Prop bets make Super Bowl wagers interesting |

Prop bets make Super Bowl wagers interesting

Dylan Silver
Dylan Silver / Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – For many Nevada sports books, the Super Bowl is the biggest day of the year. So how do you make it more interesting than betting one team against another? How about gambling on the length of the national anthem as sung by Kelly Clarkson or which team will have the longest field goal?

“With prop bets, there’s so many options to choose from, people always find something they think they can win on,” said Bob Morrell, a supervisor at Lakeside Inn and Casino’s sports book. “They make it exciting.”

Hundreds of “prop bets,” or proposition bets, are fielded each and every Super Bowl. This year is no different at Stateline casinos.

“People like to go through and look for bets that are screwball,” said Steve Schorr, games manager at Harveys Resort and Casino. “There’s things like how long the national anthem will be. There’s all sorts of things.”

A prop bet is a simple wager on any event or nonevent of a game. These events can include points, tackles, punts, fumbles, overtime, interceptions, yardage, coin tosses, the national anthem and many other occurrences. They can take on multiple aspects like comparing scores in one sport to another or they can be straight forward like the total touchdowns or interceptions of any given player or team.

This year, bets at the sports books at Lakeside, MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Harveys include what team will score first, total passing yards by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, largest lead of the game by either team, will New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throw an interception, the jersey number of the player who scores first and dozens of others. In Las Vegas, bets on what kind of microphone (headset or handheld) Madonna will use to perform during halftime and whether or not Kelly Clarkson will omit at least one word of the national anthem are being made, according to

Then there’s the cross-sports bets like whether the total number of Super Bowl fumbles will be above or below the total number of goals scored by Manchester United Feb. 5.

Unbelievably, there’s actually a method to this madness. Oddsmakers take into consideration the entire season and sometimes seasons of a team’s or player’s performance. In Kelly Clarkson’s case, they’re looking at her national anthem track record, the setting and the fact that it’s the Super Bowl, Las Vegas oddsmaker Pat Morrow told MTV News.

“There’s a lot of homework when creating the odds,” said Morrell, who spent hours reviewing the two teams’ seasons before setting odds for Lakeside’s spread of prop bets.

For some of the more difficult odds, Morrow uses an online database of prop bet odds from more than 80 sports books, he said.

Though neither of the teams are from the area, Schorr still believes the game will be well watched around Lake Tahoe.

“It’s the two best quarterbacks in football, some would say,” Schorr said.

Most people have been betting under the point spread, which is unusual for a Super Bowl, Schorr said. So far, the betting has leaned more heavily on the underdog Giants.

As for the prop bets, there aren’t any that really stick out to Schorr, not like Super Bowl XX, he said.

“The one that I remember the most was Refrigerator Perry,” he said. “There was a bet that he would score a touchdown. Toward the end of the game, they gave him the ball and he ran it in.”

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