Super Bowl prop bets have become as much a staple of the annual Big Game as beer and chicken wings, offering both experienced sports bettors and casual football fans thousands of unique and exciting ways to wager on the NFL Championship.
Super Bowl Prop Bets Explained
Super Bowl props – or proposition bets – are an alternative to the standard Super Bowl odds markets like point spread, moneyline, and Over/Under total. Props can be focused on game happenings, individual team and player performances, as well as events before, during, and after the whistle blows.
Betting Super Bowl props is not only a great way to stay engaged throughout the Big Game but also to diversify your Super Bowl betting, spreading action to different parts of the contest. Props also offer fun exotic wagers, that attract a broader audience beyond dedicated NFL bettors.
Player props are available for all NFL games but these markets are massive for a high-profile event like the Super Bowl, allowing multiple ways to wager on the performance of just about every player on the field.
Super Bowl MVP prop bet
The Super Bowl MVP prop bet is one of the most popular and simple player props on Super Sunday. Skill positions and star players are normally among the favorites, including the starting quarterbacks for both teams.
Be careful when taking longshots here, however, as a quarterback has won MVP in 30 of the 54 Super Bowls.
Player Over/Under props
Player Over/Under props are totals set around key stats for certain players and positions, such as the quarterback’s total number of passing yards or a receiver’s total number of catches.
Oddsmakers will release an Over/Under total for those player stats and bettors can wager on if that player will go Over or Under those performance totals during the game.
For example, Patrick Mahomes had a passing yards player prop of 308.5 yards Over/Under for Super Bowl LIV. Mahomes finished the game with 286 yards passing, so those that bet on the Under 308.5 yards would have won that player prop bet.
Touchdown props also draw their share of bets for the Super Bowl. Touchdown props are offered in various ways, including player to score the first touchdown of the game, player to score a touchdown anytime, and players scoring multiple touchdowns (2+ or 3+).
As an example, Patrick Mahomes was listed at +1200 to score the first touchdown of Super Bowl LIV. He recorded a 1-yard touchdown run on an option play just before the end of the first quarter to score the first TD of the game. This means a $10 bet would have profited bettors $120 on this wager.
Game props are based on stats or occurrences happening throughout the game, such as the result of the opening kickoff, what the first play of the game will be, or Over/Under the total amount of turnovers by both teams.
The longest field goal made in Super Bowl LIV is a good example of a game prop. Oddsmakers set the Over/Under for the longest field goal made by either team at 47.5 yards. San Francisco kicked a 42-yard FG in the third quarter, which was the longest field goal of the game, paying out for Under 47.5 bettors.
First offensive play
The first offensive play Super Bowl prop is a quick-hitting bet that hinges on the type of play used on the first offensive snap of the game: run or pass?
In addition to this basic bet, some first offensive play props will also allow you to pick between run, pass, incompletion, sack, and turnover.
The first offensive play prop for Super Bowl LIV had Run (-150)/Pass (+115). The first play of Super Bowl LIV was a 7-yard run from Kansas City running back Damien Williams. With odds of -150, that means it took a $15 wager to profit $10.
First scoring play
The first scoring play prop for the Super Bowl allows bettors to wager on how the first points of the Big Game will be registered.
This prop is broken into scoring options such as field goal, touchdown, and safety. However, some sportsbooks choose to post just two options: touchdown and other.
For example, the first scoring play prop for Super Bowl LIV had touchdown (-190)/other (+160). San Francisco opened the scoring with a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter, cashing in for the Other at odds of +160. This means a $10 bet would have profited $16.
Number of penalties
Super Bowl bettors can wager on the number of penalties called during the game as well as the number of penalties committed by each team.
This prop is most often an Over/Under option, with oddsmakers setting an expected number of penalties and bettors wagering on the final count being Over or Under that total.
San Francisco had total penalties Over/Under total of 5.5 for Super Bowl LIV and finished the game being whistled for five, winning that wager for Under 5.5 bettors.
Other game props
With a game as big as the Super Bowl, the prop betting options are nearly endless with thousands of different ways to wager on the Big Game. Some other popular game props include:
- Will there be a score in the first 5 minutes?
- Will there be a safety during the game?
- Will there be a defensive or special teams touchdown?
- Will either team have three unanswered scores?
Exotic Super Bowl props are a favorite with all fans, allowing you to bet not just on the game but the event that is Super Bowl Sunday. Exotic props are often not graded by what’s in the box score or even what happens on the football field.
However, while Super Bowl exotic props are extremely popular, they’re not available in all regions. Online-based sportsbooks will offer the largest – and wildest – menu of exotics while books regulated state-by-state may be limited or prohibited to offer these kinds of markets.
Before the ball is even snapped, you can bet on the national anthem Super Bowl prop. The most popular way to wager on the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the length.
Sportsbooks will post an Over/Under length for the time it will take the singer to sing the national anthem and you can bet on whether the singer will go Over or Under that time during their performance. For example, the Over/Under for Demi Lovato’s performance at Super Bowl LIV was set at 1 minute and 55 seconds. Under bettors cashed this prop when she took 1:49 to complete it.
The coin toss
Betting on the Super Bowl coin toss is a hugely popular prop and is offered at every sportsbook during the Big Game. The most common way to bet the coin toss is simply picking which side is the winning side of the flip: Head or Tails?
There’s not much handicapping or research you can do for this prop pick, as a coin toss has a 50/50 chance of landing on your side of choice.
Halftime show props
Just because the action on the field is taking a break, doesn’t mean prop betting has to. The Super Bowl halftime show has spawned a massive menu of exotic prop options over the years, with online sportsbooks having a lot of fun with the featured performers.
The Weeknd will headline the Super Bowl LV halftime show and if you have a good feeling which song he'll perform first or who the special guests might be, chances are you can bet on it.
The Gatorade bath
A Super Bowl tradition is also one of its most popular exotic props, with online sportsbooks offering odds on the color of the Gatorade bath given to the winning coach of the Super Bowl.
Clear and Yellow have been the most popular colors over the years, but what will it be this year?
Exotic Super Bowl props are only limited by the imagination of online oddsmakers. These wild and fun-loving markets have exploded over the past decade, covering everything from those infamous Super Bowl commercials to who the MVP will thank first.
Some of the most notorious Super Bowl exotics include:
- Will the game announcers reference the Super Bowl point spread?
- Which commercial will air first: Budweiser or Doritos?
- How many times will the quarterback’s wife be shown on camera?
- Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first: team, family, fans, God?
Tips for betting Super Bowl props
While Super Bowl props can be a lot of fun to bet, you should have a strategy and follow these tips to make sure you end up in the Big Game black:
Build a narrative
Chances are if you’re betting Super Bowl props, you likely have a wager on the point spread or total. Use those wagers to build a narrative around how you see the game playing out and what each team has to do to get to that projected result.
With so many Super Bowl bets available, it’s easy to get your action tangled up. Make sure you’re not betting against yourself by contradicting previous wagers. If you like the Over, don’t bet on the Under when it comes to scoring or passing props. If you like the underdog to cover the spread, don’t bet on the favorite to go Over their yardage props.
Mind the movement
Betting on props was long considered a “square” market for many years. However, with the rapid expansion in prop offerings as well as the explosion in advanced analytics, more and more sharp bettors and professional gamblers are flocking to the opening prop odds.
If you’re trying to get the best of the numbers, pay attention to the early prop odds movement in the 12 to 24 hours after sportsbooks release these markets. Bookmakers will adjust quickly to these early sharp opinions. If you’re waiting until Super Sunday to get your prop bets down, you’re likely to get the worst of the number.
Shop for props
Sportsbooks up their available prop markets every February with more and more Big Game betting options. Plenty of these props are the same, in terms of format, but the totals and juice/vig attached to them can vary from book to book. If you have multiple sportsbooks available to you, don’t be afraid to shop around for the best return on your prop betting opinions.
When are Super Bowl prop bets released?
Super Bowl prop bets are slowly released in the two-week ramp up to the Big Game. Some basic props and exotics will hit the board in the first 24 hours after the AFC and NFC champions are crowned while the bulk of the props will open after the bye weekend. There are thousands of Super Bowl props available by the Thursday before the game.
When do Super Bowl prop bets get paid out?
Depending on what they’re based on, Super Bowl prop bets can be graded and paid out either throughout the game or at the end of the game. The timing and promptness of payouts for Super Bowl bets depend on the sportsbook.
Super Bowl Prop Bet FAQs
What are the prop bets for the Super Bowl?
Prop bets – also known as proposition bets – for the Super Bowl are bets outside of the standard odds for the game (spread, moneylines, Over/Under) and are graded on game occurrences, team and player performances, as well as happenings during the event.
Can I bet on Super Bowl events other than the game?
Yes, online-based sportsbooks provide odds on prop bets on events ranging from the national anthem to a post-game Gatorade bath.