there isn’t a single, easy-to-identify favorite among the field. In 2020, Patrick Mahomes was a favorite right from the start, and he didn’t hold much value for those placing wagers on him. He won the award, of course, and it paid out for those who put their hard-earned cash down on him — just not very much.
There are longshot MVP candidates, too, and they pay off big time on occasion. Take 2019, for example. The Super Bowl MVP was wide receiver Julian Edelman, who carried +3000 odds at FanDuel.
If that weren’t enough, over the past seven Super Bowls, there have been defensive players who won the MVP award twice. There’s value there, but history has shown that it is rarely anyone but an offensive player — and a quarterback at that — who hoists the trophy at the end of the game.
Indeed, there are. The teams that make it to the Super Bowl are the two best the NFL has to offer, and that means they have quality offensive and defensive units that are quite capable of making big plays.
You’ll be able to find props focused on several aspects, including:
On the other side of the ball, props range from total yards rushing and passing, who scores the first touchdown, what the first scoring play will be, and more.
Like any game, research and a strong sports betting strategy are the best ways to approach offensive and defensive props. You even have a bit more time to get into your number-crunching since there is an extra week between the NFC and AFC conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
Keep in mind that the stars for each team are likely going to continue to shine, but there are almost always a couple of unexpected surprises. If you see value in a player who has been on the cusp of breaking out, don’t hesitate to make a small wager on his performance. You never know who is going to step up and play the best game of the season.
Like we mentioned earlier, there can be prop bets for just about anything that could happen during the Super Bowl, from start to finish. including halftime, postgame and even commercials. An example might be: “What will the halftime show artist sing as their first song?”
Although this is all amusing and fun to think about, regulated US sportsbooks have never offered any bet related to halftime, commercials or announcers. The Michigan Gaming Control Board has the final say on what an online book is allowed to have on its board.
There are sportsbooks out there that know just how attractive placing a bet on the Super Bowl can be, which is why there is always such a spike in wagering surrounding the game. Even folks who aren’t football fans, or who usually don’t place bets, tend to get in on the action.
Keeping that in mind, sportsbooks have been known to create prop bets that include other sports as a way to pique the interest of sports bettors who tend to shy away from NFL wagers.
Here are a couple of hypothetical examples of crossover prop bets. The ones you find will vary depending on the sportsbooks you are using.
These are just some examples of the kinds of crossover bets you might come across. Check out various sportsbooks if you want the most variety of prop bets to choose from.
The Super Bowl is more than just a football game in many US households. It’s a chance for family and friends to get together and watch the game, talk about the commercials, eat some food and generally just have a good time.
It’s also a chance to play along with Super Bowl props from the comfort of your family room with some party games. These range from Super Bowl squares to Super Bowl commercial bingo and more.
It’s very easy to assemble a fun “props pool” for folks at home to use to increase their involvement with the game and their family.
Everyone who participates in the Super Bowl props pool gets a sheet with a predetermined number of prop bets on them, and they fill them out. Here are some quick examples:
As the props get completed, the sheets get tallied up. The person who has the Super Bowl prop bet sheet with the most correct answers wins.
Check out this page on Super Bowl betting, drinking & party games to see what other kinds of games you can offer during the big game.
The history of Super Bowl prop bets feels ancient to modern sports bettors, but it wasn’t all that long ago in the larger scope of games being wagered on.
The first Super Bowl prop bet came in 1986 when the Chicago Bears were playing the New England Patriots. Art Manteris, who was the head of the Caesars sportsbook at the time, wanted to get more casual fans involved in betting. So he came up with the idea of offering a bet on William “The Refrigerator” Perry scoring a touchdown.
Leading 37-3 in Super Bowl XX, the Bears lined Perry up in the backfield, used Walter Payton as a decoy and gave the ball to the rumbling lineman. Perry scored, and the rest is history.
Since then, there have been several very notable prop bets that have taken center stage. Here are two of our favorites:
Sports betting has been legal in person in Michigan since 2020, but online sportsbooks and sportsbook apps are the newest addition to the industry in the Great Lakes State in 2021.
In Michigan, online sportsbooks have to be partnered with a brick-and-mortar traditional casino operator. Michiganders are in luck, because there are more than a dozen casino operators across the two peninsulas, and they will all offer up a large variety of Super Bowl props this year.
Here’s a partial list of sportsbooks here in Michigan already with sportsbooks apps (plus the casinos or tribes they are associated with):
This is a great time for us to stress the importance of only using legal and regulated sportsbooks here in Michigan. You’re going to see offers and clickbait from a wide variety of illegal sportsbooks when you search the internet — especially for Super Bowl props — but there’s a reason those operations are set up outside of US jurisdiction.
There is no guarantee that these sites will honor the bets you’ve placed, or if they are even a sportsbook at all and not just a trick to steal money from unsuspecting bettors.
Legal sportsbooks are regulated by the Michigan government, and they are secure and law-abiding. Moreover, they are subject to state audits, investigations, and restrictions. With offshore books, you’ll have no recourse if something sketchy happens. With legal online sportsbooks, you’ll have the backing of the state of Michigan when needed.