Common Super Bowl prop bets in 5 charts

Super Bowl prop bets are a sport unto themselves. With two weeks between the NFL’s conference championship games and what has often been the biggest event in the United States besides the moon landing, there is almost too much time to dissect every angle of the tilt.

So, aside from speculating on the outcome of the game with point spread, total, and moneyline bets, gamblers can dig into prop bets—or propositions, which are usually player-centric but also feature fun side wagers that go well beyond the scope of what happens between the lines. Starting with the national anthem before the contest and ending with gambles that are not determined until after the final whistle, prop bets give casual viewers and diehard fans alike incentive to focus on the ins and outs of the evening—and, of course, the potential to win money.

A prop bet is any wager that isn’t tied to the outcome of a game. Each NFL matchup usually features dozens of props by oddsmakers, but Super Bowl props number in the hundreds. It’s not advised, but you can even bet on the result of the coin toss. Because the NFL betting market is considered one of the most efficient in sports—meaning even professional bettors have a hard time finding inefficiencies to exploit or ways to make money—it can be easier to make money on these side bets. mapped some of the most common Super Bowl prop bets in five charts using Pro Football Reference and DraftKings Network data.

A bar chart showing the longest national anthems in Super Bowl history.

The average Super Bowl national anthem lasts 103.5 seconds

The spectacle of the big game means the National Football League pulls out all the stops. The two-week buildup before the Super Bowl is essentially a marketing ploy to give promoters enough time to amp up anticipation. Further adding to the hype, the national anthem has been sung by global icons such as Beyoncé—in her hometown of Houston—and Lady Gaga, and the performances are getting longer.

Whitney Houston set the standard for excellence—and length (1 minute, 56 seconds)—in 1991, and the year after marked the first 2-minute anthem by Harry Connick Jr. Now, that is a common if not surefire occurrence. The average anthem since The Voice’s extraordinary showing lasts 116.5 seconds, though the overall mean is 103.5.

The shortest anthem was Neil Diamond’s 1987 rendition in Pasadena, California, which at 62 seconds is 8 seconds quicker than any other. Reba McEntire will sing before the 2024 game.

A double line chart showing Super Bowl total passing and rushing yards by year.

No team has cracked 200 rushing yards in a Super Bowl since 1988

The NFL long belonged to running backs and the paths paved by their offensive linemen. The Super Bowl, however, has almost always been about the passing game.

In 10 of the first dozen Super Bowls, at least 42% of the total yards came via rushing, but that figure has not been met since 2007.

Until the Washington Commanders and the Buffalo Bills combined for a then-low 168 rushing yards in 1992, the Super Bowl averaged 256.8 total rushing yards. And in the span of 17 title tilts in the 1970s and ’80s, six teams ran for over 200 yards seven times (Washington did it twice). It has not happened again even though each of those squads won the Lombardi Trophy.

A chart showing the most popular Gatorade bath colors in the Super Bowl since 2001.

Chiefs celebrated Super Bowl LVII with rare Gatorade bath color

This prop bet might be the funkiest of the bunch. It’s all but impossible to predict which color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning head coach, and the data proves it.

Since tracking began in 2001, five different colors have owned the day. Four times, there was no Gatorade shower. With so little history to go on and no discernible pattern, bettors have to get lucky to cash in. Still, the payout can be huge, such as when purple—at odds of +1000—rained down on Kansas City’s Andy Reid last year.

A split bar chart showing Super Bowl and regular season MVPs by position.

Super Bowl MVP has dozens of potential possibilities

Super Bowl MVPs are usually quarterbacks, though nine wide receivers have won, including two in the last five years: the Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp and New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman.

A running back has not been named Most Valuable Player since Hall of Famer Terrell Davis won the award in 1998. Five rushers have claimed the regular-season MVP honor since, including Davis in the following campaign, when his Denver Broncos rolled to their second straight championship.

A chart showing the breakdown of first designed plays in the Super Bowl.

4 of the last 5 Super Bowls had first-play runs

Nerves get the best of even the world’s most elite athletes, and the Super Bowl provides a stage like no other. Perhaps that’s why coaches have been conservative on the game’s opening play.

Rushes are nearly 1.5 times as likely as passes, but each play type has gained an average of 3.3 yards in the 57 big games—even though only 11 of 23 planned throws have been completed. Three of those have gone for 14 or more yards, though one ended in near disaster, as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was sacked and fumbled in 1976 (a teammate, center John Fitzgerald, recovered).

When the New England Patriots’ Sony Michel rushed for 13 yards in 2019, it tied the mark for longest running play to open a Super Bowl (set by the Atlanta Falcons’ Jamal Anderson in 1999). You have to go back to John Elway’s 10-yard scramble in 1987 for the next-longest run.

Thirteen of the first 15 Super Bowls started with rushes, and teams have recently returned to that trend with four first-play runs in the last five games. First-play run squads have generally been more successful (20-14) than those that start with passes (11-12), though the last five teams in the latter group have all won.

Story editing by Carren Jao. Copy editing by Robert Wickwire.

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