The way things are going in the betting capitals of the world, Sunday's football game may actually be an afterthought. The real action may be taking place in casinos where high and low rollers alike will put their money where their mouths are on a dizzying array of betting lines surrounding the game. Apparently, it's no longer enough to bet on which team will win the game by how many points. The online sportsbook Bodog provides a good sampling of some of the most interesting proposition or "prop" bets that are sure to attract a diverse audience of gamblers looking for the ultimate bet. (For a related article, check out Sports Bets That Would Have Made You Rich In 2009.)
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By playing the betting lines provided below, you are selecting whether an event will or won't happen. For example, if the line is -140, you'll have to risk $140 to win $100 (or $1.40 to win $1). If the line is +140, you stand to win $140 for every $100 you risk. All of the information in this article is as of February 2, 2011, from Bodog.
- At the start of the halftime show, what will the Black Eyed Peas' Fergie be wearing when she first appears on stage?
If she wears none of the choices below, bets push and there is no action.
- Skirt/Dress: even money
- Pants (below knees): even money
- Shorts (above knees): +350
- Thong/G-String/Bikini Bottom: +1000
- Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first during the on-field trophy presentation ceremony?
- Coach: +1000
- Family: +400
- Teammates: +250
- No one: +200
- God: +150
- What color Gatorade will be dumped on the head coach of the winning team?
If nothing is dumped, bets push and there is no action.
- Blue: 10/1 odds
- Red: 15/2
- Lime Green: 5/1
- Orange: 3/1
- Clear/Water: 2/1
- Yellow: 3/2
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- Which quarterback's girlfriend will first be shown live during the actual game telecast?
- Jessica Szohr (Aaron Rodgers): -140
- Ashley Harlan (Ben Roethlisberger): even money
- How long will Christina Aguilera hold the note for the word "brave" at the end of the Star Spangled Banner?
- Over six seconds: -140
- Under six seconds: even money
- The Monday after the game, which direction will the Dow Jones Industrial Average close from the prior Friday's close?
- Up: -140
- Down: even money
- Which game will have the higher winning margin?
- Super Bowl XLV: -115
- Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics: -115
- Will any player do the Lambeau Leap and jump into the crowd after a touchdown?
- Yes: +140
- Will Fergie be dressed as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader at any time during the halftime show?
- Yes: +500
- Who will the FOX announcers say has better hair on live television during the actual game?
If not mentioned, bets push and there is no action.
- Troy Polamalu: -120
- Clay Matthews: -120
- Will Christina Aguilera's hair color be anything except completely blonde when she sings the Star Spangled Banner?
- Yes: +175
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- Will a punt hit the overhead scoreboard during the game?
- Yes: +750
The only reason this bet exists is because Tennessee Titans punter A.J. Trapasso kicked a ball that scored a direct hit on the high definition screen that hangs directly over the field. That happened in August 2009 but hasn't come close to happening since.
- What will be the result of the opening coin toss?
- Heads: -105
- Tails: -105
You're essentially paying a 5% premium for what is mathematically an even bet.
- How long will it take Christina Aguilera to sing the Star Spangled Banner?
- Over 1 minute 54 seconds: -150
- Under 1 minute 54 seconds: +110
To put this in perspective, previous singers fared as follows: Jennifer Hudson (2:11), Faith Hill (2:00), Mariah Carey (1:56), and Jordin Sparks (1:54).
- Will Christina Aguilera wear a cowboy hat while singing the Star Spangled Banner?
- Yes: +300
The only thing certain about all the bets placed on this year's game is that the house will win. Well, it almost always does.
The 2008 upset of the Giants over the undefeated Patriots was an exception to that rule because New York was a heavy 4/1 underdog on the money line. Those long odds were never completely covered by bets going to New England, so the unexpected New York victory left the Las Vegas houses holding a $2.5 million bag.
Over the past decade, Las Vegas betting on the Super Bowl has ranged in the neighborhood of $70-95 million per game. This year's game is expected to draw comparable attention with a 2.5 point spread currently favoring the Packers. Meanwhile, the armchair gamblers will have their stopwatches out and their eyes glued to Fergie's costume changes. (For more, see Going All-In: Comparing Investing And Gambling.)
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