Around this time last year, I gave you $530.
Well, OK, I didn't give it to you outright. I did, however, give you the keys to the bank. I told you which wagers to make on the Super Bowl. If you had followed my advice, you would have made $530.
(If you don't believe the above claim, here's the proof - The Advice and The Outcome.)
Since not a single damn one of you sent me 10% of your profits, as I expected as payment for my letting you in on such financial wizardry, I was having second thoughts about cluing you in on the correct wagers to make this year. However, I am always an optimist (despite the numerous kicks in the ass) so I'll be nice and give you another chance to make some dough. But, if you don't send me my cut this time, you can expect... well, the possibility of incriminating myself in future prevents me from stating specifically what you might expect, and it would ruin the surprise, too. Suffice to say, having a naked Vince Wilfork sit on your... No, I've said too much already.
What follows are called proposition bets. Every year, during the Super Bowl, there are hundreds of different bets than can be had from various bookmakers. Some are just plain ludicrous, and betting real money on them should entitle you to a mandatory Gamblers Anonymous meeting. For instance, you can bet on which team will win the coin flip before the game. Or you can bet on what Kelly Clarkson will wear when she sings the national anthem. Or what color the Gatorade dumped over the winning coach's head will be (you can get 6 to 1 on green - Oh, boy! Where's my mortgage?)
I kid you not. Go HERE for a full list of possible Super Bowl wagers.
(Disclaimer: I am not endorsing that site. I have not been paid by that site. I am not, in any way, suggesting that you should contravene the laws of your state, country, or other jurisdiction, by taking part in illegal gaming activity. But, if you feel an overwhelming need to get some scratch down on whether or not Madonna will wear fishnet stockings during the halftime show, I might be willing to fade your action.)
OK, let's make some money!
(Disclaimer #2: If we lose, that means YOU lose. Think of me as a broker. Even though I expect you to send me 10% of your winnings, I will not cover your losses. It is still gambling, no matter how much I expect these bets to make a gain overall. As the $5 hooker said, proceed at your own risk.)
The first bet that caught my eye (ouch!) was a proposition wherein you could bet who would receive the opening kickoff. Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Huh? Isn't that as much of a ridiculous thing as betting on the outcome of the coin flip?" Well, if you didn't talk to yourself so much, we'd get through this more quickly, but no, it isn't. The coin flip is a 50 - 50 proposition on which you have to lay odds. And there's no real way to handicap that, either. But, when it comes to who will have the ball first, that's another story.
The New England Patriots have consistently chosen to kick off whenever they've won the coin flip. That would give the New York Giants the ball first. Given the Patriots superb offense and sometimes lackluster defense, I wouldn't expect the Giants to hand them the ball if they win the coin toss. So, the correct bet would be the Giants to have the ball first. However, you'd have to bet 270 to make 100 on that. That's no bargain, so we'll skip it. BUT, there is another proposition that somewhat ties into who gets the ball first.
We can bet on which defense records the first sack (tackle of the quarterback for a loss.) Since we expect the Giants to have the ball first, that would mean the Patriots have first shot at winning this bet. And we can get odds on it, so it's attractive. The line is +120 (that is, bet 100 to make 120) for the Patriots. A small wager is in order here.
Patriots, First Sack, 50 to make 60
(The Giants have the better defensive front, and will have a better overall chance to make a sack, thus the odds if we bet on the Patriots. We're strictly looking to gain the edge on this one via the Giants having the ball on offense first. If past trends don't hold, and the Patriots have the ball first, this becomes a seriously iffy bet. That's why we're making it a small one.)
Bets can be had on the exact score of either team in the game. We'll hope that the previous bet comes in on the good side and risk that $60 profit on four bets for the exact score of the teams.
I expect the Giants to score between 27 and 31 points. I expect the Patriots to score 27 to 33 points. We'll buy four totals.
Giants, 27, @ 11 - 1, 20 to make 220
Giants, 30, @ 18 - 1, 10 to make 180
Patriots, 30, @ 17 - 1, 10 to make 170
Patriots, 33, @ 20 - 1, 20 to make 400
From those wagers, you'd suppose that I expect this to be a high-scoring game. You'd be right to suppose that. I don't think either team's defense will be able to completely stop the other team's offense. The Patriots have a better offense, while the Giants have a better defense. The line on this game (the sort of bet that is available for every NFL game during the season) is Patriots by 3 (that is, if you bet the Patriots, they must win by 4 points for you to win, and, if you bet the Giants, they could lose by 1 or 2 and you'd still cash your bet. An exact outcome of Patriots winning by 3 would be a draw, no win or loss either way.)
There's nothing in that line that makes me want to bet into it. As a matter of fact, I think that line is right on the money.
(Before the line was set on this one, I expected it to be Patriots by 6 or 7, and I would have bet on the Giants in that case. I was very surprised to see it open as low as 3.)
So, as I say, I think there's an excellent chance for this game to be decided by 3 points. If I absolutely had to make a prediction, I'd say 33 - 30 (but I don't absolutely have to make a prediction, so let's call it a guess!) Is there a bet here? Yes.
Game will be decided by 3 points exactly, 100 to make 325
A 33 - 30 outcome (or any of the exact scores we bet on earlier) would entail some field goals being kicked; at least one a side, and possibly a high of 7 total. While neither defense will completely stop either offense, they will stop them from scoring touchdowns every time. Both sides have an excellent kicker, and the game is being played in a domed stadium, making it easier for them both. So, let's see if there's a prop we like concerning field goals.
Why, here's one right now!
Both teams to make a field goal of over 33 yards, 200 to make 280
And that's that. We're risking a total of $410. Our best possible outcome is a profit of $1025. Of course, the lynchpin of this whole scheme is the "both teams making a 34-yard field goal or better", as winning that will cover all of the other bets and still make us a profit no matter what. If we lose that bet we can still make a profit by hitting the "game decided by exactly 3 points" bet. If we lose both of those bets, we need the Patriots to score 33 on the nose.
Isn't gambling fun?
Monday, one way or the other.