Super Bowl Betting: Cross Sports Prop Bets

Super Bowl Betting:  Cross Sports Prop Bets

There are no shortage of different ways to bet on the Super Bowl–side, total, moneyline and countless props of every possible type. If that’s not enough betting action for you sports books are offering cross sport prop bets for your wagering enjoyment. Cross sport prop bets–as the name suggests–are similar to player comparison props like ‘Which running back will get more yards’ only involving two different sports.

The only thing that is limiting the number of cross sport prop bets on Super Bowl Sunday is the relatively limited number of games in the NBA, NHL and college hoop. The Super Bowl starts at 3:30 PM Pacific and the rest of the sporting events scheduled that day will be completed before it does. There are usually a very small number of games in other sports before the game. Obviously in most cases the total from the ‘non football’ half of the proposition will be known before the Super Bowl begins. There are some props involving bets that take place *after* the Super Bowl–in fact, we’ll look at one such bet below. Since it’s statistically based its possible to handicap both sides of the proposition and in some cases come up with some value positions.

An example of this sort of bet involves the NASCAR Daytona 500 which takes place the week after the Super Bowl:

Which will be higher?

Jimmie Johnson Finish Position in Daytona 500 -115
Total Yards Peyton Manning First Completion -115

Let’s start with the NFL side of the proposition–Peyton Manning averaged 8.3 yards per pass in 2014. Keep in mind that in NASCAR a lower finish position is better. Jimmie Johnson is one of the dominant drivers in NASCAR history and won both Daytona races last year. Based on his career long performance that was out of character. His average finish at Daytona is 17.5 and prior to last year his last 10 finishes are 36,42,20,27,31,35,2,31,23,27. In other words in most years Manning could almost triple his average pass this season and still fall short of Jimmie Johnson’s finish position.

So why are these bets attractive? You’d be surprised at how many bettors just blindly play these without doing the statistical ‘due diligence’. A Denver fan might blindly play Peyton Manning in the proposition listed above without even doing the research on Johnson’s performance at Daytona. There is an element of risk involved since you’re not dealing with a fixed number–but that uncertainty is where the value is derived.