How big is the Super Bowl nowadays? How about so big the Las Vegas betting action on the game alone is estimated to be in the low billions, Bovada's head oddsmaker Pat Morrow said via a telephone interview Wednesday.
It isn't just whether the Denver Broncos, a three-point favorite at Morrow's book, will defeat the Seattle Seahawks and cover the spread, either.
There are as many as 500 ways to take action on the game with props—bets on anything from the length of the national anthem to whether Richard Sherman will be interviewed by Erin Andrews on the field after the game, something Morrow is really looking forward to seeing.
"The business is booming in the past five to 10 years," Morrow said. "The Internet has made the world a lot smaller place. Also, the limits have grown larger, and there are more options on how to take action on the game."
And with props, there are seemingly infinite options, he said. In fact, sports publicist Jimmy Shapiro said if there is something you can think you want to bet on that Bovada doesn't have, it is interested in drawing up odds for you and allowing you to wager on it. All it would take is a simple email or perhaps a tweet to Bovada.
Morrow estimates a decade ago the various side bets on the Super Bowl represented less than 5 percent of the total money wagered on the game. That figure has grown to 35 to 40 percent, he said. That is a larger percentage of a number growing into the low billions, mind you.
So, yeah, big business all right.
The sportsbooks love the prop betting as much as the players do. Morrow said the house's margins there can help offset the losses on the game.
So are these props sucker bets? Morrow said not necessarily.
"They can be in the bettor's favor. Our focus is fairly razor sharp on the outcome of the game, but you can find some inefficiency in the marketplace there."
Yours truly is a Super Bowl prop-betting neophyte, but let's see if we can help you find some betting value in the vast world of Super Bowl XLVIII props.
The following slideshow outlines some of the wackiest ways to wager this weekend. I even tried to pick Morrow's brain along the way, so we will have some of his advice in there too—even if he is working for the house and paid to make it money.