Sunday is one of the biggest days of gambling in the United States, with the Super Bowl LI being contested between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots in Houston.
As with every Super Bowl, the fifty-first edition will be wagered on by millions of Americans and other people around the globe. There will be a huge number of bets available on the spread, total and every other facet of the game.
Seven of the wackiest Super Bowl LI proposition bets
There are plenty of resources and odds comparison tools to find the best bets on the standard points spread, outright and other markets. However, one of the fun things about the Super Bowl is how many weird and wonderful proposition bets you can make on the game.
1. Bet on the best words: how often will President Trump be mentioned?
The over/under is set at 1.5, which seems like a slam-dunk for the over. While this only counts for the live game broadcast, with half-time and commercials not counting, it seems that the FOX announcers will almost certainly mention President Trump at least twice.
2. Back to your roots: Lady Gaga’s hair colour
Lady Gaga is set to take the stage for the half-time show, and she’s always a wild card pick when it comes to guessing her outfits (remember the meat dress?) and often dyes her hair. Will she keep it naturally blonde (1/4 odds) or go for another colour (5/2 odds)? Only time will tell.
3. Safety first! How will the score be opened?
A traditional prop bet, there are several strike-it-rich stories of gamblers making big bucks on the more outrageous scores. However, since the Giants and Seahawks opened the scoring with safeties twice in three years, the odds are drastically lower on that particular event. Either side opening the scores with a safety is “only” 20/1 for Super Bowl LI.
4. The real MVP: who gets the first mention?
The Most Valued Player is going to mention his team, his fellow players, his coach, his family and probably God. You can pretty much predict the speech word-for-word, but who will he mention first? The Almighty is a big favourite at 2/1, as is the team and teammates. However, the POTUS shows up again: if the MVP mentions Trump first, a 20/1 bet pays off.
5. De-fence! No touchdowns?
If you think that we’ll be in for one hell of a boring game on Sunday, you can place a bet on no touchdowns being scored for the duration of the match. That will pay off at 300/1 if you’re right, but for all of our sakes let’s hope you aren’t!
6. I spy Gisele Bundchen
How many times will Mrs Tom Brady be shown on the broadcast? Last time the Patriots made the Super Bowl, the under 1.5 line was an easy win. There’s no reason to think it will be any different this year – unless, of course, that no touchdowns bet comes in and they need to fill some airtime in a serious way.
7. Go long for The Star-Spangled Banner
Americans sure do love their national anthem, and this year country singer Luke Bryan will be opening the game with his rendition. People tend to add some flair to the song, and as such you can bet on the length of the anthem this year; the short end of over/under bets available is set at 120 seconds with the higher end at 127.5 seconds.
The path to the Super Bowl
The Atlanta Falcons defied expectations to top the National Football Conference and meet the American Football Conference champions this weekend.
This game will be the second Super Bowl to take place at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Fun fact: the last time the game took place there, the Patriots were playing as well. They won.
How the Atlanta Falcons made it
No one expected the Falcons to make it to the Super Bowl, as they have displayed a tendency to fail to make it through play-offs. An inauspicious start to the season seemed to cement those woes, but their eventual 11-5 record got them their playoff spot. They then managed to make it past both the Seahawks and the Packers to secure their place.
The New England Patriots return
The Patriots’ streak has continued in a big way. Each season of this decade has seen the team rack up 12 or more wins and 2016 was no exception to this trend. They managed to record a best-ever season of 14-2, losing only to the Seahawks and the Buffalo Bills. In the playoffs, they handily despatched the Texans and Steelers.