Football fans, advertising aficionados and gamblers all have Feb. 4 highlighted on the calendar.
For the second time in the illustrious Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era, the New England Patriots will face the Philadelphia Eagles on the NFL's grandest stage. As New England's dynasty looks to add another Super Bowl, Philadelphia's supporters will keep embracing the underdog narrative behind quarterback Nick Foles.
As always, the United States' supreme sporting event doubles as a gambler's paradise. If a simple betting line or office-pool box is too simple, nearly every possible scenario—not all relevant to the actual game—comes attached with odds.
Courtesy of OddsShark's Stephen Campbell, let's dive into the array of Super Bowl prop bets to examine some absurd and intriguing wager topics.
Super Bowl LII
Date: Sunday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
Point Spread: Patriots -4.5
Will Tom Brady's Jersey Be Stolen Again?
Last year, Mauricio Ortega absconded with Tom Brady's game-worn Super Bowl LI jersey during New England's celebrations. Dylan Wagner, a 19-year-old memorabilia collector and Patriots fan, helped the FBI track down the stolen attire.
Don't count on someone snatching Brady's jersey again. According to TMZ Sports, Minneapolis law enforcement will make the protection of player property a "major priority" to prevent another locker-room theft.
Then again, this prop could give some would-be thieves ideas of another heist. NBC Sports Philadelphia's Corey Seidman joked about seeking insider information from any prospective copycat criminals:
Brady—and the police—will carefully shield his uniform from any miscreants, so the "no" for this prop seems like a lock. Come to think of it, he should probably lock up the jersey this time.
Will Pink Say 'Eagles' Before, During or After the National Anthem?
Pink will perform the pregame national anthem. It appears she has a rooting interest:
There's a prop on whether the pop star will don an Eagles hat or shirt, but it seems more likely she will harmlessly slip in "Go Eagles" after singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." The prop may just give her a reason to tout her fandom.
Total Passing Yards for Tom Brady
Over 285.5: 4-5
Under 285.5: 20-21
At near-even odds, taking Brady to fall short of 286 passing yards initially seems like a prudent decision. The Eagles relinquished 227.3 passing yards per game during the regular season before limiting Matt Ryan and Case Keenum to 210 and 271, respectively, en route to Super Bowl LII. Keenum needed 48 attempts to pad that tally in a blowout loss.
Brady averaged 286.1 yards per game through the air during the regular season, so it's reasonable to take the under against a defense that entered the playoffs yielding just 6.5 yards per pass attempt.
But it's always risky to bet against Brady. The Jacksonville Jaguars' jump ahead in the AFC Championship Game forced New England to open up its offense. Facing the league's premier secondary, the 40-year-old went 26-of-38 for 290 yards.
Yahoo Sports' Frank Schwab marveled at Brady's late comeback, led after Rob Gronkowski left with a concussion:
Yet the previous game might offer more insight into the reigning champion's strategy. The Tennessee Titans boasted the NFL's fourth-best run defense, so Brady simply avoided the effective unit by airing out 53 throws in a 35-14 victory.
The Eagles ended 2017 first against the run.
Regardless of how the game unfolds, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will likely again trust his superstar rather than challenge a formidable front seven. Brady has shone in high-stakes contests, registering 3,297 passing yards over his past 10 playoff games.
Although the five-time champion almost certainly won't eclipse his 466 yards from last year's Super Bowl comeback, he's a strong candidate to hit the 300-yard plateau.
Total Rushing Attempts/Yards for Jay Ajayi
Over 14.5 Rushes, 62.5 Yards: 4-5
Under 14.5 Rushes, 62.5 Yards: 20-21
Unless Foles can do a pitch-perfect Aaron Rodgers impersonation one more time, Philadelphia will need significant contributions from Jay Ajayi.
Slowly incorporated into the offense following a midseason trade from the Miami Dolphins, the 24-year-old running back has averaged 61.5 yards on 14.8 touches over the past five games. That aligns with his over/under prop lines of 14.5 handoffs for 62.5 yards.
Although two separate categories, meeting the workload requirement should net the necessary yards for Ajayi, who has recorded 4.1 yards per rush in the season and playoffs combined. However, he will share some snaps with former Patriots running back who has found pay dirt in each of Philadelphia's two playoff victories.
"Straight enemy mode," LeGarrette Blount told reporters regarding his former teammates. "Ain't no friends, no homies, none of that. We know what we're going to do; they know what they're going to do. We've got the same goal in mind. It ain't no hard feelings. It just is what it is."
The Patriots surrendered 114.8 rushing yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry during the regular season, but they have since limited the Titans and Jaguars to 166 combined yards on the ground in the. Ajayi and Blount must fare better in order to avoid blowing a lead like Jacksonville or getting blown out like Tennessee.
Facing a subpar rushing defense with a second-string quarterback, there's no better time to unleash Ajayi.