Super Bowl 2013 Prop Bets: Dissecting Most Rewarding Gambles

Justin Onslow@@JustinOnslowNFLContributor IIJanuary 30, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Singer/actress Lea Michele performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl pregame before Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

If you’ve ever placed a wager on what color Gatorade would be dumped on the winning coach at the end of a game, you’ve probably already bet on the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl prop bets are as fun and entertaining as the million-dollar commercials and massive halftime shows, but you can’t make money on a humorous ad spot or a catchy tune. Given the availability of a bevy of great options, placing a few prop bets on Super Sunday can be a lucrative endeavor.

No bet is a sure thing. That’s why they call it “gambling.” But there are some excellent prop bets that could pay out handsomely, and we’ll take a look at some of them now.

*All prop bets and odds obtained from


MVP winner

The Super Bowl MVP award is a prestigious honor presented to the game’s most outstanding performer—at least that’s the general idea.

Five of the game’s last six MVP winners played the quarterback position, and while wide receivers have also had their time in the spotlight in recent years, the odds of having an offensive MVP are very favorable.

Colin Kaepernick has 8/5 odds of winning the award this year, and Joe Flacco’s odds are 11/4. Both candidates are terrific options to win MVP, and Flacco is probably the more lucrative option. A wide receiver has my vote for the bet with the highest upside, though.

Torrey Smith is listed at 20/1 to win the game’s MVP award. Vernon Davis (18/1), Anquan Boldin (16/1) and Michael Crabtree (14/1) all have better odds to win it, but Smith has the potential to have a monster game against a San Francisco secondary that struggled to contain big-play receivers early in the NFC Championship game.

If Flacco has a huge game, it will probably mean a big performance for Smith and big payout for taking the 20/1 longshot.


Jacoby Jones receiving yards

Want a wager that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Take the over (20.5 yards) on Jacoby Jones’ performance in the Super Bowl.

Jones isn’t much of a possession receiver, and he’s third on Baltimore’s depth chart behind Smith and Boldin. But Jones’ forte is speed, and he’s always capable of catching one long pass to break the game open.

Jones averaged 13.5 yards per catch during the regular season and caught seven passes of 21 yards or longer. The payout odds (20/23) of Jones going over 20.5 yards in the game aren’t great, but the chances he does so are pretty good.

For the sake of comparison, the over/under for Dennis Pitta (45.5), Smith (65.5) and Boldin (69.5) are much more difficult bets, and with the way Flacco can spread the ball around when he is playing well, none of those players are guaranteed of posting big yardage totals.


First interception

Call me crazy, but for 22/1 on my money, I’m taking Ahmad Brooks to be the first player to intercept a pass in the Super Bowl.

Aldon Smith is San Francisco’s primary pass-rusher, and the 49ers very rarely bring pressure in big numbers. Brooks does a lot more in run support and short zone coverage, and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he will have an opportunity to pick off a pass on Sunday.

Ed Reed (10/1), Dashon Goldson (9/1) and Cary Williams (10/1) are far more likely to record the game’s first interception, but at 22/1, I like the return on investment for Brooks.


Number of times “Harbaugh” is said during the game

This one is a no-brainer. As much attention as the media has paid to the brother-brother coaching matchup this year, there’s no chance Jim Nantz and Phil Simms do not take every opportunity to mention the Harbaughs.

Bovada set the over/under for this wager at 21.5, but there is a little intrigue regarding the payout. Those who take the under are given even money on their venture, while the over pays out 5/7. The odds for the over aren’t great, but is there really any chance of not hearing the Harbaugh name more than 21 times?


Average number of viewers

Last year, 111.3 million people watched the Super Bowl. That number is sure to increase this year, as it has nearly every year.

There are so many intriguing storylines for this game. On top of that, Super Bowl commercials are always a huge draw and having an ultra-popular halftime act (Beyonce) will certainly attract a lot of viewers.

The over/under for average viewership is set at 111 million. While the odds for the under (20/21) are slightly better than the over (20/27), it’s a pretty good bet that more people will watch the game than ever before.