Coin Toss One of The Most Popular Super Bowl Prop Bets

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Coin Toss One of The Most Popular Super Bowl Prop Bets
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Before the Super Bowl even starts, some bettors will be agonizing over the coin toss.

The pre-game flip of the coin to determine which team will kickoff or receive the ball to begin is always a popular Super Bowl proposition bet.

But it’s not the only prop bet, not by a long shot.

A lengthy list of prop bets awaits bettors heading into the NFL’s 56th Super Bowl on Feb. 13 between the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals and the NFC’s Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are favored by 4.5 points, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Super Bowl is being played on the Rams’ home field, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, just south of Los Angeles. The Super Bowl site was selected long before the Rams won a spot in the NFL’s marquee event.

Betting Action Kicks Off With Coin Toss

At sportsbooks, the coin toss literally is considered a toss-up.

That’s consistent with the odds this week at the Barstool sportsbooks inside the Margaritaville and Boomtown riverboat casinos in Bossier City, Louisiana. The two riverboats are Penn National properties.

The coin toss odds at these casinos this week are “heads -103” and “tails -103,” according to sportsbook manager Casey Lewless.

As often happens, some bettors will wager a larger among on the game’s outcome and then maybe put $5 on the coin toss, Lewless said.

Coin Toss Examined in Scientific Study

The 50-50 coin toss odds aren’t just a guess. The issue has been the topic of academic scrutiny, which comes close to putting the odds officially at even.

According to a 30-page Stanford scientific analysis, titled “Dynamical Bias in the Coin Toss,” the coin has a 51% chance of landing on the side facing up when it’s tossed, if caught in the hand. The study includes graphics, charts and mathematic computations.

“We prove that vigorously-flipped coins are biased to come up the same way they started,” the study concludes. "The amount of bias depends on a single parameter, the angle between the normal to the coin and the angular momentum vector.”

In other words, it’s pretty much a toss-up.

The study doesn’t address tosses at football games with the coin landing on the field, but acknowledges that air resistance on short flips “has a negligible effect.”

Prop Bets Popular at Sportsbooks

In addition to the coin toss, other prop bets attract attention among NFL betting enthusiasts. The Super Bowl traditionally is one of the most heavily wagered events in the country.

Lewless said the sportsbooks he manages have nine pages of prop bets. These include “highest scoring half,” “total receiving yards by the player,” and “total touchdowns thrown by the player.”

The odds on these prop bets:

Highest scoring half:

  • First half: -115
  • Second half: -109
  • Tie: +1700

Total receiving yards:

  • Odell Beckham Jr.: Over 63.5, -113; Under 63.5, -110
  • Ja’Marr Chase: Over 80.5, -112; Under 80.5, -112
  • Odds are available on five other players in this category.

Total touchdown passes thrown:

  • Joe Burrow: Over 1.5, -148; Under 1.5, +118
  • Matthew Stafford: Over 2.5, +160; Under 2.5 -200

Louisiana Bettors Back LSU Stars

In Louisiana, bettors tend to favor the home state player in Super Bowl prop bets, according to Lewless. These players include former LSU stars Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase of the Bengals and Odell Beckham Jr. of the Rams.

“There’s a very loyal fan base here,” Lewless said.

Bettors in Louisiana can wager on the game at sportsbooks inside casinos and mobile devices such as smartphones and computers.

Mobile wagering in Louisiana is new, having been launched last Friday. Wagering is restricted to the 55 of 64 parishes that authorized it in a November 2020 statewide election.

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Larry Henry

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