With all the crazy proposition bets available for Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, there are several wagers that are a little easier to gauge than others.
You might be the type of person who doesn't know football, and may as well bet on the 50-50 odds of the coin toss as a means to cash in. Several relatively safe options exist, though, and are worth a serious look if you're the gambling type.
The biggest game of the NFL season will be exciting enough, but here are a few ways to make a little bit of extra coin to add to the excitement surrounding next Sunday's showdown in New Orleans.
Note: All information on prop bets are courtesy of SportsBooks.com.
First Touchdown of the Game
San Francisco RB Frank Gore has the most favorable odds at (+500) to punch it into the end zone first. This makes sense, because he is a tough, physical runner and the Niners are due to get off to a good start in the postseason—something they haven't done thus far.
The Ravens are exceptional at playing a bend-but-don't-break defense, as was on display in Foxboro against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
This should lead to an explosive play to set up San Francisco in scoring position early, as Baltimore will have to account for Niners QB Colin Kaepernick throwing and running the ball. It wouldn't be surprising to see the game plan revolve around the zone-read option early against the slower Ravens linebackers.
Thus, the threat of Kaepernick's legs will be a big focus down near the goal line for the defense, which should open up a lane for Gore to score between the tackles.
Look for Gore to punch it in from close distance from the pistol formation to allow San Francisco to draw first blood in the Harbaugh Bowl.
Most Valuable Player
Five of the past six winners of the award have been quarterbacks, so there's a good chance that the winning signal-caller on Super Bowl Sunday will get the nod.
Depending on which team you choose, it's either going to be the Ravens' Joe Flacco or Kaepernick.
However, it's pretty clear that the Niners' dual-threat QB has more upside in terms of placing a safe bet.
It is worth noting, though, that Ravens LB Ray Lewis won the MVP the only other time he made it to pro football's pinnacle. Considering this is going to be his final career game, it wouldn't be wise to count him out should Baltimore emerge victorious.
But the Niners are the clear-cut favorite to win, and Kaepernick has proven to be just as explosive with his arm as he is with his feet. That should translate to several big plays in both dimensions, and ultimately land him the Pete Rozelle Trophy.
Longest Touchdown of the Game: 45.5 yards Over/Under
Take the over on this one. There is too much big-play potential on both sides not to. There are few if any quarterbacks better than Kaepernick at the moment when he throws the ball 20 yards or more downfield.
But Flacco has been exceptional himself, as second-year WR Torrey Smith has emerged as one of the more viable deep threats in the NFL.
The Atlanta Falcons consistently beat the Niners over the top in the conference championship game, including an opening bomb to Julio Jones for, yes, 46 yards. Smith hauled in a 59-yard strike from Flacco in the divisional round, and continues to blow the cover off of defenses.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick could run for a touchdown of at least this distance himself, or find either TE Vernon Davis or even Randy Moss for a long TD.
There are too many weapons on both sides for at least one touchdown of 46 yards or more not to happen.
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