Super Bowl XLVIII Prop Bet Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

Super Bowl XLVIII Prop Bet Predictions

The winning coach of Super Bowl XLVIII will be doused in red Gatorade

WhatIfSports.com
January 24, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII is expected to be an evenly-matched affair between the high-powered offense of the Broncos and the lockdown defense of the Seahawks. It doesn't take much imagination, however, to conceive a Super Bowl that lacks a Hollywood ending. What if the cold weather or the Seattle secondary prevent Peyton Manning from his usual aerial fireworks? What if the Seahawks fall behind early and have to rely on the shaky arm of Russell Wilson to mount a comeback? Suddenly, the teams could be separated by three scores halfway through the third quarter. If such a misfortune occurs, what's left but a few funny commercials to keep the viewers' attention?

Fear not, young Padawan. There are hundreds of prop bets that can keep you on the edge of your seat from the national anthem through the awarding of the Super Bowl MVP, regardless of the game's outcome. Whether you're placing some wagers in Vegas or just playing for pride amongst friends, prop bets are sure to keep even the most mundane game interesting.

With the help of our NFL simulation engine and the collective thinking cap of the WhatIfSports.com staff, we've compiled predictions for some of the most popular prop bets offered by Vegas, as well as FOXSports.com's Big Game Challenge:

 
Prop BetVegas OddsWIS Prediction
Coin TossHeads (-105)
Tails (-105)
Tails - 50.1%
Renée Fleming's National Anthem2 minute, 25 seconds2 minutes, 31 seconds
Gatorade Shower ColorClear/Water (2/1)Red - 28.6%
Yellow (3/1)
Orange (3/1)
Red (5/1)
Blue (7/1)
Green (10/1)
Peyton Manning "Omaha" CallsO/U - (27.5)Over - 30
"12th Man" MentionsO/U - (2.0)Over - 3

Prop Bet Analysis

Coin Toss - After confidently and incorrectly proclaiming a "tails" coin toss a year ago, and suffering through the entire Super Bowl in a sour mood as a result, we put in our due diligence to make the correct pick this year.

We carefully read all 30 pages of a study by Stanford and UC-Santa Cruz researchers titled "Dynamical Bias in the Coin Toss," yet we are no closer to a strong diagnosis. But at least we know the problem now. It's the refs! Reviewing recent Super Bowl coin tosses, there's no consistency. In 2011, the ref handed the coin to Deion Sanders, who perfectly executed a traditional thumb-powered coin flip. The past two years, the refs have flipped it themselves, closing a fist around the coin and throwing it into the air, a style that can best be defined as "willy-nilly" and should have drawn flags for illegal procedure. Until the referees can demonstrate proper form, predicting the coin toss will feel like wild speculation. Guess we'll go with…tails?

Renée Fleming's National Anthem - Renee Fleming possesses pipes that would put to shame the pop stars that usually sing the national anthem. A four-time Grammy winner, the opera singer is no stranger to the big stage. Fleming has performed at Barack Obama's inaugural celebration, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, the Late Show with David Letterman and Game 2 of the 2003 World Series, where she sang the Star-Spangled Banner. While Fleming's work is all over YouTube, the aforementioned national anthem performance is not, making this a tough assignment to research. However, given her classical background and her ability to hold a note, look for Fleming's Super Bowl rendition to exceed two minutes, 25 seconds.

Big Game Challenge - Predict Different Outcomes in the Big Football Game

Gatorade Shower Color - The only people more disappointed than San Francisco fans at the conclusion of last year's Super Bowl were prop bet enthusiasts. We waited with bated breath as the game concluded, eager to see what color liquid was dumped on John Harbaugh. Alas, no Gatorade shower occurred. Let's hope such a folly isn't repeated this year.

Despite evidence to the contrary, it is possible to use the slightest degree of scientific research in studying the most likely Gatorade shower outcome. (And we use "scientific" by its loosest definition.) Categorizing the seemingly hundreds of flavors of Gatorade by hue, we learned that red is the most common color in the Gatorade family. With Strawberry Watermelon, Fierce Strawberry, Watermelon Citrus, Rain Strawberry Kiwi, Fruit Punch, X-Factor Fruit Punch + Berry (huh?), Orange Strawberry and Raspberry Melon all sharing a reddish tint, we're leaning toward a red Gatorade shower. Of course, clear can't be completely ruled out. That "water" stuff is apparently quite popular.

Peyton Manning "Omaha" Calls - Manning's affinity for calling "Omaha!" at the line of scrimmage has become a national storyline. In the AFC Championship, Manning issued 31 Omahas, down from 44 calls during a Divisional win over the Chargers. Given that the over/under is set at a mere 27.5, it would seem one of the safer bets that Manning will say Omaha 28 or more times.

"12th Man" Mentions - One theme of the 2013 season that has extended into the playoffs is the Seahawks' home-field advantage. The raucous crowd at CenturyLink Field is the loudest in the NFL and frequently causes false-start penalties, justifiably earning the moniker "12th Man." The over/under for 12th Man mentions during the telecast is set at two. While the announcers will have to put forth some effort to mention the fan base's nickname even though the game isn't being played in Seattle, there should be ample opportunities to drop the phrase: when discussing how well Seahawks fans traveled to the Super Bowl; when recapping how the Seahawks navigated the season to reach the big game; if trailing, debating how much the Seahawks could use the support of the 12th Man; if winning, assessing how the Seahawks are doing well despite the absence of the 12th Man. Take the over.

Our NFL Simulation engine's 1,001 Super Bowl XLVIII simulations also generated predictions for the following in-game prop bets.

 
Prop BetVegas OddsWIS Prediction
Score FirstSeahawks (-105)Broncos - 51.7%
Broncos (-125)
First Player TDJulius Thomas (9/1)5.6%
Montee Ball (16/1)6.1%
Golden Tate (14/1)6.1%
Wes Welker (8/1)6.4%
Doug Baldwin (16/1)7.0%
Demaryius Thomas (9/1)9.0%
Marshawn Lynch (5/1)16.6%
Knowshon Moreno (9/1)17.1%
Over/Under (47.5)Over (-105)Under - 56.6%
Under (-115)
Super Bowl XLVIII MVPWes Welker (18/1)0.7%
Montee Ball (66/1)1.1%
Golden Tate (25/1)1.2%
Demaryius Thomas (18/1)2.9%
Knowshon Moreno (20/1)14.4%
Marshawn Lynch (9/2)20.8%
Russell Wilson (15/4)28.4%
Peyton Manning (6/5)28.4%


 
Team1st Qtr.2nd Qtr.3rd Qtr.4th Qtr.
Seattle Seahawks4.37.34.37.0
Denver Broncos4.67.64.27.1

Simulate Super Bowl XLVIII

 
Team1st Qtr.2nd Qtr.3rd Qtr.4th Qtr.
Seattle Seahawks3101320
Denver Broncos7141724

View our Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction

 
TeamLast 2 Minutes of HalfLast 2 Minutes of Game
Seattle Seahawks50.9%35.1%
Denver Broncos54.4%33.9%

With Super Bowl XLVIII being your last taste of football for the next seven months, WhatIfSports.com is here with your daily fix. Create your ultimate Super Bowl roster using our Dream Teams feature. Take that roster and simulate it against ANY TEAM IN NFL HISTORY using our NFL SimMatchup tool.

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Jake Westrich is the Digital Content Coordinator for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at jwestrich@whatifsports.com.

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