More than half of the estimated $10 billion that's expected to be wagered on Super Bowl XLV will come by way of prop bets.
Bettors will be able to place wagers from, which team will win the coin toss in Sunday's game to Fergie's halftime wardrobe and whether a punt hits the giant, low hanging video board at Cowboys' stadium.
Sound like fun?
Let's take a peek and analyze Super Bowl 45s top 10 creative side bets that may coerce even the most uninterested football fan to give up their Sunday afternoon to watch this year's "Big Game" in the Big D.
10. Fergie dressing like a Cowboys cheerleader - Fergie will be the first female singer to take the Super Bowl halftime stage since Janet Jackson in 2004, and we all remember that half time show, including the explanation to my son who was just seven at the time. The odds makers are giving 5 to 1 on the Black Eyed Peas frontwoman's wardrobe. No word if there are odds on a malfunction. If they put out those lines, count me in.
9. Hit time instead of hang time - Vegas is offering up 10 to 1 odds on whether or not Pittsburgh's Jeremy Kapinos or Green Bay's Tim Masthay can loft a punt high enough to hit the 2,100-inch video screen that hangs from the center of Cowboys Stadium. A punt did carom off the "Jerry-Tron" during a preseason game in 2009, but I don't see it happening here.
8. Number of NFL lockout references - The over/under is currently set at 1 ½ for the possible number of references Fox announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman may utter during the broadcast. My guess is none, as they will take the opportunity to plug the NFL company line.
7. Largest Lead of the Game - While I expect each team's offense to score points, they will struggle in what may be one of the lowest overall totals in the past 27 years of Super Bowl outcomes. The over/under on this prop is 13.5 points. My guess is that this one stays to within a touchdown for the entire game. However, the unexpected blowout has been the result of many Super Bowls past.
6. Steelers player imitating Aaron Rodgers belt celebration - When I first saw this one I had to chuckle. The Packers quarterback has drawn attention by acting as if to strap on an imaginary championship belt after every score. The odds are 1.35 to 1. I just don't see any Pittsburgh player taking this contest that lightly.
5. Aaron Rodgers throwing six touchdown passes - Staying within the Rodgers theme, Vegas has offered 30 to 1 on this one. The laser armed QB threw 28 TDs over the regular season producing four TDs in two games and a total of six in three postseason games, including zero against the Bears in the NFC Championship game. Six touchdown passes? Against the league's best defense? Not.
4. More Points - Packers or Blake Griffin - This is just silly. Have the Vegas odds gods' gone completely crazy? Griffin's 22.8 points per game are 1.6 fewer than the Packers' season average, but with the Steelers defense in the way, this could go to Griffin. However, the Clippers will be playing the Miami Heat who are 5th in points allowed. At even odds. Stay away from this one.
3. Kicking Game vs. LeBron James - Hello? Is this a ploy for the NBA to overshadow the NFL on its biggest day? This even bet poses whether or not the distance of the game's longest field goal surpasses LeBron' s combined points and assists against the Clippers. James averages of 26 points and seven assists, so this would only require a kick from over 33 yards. Hey, but we've seen what pressure can do to a place kicker, and by my best guess, this one is going to come down to a field goal.
2. Three Straight Scores by Either Team - The Packers were able to do it against the Falcons in the NFC title game; scoring 35 points on five straight TDs. Pittsburgh did it against the Raiders scoring five unanswered TDs in a 35-3 win in the regular season. At 1.65 to 1 odds, you'll need to wager $100 to get $165. Seems to me that Vegas knows that this just isn't going to happen.
1. A Shutout -No team in the Super Bowl's 44-year history has been shutout. The closest was Super Bowl VI when the Cowboys held the Miami Dolphins to a field goal. A year later in 1973, Washington avoided the dreaded goose egg, retuning a botched field goal kick for a 49-yard TD in a 14-7 loss against the Dolphins. Even with two solid defensive teams, I'd have to say you're throwing your money away here, even at 50 to 1 odds.
The number of available prop bets gets bigger every year, and it has certainly created an industry. The biggest thing to remember when betting on props-don't take it too seriously and have fun!
Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian, the Oregonian, and Utah Spectrum. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.