The Super Bowl doesn’t need certain teams to be involved or for there to be a large amount of interest in a particular matchup. When it comes to gambling, both casual and professional bettors are down to the lure of what the game has to offer. When it comes to NFL odds, sportsbooks dedicate a lot of time and resources to coming up with specials to draw in casual and professional bettors alike.
The NFL has softened instances in recent years and has more partnerships with sportsbooks. While not necessarily promoting people to gamble, the league has recognized the betting element helps people have more of a stake in the game. That way anyone going to a party who isn’t necessarily a fan of the sport can enjoy the event as well. But what has really changed the entire landscape of betting is the prop bets.
Just Don’t Bring it Up Around Walter
The first major prop bet around the Big Game occurred during Super Bowl XX in 1986. Since Mike Ditka liked to use defensive lineman William “The Fridge” Perry on offense in short-yardage situations, Caesars Palace offered a prop bet on Perry to score at 20 to 1. A lot of money came in on Perry to score. So much so that the line dropped from 20 to 1 all the way down to two to one.
In an otherwise mundane game, Chicago destroyed New England 46-10. However, Perry scored a rushing touchdown that cost Caesars Palace $120,000. The touchdown ended up causing some bitterness from Chicago Bears running back Walton Payton toward Dikta. In Payton’s only career Super Bowl appearance, he didn’t score a touchdown.
Brady and Manning Share History
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are NFL legends and two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play. However, in two different Super Bowl appearances, Brady and Manning were a part of large props hitting. The first score of Super Bowl XLVI, which the Giants won 21-17, was a safety after Brady was called for intentional grounding.
In Super Bowl XLVIII, disaster struck for Manning on the first play from scrimmage. Center Manny Diaz sent the first snap sailing over Manning’s head, which went out of the back of the end zone for a safety. It was the sign of a tough day for Denver, which lost to the Seahawks 43-8. Both instances resulted in 50 to 1 payouts for bettors.
Gary Russell Finds a Place in History
Gary Russell didn’t have the most illustrious NFL career. Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Steelers out of Minnesota, Russell spent three seasons in the NFL. Russell rushed for 98 yards and scored three touchdowns in his career. However, during Super Bowl XLIII, Russell was called on at the goal line to help the Steelers score.
Russell was able to squeeze his way into the endzone from 1-yard out, capping an 11-play, 69-yard drive with the game’s first touchdown. Bettors on Russell to score the first touchdown were paid out 15 to 1.
Super Bowl Snoozer Pays Big
Super Bowl LIII isn’t going to be one many people tell their grandchildren about. The New England Patriots dominated a Super Bowl rematch from years earlier against the Rams. Los Angeles couldn’t move the ball at all and ended up being defeated 13-3 by the Patriots. One of the prop bets on this game was for the exact numbers of touchdowns scored to be one.
Sony Michel scored the only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, which ended up paying anyone who bet on only one touchdown to be scored 5,000 to 1.
Malcolm Smith wasn’t even a thought
Betting on Super Bowl MVP can be lucrative. Because the winner of Super Bowl MVP usually comes from the quarterback position, there is little value on betting on the quarterback. When Malcolm Smith was chosen as the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII most sportsbooks didn’t even offer odds on the Seattle linebacker.
To bet on Smith for MVP, he would have been part of the “field” category, which includes every player that sportsbooks didn’t set individual odds for. Smith, who made nine tackles, recovered a fumble recovery and returned an interception for touchdown was chosen as MVP. Smith being chosen resulted in a 20 to 1 payout for any betters lucky enough to have chosen him.