You don’t get into politics to make friends, and you don’t walk into a casino to make money. So if you have clicked on this article looking for some foolproof way to cash in betting on this Super Bowl, you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you want to spice up your Sunday by putting $10 on Deebo Samuel so you can possibly win $2,000, or if you’re intrigued by the idea of betting on how long it will take for Reba McEntire to belt out the national anthem (and what color her boots will be) … well, welcome. Some people bet to win money. I have no idea what that’s like. I bet for the same reason that I buy lottery tickets: I get a few days to think about what winning would be like, and then I lose and try not to think about the money I lost. That’s a little thing called mindfulness.
So let’s break down the best prop bets for Super Bowl LVIII—and by best, I mean the props that sound the most fun and the ones that sound smart but almost certainly aren’t. And because this is America, where we measure distance based on some old British king’s foot and nothing can be simple, here’s a quick reminder of how betting odds work: If odds are listed at +300, that means if you put down $100, you’d bring in $300 if you win (so collecting $400 total—the $100 back plus the $300 in profit). If odds are listed at -300, that means you’d have to bet $300 to win $100 (again, you’d collect $400 total—the $300 back plus the $100 in profit).
Let’s get to it. Lines are updated as of Friday morning.
Reba McEntire to Sing the National Anthem in Under 90 Seconds
There is nothing more American than betting on the length of the national anthem before the Super Bowl. And when it comes to delivering a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” McEntire is apparently Secretariat. She has the shortest listed over-under time for the Super Bowl national anthem that can be found on record. And yet we’re going with the under anyway, as this line has moved from 83.5 seconds to 91 seconds.
Reba McEntire to Wear White Boots
Yes, this is a real bet you can make. Here are the top available options:
- Black: +200
- Brown: +325
- Red: +350
- White: +500
- Blue: +1000
- Yellow: +1400
Brown boots are incredibly common, so about 3-to-1 odds seem like an incredible value. But McEntire is singing the national anthem, so why are we getting white at 5-to-1? This just seems like a real plus-expected value bet.
The Coin Toss to Land on Tails
Hear me out! I’m not just saying that you should bet on a coin toss. I am, but I’m also saying more than that.
As Cousin Sal shared on The Bill Simmons Podcast this week, the Super Bowl coin toss has historically landed on tails 30 times and on heads 27 times. Given that coin tosses are a 50-50 proposition, this doesn’t seem surprising. But are we sure that the Super Bowl coin toss is really 50-50? A study this fall suggested that real coin tosses weren’t exactly 50-50 ordeals. And the Super Bowl coins are weird. Look at these. They are customized and ornately designed. Do we think the NFL is sending these coins to labs to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed? The NFL didn’t even grow the grass correctly for last year’s Super Bowl! It sometimes uses index cards to determine whether teams have gained the necessary amount of yardage for a first down!
We should consider the possibility that the tails side of the coin is just heavier. Give me tails.
The Deebo Samuel Big-Play Parlay
OK, here’s what we’ll do:
- Deebo Samuel under 4.5 catches
- Deebo Samuel over 80 yards
- Deebo Samuel over 16.5 rushing yards
This nets out as $10 to win $1,967. Sure, it may seem like a stretch that Deebo will hit each of these, especially gaining 80-plus yards on just four catches. But he did it against the Eagles earlier this season, tallying 116 yards on four grabs. Plus, he’s gone over 17 rushing yards in a game five times this season.
I can already see the tweet from NFL Research that says, “Deebo Samuel is the first player in Super Bowl history to have 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards with less than five catches in a game attended by Taylor Swift.” Those are numbers I can believe in.
Jason Kelce Under One Shirt for the Second Half
OK, I made this one up. But it should be available! @FanDuel, get on this.
George Kittle to Have 110-Plus Receiving Yards
This bet is a classic example of bad odds that look like good odds. But isn’t that what the Super Bowl is all about? Nobody believes in this bet but the guys in that locker room!
I’ll take almost 9-to-1 odds that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has spent two weeks drawing up plays to get Kittle matched up with Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton.
The Only Actually Good Bet in This Article
You’ve made it this far into the article, so here is your reward: a bet I truly, genuinely believe will cash on Sunday. The parlay is as follows:
- Deebo Samuel over 25 rushing yards
- George Kittle under 3.5 catches
- George Kittle over 49.5 yards
This pays out more than 40-to-1, so $10 to win $409. The odds are wild because you are betting on Kittle to max out at three catches and still clear 50 yards. But Kittle did that four times this season. And Shanahan has two weeks to draw up rushing plays for Deebo, so this bet seems extremely reasonable? I love this one, and it feels like the best bang for your buck on payout. What could possibly go wrong?
The Worst Bet in This Article That I’m Absolutely Taking Anyway
It’s five-leg parlay time! Here’s what we’re doing:
- Travis Kelce under 6.5 catches
- Travis Kelce over 72.5 receiving yards
- Patrick Mahomes under 1.5 passing touchdowns
- Patrick Mahomes over 262.5 passing yards
- Isiah Pacheco anytime touchdown
This parlay is $10 to win $1,110. It won’t happen, but let me explain why I’m obsessed with it nonetheless. Kelce hit both of the above numbers in last season’s Super Bowl, so that part isn’t exactly a reach. We’re banking on Mahomes to go over his yardage mark and the Chiefs to run the ball near the goal line. You can see it, right? If you add a Chiefs win into this parlay, the payout goes up to $2,000.
Again, I can’t emphasize this enough: This bet will lose. But join me anyway? Your Sunday will be much more interesting if you put $2 on this.
My Four Favorite Super Bowl MVP Bets
If you bet this and it hits, you can claim that the NFL sent you the script for the Super Bowl ahead of time.
If the 49ers win, it will likely be because they lean heavily on CMC. Given his importance to everything San Francisco wants to do on offense, I’m convinced that McCaffrey is the most undervalued player on the MVP board. Plus, you can yell “Heisman!” at your TV if this hits.
Would anyone be surprised if Deebo had a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in this game? The odds for Samuel as MVP have already gone down from 33-to-1 to 25-to-1, and they still seem too high.
Ambry Thomas (lol)
You never see potential payouts this big, and for good reason: This is the stupidest bet I have ever considered in my life. There is, statistically, almost zero chance this will happen. But what if it does?
Here’s my thinking: Thomas, a 49ers cornerback, may be the worst defender on the field on Sunday. But that’s precisely the point: Bad cornerbacks get regularly targeted by opposing offenses, which means they have more chances to intercept passes, which means they have more opportunities to swing the game and emerge as unlikely MVPs.
Outside of Kelce and Rashee Rice, the Chiefs receivers can’t reliably catch passes. During the regular season, they had a knack for knocking balls directly into defenders’ arms. If Kansas City’s game plan involves multiple looks to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson, Mecole Hardman, or even Kadarius Toney (whom I will refer to in the future as [REDACTED]), then Thomas could have a great chance to simply luck into a pair of picks. Two interceptions for Thomas in a close game, and he leaves as the MVP. Meanwhile, you can use the winnings to defy the odds and become a homeowner. I just changed your life. You’re welcome.
Bets That Aren’t Sexy but Just Feel Like Winners
Do these bets go against the spirit of the rest of this article? Yes. But we’re taking them anyway, based purely on gut instinct.
Deebo Samuel first carry over 3.5 yards
Deep in my bones, I know Deebo will get the ball on a first-and-10 and snake it 4 yards to set up second-and-6. I can see it in the flames.
Jauan Jennings over 1.5 catches
Shanahan says “no block, no rock” (coaches love calling the ball a rock). Jennings is maybe the best blocking receiver in football. Take the over.
49ers over 6.5 players to catch a pass
This is a fun bet because it is an excuse to name some guys. And what’s better than naming some guys? So let’s root for (1) Deebo, (2) Kittle, (3) McCaffrey, (4) Jennings, (5) Brandon Aiyuk, (6) Kyle Juszczyk, and (7) some random third-string tight end who is invariably the focal point of Shanahan’s most creative play design. Give me the over.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire as the first RB to record 10-plus receiving yards
Clyde Edwards-Helaire as the first RB to record 20-plus receiving yards
Let’s get this out of the way: CEH is not a good running back. He should be nicknamed MEH. But he is a running back on the Chiefs, and the Chiefs may need to rely on their running backs in the screen game to win. Screen passes are the specialty of Kansas City head coach Andy Reid.
To be clear, these bets will lose. But considering Jerick McKinnon is hurt, don’t 35-to-1 odds seem enticing? All you need is for the Chiefs to start with the ball and Clyde to have two catches for 21 yards on the first two drives. What could go wrong?
The “I Hate America” Parlay
Seven-leg parlay this time. Here we go:
- Patrick Mahomes under 262 passing yards
- Patrick Mahomes under 1.5 passing touchdowns
- Travis Kelce under 72.5 receiving yards
- Christian McCaffrey under 89.5 rushing yards
- Deebo Samuel under 58.5 receiving yards
- George Kittle under 49.5 yards
- Brandon Aiyuk under 62.5 yards
Nobody likes betting the under. It’s anti-American. Are you going to watch the Super Bowl and root for things to not happen? This is a bet for people who like winning money. But some things are more important than money.
Team Ruff to Win the Puppy Bowl
Yes, you can bet on the Puppy Bowl. This is America. We’re back on track.
Team Fluff is -150 to win the game. Give me Team Ruff at +110. They’ve got that dog in them.