As a public service, we like to provide our 2 cents on the great many prop bets that the Super Bowl provides. It is simply amazing the great many ways you can ruin your life, as well as the lives of those you love on Super Bowl Sunday. Wait...that's loser talk. Let's see how we do:
Coin Toss: I have been betting this little gem for the last 5 years. There is just something about betting the coin toss that puts you in the proper state of mind for the game. It's like when you start seeing and hearing Christmas commercials before the start of the Christmas season. Betting on the coin toss tells yourself, and those around you, that you are ready to frivolously part ways with your hard-earned money on a 50-50 venture that has zippy to do with the game itself. It says, "If I am willing to lose $50 on the coin toss, how much do you want to bet I am willing to lose $100 on whether or not Bruce Springsteen dies during the halftime show?" I am 3-2. I always go Tails. Winning the coin toss is like Vinny Chase hitting on red when he first sets foot in a casino. You know it's going to be a good night.
First Team to Score: This one is at least football-related. I like to go with the team that has the best defense. You figure if that team has the ball first you have your chance, and if that defense takes the field first, you at least have the better chance to get the ball back and get some action. So here I like the Steelers. Be careful...you might be tempted to hedge this by picking the other team to win the toss (a 50-50 venture in and of itself). If that is how you are thinking, may I direct your attention to the 'Battle of Wits with a Sicilian' scene from the movie Princess Bride. Don't do it.
First Player to Score a TD: This is the first real sexy bet of the game. Find a horse and hold on for dear life. I usually take the two players from either team that have the best chance, and pick one. This year, those players are Larry Fitzgerald and Willie Parker at 6-1 odds each. Methinks Larry Fitz is the way to go. I mean, come on...the Cards are simply going to get the ball to this guy at every possible turn. The guy scores more than Charlie Sheen (who you better believe is betting Larry Fitz heavily here).
Kurt Warner O/U 255.5 passing yards: This is a passing team. If the weather holds, offense won't be stymied by anything but defense. Pittsburgh's defense is good, but Kurt will be throwing a great many passes, some of them for some pretty healthy chunks. I like the Over here, if for no other reason then throughout the game you will be making your way, 5-10-20+ yards at a time to your winnings. If Arizona is up, it will be because they threw the ball successfully. If they are down, they will be throwing a ton to catch up. Do you really want to take the under and lose your dough when Steve Breaston catches a meaningless 30 yd pass at the end of the game when Pittsburgh is playing prevent? Take the veteran QB, his arm, and most importantly, his wife Brenda. For every Bedazzled rhinestone on her sweater, Kurt will have at least 2 yards passing. They should have set the o/u at 500.
Larry Fitzgerald O/U 95.5 yards receiving: Just like you can't stop Brenda Warner from Bedazzling her sweater collection and ranting on the radio that her husband should be a starting QB (ok, she has a point), you can't stop Larry Fitzgerald right now from getting over 100 yds receiving. Dick Lebeau would make better use of his time trying to devise a defense against Hannah Montana taking over the world or against the ugly attack on the Olsen twins (as in, they're getting uglier.) Also, here in D.C., I believe there is something called "The Fitz Way". And according to the old white guy in my television, "There is just no better way."
Troy Polamalu O/U 4.5 Total Solo+Assisted Tackles: You are getting a sense for my prop bet picks. I cherry pick what I think the obvious overs are. I like to take the guy who just seems to always impact every game he plays in. This strategy would have killed me last week if I had used it on Ed Reed. But the way I see it, the ball is going to get into the defensive backfield a good amount thanks to Larry, Q, and Kurt. I feel like Troy should be able to get 3-4 tackles by halftime. This does not include sacks, by the way. Not to worry. Take the Over, and when Tim Hightower gets to the outside on a sweep in the 3rd quarter, you'll thank me as Troy gets his 5th tackle of the day.
The following are real prop bets you can make. If you put a ton of money on these bets, you will need multiple TV's, hard liquor, an internet connection, and naked pictures of your boss. Because you won't be at work on Monday morning for sure. And more than likely you are stealing from your company to finance what is a very out-of-control problem.
Who Will have More on Feb. 1st:
Steelers/Cards punts or Lebron James Made Free Throws: I'm going with LeTravel on this one. He gets to the line like its his job, because it is the ref's job to get him to the line. They're playing Detroit, so hopefully the old-fashioned Eastern Conference bashfest will result in a healthy batch of free throws for LeTravel.
Steelers Cards total Touchdowns or Phil Mickelson 4th Round Birdies (FBR Open): I like Uncle Phil on this one. I seem to recall the pros tearing up that course out there in Scottsdale. Sans Tiger, this tourney has no luster. Also, with the time difference between here and there, it could make watching both dicey. So good luck finding that on TV, live (trust me, it will be on somewhere live.) But Uncle Phil is looking good. His man-boobs are down to a B-cup I think. It's hot out there all the time, so carrying around the double-C's he had a while back would hinder this effort.
Larry Fitzgerald Touchdowns or Alexander Ovechkin Goals: I am torn on this one. The only thing seemingly more unstoppable than Larry Fitz these days is Alexander the Great. Scoring in hockey is tough...but Ovechkin has 9 goals in his last 8 meetings against the Senators (I think that's right). So conceivably Larry needs 2 touchdowns to lock this one down. I am going to put on the emotional hedge here. I'll take Larry Fitz on the bet, and if Ovechkin gets the hat trick to win this one, then that will be awesome in and of itself.
Finally, we want to create an Over/Under on how many times the camera goes to Brenda Warner--3.5. We are counting any camera shot of Brenda Warner, but only between the kickoff and final whistle. Pre-game stories and post-game hugs do not count. And I LOVE the Over. You show me a future Hall of Famer's wife with enough rhinestones on her sweater to make Liberace jealous, and I'll show you something that the cameras will be unable to stay away from showing. Expect poses to include: hands over the mouth with intense anticipation before a big 3rd down, hands on her head and mouth wide open to protest why there was no call when Kurt got knocked to the ground, hands in the air to praise Jesus after a Kurt to Larry hookup, and hands outstretched as if reaching for her Bedazzler that is just out of reach when Kurt points up to her on his way to the locker room at halftime.
There you have it. Enjoy and good luck. For a comprehensive--and I mean ridiculously comprehensive--list of prop bets for the Super Bowl, check here.