To the irritation of sophisticated bettors – and to those who may fancy themselves sophisticated – the Super Bowl coin flip prop is among the most popular every February. “Why would anyone, no matter how novice, risk money on something entirely random?” they ask.
Well, we’re here to tell you that betting on whether referee Ron Torbert calls “heads” or “tails” before kickoff of Rams vs. Bengals on Sunday may be the most advantageous wager most gamblers can make.
The current Super Bowl point spread at BetMGM has Rams -4.5 (-110) and Bengals +4.5 (-110). The -110 means you have to risk $110 to win $100. Same goes for the total of 44.5 – if a losing bet costs $110, the winning side pays $100.
Profiting against -110 vig requires a win percentage of 52.4. A very small percentage of bettors (1-2%) can achieve this over the long term. I am not among this elite group of gamblers; you are probably not either.
In fact, our long-term win percentage is probably right at 50% — win some, lose some — far below the sports betting Mendoza line.
Sportsbooks are dealing more favorable vig when it comes to the coin toss – much more favorable in some cases. SuperBook USA, in fact, is offering -102 on either heads or tails. Again, realistically you have a 50/50 shot to hit your Super Bowl spread bet, same as a coin flip. With a 50% chance, betting into -102 is far better than against -110.
Don’t take my word for it. Roxy Roxborough, a legendary Las Vegas bookmaker, made the same point four years ago, ahead of Eagles and Patriots in Super Bowl 52.
Coin toss prop holding steady at @LVSuperBook at -102 each side. Thinks it is a stupid bet? Maybe, but most players never ever get a bet at less than 1% hold.
— Roxy Roxborough (@RoxyLasVegas) January 30, 2018
“I’d say that’s an astute observation by the old redhead,” Nick Bogdanovich, formerly of William Hill, said back then when I asked for his take on the notion floated by Roxy.
Still, I’m sure that you, like me, have some confidence in your handicapping abilities. So you, also like me, are probably studying up and making some plays on Sunday’s point spread, total, and a few props. Just know your sportsbook has a greater edge on Bengals +4 (-110) than it does on tails with far less juice.
Still A Pass For The Pros
Professional bettors Alan “Dink” Denkenson and Captain Jack Andrews exchanged tweets on the Super Bowl coin flip prop earlier this week. What if, Dink wondered, a sportsbook offered +101 on the prop? That would mean the edge is actually in the bettor’s favor.
Well, that’d still be a pass for Jack.
$0. Much easier ways to find $50 of EV without having to risk $10k.
— Captain Jack Andrews (@capjack2000) February 4, 2022
Again, Jack has an edge when he plays into -110. You don’t.
Fun With Vigorish
Scrolling through the Circa Sports app, I noticed an odds oddity. Heads is priced -104, tails -105. The respected Las Vegas book is surely weighted on “heads,” yeah?
“Surprisingly, no. A little more money and tickets on Tails,” Circa’s Chris Bennett said in a direct message.
Bettors are surely riding tails’ undeniably strong 28-27 trend over the Super Bowl’s 55-year history.
Actually Four Ways To Bet The Super Bowl Coin Flip
FanDuel is offering not just one Super Bowl coin flip prop – it’s offering four, each priced -104 either way.
Coin Toss Result: Heads -104, Tails -104
Coin Toss Winner: Bengals -104, Rams -104
Coin Toss Call Result: Correct -104, Incorrect -104
Coin Toss Winner Wins Game: Yes -104, No -104
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