Super Bowl Betting: Basic Coin Toss Props

Super Bowl Betting:  Basic Coin Toss Props

The betting on Super Bowl XVIII will begin before the game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos even kicks off. Virtually every sports book in the world offers a variety of props related to the pre game coin toss. In this post we’ll talk about some of these bets and the best strategy for betting this type of Super Bowl prop. The coin toss prop is not exactly a great bet from a statistical standpoint but it is very easy for beginners to understand.

There are a variety of proposition bets based on the outcome of the pregame coin toss with the most basic–and most common–requiring the bettor to select whether the coin will land ‘heads’ or ‘tails’. Despite the obvious statistical basis to the contrary there are plenty of people trying to determine a pattern in past coin tosses and extrapolate it to this year’s Super Bowl. They’ll point out that the last five Super Bowl coin tosses–and six of the last seven–have landed on ‘heads’. Prior to this most recent run ‘tails’ was the result in four straight years and 9 of 10 years (Super Bowls 32 through 42 inclusive). At least there were some attempts at theoretical validation during this ‘tails’ run–some suggested that the special commemorative coin used by the NFL was ‘top heavy’ due to its design and that was the reason for such a strong ‘tails’ run. It’s doubtful that the coin design had anything to do with the propensity of ‘tails’ during this era but at least there was some effort made to explain a completely random trend.

Here’s the reality of the situation–assuming that the NFL uses a ‘fair coin’ for their Super Bowl coin toss (and they assure us that they do) it doesn’t matter what happened in last year’s Super Bowl, the first Super Bowl game or any of the 46 in between. It’s a 50/50 proposition and an equal chance that the coin will land ‘heads’ or ‘tails’. If you’re going to play this prop the important thing is to look at the moneyline price next to the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’. The lower the moneyline figure the better of a bet it is. Most sports books require that you lay -110 on either side of the heads/tails proposition. Some sports books, however, offer lower juice on the Super Bowl coin toss–as low as -101. Since a 50/50 moneyline translates to +100 even at -101 you’re theoretically getting the worst of it but not by much. So pick heads or tails, bet it at the best price you can find and hope for the best!