The 5 Most Degenerate Prop Bets for Super Bowl LI (With My Picks!)

Prop bets are the lifeblood of a great Super Bowl Sunday!
Prop bets are the lifeblood of a great Super Bowl Sunday!
Joel Kramer via Flickr creative commons

I preface what I am about to type by saying I love my job, and I love my employer (shout out, CBS Radio!). That said, I never thought I would wake up Tuesday morning knowing exactly what I want my next gig to be...and then I read this article about Brent Musberger's next venture.

Musberger called his last game for ESPN on Tuesday night, a 90-81 Kentucky basketball win over Georgia. And at age 77, it would appear that the reputed gambler (Musberger makes very little secret of his action on games while on the air) will be taking his talents to a place where he no longer has to reference the spread or the total with thinly veiled insider-speak anymore:

His next act will be hosting a two-hour show, Thursday through Monday, for a new network called VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network). The company describes itself as the first multichannel network dedicated to sports gambling information, and will be available via web, live-streaming, radio, mobile and social. Musburger and other hosts — including the respected boxing announcer Al Bernstein — will broadcast from a custom-built studio in the Sports Book of the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa in Las Vegas. The new network includes oddsmakers Jimmy Vaccaro, Vinny Magliulo and Chris Andrews. Brian Musburger, Brent’s nephew, is the founder and chairman of VSiN.

I think I have several more solid years of Houston-based radio in me, but please, PLEASE, VSiN...SAVE ME A SEAT! Speaking of which, here are five super-degenerate prop bets for this Sunday's Super Bowl that will keep both the diehard and the casual fan engaged in the broadcast for all 60 minutes of game action. Here we go...

5. How many times will "Trump" be said on TV?
* OVER/UNDER 1.5

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, live broadcast only, halftime and commercials do not apply.)
I have no idea what the political leanings are of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the FOX broadcast team, but it's key to remember this is FOX Sports, not FOX News. The Super Bowl should be an escape from all of the political strife that has divided America and ruined Twitter. Also, the Trump-ian leanings of Brady and Belichick were, surprisingly, underplayed at opening night on Monday. My sense is nobody wants the heat of discussing anything related to the president during the broadcast...and by "discuss," I mean "bringing up his name."

PLAY: UNDER

4. Will "Houston, we have a problem" be said on TV during live broadcast?
* YES 5/2 .. NO 1/4

(Note: From kickoff to final whistle, live broadcast only, halftime and commercials do not apply.)
If this were a 50/50 bet, I'd say "NO," but Joe Buck is a guy who was basically run off his own talk show on HBO by a coke-addled Artie Lange back in the day. Buck had no comebacks for anything Lange said. My point is that Buck seems like a guy who might lean on a lame cliché like this to make a point during the game. In short, 5/2 seems like good value on Joe Buck doing something lame.

PLAY: YES

3. Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first?
* God 2/1
* Team/teammates 2/1
* Coach 9/1
* Family 9/1
* Owner 9/1
* Donald Trump 20/1
* Does not mention anyone above 5/2

This was a fun bet back when Kurt Warner was playing in Super Bowls and God would be like -350. The safe play here is "team/teammates," especially if the Patriots win and Brady is the MVP. I feel like I've heard him say "I have great teammates" roughly 2,000 times, and if the bet is truly "mention" and not "thank," then it will be his teammates because usually the MVP is asked about a few plays in the game before thanking people.  Part of me wishes that there were an option for "Himself 10/1," on the oft chance Martellus Bennett were to win. (By the way, MVP value play — Julian Edelman 25/1.)

PLAY: Team/teammates 2/1

2. If the Patriots win, will Brady, Belichick or Kraft be seen shaking Roger Goodell's hand on TV?
* Yes -180
* No +140

Well, let's go back and look at the trophy presentation from two seasons ago, right after Deflate-Gate became a thing...

There was no handshake then, and I don't think there will be on Sunday, if the Patriots win. I don't think people realize how brief the handoff of the trophy from Goodell to Kraft is, and also don't realize that the Lombardi Trophy is indeed handed to the owner, not the starting quarterback or the head coach.

PLAY: No +140

1. How many times will J.J. Watt be mentioned on TV during live broadcast?
* Over 1 -140
* Under 1 Even

One token mention actually feels exactly right, so we will play it safe and go OVER so as not to sweat the entire broadcast after they mention him during, say, the second quarter. (Also, OVER/UNDER on local ads involving J.J. Watt to run during the game... OVER/UNDER 34.5.)

PLAY: Over -140

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.


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