Read fine print on Super Bowl props

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Wagering on Super Bowl propositions has become as popular, if not more so, than wagering simply on just the side or the total. 

I’ve written extensively in past years about the origins of “prop” wagers that date back more than three decades. Rather than rehash those comment I would like to refer you to Gaming Today’s website where you can do a simple search for “Super Bowl 52 props” and you will access the column I wrote for last season’s Super Bowl between Philadelphia and New England.

My approach is similar to that of most fans and casual/recreational bettors. I do it for fun and to have additional things to root for (or against) as the Super Bowl unfolds.

Most of my prop bets are of the head to head variety and usually do not have anything to do with who I think will win the game or even how I might expect the game to unfold and play out. 

Understanding that the public likes to play favorites and overs in general, such bettors will usually be wagering on things to happen (Yes) as opposed to not happening (No).

For many years, I have played the prop about the first pass attempt for each QB. The “Completed Pass” is usually the heavy favorite, in the neighborhood of -200. The “No” part of the prop (“Incomplete or Intercepted”) is generally priced in the range of +170.

 I just need one of the two quarterbacks to not complete his first pass to show a profit on what I refer to as a “tandem” wager – two separate wagers that are somewhat connected.

Another example might be whether each punter will have a touchback – the “No” part of that prop is usually the heavy underdog.

Another type of prop would be whether the team that scores first will win the game. That prop is usually priced in the vicinity of “Yes -170, No +145” and I will play the “No.”  Especially in Super Bowls that are competitively priced with lines under a touchdown.

My final bit of advice consists of three parts. First, shop around for the best price on the same (not similar) prop.

The second bit of advice refers to the distinction between same and similar and is every bit as important, if not more important, than shopping for the best price. This statement should be in ALL CAPS but I will use quote marks instead. “Be sure to carefully read the wording of the prop and the exceptions or conditions attached to the prop.”

That actually goes for playing any prop. There might be slight or subtle variations in props that seem identical. 

For example, understand exactly what “a score in the final two minutes of the first half” means. Does it include or not include a score with exactly two minutes remaining? 

Virtually all prop sheets make clear the conditions such as “player must see action,” “2-point conversions excluded.” etc.

Also be aware that in certain props there are conditions that would result in “No Action” and a refund of the wager and others that might result in action. 

For example, there might be a prop involving over or under the distance of a punter’s longest punt.

Oh, one more thing: Remember that the Super Bowl is just another game and many professionals will be wagering much less on the Super Bowl, if they wager on it at all.

So keep things in perspective as you plan to watch and wager this Sunday.

 

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About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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