The Super Bowl is much more than a championship football game. It's media day. It's halftime shows. It's commercials. Most importantly, it's gambling. The Las Vegas Hilton releases a small novel of prop bets to choose from every year, so suckers like myself can pay for their casinos.
Being the habitual gambler that I am, I decided to
light on fire wager $280 dollars this week, spread between 28 different prop bets. I bet on everything from the first touchdown to the likelihood of either team running the 'Annexation of Puerto Rico' (I got 5/1 odds!).
Among the hundreds of prop bets available are a handful of cross-sport bets. For example:
WHO WILL HAVE MORE:
KOBE BRYANT (LAL) POINTS (-4.0)
49ERS POINTS (+4.0)
While skimming this section of the prop bets, I thought to myself, "What kind of prop bets could I come up with, relating the Houston Astros to the Super Bowl?" Here are the best five I came up with:
1. WHO WILL HAVE MORE:
2013 Astros Home Run Leader (+5) -110
49ers Total Points (-5) -110
The official over/under for 49ers points is 25.5. The last time the Astros home run leader finished the season with more than 25 home runs was 2009, when Carlos Lee hit 26. Last year Justin Maxwell led the team with 18 home runs.
In 2013, the two leading candidates to lead the Astros in home runs are Maxwell and Carlos Pena. This is Pena's first year on the team, but he's averaged 25 home runs over the last three seasons.
I'm taking the 49ers -5 year. I don't think any Astro hits 25 or more home runs in 2013, and I have the Niners scoring in the 30s. Fake Bet: $100 to win $91.
2. WHO WILL HAVE MORE:
Delino DeShields Jr. Stolen Bases (-25) -110
Ray Rice Rushing Yards (+25) -110
DDJ stole 101 bases last season between Lexington and Lancaster. Ray Rice averaged 71 yards per game in 2012, and he's going up against one the best rush defenses in the NFL. The official over/under for Rice in the Super Bowl is set at 63.5 yards.
I'm taking DDJ -25 here, but I don't feel great about it. On one hand, he has the base-stealing expertise of Vince Coleman at his disposal. On the other hand, I think he'll have a difficult time maintaining the .401 OBP he had in Lexington for most of last season.
That said, I have confidence the 49ers hold Rice under 50 yards today, which means DDJ "only" has to steal around 75 bases in 2013. Fake bet: $100 to win $91
3. WHO WILL HAVE MORE:
Astros Wins -230
Colin Kaepernick Rushing Yards +195
The official over/under for Kaepernick rushing yards is 48.5. The 181 he dropped against the Packers is in the back of everyone's mind, but he only averaged 31 yards per game, during the regular season, and only managed 21 against the Falcons.
Meanwhile, the Astros are projected to win anywhere from 50-70 games in 2013, depending on who you ask. The Astros are heavy favorites here, but I'm rolling the dice with Kaepernick. My reasoning: Kaepernick has the potential to rush for 100+ yards. There's no chance in hell the Astros win 100 games in 2013.
Kaepernick is very likely to finish with 30-40 rushing yards, which makes the Astros a lock to win this bet, but I'm taking my chances with the +195. Fake bet: $200 to win $390.
4. WHO WILL HAVE MORE:
Astros Top 20 Prospects in the Majors (+1.5) -110
Michael Crabtree Receptions (-1.5) -110
I think the Astros could have anywhere from 5-7 top 20 prospects in the Majors, at some point in 2013. The official over/under on Crabtree receptions is 6.5.
I'm taking the Astros +1.5 here. I envision Jeff Luhnow being on the conservative side with prospect promotion this season, with only five Top 20 guys in the Majors this season (Singleton, Cosart, Grossman, Wojo and Villar). That said, I don't feel comfortable taking Crabs to get 7+ catches. Fake bet: $100 to win $91.
5. WHO WILL HAVE MORE:
Joe Flacco TDs +300
Jeff Luhnow trades during the 2013 season -360
The official over/under for Joe Flacco TDs is 2.5; Jeff Luhnow made seven mid-season trades last season. This is the easiest bet of the year for me. I could see Flacco throwing three touchdowns on a good day, but Luhnow traded Carlos Lee twice -- that's all you need to know. Even though the Astros have no more trade pieces, Luhnow will work the other GMs like he's playing The Show, with the 'force trade' option on. Fake Bet: $360 to win $100
Would you make the same bets I would? I can't wait to come back to this page in October and see how much fake money I lost.