The Super Bowl is arguably America's most cherished sports event for a multitude of reasons. One of the fun side effects of the two-week hoopla is the plethora of prop bets that emerge.
The full list of prop bets for Super Bowl XLVIII is not yet available, but according to LVH Superbook assistant manager Jeff Sherman, they should be released starting Thursday night:
Super Bowl XLVIII propositions will be released Thursday night around 7 pm ... sheets will be available by Saturday— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) January 20, 2014
A couple of early ones are available, however. Below are the first two Super Bowl prop bets available to the public.
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Date and Time: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:25 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Broncos -2.5, per Vegas Insider
Over/Under: 48, per CBS Sports
Per Bovada, this is dead even (as you would expect), with heads and tails both at minus-105.
This essentially boils down to your favorite superstition—do you subscribe to the "tails never fails" mindset or the No Country for Old Men school of thought?
Ideally, one would have enough patience to wait for more predictable bets to emerge. Fortunately, there is one such prop available.
According to VegasInsider.com, the over-under for combined halftime score is 24, and Denver is a 0.5-point favorite.
The over-under appears to be influenced by respect for the Seahawks defense and perhaps a little fear of how Peyton Manning will perform in the cold. Per Pro-Football-Reference.com, the Broncos and Seahawks were both among the top-five teams in first-half points. On the other hand, PFR notes how Seattle has allowed the second-fewest first-half points, while Denver ranks 18th.
For what it's worth, Denver has scored 14 first-half points or fewer in half of its 18 games, which is a bit of a surprise given its record-setting offense. Seattle also had not allowed points on any opening drive until last week, when the San Francisco 49ers got a field goal following a Russell Wilson fumble.
With that in mind, it's surprising to see the Broncos as a tiny favorite. That most likely stems from Denver's status as a slight overall favorite, although that could change. Logistically, it seems more likely the Broncos will score more in the second half after adjusting to Seattle's unique Cover 3 hybrid defense.
The Seattle offense might have trouble putting up points if Marshawn Lynch is as unsuccessful as the New England Patriots were last week on the ground. It might be up to Wilson to make a few big improvisational plays for the Seahawks to cover and for the points to hit the over.