WASHINGTON — With only a week to go until Super Bowl LI, it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year to follow sportsbooks.
Thanks to the near universal interest in the game, every part of it can be dissected by oddsmakers. Here’s a look at some of the odds and prop bets, via Top Bet sportsbook, that you should know about heading into Super Sunday (last updated 11 p.m., Jan. 27):
New England Patriots are Close Favorites (-3):
The Atlanta Falcons opened as close underdogs, but underdogs have enjoyed a long run of success, winning eight of the last nine Super Bowl games. The matchup looks close on paper and in sportsbooks, as each of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick Super Bowl appearances have been decided by four points or less.
Big Payout for a Safety as First Scoring Play:
The most likely way for the game’s first points to be scored on Super Bowl Sunday is via the touchdown pass, from either Matt Ryan or Tom Brady (+260). The least likely scenario is that either of those prolific passers will let their teams get bottled up in the end zone, especially Brady. If the first points of the game are scored on a Falcons safety, the payout for a $100 bet will be $7,500. The odds are only slightly more optimistic for the Patriots to score first points on a safety, with a $6,000 payout on a $100 bet.
Those are the longest odds currently posted on Top Bet’s boards.
Best Prop Bets to Watch For:
Trump Tweets: President Donald Trump used to own a professional football team, is a prolific tweeter, and does some of his best digital reflection after hours. Bettors like the chances of him tweeting more than three times between kickoff and the last play (-220).
Honoring America: Country music star Luke Bryan will lead the Lonestar State in the National Anthem, and sportsbooks expect him to go long–more than 2 minutes, 7.5 seconds (-130). That would break with recent tradition, as Super Bowl National Anthems between 2006-2014 averaged 1 minute, 56 seconds. Billy Joel was the shortest in memory at 1:30 in 2007, while Alicia Keys went 2 minutes, 35 seconds in 2012.
Streaking for Glory: Don’t bet on a streaker interrupting the broadcast for Super Bowl LI (-2000), but if you do, there’s a good payout (+1,000).
Concussion Protocol: Players from both the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers left the game with concussions last year, but sportsbooks don’t like those odds repeating this time. The chances of any player leaving the game with a concussion: +130.
Gaga Unlikely to Channel the Deceased: Lady Gaga is the much-hyped halftime performer for Super Bowl LI, and is most likely to begin her performance with Bad Romance (-115). From there, don’t expect her to cover any of the talented musicians that passed in the last 12 months, including David Bowie (+200), Prince (+250), Leonard Cohen (+325), George Michael (+450), Glenn Frey (+800).
Don’t Dwell on Deflategate: The whole Deflategate scandal happened two years ago, but thanks to legal wrangling, was not resolved until Brady served his four-game suspension to start this season. Now, there’s a chance that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could be handing the trophy to Brady at season’s end. With that in mind, sportsbooks don’t like the idea of broadcasters dwelling on the scandal (+170).
Manning and Harden Commercials: Gone, but not forgotten, Peyton Manning will likely appear in a commercial for Papa John’s, Nationwide, Oreos, etc. (-140), while NBA star James Harden is almost a certainty to appear (-250).
Big Money on Frost: For whatever reason, the Gatorade shower for the winning coach has become a customary part of American sports culture. But what color will the Gatorade be? Odds are, it will be clear (+240), but the best payout is on purple (+800).
Yes to Gisele, No to Trump: If Tom Brady wins the Super Bowl and MVP award, he will chat with Joe Buck and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. What he says to Buck will be of great interest to bettors. Odds are quite good that he will thank his wife Gisele Bundchen (-400), and extremely poor that he will mention Trump (+2,000), whom his wife has encouraged him to stop talking about. However, if Brady wins the MVP award, Top Bet likes his chances of thanking Belichick (-260) before Bundchen (+200)