Super Bowl 56, between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, will be the biggest American sports betting event of 2022. That’s usually the case for the Super Bowl, but it’s especially true now that people in about half of U.S. states can bet legally.
Super Bowl prop bets are a fun way to give yourself a stake in the action and find things to follow along with during the game. They’re also accessible for fans who’d rather track smaller outcomes within the game instead of taking a shot on bigger bets like the point spread (the Rams are favored by 4.5) or over/under (48.5 total points between the two teams).
How Prop Betting Works
In a prop bet, a bettor places a wager on any number of specific events that might occur before, during, or after the game. As long as you live in a state that has legalized sports betting, you can bet on just about anything, though different sportsbooks post different wagers. In many states, you can place bets online at sites like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, but make sure to check the gambling regulations for your location first.
Different Super Bowl prop bets might include picking who will win the coin toss, make the first catch of the game, score the final touchdown, or win MVP honors. Plus, you can bet on things totally separate from the game, like which player the TV cameras will zoom in on first.
Dealing With Odds
Assessing the odds for each bet will help you determine how much cash you can win. Odds with a plus sign indicate a less probable outcome, and they show the amount you’d win for every $100 you bet. Odds with a minus sign indicate the more likely outcome, and they show the amount you need to bet in order to win $100. A bet at -110 odds, for example, means a $110 wager would return $100 in profit ($210 total), while +150 means a $100 wager would return $150 ($250 total). The longer the odds, the larger the payout.
Here are some Super Bowl prop bets worth considering as you watch the game (it airs at 6:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 13). Keep in mind that odds may vary slightly depending on where you place your bets.
1. Mickey Guyton’s national anthem: Over 1 minute, 35 seconds (-120)
Most bookmakers have the over/under for Guyton’s national anthem performance at about 1 minute, 35 seconds. That’s the second-lowest total since 2007, only above Kelly Clarkson’s 1:34 (which finished at exactly 1:34) in 2012. It makes sense that the total would be low; Guyton has put a couple of national anthem performances on tape in the last few years that clock in well below the 1:35 mark.
But this is the Super Bowl, and Guyton will never get an opportunity exactly like this one again. I’d like to think she’ll pause to smell the roses and soak in the moment at least a little bit. Because 1:35 is such a small amount of time, I’ll bet on her going over.
2. First offensive play of the game: Pass (+115)
There’s no real hint of who will get the ball first. Both the Rams and Bengals prefer to defer to the second half when they win the coin toss. The Rams prefer to start their games with rushing plays, and did so in 11 of their 17 regular-season games. But they started their last two playoff games with passes, so maybe coach Sean McVay has changed his mind.
The Bengals, on the other hand, strongly prefer to pass on their first play. By my count, they’ve thrown to open the game 70 percent of the time. So if the Rams win the coin toss, the pass becomes a great bet when the Bengals offense takes the field. And even if the Bengals win it, there’s recent evidence that McVay has been comfortable throwing to start the game. The best value here, given the +115 payout, is that the first offensive play involves a throw.
3. Tee Higgins receptions: Over 5.5 (-110)
Higgins is the No. 2 wideout for the Bengals behind superstar rookie Ja’Marr Chase. I expect Higgins to get a lot of work in this game. The Rams have one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks, Jalen Ramsey, and it seems likely that he’ll follow Chase around all night. That could mean a lot of slants to Higgins, who will be left to face the Bengals’ less formidable defensive backs.
4. Longest field goal made: Bengals (-105)
Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson has been the longest-range bomber in the NFL this season. He’s made nine field goals from 50 yards or more, the most in the league, and his average field goal is a 42-yard attempt, the longest distance in the league. The Rams rely on their kicker, Matt Gay, for much shorter attempts. Cincinnati’s offense also feels likelier to stall out, leading to more field goal chances, which makes the Bengals (and McPherson) the best option here.
5. Cam Akers rushing yards: Under 64.5 (-112)
Rams coach Sean McVay loves to establish an outside zone running game, but a few things are working against Akers in that department for the Super Bowl. Akers has not been excellent since returning from a torn ACL injury, the Rams have other running back options who could take carries away from him, and McVay will likely lean on his best players (quarterback Matthew Stafford, receivers Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr.) to move the ball.
6. Odell Beckham Jr. + Tee Higgins combined touchdowns: Over 1.5 (+275)
Higgins should get a healthy diet of targets from Burrow, given the Rams’ likely deployment of Ramsey and a safety to deal with Chase. Beckham has become a more involved part of the Rams’ offense the last two weeks, generating 19 targets combined in a divisional round win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers. He’s scored in six of his 11 games with the Rams, and I like his chances to get the ball while the Bengals direct attention toward Kupp, his prolific teammate. The +275 payout makes this an attractive mixed bet.
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