*Posted January 28, 2009*
The big game is this Sunday, and Herb accurately writes the importance the game has for "true" Steeler fans, not the fair weather posers that show up every year during playoff runs, where are you during 6-10 years? As many also know, the Super Bowl is the most wagered on sporting event during the course of the year and has many opportunities for bets: the side, total, and numerous props. Many online sportsbooks have roughly 300-350 different prop bets that range from over/under 23.5 completions for Kurt Warner and which team will kick the longest field goal. Anything you can imagine you can bet on.
The game itself opened at the Steelers as a 6.5 favorite, it was quickly bet up to a solid a 7, but now it is leaning toward going back to 6.5. It seems like a lot of people, i.e. ESPN talking heads, are starting to believe in the Cardinals. The over/under is around 46.5 to 47. Vegas is expecting a 27-20, 28-21, type Steelers victory. It seems like a lot of the public money is on Arizona and a lot of big, wiseguy money is on Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh fans should be happy. Here are some general prop thoughts. If you think the Steelers win, even win big, take a look at Willie Parker going over for rushing yards, whatever it is, maybe Big Ben under passing yards, Kurt Warner over passing yards, since Zona will throw a lot if they are behind. Take the opposite if you like Arizona. If the Steelers are behind watch for Big Ben to throw more than he probably should. The flip side to that coin is if you think the Steelers are going to win and make a prop bet that depends on the Steelers winning you could lose two bets if they lose. You can have a bet on the Steelers to win and Willie Parker under so many yards. You can hedge and split your money. A lot of options and a lot to think about. Here are some noteworthy props.
Super Bowl MVP: Both QB's are the favorites, Warner at (5/2) and Big Ben at (2/1). It's whatever you think about the game. A big Steeler blowout, take a look at offensive guys: Ben, Willie (5/1), Hines (10/1), Santonio (12/1). A close Steeler win, maybe look at some defensive guys: Troy (10/1), you can get James Harrison at (18/1). Obviously, look at Cardinals guys if you like Arizona. Larry Fitzgerald is at (11/2).
Prediction: I think this will be a 27-13, 27-14 type game with the Steelers winning so I like either Ben or Willie with this bet.
Coin Toss Result: Both heads and tails is (-105), i.e. risk 105 bucks to win 100. I read somewhere that 9 out of the last 11 or 12 Super Bowl coin tosses have landed on tails. Also there is usually more crap/weight on the head of the coin than the tail. I heard somewhere that if you flip a coin a million times it should land on tails more than heads, something like 50.2% to 49.8%, very close but a slight edge for tails. On a side note, remember that whole Rick Tocchet betting scandal? I think Wayne Gretzky's wife put like 50 grand on the coin toss for some Super Bowl.
Prediction: Take tails.
Team to Receive Opening Kickoff: Steelers at (+145), risk 100 to win 145, and Cardinals are at (-170), risk 170 to win 100. This one has been getting a lot of buzz on the gambling forums. Arizona usually takes the ball and the Steelers usually defer to the second half with their defense in terms of winning the coin toss. One caveat. The Steelers have won the toss and taken the ball first twice this year, Indy and Dallas, high powered offenses like Arizona, or was weather a factor in those games since both were at home. Either way, if the Steelers win the toss, will Tomlin want Warner to have the ball first?
Prediction: Take the Steelers at plus money
Over/Under for National Anthem: The time is set at 2 minutes and 1 second with Jennifer Hudson singing.
Prediction: She's black, go over.
You can get (2/1) on the winning coach being dumped with yellow Gatorade. Both Tomlin and Whisenhunt got dumped with yellow 'ade on championship weekend.
You can get (25/1) on Arizona scoring zero points. (500/1) for 2 points. (5000/1) for 4 points.
You can get (30/1) if you think the Steelers are going to win by 43 or more points.
The Super Bowl is a big day for the world of sports as well as serious and casual gamblers. It's a big game, but remember that it is just one game. Bet with you head, not over it.