Mr. T’s 22 Gambling Picks for Super Bowl 44
I was asked by many if I watched the Pro Bowl last week and most were surprised when they heard the answer was no. A die-hard sports fan like me must’ve cut a few minutes out of my Sunday to at least catch a few plays, right? No thanks. That’s like getting a beej from Rosie O’Donnell in the janitor’s closet at Hooter’s when Megan Fox is waiting nekked in your bed. I’d rather not waste my time going bone to bone when it’s obviously not worth it. Now that we’ve gotten through the dreaded two-week break between actual football games, we can now truly start the hype machine for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl is watched by tens of millions, yet most people are left without a rooting interest in the game. Many people participate in box pools, but those are such horseshit that you’re better off not wasting your time. A real football fan turns to prop bets to make the game more compelling and you should too. Anywhere from 30 to 50% of a Vegas casino’s handle on the Super Bowl involves prop bets.
Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting prop bets out there:
Coin Toss (Heads or Tails, both -101): Both heads and tails are the same value and tails never fails, right? A regular game line is set at a -110 payout so the book can take an even amount on both sides and walk away with the vig. My question is what’s the point of the book carrying this if they don’t take the full 9% vig? You can save yourself the remaining gig if you have a friend who wants to bet the other side against you. It’ll be a nice indicator of how your luck will be for the rest of the game.
Winner of coin toss (Colts or Saints, both -105): Why wouldn’t this be -101 as well?
First penalty (Colts +110): The Saints took 15 more penalties than the Colts in the regular season and have also taken 10 more penalties in the playoffs. That means the Saints are more likely to draw more penalties during the game, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the first one called for a penalty. Take the Colts.
Will there be a Safety (No -1400): Sportsbooks hate this prop because most people take a shot with yes for the payout on a $10 bet. There were 14 safeties during the regular season in 2009. Don’t be a sucker — stay away from this one. There isn’t enough value here and I pity the fool dumb enough to make this bet.
Number of different Saints players to rush the ball (Over 4.5 -105): The Saints had four different rushers in the conference final, but they had seven in the divisional round (don’t forget they were up big). Sean Payton, the king of trick plays, will have a reverse up his sleeve to go with the inevitable carries from Brees, Bush, Thomas, and either Bell or Hamilton. Take the over.
Number of different Colts players to rush the ball (Over 3.5 -155): The Colts have had four different rushers in back-to-back playoff games. I think people forget Mike Hart exists and he seems to snag a carry every game, so the over looks nice here.
Colts Rushing Yards (Over 99.5 -115): The Colts had 101 rushing yards vs. the Jets, but only averaged 80.9 ypg in the regular season, a league worst. The Saints gave up 122.2 ypg, but that’s because teams were trying to keep them off the field. I’m leaning towards the under.
Peyton Manning throws a 2nd-quarter TD (Yes -130): Should it really be less probable than in the first and third quarters? There’s value here comparatively.
Pierre Garcon (Over 4.5 receptions -115 & over 60.5 receiving yards -115): Jabari Greer is the best cornerback you don’t know about. He’ll be shadowing Reggie Wayne, but the rest of the Saint secondary can’t match up as well with the Colts’ other receiving options. I like both of these.
Austin Collie (Over 3.5 receptions -190 & over 50.5 receiving yards -115): See above.
Both teams kick field goals of 33 yards or longer (No -220): Both teams have kicked field goals of 33 yards or longer in only 9 out of 43 Super Bowls.
Either team scores three straight times without the other team scoring (Yes -170): Despite what you might think, this happens almost every year.
Kim Kardashian’s measurements (34-26-39) vs. Reggie Bush’s total rushing & receiving yards (KK -38.5 -115): To clarify for the readers out there, Bush needs to combine for 61 rushing and receiving yards to win this bet. I threw it up here because it’s a good way of getting the broad you’re trying to sleep with interested in the game. She’ll eat that shit up. If you’re lucky she’ll make a bet including sexual favors. Just make sure to get consent, unlike Michael Irvin.
The length of Carrie Underwood’s National Anthem takes 1 minute and 42 seconds (Over +120): If you really know nothing about football and need a wager.
Will Pete Townshend Smash a Guitar? (No -200): This is the only way to make watching a bunch of old farts exciting.
There are also two other bets that are good fun to follow.
Who gets thanked first? (Coach +900, No one +500, Family +400, God -125, Teammates +200).
What color will the Gatorade be that’s dumped on the head coach? (Blue +1200, Clear/Water +150, Lime Green +550, Orange +500, Red +1200, Yellow -120).
Oh yeah, there’s actually a football game to watch as well…
INDIANAPOLIS (-5.5) over New Orleans
The line originally opened at Colts -3.5, but the love for Peyton Manning and the display by the Saints against the Vikings quickly moved it to -5.5 within the first 24 hours. The line went as high as Colts -6 until Dwight Freeney’s ankle injury was unveiled to the public. Early public money shows 70% backing the Colts. That has any experienced gambler worried, but it hasn’t pushed me over the edge to back the Saints. Everybody and their mother expects a high-scoring affair (although I think it might not be as high scoring as you think because the game’s on grass and not the artificial surface both teams are used to playing on) so the over has escalated as high as 57.5. With both teams having high-scoring offenses, you have to ask yourself whether or not either can be stopped.
We’ll start with the Colts’ offense because they’ve got a championship under their belt and the league’s MVP on their side. The Colts are still 17-0 in games they’ve played with the full intention to win. Historically they’ve struggled against 3-4 defenses, but the Saints run a more standard 4-3 set. Manning has an efficiency about his offensive game this year which even Jersey Shore’s The Situation has come to love. I know I can’t be the only one who saw a very noticeable difference in how well executed the Colts offense looked compared to two other prolific offenses on the NFC side. The Vikings showed the Saints can’t necessarily stop a good offense and the Colts have the best offense in football. If not for a typical Brett Favre error, the Saints wouldn’t even be playing in this game. I need Lindsay Vonn to come over and get the bad taste out of my mouth from their performance two Sundays ago.
Flip over to the Saints’ offense and you see a unit that has also been rather effective all year. The difference, however, is the Saints haven’t faced a defense all year which had as much speed as the Colts have. Missing Dwight Freeney means something, but it doesn’t mean everything. The theory on beating the Colts is to play power football to control the clock and that’s not the Saints game.
Can the Saints win a shootout? Sure, but there’s nothing I’ve seen from Manning during the season to illustrate that I’d want to bet against him in any game this year. The Colts will win, the question is by how much, and will they cover the 57.5 over?
Indianapolis Colts 34, New Orleans Saints 24 “