Litwin’s Locks: Super Bowl edition

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Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat

An Arizona player holds a football prior to the UA-ASU rivalry game on Nov. 25, at Sun Devil Stadium.

Does it feel like Super Bowl week, even a little? Usually, we have the funny quotes from media day or scenarios showing fans creating fake press credentials to sneak into different events. However, with COVID-19 still going strong, we won’t get that this year. The Chiefs aren’t even getting to Tampa Bay until Saturday afternoon. Nonetheless, this Super Bowl will still be a blast for bettors. That’s because there are countless and exotic prop bets to gamble on. 

For a little refresher, according to oddsshark.com, “short for proposition, a prop bet is a wager based on occurrences or non-occurrences during a sporting event. Unlike point spreads, totals or straight-up wagers, these incidents may not affect the outcome of the game or even the final score. Props are considered novelty bets since they can deal with individual players or team milestones. These milestones are things like how many catches a wide receiver will have (football), how many total goals will be scored (hockey), how many strikes a pitcher will throw (baseball), or how many rebounds a center will grab (basketball).” 

While your average NFL game has a bunch of prop bets from which to choose, sportsbooks take it to the next level for the Super Bowl. Remember, nothing is guaranteed in sports betting, but here are the prop bets in which I’m supremely confident. 

Super Bowl Line (according to ESPN Daily Lines pulled on 2/4/2021 @ 7:32 a.m. MST)

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+145) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-165) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida

Spread: Chiefs -3, Total: 56

If you read my Litwin’s Locks for Conference Championship Sunday, you know I thought the Packers and Bills were going to roll. Didn’t happen. Super Bowl Sunday is a new day, and this is how I see it playing out. Trust me, I’ve seen all the stats on Patrick Mahomes under pressure, and he will need every bit of that as the Chiefs come into this game with a banged-up offensive line. Even Mahomes can’t evade two-three guys in his face an entire game. The Bucs feature a super athletic front seven, and linebacker Devin White might be the best in the NFL. The Bucs’ offense will score enough points, but the story of this game will be the Bucs’ defense. I think they are good enough to limit the dynamic Chiefs’ offense. Plus, the Bucs are playing at home. Even though the NFL won’t let them fire their pirate ship cannons during the game, this has to help. Pick: Bucs +3

My favorite props odds according to oddshark.com:

The coin toss 

Heads -105

Tails -105 

My favorite prop bet, by far, is the coin toss starting the game. The one or two seconds while the coin is flipping in the air are exhilarating. I compare it to the feeling you get when you see a “buzzer-beater” leave a player's hand. If you want to get technical, this is a 50/50 bet. But we all know, “tails never fails.” This is a great story about the coin toss from ESPN staff writer David Purdum. Pick: Tails -105

National anthem total length (anthem being sung by Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church)

Over 1 minute 59 seconds +105

Under 1 minute 59 seconds -145

Oddsmakers see this going under. I will admit I have no idea how they figure that out. Maybe Sullivan and Church are fast singers, I don’t know. I do know that I’m an “overs” guy and if I can take an over and get plus odds, I’m in. I will need them to hold that last note for as long as possible. Pick: National Anthem Over 1 minute 59 seconds +105

RELATED: From Arizona Wildcat to Super Bowl champion, all Rob Gronkowski does is win 

Color of the Gatorade shower

Orange +100

Red +300

Lime/Green/Yellow +450

Clear/Water +600

Blue +700

Purple +750

Again, I have no idea how oddsmakers handicap this one. I have been saying red all along, but I love the value that lime/green/yellow offers. It’s the original Gatorade “OG” flavor and also the best tasting. Pick: Lime/Green/Yellow +450

First score method

Field goal +170

Touchdown -240

Any other +4000

I don’t anticipate a first play safety like we saw in Super Bowl 48 between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. I predict this will be a more defensive game, which shapes up well for the first score being a field goal. Pick: Field Goal +170

Team to get the first penalty of the game

Chiefs -115

Bucs -115

According to The Football Database, the Chiefs were the fourth-most flagged team this season with 105 total flags. The Chiefs’ most common penalty was a false start: 22 of their 105 flags. Based on the numbers, I like the Chiefs to be the victim of the first yellow flag. Pick: Chiefs -115

Overtime

YES +750

NO -2000

The Super Bowl has only gone into OT once before, and that game also featured Tom Brady in a comeback win over the Falcons. It’s not likely to happen in this game but at +750, it’s worth throwing a little on it. Pick: YES +750

Highest scoring quarter

1Q +650

2Q +155

3Q +600

4Q +240

I think the first half will be lower scoring but in the third quarter, after both offenses have time to make adjustments at halftime, we’ll see some scoring. I could be completely wrong, but that’s never stopped me before. Pick: 3Q +600   

Fan running onto the field 

YES +700

 NO -1600

I really want to say YES but due to COVID-19, that place will be locked up and getting on the field will be difficult. So as much as I hope someone runs onto the field, I don’t see it happening. Pick: NO -1600

Times Roger Goodell will be shown

Over 1.5 Times

Under 1.5 Times

Remember, I’m an “overs” guy, and Roger loves attention, so he will make sure he gets his fair share of camera time. Pick: Over 1.5 Times

Andy Reid saying “burger” 

YES +250

NO -400

Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid loves his burgers. Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid is also shaped like a burger so, of course, he will say “burger.” Pick: YES! Andy Reid will say burger +250  

Since this is the last NFL game of the season, it marks the end of Litwin’s Locks. The idea for this column was never to get rich picking games but to share an interesting way to view football. Watching sports should be fun, and I think we forget that sometimes. Enjoy the Super Bowl, and I can’t wait for next season. 


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