January 26, 2012 - by David Hess
It’s time for another look at a couple Super Bowl prop bets. The list of available props on 5 Dimes has absolutely exploded since our last post, so there are a ton to choose from.
A lot of these are pretty funny. I love the phrasing on this one:
coach celebration only, must be shown live or replayed on NBC broadcast before final whistle sounds
Sport drink on field before game ends +100
No liquid celebration before game ends -140
If I ever for some random reason end up managing a small indoor soccer arena, or a minor league baseball stadium, I’m definitely putting up a sign that warns “No liquid celebration before game ends!”
But, I digress. On to the the Super Bowl prop bet analysis!
Today I’ll tackle one serious prop bet and one more lighthearted option. I’ll start with the one which actually involves the game.
This first prop bet was requested in a comment on yesterday’s post. Because it involves actual football happenings between the sidelines, it most likely has a bit of statistical backing behind it, so it may be a tough one to beat. But hey, it’s worth a look.
NYG scores longest TD +105
NE scores longest TD -125
The Pats are favored to win, which means they ought to score more touchdowns. And more touchdowns means a better chance that one will be a long one. Plus, their offense is tilted heavily towards the pass, which ought to lead to long touchdowns (though the same can be said of the Giants).
But, let’s look at what has actually happened this season:
|Gm||NYG Opp||W/L||Longest Off TD||Other notable TD||NE Opp||W/L||Longest Off TD||Other notable TD|
|1||WAS||L||push (6yd)||WAS 9yd INT||MIA||W||NE 99yd pass|
|2||STL||W||NYG 22yd pass||NYG 65yd FUM||SD||W||SD 26yd pass||NE 17yd pass|
|3||PHI||W||NYG 40yd pass||BUF||L||NE 26yd pass||BUF 27yd INT|
|4||ARI||W||NYG 29yd pass||OAK||W||NE 33yd rush|
|5||SEA||L||NYG 68yd pass||SEA 94yd INT||NYJ||W||NYJ 10yd pass||NE 3yd rush|
|6||BUF||W||BUF 80yd rush||NYG 1yd rush||DAL||W||NE 8yd pass|
|7||MIA||W||NYG 25yd pass||PIT||L||PIT 7yd pass||NE 2yd pass|
|8||NE||W||NE 14yd pass||NYG 10yd pass||NYG||L||NE 14yd pass|
|9||SF||L||NYG 32yd pass||NYJ||W||NE 18yd pass|
|10||PHI||L||NYG 24yd pass||KC||W||NE 72yd punt||NE 52yd pass|
|11||NO||L||NYG 72yd pass||PHI||W||NE 41yd pass|
|12||GB||L||NYG 67yd pass||IND||W||IND 33yd pass||NE 21yd pass|
|13||DAL||W||DAL 50yd pass||NYG 47yd pass||WAS||W||WAS 49yd pass||NE 37yd pass|
|14||WAS||L||WAS 20yd pass||NYG 3yd rush||DEN||W||NE 33yd pass|
|15||NYJ||W||NYG 99yd pass||MIA||W||MIA 19yd pass||NE 1yd rush|
|16||DAL||W||NYG 74yd pass||BUF||W||NE 39yd pass|
|WC||ATL||W||NYG 72yd pass||--||--||--||--|
|DIV||GB||W||NYG 66yd pass||DEN||W||NE 61yd pass|
|CONF||SF||W||SF 73yd pass||NYG 17yd pass||BAL||W||BAL 29yd pass||NE 7yd rush|
I realized in going through the game logs that sometimes the longest touchdown is scored via a defensive play or a kick or punt return. Since the prop doesn’t explicitly restrict the longest touchdown to an offensive play, I’m going to assume in the rest of this analysis that a long interception return would be valid as the winning longest touchdown.
The Giants were a long-TD machine this season. Then again, the Patriots were a long-TD-prevention machine. However, tally up the above, and the Giants appear to be more likely to score the longest TD in any given game against an average opponent:
|Longest TDs||New York Giants||New England Patriots|
|Overall||12/19 (63%)||10/18 (56%)|
|In Wins||8/12 (67%)||9/15 (60%)|
|In Losses||4/7 (57%)||1/3 (33%)|
|Avg Longest||43 yds||30 yds|
Looking at the percentages for the Giants in a win and the Patriots in a loss, if this season’s results hold, then in the case of a Giants Super Bowl win, they’d likely have also scored the longest touchdown.
On the other hand, the percentages for New England in a win or New York in loss are roughly equal. That could mean that even in a New England win, the Giants have a decent shot of registering the longest touchdown.
Together, the two trends imply that despite being the underdogs in the game, the Giants might actually be on even terms with the Pats — or even slightly ahead — in the longest touchdown competition. Given that the Giants are the underdogs in this prop, the choice seems clear enough.
Conclusion: Value in NYG scores longest TD +105
This prop bet is clearly in response to last year’s Christina Aguilera fiasco, in which she omitted an entire line of the national anthem. That omission played a large part in her anthem being shorter than the posted duration over/under.
“omits/forgets” includes: any word left out, any unplanned pause during the Anthem
Clarkson omits/forgets a word of Anthem +500
Official Anthem no words omitted/delayed -900
Kelly Clarkson has performed at several high profile sporting events, including the World Series, the NBA Finals, and the Indy 500. I doubt that the Super Bowl will be such a step up that she’ll crack under the pressure.
She’s nothing if not professional, and will be cognizant of the fact that Christina messed things up last year. Reviewing several videos of her previous anthems, it seems she has it down to a science. They are very consistent, and she never looks hesitant or lost.
Not only that, there is always the outside chance that we get an Ashlee Simpson moment, with the anthem pre-recorded to avoid any miscues.
It seems the signs overwhelmingly point to a by-the-book performance. The only danger here is that 5 Dimes will be overly strict with the “unplanned pause” part of the above definition. Still, I think the odds of a mistake are substantially less than the 1 in 10 break-even rate implied by the -900 line.
Conclusion: Technically, there seems to be value on Official Anthem no words omitted/delayed -900 … IF you are willing to trust 5 Dimes to fairly grade the “unplanned pause” aspect of the bet. However, we’re reluctant to pull the trigger here with so little actual evidence. It seems like a lot to risk without being very sure of the edge (which we’re not).
OK, that’s it for today. Again, please leave a comment if you have a certain prop bet you’d like us to analyze.
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