Super Bowl Sunday is almost upon us. Glory will come for either the Patriots or the New York football Giants. Just about everyone you and I know will tune in for some, if not all, of the contest.
Over the years, we’ve seen everything from beer bottles carrying footballs (how I miss you Bud Bowl) to wardrobe malfunctions. To one particular group of viewers, its like Christmas, 4th of July and Thanksgiving all rolled into one.
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Yes, I’m talking about you prop bettors. Sports betting reaches a peak on Super Bowl Sunday. You can bet on anything and everything, all day long.
Purely for education’s sake, I took a peak at some of this year’s options and was not disappointed.
Heads or Tails. Odds on MVP candidates. Alternate point spreads. The color of the Gatorade used to douse the winning coach. What will be higher, rushing yards for BenJarvus Green-Ellis or Mitt Romney’s vote share in the Nevada Primary? I’m not kidding.
This got me thinking (scary to picture, I know). How would the Boston Red Sox stack up against the Pats on Sunday? Here are a few betting lines I came up with.
Sox wins or the highest jersey number of a Patriot to score a TD: The Sox should prevail in this one. Even after last year’s collapse, the club still won 91 games. The least amount of wins the Sox have had since 2007 is 89. This could be close if Rob Gronkowski (87) scores and Ben Cherington doesn’t address the back end of the rotation.
Tom Brady’s passing yards or Carl Crawford’s average: Unfortunately for John Henry’s purse strings, this has to go to Brady. Oddsmakers seem to have Brady at right about 320 for Sunday. Crawford is a career .298 hitter, so even in good years, he probably couldn’t stack up to Tommy Terrific. As a matter of fact, Brady could make a viable run at beating last year’s .258 in the first half.
Patriots points or Andrew Bailey saves: Barring a trip the DL, Bailey prevails here. The Pats should score between 24 and 28 points. Actually, hold on a minute here. In his first three seasons, Bailey has notched 26, 25 and 24 saves respectively. Track record be damned, let’s say Bailey manages about 60 appearances and earns about 30 to 35 saves. Hoping that’s a safe prediction, but you never know, as the Pats can score in bunches when you least expect it. Substitute Jonathan Papelbon here and he runs away with it; no bitterness, just saying.
Longest Stephen Gostkowski made FG or David Ortiz HR: Total toss up here. Gostkowski could boot a 50-yarder to win the game; Ortiz will be lucky to sniff 45 round trippers at this stage. Had you made this bet six or seven years ago, Ortiz could have even given the steady leg of Adam Vinatieri a run for his money. Maybe he’ll luck out and the Pats won’t score outside of the red zone.
Pats first downs or combined big-league starts by Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard: As things are lining up, Aceves and Bard could eclipse this one. For better or worse, both could start the season in the rotation. This may end up being a lot closer if either fails to make the rotation. In my mind, the Sox should pull to lose this one. Fifteen or 20 starts from Bard, if he pans out, and Aceves safely in the bullpen. Maybe Wandy Rodriguez get about 12 starts after a deadline deal.
Tom Brady interceptions or teams to finish in front of Boston in the AL East: Best-case scenario for New England fans is Tom throws zero picks and this one ends up as a push. Are you following me? That means the Sox finish first. Too bad that isn’t likely. With the addition of Michael Pineda, the Yanks should end up winning the division, there’s one. David Price & Co. are showing no signs of regression, and Matt Moore should be posed to shine, there’s two. And don’t look now, Toronto (gulp) won’t be the perennial pushovers they have been, there’s a possible third. It’s going to take a banner day from the Giants secondary for Brady to win this one.
Green-Ellis rushing attempts or Josh Beckett W’s: Another crapshoot. Green-Ellis could have anywhere between 5 and 20 carries. In six years with the Sox, Beckett has averaged 14 victories a year. This one could really come down to the wire. If the Pats get out to an early lead and Bill Belichick calls plays completely out of character, giving Green-Ellis 19 or 20 touches, forget it. Green-Ellis wins handily.
Wes Welker receiving yards or games started by Cody Ross: The way the roster stands today, Ross could see 100+ starts. Sox fans will no longer be subject to JD Drew’s annual disappointing play. Last year’s starter, Josh Reddick, was shipped to Oakland. One of the pieces Cherington got in return, Ryan Sweeney, may replace some of that time. Don’t be surprised to see Darnell McDonald end up with 50 or 60 starts either. Especially with Crawford starting the season on the DL. Due to Ross’s versatility, I’ll give him the nod, even if Welker is able to break off another 99-yard TD.
Robert Kraft TV appearance or number of different players to start at SS this season: Okay, this should have a line of -2 right off the bat. With the somewhat unexplainable trade of Marco Scutaro, we know Nick Punto and Mike Aviles will get appearances. Prospect Jose Iglesias is bound to get the call on occasion, as well. He has the glove to become the regular starter, but can he handle himself against big-league pitching? Does he even need it? The Sox have given a SS with mediocre offense the job in the past, think Pokey Reese and Rey Sanchez. Oh, if Kraft is wearing one of those power shirts with the white collar and a pink paisley tie, forget about it. Looking at about five or six for either option here.
More likely? Seeing Madonna in fishnets at halftime or the Sox win the WS: Fine you got me. I ran out of Pats-related analogies. This one is a no-brainer. I don’t have a doubt in the world that Madonna will be showing off those thighs under a pair of black fishnets come half time. Yes, you can bet on that, too. At a money line of -120, Vegas thinks that’s much more likely than the Sox winning it all. Currently 11-1. To put that in perspective, it’s about the same odds as Brady’s very first pass getting picked. For my money, take the INT chance over the Sox winning it all; at least you’ll know the outcome after one play. You won’t have to sit through 162 grueling games wondering if there’s still a chance.