But during Super Bowl week, spreads, moneylines, and totals tend to take a backseat. It’s all about the prop bets — the wackier, the better.
Five Super Bowls into the modern sports betting era, the coin toss is almost as passe as PASPA. Every retail and mobile sportsbook offers wagering on it, it requires no more skill than spinning a slot machine’s reels, and the only edge comes from shopping for the sportsbook with the smallest vig.
Gatorade colors and national anthem lengths are also played out (and not necessarily permitted as markets at regulated books). We’ve moved on to the next-level props — the ones that make you think before they make you sweat.
Here, we’re counting down our 10 favorite outside-the-box prop bets offered for Sunday’s Lombardi Trophy showdown between the narrowly favored Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, judged on a variety of factors, but largely centered around creativity. These are all unique in the sense that you can’t find these bets on many, if any, games other than the Super Bowl. But some of these aren’t truly unique, in the sense that multiple books are offering them this week. In those cases, we’re attributing them to the sportsbook that had the most customer-friendly odds.
A few fun props that didn’t quite make the top 10:
- DraftKings’ Philly Special-inspired props: With the Eagles back in the Super Bowl, DraftKings offers both a quarterback to score a receiving touchdown at +3000 and a non-quarterback to pass for a touchdown at +2200.
- Caesars’ “Fridge Prop”: Yes, the Super Bowl prop that started it all, when William “Refridgerator” Perry rumbled into the end zone for the Chicago Bears in 1986, has inspired (albeit at iffy prices) Caesars to list any defensive player to score an offensive TD at +2000, with a -7000 price to fade all things Fridge-y.
- Hard Rock’s sack vs. touchdown prop: Priced on both sides at -115, Hard Rock Sportsbook asks the question of what will happen first in the game — a sack or a touchdown? It’s a fun short-term sweat, probably lasting just a drive or two.
- FanDuel’s longshot Kelce combo: As you may have heard, Travis and Jason Kelce are about to become the first pair of brothers to face each other in the Super Bowl. FanDuel has posted a line of +20000 on both bros to score a touchdown. Yes, 200/1 on any bet is tempting. But Jason, the Eagles’ center, has never scored a TD in his professional career. (Can you imagine the heartbreak if you bet this and Jason gets a fluky fumble-recovery tuddy but then tight end Travis, who had the second-most receiving TDs in the league this season, doesn’t find the end zone?)
- BetMGM’s Eagles early/Chiefs late combo: This isn’t so much an outside-the-box prop as it is an attractive value prop that plays off each team’s reputation. Philly built lots of first-half leads this season, then let opponents creep back in; Patrick Mahomes is the NFL’s reigning king of “you’re never out of it if this guy is your QB.” The parlay of the Eagles to lead at halftime and the Chiefs to win in regulation pays +650 at BetMGM.
10. Total players with a pass attempt, over/under 2.5 (DraftKings)
This is a prop most sportsbooks have offered on the Super Bowl in recent years, and the over is especially appealing in SB 57, paying a mildly juicy +150 at DK (while the under sits at -185).
Here’s what we know: Mahomes will throw a pass, and Jalen Hurts will throw a pass. Over bettors then need one more. Both starters come into the game nursing injuries — Mahomes’ ankle, Hurts’ shoulder. An aggravation thereof is always possible. A random different injury could occur. With the current concussion protocol rules, if a QB goes down the wrong way, even if he’s totally fine, he may have to exit the game for a few plays. And both teams have backups they trust to put the ball in the air: Chad Henne for K.C., Gardner Minshew for Philadelphia.
We also have two coaches in Andy Reid and Nick Sirianni who aren’t afraid of some trickery, so maybe DeVonta Smith comes off an end-around and chucks the ball or Travis Kelce serves as QB in a funky formation. And there’s always the chance of a bad snap to a punter who picks the ball up off the turf and makes a desperate heave.
This prop gets a relatively low score for uniqueness in 2023, but it’s a fun bet in which the over is in play until the final whistle.
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9. Result of first coach’s challenge (PointsBet)
PointsBet offers a slew of officiating props, with perhaps the most intriguing being this gamble on the outcome the first time either Reid or Sirianni throws his red challenge flag.
The favorite is “call overturned” at -130, while “play stands” pays even money, +100. Thankfully, ESPN crunched the numbers for us on these two coaches and found that in his long career Reid has gotten calls overturned at a 49.6% success rate, while Sirianni is at 60% over a very small 10-challenge sample size. Combined, they’re at 50.3%, which suggests neither bet has value — though the unsuccessful challenge at +100 is close.
Interestingly, since the introduction of replay challenges in 1999, only 40% of challenges have been successful. So the sharp play would seem to be a wager on “call stands,” and you can root to hear a word like “inconclusive” come out of head referee Carl Cheffers’ mouth.
8. Will there be a ‘scorigami’? (FanDuel)
Scorigami (noun): A scoring combination that has never happened before in a sport or league’s history.
Will the Super Bowl end in a final score that no previous NFL game has ended in? The “yes” pays +1800, the “no” is -8000, which seems like brutal pricing, although at least it’s better than the +1500/-10000 split offered at Barstool Sportsbook.
Either way, these are lousy odds. Using the 2021 season as an example, there were six scorigamis in 272 regular season games, a 2.2% hit rate. Based on that, true value is around 45/1.
Add in the fact that most people don’t know off the top of their heads which scores are and aren’t scorigamis, and you have a decidedly un-fun sweat that ends in Googling. This isn’t a bet we recommend making, on either side. But props (pun intended) to the sportsbooks for getting creative and offering it.
7. Any field goal attempt hits the uprights or crossbar (Barstool)
A “doink” has never sounded as sweet as it would if you bet the “yes” on this — which is priced at +405 at Barstool, while “no” is -590.
We couldn’t find any statistics on how often NFL kicks make contact with iron. For what it’s worth, the Eagles had the second-fewest field goal attempts in the league this season with 1.4 per game, while the Chiefs were middle of the pack with 1.9. So the expectation is about 3.3 FG tries in this Super Bowl.
But that’s about as far as we can go with the math on this one. It’s important to note that PATs don’t count — it’s only field goals. And it doesn’t matter if the kick goes in or not — a doink is a doink. But that’s where the #analysis ends. This is just a wacky prop that may appeal to some, and which will lead to interesting conversation at the Super Bowl party if your screams of delight or agony drown out the doink.
6. Consecutive scoring by a single team (SuperBook)
There are two separate but related intriguing props available at SuperBook. One asks, “Will either team score three straight times?” with the “yes” favored at -180 and the “no” priced at +160. But push it to “Will either team score four straight times?” and the “no” is a heavy -330 fave while “yes” is +270.
This is an unusual one to sweat, as bettors will ping-pong around on which team they’re rooting for to score at any given time. The casuals at the Super Bowl party will likely think they suffer from schizophrenia.
The other reason this is worth spotlighting is the highly reasonable gaps in the SuperBook’s pricing. A -180 and a +160? A lot of modern companies would fire their bookmakers for giving customers a deal like that.
5. Travis Kelce receptions vs. Canadiens-Oilers total goals (WynnBET)
The cross-sport Super Bowl props are everywhere. If bettors want to compare a Chiefs or Eagles stat to a golf score or to the number of 3-pointers James Harden will make the day after the Super Bowl, it’s out there.
But this one WynnBET posted pitting Kansas City’s top pass catcher against a pair of NHL teams dueling earlier in the day Sunday particularly caught our eye. This market is priced at -115 on both sides, which is not ideal, but considering the Kelce side was -140 at Hard Rock, taking him at Wynn looks like a potent value play.
Montreal is averaging a modest 2.55 goals per game this season, while Edmonton is at 3.76, so the theoretical line for Kelce to beat is 6.31. In the postseason so far, he’s notched a seven-catch game and a freak outlier 14-reception game. During the regular season, Kelce averaged 6.47 catches per game.
If this were a regular season game, an even vig split would make sense. But it’s the Super Bowl. There’s no tomorrow (figuratively). And Mahomes has mobility issues and will be looking to get the ball out quickly. Hard Rock’s pricing may be slightly steep, but WynnBET’s -115 is more than fair for a sports sweat that can stretch all day.
4. Total points vs. longest made field goal (DraftKings)
This is a perfect example of the sort of prop that could be applied to any ol’ football game but is only offered for this one.
The total on the game has been ticking upward since opening and, at last check, was 51 at DraftKings. So will the longest made field goal be over 51 yards? According to the odds on this prop, most of the time it won’t. To bet on points scored to be greater than longest made FG, you have to lay -130; if you want the longest-field goal side, it pays +110.
In essence, this is a creative alternative approach to betting on the total. If you’re convinced the game is going over, and 60 or more points are a legit possibility, -130 is a great price — plus you can get bailed out in the case of a lower-scoring Super Bowl with no long field goals. If you think the game is staying under, go the other way.
Just be prepared for the ultimate heartbreak if you bet on points scored and the game is tied at 27-27 and Jake Elliott or Harrison Butker drills a 58-yarder as time expires.
3. Combined yardage distance of all field goals made, over/under 113.5 (Caesars)
Now we’re getting to the inventive props that make our heads hurt. The under is priced at -130 for those of you out there hoping to capitalize on Sirianni’s and Reid’s reluctance to kick field goals, while the over is +100. Which is the sharp side? Beats us. Run your millions of sims and see what they spit out.
But just from a perspective of respecting the hustle, this is a great prop that keeps the bettor engaged in an unusual way. And there’s more where that came from …
2. Total yardage of all touchdowns, over/under 82.5 (SuperBook)
This is similar in concept to the combined-field-goal-distance prop, though this one comes with -110/-110 pricing. Any little one-yard or two-yard QB sneaks don’t help the over bettor much. One crazy bomb to either Quez — Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Quez Watkins — could bust an under bettor.
For what’s it worth: Super Bowl LVI (Rams-Bengals) saw a TD yardage total of 109, thanks largely to Tee Higgins hauling in a 75-yarder to open the third quarter; the previous year (Bucs-Chiefs) only got to 53; the year before that, the Chiefs and 49ers posted 61 total TD yards; the Patriots-Rams offensive dud came in way under with a single TD of two yards; and the Eagles-Pats shootout from the year before crushed the over with 150 TD yards.
Once again, this is a tremendously fun alternative avenue to taking a stance on whether or not Eagles-Chiefs is likely to be a high-scoring affair.
1. Combined jersey numbers of all TD scorers including overtime, over/under 173.5 (Barstool)
Now we’re taking the total touchdown yardage prop and making it sillier. This is peak Super Bowl prop madness. Barstool is asking bettors to take a side on how many touchdowns will be scored — but to do so while accounting for the number on the scorer’s shirt.
Some uniform numbers worth knowing on the Eagles: Hurts (1), Smith (6), A.J. Brown (11), Miles Sanders (26), Dallas Goedert (88). On the Chiefs: Jerick McKinnon (1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (9), Isaiah Pacheco (10), Valdes-Scantling (11) Mahomes (15), Kelce (87).
This one largely comes down to one question: Will multiple tight ends score? Not just Kelce and Goedert, but Noah Gray, Blake Bell, Jody Fortson, Jack Stoll — if two TEs cross the plane, the over is a huge favorite, and if not, it’s hard for the under to miss. Barstool has the over at +116 and the under at -143.
Remember how Jerry Seinfeld used to joke about how sports fans are just rooting for clothes? He couldn’t have known just how far that would one day go.