I've always been fascinated by sports betting, but other than March Madness pools or my one trip to Vegas, I've never indulged that curiousity. Gambling can be a cruel friend, and I don't have a lot of cash to throw around.
That said, I like having a rooting interest in things, and I've always wanted the experience of sorting through the options and finding places where you think you might have a leg up on the system. Gambling sites are fascinating to browse through on big games like this. So I thought, why not make my own imaginary bets and track and see what kind of money I'd make? Like a fantasy gambling league. Even if the game tomorrow's a dud, I'll still have lots to root for.
Now, I've no desire to bet on the outcome of the Super Bowl itself - I think it's currently Packers favored by two and a half, and while I like the Packers in this game, it's not a bet that makes my heart pump at all. What makes me excited? Prop bets, where you can bet on actions within the game. Let's jump in.
Quick gambling tip: after each bet, I'm going to put down the money line. It's easy to translate if you know how. If something is labeled positively (+220, say), that means that if you lay down $100 on it, you stand to win $220. If something is labeled negatively (-220, say), you'd have to lay down $220 in order to win a $100. Simple enough?
We'll start off with my fictional gambling pot of $2500.
I like Christina Aguilera to sing the Star-Spangled Banner OVER 1 minute and 54 seconds (-240) and to hold the word "brave" for over six seconds (-160). When she's done it before, that's about how long she's gone for, but this is the Super Bowl, and national television, and I think she's gives it her all on this one.
Bet: $50 on each.
(Total Pot: $2400)
I don't think any punt will hit the scoreboard (-1200). Bet: $100
I don't think they'll be a 2-point conversion (-600). Bet: $100
I don't think they'll be a safety (-1200). Bet: $100
I don't think the game goes into overtime (-1100). Bet: $100
(Total Pot: $2000)
On the PACKERS, I like:
I think the Packers punt on their first possession (-150) Bet: $100
John Kuhn to get over 5.5 rushing yards (-135). Bet: $100
James Starks to NOT get a touchdown (-220). Bet: $200
I think Aaron Rodgers throws more than 1.5 touchdown passes (-240). Bet: $200
I think Greg Jennings does NOT make a one-handed catch (-400). Bet: $100
(Total Pot: $1300)
On the STEELERS, I like:
I like the Steelers to punt (-160) on their first possesion. Bet: $100
Heath Miller to get more than 42.5 receiving yards (-130). Bet: $100
I say Mike Wallace does NOT get a rushing attempt (-220). Bet: $100
Hines Ward's longest reception is UNDER 15.5 yards (-115). Bet: $100
His first reception is UNDER 9.5 yards (-115). Bet: $100
He does NOT score a touchdown (-240). Bet: $200
He does NOT make a one-handed catch (-400). Bet: $200
(Total Pot: $400)
Player vs. Player
I like Heath Miller to get more receiving yards than John Kuhn (-27.5) at (-115) Bet: $100
(Total Pot: $300)
I have the defense to dump the Gatorade on the coach (-250) and that the Gatorade will be orange (+250). And I like Aaron Rodgers to win the MVP (+150). Bet: $50 on the first two, and $200 on Rodgers.
(Total Pot: $0)
You're free to grade me as the game goes along, but I'll do a post Sunday night detailing all the imaginary money I've won or lost during the game. If this goes well, I may break this post out again for some of the bigger sporting events of the year. And the Oscars! Think how much more fun this would make my Oscar post.
Of course, for right now, I'll just go ahead and focus on not losing all of my imaginary cash on this game right here. Fun fact: Vegas has won money on every Super Bowl in the last ten years except for one. It is - unsurprisingly - Patriots vs. Giants in 2008 (sigh).
Best of luck to your team. See you tomorrow.