A Heads Or Tails Super Bowl Prop Bet? It’s ‘None Of The Above’ In Iowa

Written By Adam Hensley on February 12, 2022
Prop bet options for Super Bowl

Super Bowl LVI weekend has arrived. The LA Rams are favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals in most sportsbooks. But forget the usual bets for a second. Let’s talk prop bet odds.

Iowa sportsbooks offer a variety of prop bets — some more common than others. We’ll even tell you about some prop bets you won’t find in the state. Companies have great sign-up offers for new customers this week, too.

Touchdown prop bet

Want to bet on a specific player to score a touchdown at any point in the Super Bowl? Cooper Kupp is the favorite across all major sportsbooks, which makes sense. He’s scored at least one touchdown in 14 games this year, including the postseason. He’s caught four touchdowns in the playoffs this season.

Kupp’s odds as an anytime touchdown scorer vary across sportsbooks, though. FanDuel and BetMGM have the highest odds at -165. DraftKings gives -190 odds and Caesars has -195 right before the weekend.

Additionally, Cincinnati wideout Ja’Marr Chase, the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, has +110 odds to score on FanDuel (+100 on DraftKings, -122 on Caesars, -110 on BetMGM). Keep an eye out for Bengals star RB Joe Mixon, too.

Will the opening kickoff result in a touchback?

Los Angeles’ Matt Gay and Cincinnati’s Evan McPherson both have a touchback percentage better than 60 this season (63.7% for Gay, 60.4% for McPherson). Seems like it’s likely for a touchback then, right?

Maybe not.

Sports talk show host Pat McAfee — who booted the opening kickoff in Super Bowl XLIV — shared that the NFL uses a brand-new football for the opening kickoff of every Super Bowl, unlike the regular season. In the regular season and postseason (excluding the Super Bowl) teams are given seven balls to kick with.

Prior to kickoff, equipment managers are given 30 minutes to scuff up and break in the balls, which helps kicking distance. In the Super Bowl, though, that’s not the case. McAfee called it a “showcase ball” that doesn’t get used after the opening kickoff.

“Naturally, that ball is not going to fly … it’s rock hard. That ball is an actual showcase ball that they’re planning on putting in Canton. Normally, the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl is going to be the weakest kick of the year for every single (team), let alone the nerves and anxiety.”

Statistics corroborate McAfee’s anecdote — 26 of the last 28 opening kickoffs in the Super Bowl have been returned. Even with the kickoff spot being moved in 2011, 8 of the last 10 opening kicks have been returned.

A lucky number prop bet

We just mentioned three great touchdown options, but what if you want to cast a wider net? DraftKings Sportsbook can help with a “first touchdown” bet. Iowa customers can bet on the “jersey number of the first touchdown scorer.”

  • Under 23.5 (-140) or
  • Over 23.5 (+110)

Caesars gives the best odds to jersey numbers 1-9 (+200). Wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Chase both wear number one.

From there, the next best odds are jersey numbers 21-30 (+250), which includes running backs Mixon, Cam Akers and Sony Michel. Numbers 10-20 (Kupp, Van Jefferson) are +250 as well.

84-99 numbers are +400 (Tee Higgins, C.J. Uzomah), 41-83 are +1600 (Tyler Boyd) and 31-40 are +2500.

Will Joe Burrow or Matt Stafford throw for more than 1.5 touchdowns?

Matthew Stafford has thrown for at least two touchdowns in all but four games in the regular season and playoffs combined. Burrow has accomplished the same feat in all but six games.

Going into the weekend: Burrow has -160 odds to throw for more than 1.5 scores on BetMGM and Caesars, with -180 odds at Draftkings. Stafford is -210 with Caesars, -225 with BetMGM and -230 with Draftkings. Moneylines could change as the kickoff nears.

The ‘other sports’ prop bet

Caesars Sportsbook ties the Super Bowl to other sports for some off-the-beaten-path bets. Customers in Iowa can bet on “What will be more?”

  • Will Kupp have more receptions (-110) Sunday than Eastern Washington has three-pointers in a Saturday college basketball game (-120)? Kupp is an Eastern Washington alum.
  • Will the total number of Aaron Darnold tackles (+140) be more or less than the number of birdies made Sunday by the PGA’s Waste Management Open winner (-170)?
  • Will Higgins, the Cincinnati WR, have more receiving yards (-120) than the total points scored by the Clemson women’s basketball team (-110) on Sunday?

There are dozens of options to choose from.

How many passes will Cooper Kupp catch?

Considering Kupp led the NFL with 145 receptions this year, it’s no surprise he’s got DraftKings’ highest reception total at 8.5. Kupp is slightly favored to catch fewer than 8.5 passes (-136), which he’s done in nine games this year (regular and postseason). The odds are +102 for the over to hit.

Prop bet odds you can’t use in Iowa

Put the stopwatch away when fans all rise for the national anthem at SoFi Stadium Sunday night. Bets on the duration of the Star-Spangled Banner aren’t an approved wager in the state.

Coin toss

Brian Ohorilko of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said Iowa sportsbooks shouldn’t offer coin toss odds either. It’s not an approved option. Fans can still enjoy some commemorative coin trivia, however.

Out of the 55 Super Bowls, the coin flip resulted in tails 29 times, or 53% of the time. Heads, however, has been the result in three of the past four Super Bowls, snapping a four-game streak by tails from 2014-2017. The longest stretch by any flip? Heads owned a five-game streak from 2009-2013.

At DraftKings in other states, both heads and tails are -105.

In 24 Super Bowls, the team that won the coin toss went on to win the game (47%). Historically, there’s been about a 44% chance for that to happen, most recently when Seattle defeated Denver in 2014.

The out-of-state version of DraftKings gives the Rams +170 odds to win both the coin toss and the Super Bowl. The Bengals have +350 odds to do so.

No Gatorade bath color bets in Iowa

Since 2001, orange has been the Gatorade bath of choice, happening in five Super Bowls. Clear was the color in four, yellow in three, blue in three, purple in two. There has been no Gatorade bath four times during that span.

There’s a chance that if there’s a Gatorade bath, it will be similar to the winning team’s colors (Chiefs had an orange bath in 2020, Patriots had blue in 2019, Broncos had orange in 2016).

Outside of Iowa:

  • Blue is the favorite at FanDuel (+230) and BetMGM (+300), while coming in at +400 on Draftkings.
  • Orange has the second-best odds (+200 on Bet MGM, +270 on Fanduel, +300 on Draftkings).
  • Purple has the worst odds of any color (+1000 on Bet MGM, +1180 on Fanduel, +1400 on Draftkings)

Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first?

DraftKings in some states allows fans to bet on who the Super Bowl MVP will thank first:

  • team/teammates +100
  • city/fans +275
  • God/religion +350
  • family +800
  • any other +1000
  • coaches +1600
  • team owner +2000

It’s an interesting bet, but the Iowa version of DraftKings won’t display Super Bowl MVP odds — or who the winner might thank. Off-the-field bets aren’t an approved wager in Iowa yet.

The MVP market might be a betting option in future seasons. The Iowa Legislature has a few options to consider during the current legislative session.

Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez
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