Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Game Preview: DEN-CIN

Maybe the Bengals are a paper tiger, but are they really that bad in prime time games? Is Peyton Manning struggling in Denver's new offense? We detail the Monday night clash.

01 Feb 2006

Scramble's Third Annual Super Bowl Prop Bet Extravaganza

by Al Bogdan and Vivek Ramgopal

Al: It's the most wonderful time of the year, Viv. Super Bowl Prop Bet time! Sure, some people get excited about the overrated commercials, or the bloated halftime show, or the actual game between the best team from each conference. But, in my humble opinion, the best part about the Super Bowl is the ability to wager on almost every single event that could possibly happen over the course of the game and some happening in other parts of the country at the same time as the game. When else can you put actual money down on whether Seattle's backup running back will have more combined yards than the Montreal Canadians have shots on goal in the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers?

Vivek: This is one of the most fun, yet painful Scrambles of the year for me. It gives me reason to watch the fourth round of the PGA's FBR Open and watch the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League, while simultaneously watching my monopoly money slip away. Last year, Al took home $1,390 in Scramble Bucks while I was $920 in the hole.

Anyone who has gone to Vegas, Atlantic City or Foxwoods with me knows my string of luck. I am the one who will double down with a five and six, finish with a 20, only to have the dealer pull a 21. (True story.)

Al: As our part of Super Bowl Preview Week at Football Outsiders, we'll make hypothetical wagers on every single betting line that we were able to find. (All lines courtesy of Sportingbetusa.com, who had their prop bet lines up only a day or two after the conference championship games). This is the third year for the Super Bowl Prop Bet Extravaganza at Football Outsiders, and the fourth year overall if you count Scramble's previous incarnation as a column called "Bored at Work" at a little-visited sports site run by wrestling recapper Scott Christ. You can read the previous editions here:

For those of you just joining us, here's how the Prop Bet Extravaganza works. We'll be taking on two different types of wagers here, those with only two potential results and those with many results. All of the bets with only two potential results will look like this:

Number of pro wrestling references in Scramble for the Ball

Over 4.5: (-105)
Under 4.5: (+130)

So, you'd be betting on how many pro wrestling references appear in this column. You would have to choose either more than 4.5 or less than 4.5. (I don't know what 0.5 of a pro wrestling reference would be. Maybe a Haiti Kid mention?) If you were to bet that there would be more than 4.5 pro wrestling mentions, you would have to wager a hypothetical $105 to win $100 (hence the “-105�). If you wanted to take the under, you would wager a hypothetical $100 to win $130 (hence the “+130�). Since we're already at 1.5 pro wrestling references in this column, the under is less likely to win, therefore you'd get more money if it actually does come through.

The other bets are those with many possible options, like wagering on who will score the first touchdown in the game. The odds there will be something like “Shaun Alexander 3-1,� meaning that if you wager a hypothetical $100 on Alexander and he scores the first touchdown, you'd win $300. For those bets, “field� means a player or result not listed. We'll explain anything else that needs an explanation as we go along.

Feel free to list your own picks in the comments to the article at FootballOutsiders.com. You don't need to make hypothetical wagers on each one of these like we do. We'll post the results next week.

Super Bowl XL Coin Toss

Heads: (+100)
Tails: (-105)

Al: The fact that you get better odds for betting on one side of the coin than the other makes me sad for the lack of math skills among the Super Bowl betting public. How could you possibly not take heads here with actual 50/50 odds instead of tails, where you're getting odds of 52/48 against?

Vivek: Heads has come up on top 74 percent of the time when the Super Bowl is played in NFC stadiums in even numbered calendar years. Ok, I made that up, but I'll still take heads for the simple reason that I'd put down less money up front.

Team to Win the Coin Toss

Seahawks: (-105)
Steelers: (-105)

Al: At least here you're getting equally screwed by the house. I'll pick the Seahawks.

Vivek: Wow, two prop bets in, and I'm already turning to the coin flip for my picks. It came out as heads. I'm not sure which team that represented, so I'll just say the Steelers to go against Al.

Team to Receive the Opening Kick

Seahawks: (-115)
Steelers: (-115)

Al: “We want the ball and we're going to score!� Seattle

Vivek: See prop bet # 2. Steelers

Will Either Team Score 3 Straight Times w/o Other Team Scoring

Yes (Conversions Excluded): (-145)
No (Conversions Excluded): (+115)

Al: Conversions excluded means that an extra point or two-point conversion does not count as an independent score when counting consecutive scoring opportunities. Only touchdowns, field goals and safeties count. I see this as a very close game, with neither team dominating at any point. I'll take the better odds and say no team will score three straight times.

Vivek: Same logic as Al. No.

Will Either Team Score in the First 6 1/2 Minutes of the Game

Yes: (-115)
No: (-115)

Al: “We want the ball and we're going to score!� Yes.

Vivek: Yes. Jerome Bettis straight up the middle for a three-yard score. Which will segue nicely into another prop bet – How many times will we hear how Bettis' parents have never missed one of his games since WHEN.? I'll set the odds at 2.5 and take the over.


Will Either Team Score in the Last Two Minutes of First Half

Yes: (-230)
No: (+190)

Vivek: No. The best bet with the money. Plus, Seattle has the big play capability with Hasselbeck and Alexander, and Pittsburgh has done a masterful job at clock management during the playoffs. Bill Cowher could easily architect a drive that leaves little time left in the half.

Al: Someone has scored in the last two minutes of the first half in each of the last six Super Bowls. Yes.

Will Either Team Score in the Last 3:30 of the GAME

Yes: (-160)
No: (+130)

Vivek: No. This game will be signed, sealed and delivered before the final minutes. I'm not implying a blowout, but rather that the victor will turn to a conservative offense in order to kill the clock.

Al: Someone has scored in the last 3:30 of the Super Bowl in 8 of the last 9 games. I expect this to be a bit closer than Vivek seems to, so I'll say yes.

Will there be a Defensive or Special Teams Touchdown

Yes: (+150)
No: (-180)

Al: No. Neither team's quarterback throws too many interceptions and there aren't any obvious candidates on either side who will fumble the ball away.

Vivek: I really want to say yes, since I believe Antwaan Randle El will have a big role in this game, but my wallet says No.

Seahawks -- Total Points

Seahawks Points o21.5: (-130)
Seahawks Points u21.5: (+100)

Al: Very interesting line. Pittsburgh is favored by four points, yet the line here indicates that most bettors think Seattle will score over 21 points. What's also interesting is that the Steelers have held their opponents to 21 points or less in their last seven games. Seattle, on the other hand, has scored 21 points or less in only five of their games this season, including their meaningless Week 17 game against Green Bay. I see this game ending with a score of 27-24, without any real idea as to who will end up winning, so I'll lay the extra $30 and go with the over.

Vivek: You will see this later, but my final score is 27-17 in favor of the Steelers, who will play a near-perfect game. Under.

Seahawks -- Total First Downs

First Downs o18.5: (-115)
First Downs u18.5: (-115)

Vivek: Seattle averaged 22.56 first downs per game and 21 per playoff game. Despite the tough Pittsburgh defense, the Seahawks should still finish with more than 18.5. Over.

Al: 18.5 seems pretty low. Pittsburgh would really need to dominate the time of possession for that to happen. Seattle has actually done a better job at keeping opponents off the field during the postseason than Pittsburgh has. I'll say over as well.

Steelers -- Total Points

Steelers Points o26: (-115)
Steelers Points u26: (-115)

Vivek: 27 points. Two Jeff Reed Field goals, a Bettis touchdown run and two short Roethlisberger passes into the end zone. Over, but just barely.

Al: I'm going under. I'm expecting a close game, with both teams in the 20's. I'd feel better with this if the number was a point or two higher.

Steelers -- Total First Downs

First Downs o20: (-110)
First Downs u20 : (-120)

Al: Over is getting the slightly better odds, so I'll go with that.

Vivek: Guess how many first downs the Steelers have averaged in the playoffs. Yep, that's right – 20. I'll take the over to be consistent with my prediction.

Team to Score First

Seahawks: (+110)
Steelers: (-140)

Al: “We want the ball, and we're going to score!� Seattle

Vivek: Steelers. And the pre-Scramble Over/under on the number of times today that Al references Matt Hasselbeck's famous overtime line – three. Al's already at that. By the way, that game did end with Green Bay returning a Hasselbeck interception for the game-ending score.

Team to Score LAST

Seahawks: (+100)
Steelers: (-130)

Vivek: Steelers. Pittsburgh will never have a seemingly insurmountable lead, so expect them to seal the win with a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Al: Seahawks take the lead for good with a late touchdown.

Team to Score LAST in the First Half

Seahawks: (+105)
Steelers: (-135)

Vivek: Steelers. These lines really don't bode well for my game-predictions.

Al: Seahawks. Is there any reason to think one of these teams is more likely than the other to score at a specific point in the game? I'll keep taking the better odds for these bets.

First Score of the Game will be

Touchdown: (-150)
Any Other Score: (+120)

Vivek: See prop bet #4, about three pages ago. Touchdown.

Al: Let's go with an early Josh Brown field goal. Any Other Score.

First Touchdown of the Game will be

Passing Touchdown: (-135)
Any Other Touchdown: (+105)

Al: What a strange line in a game featuring the most prolific single season rushing scorer in NFL history and a goal line back playing in front of his home town crowd. Any Other Touchdown.

Vivek: See prop bet #4, about three pages ago. Any Other Touchdown.

LAST Score of the First Half will be

Touchdown: (-110)
Any Other Score: (-120)

Al: The first half begins and ends with a field goal. Any Other Score.

Vivek: Any Other Score. Jeff Reed field goal.

LAST Score of the GAME will be

Touchdown: -185
Any Other Score: +155

Al: I'll hedge my early bets a little and say Any Other Score. I'm not that confident in my random guess about Seattle scoring a touchdown late to win the game.

Vivek: Any Other Score. Jeff Reed field goal.

First Turnover of the Game will be

Interception: (-160)
Fumble: (+130)

Al: If there are no turnovers, this line is a push. If there was a no turnover option, that's what I'd take. Neither team turned the ball over much in the regular season, with a combined 24 interceptions and 16 lost fumbles. Given those numbers, I'll take interception.

Vivek: Yes, both teams have sure hands, but there are so many variables that could result in a fumble. For that reason and the money factor, I'll say fumble.

Total Touchdowns Scored in the Game

Total TDs o5.5 : (+120)
Total TDs u5.5 : (-150)

Al: Six touchdowns isn't too much to ask from these two offenses. Over.

Vivek: With my 27-17 score, I have five touchdowns. With the line that close, I'll hedge my bet and take the over.

Longest Touchdown of the Game

Longest TD o42.5 (-115)
Longest TD u42.5 (-115)

Al: Over. Pittsburgh should be good for one ridiculous play that results in a long touchdown.

Vivek: Under. The double reverse to Randle El won't get 42.5 yards.

Shortest Touchdown of the Game

Shortest TD o1.5: (-130)
Shortest TD u1.5 : (+100)

Al: Will someone score from the one? You know if Pittsburgh gets that close, they're going to give it to Bettis until he punches it in. But they'll do that at any point they get inside the five yard line. I just can't take the under and bet that a team will be stopped inside the one-yard line and then successfully score on the next play without being moved back a yard first. Have to go over here.

Vivek: Over. Like Al said, there is only four and a half feet of space there, so the odds of a play starting from that area is low.

Total Field Goals MADE by Both Teams

Field Goals Made o3.5: (+115)
Field Goals Made u3.5 : (-145)

Al: Neither team was that prolific in field goal scoring during the regular season, combining for 42 three pointers, for a combined average of 2.6 per game. Under.

Vivek: Under. More action in the end zone.

Longest Made Field Goal of the Game

Longest FG o44.5 : (-115)
Longest FG u44.5 : (-115)

Al: Josh Brown was second in the league to Neil Rackers with five field goals of 50 yards or more. Inside a dome, the Seahawks won't be afraid to give Brown a shot to kick a long field goal if they have to. Over.

Vivek: Brown converted only nine of 15 attempts of longer than 40 yards, and Reed was six of 11. They may try one from longer than 44.5 yards, but the conversion isn't a given. Under.

Shortest Made Field Goal of the Game

Shortest FG o25 : (-110)
Shortest FG u25 : (-120)

Al: Over. Both teams have enough goal line options that I don't see either team settling for a field goal if they get inside the eight.

Vivek: Agreed. Over.

Over/Under FIRST Made Field Goal of the Game

First Made FG o34.5: (-105)
If No FG -- No Action u34.5 : (-125)

Al: Once again I'm taking the odds and going over.

Vivek: Over. These teams should convert when they are inside the red zone.

Total Sacks by Both Teams

Total Sacks o4.5 : (-130)
Total Sacks u4.5 : (+100)

Vivek: This number is pretty easy to reach. In the playoffs, the Steelers recorded 12 sacks against the three teams that allowed the fewest in the regular season. Unless Mike Holmgren calls Shaun Alexander's number a lot more than his season average (23), Pittsburgh should get three.

Al: If my prediction of a close Seattle victory comes up true, it's going to be because their offensive line can handle the Pittsburgh pass rush. Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson should be able to handle whatever the Steelers throw at the left side of Seattle's offensive line. The big question is whether aging veterans Robbie Tobeck and Chris Gray, and the inexperienced Sean Locklear can handle the changing rotation of linebackers and safeties coming at Matt Hasselbeck. The one difference between Seattle and the other offensive lines who have failed to stop Pittsburgh's pass rush in the playoffs is that Seattle has a fullback like Mack Strong to pick up whoever manages to get past the first level of blockers. On the other side, I'm expecting Seattle to not blitz too much to neutralize Ben Roethlisberger and force the Steelers to rely on their average at best rushing attack to carry the offense. So that's a long-winded way of saying: under.

Total Interceptions Thrown by BOTH Teams

Total Interceptions o2.5 : (+140)
Total Interceptions: u2.5 : (-170)

Vivek: Under. I would take this if the line was 1.5 too.

Al: Under as well.

Total Fumbles Lost by Both Teams

Fumbles Lost o1.5: (even)
Fumbles Lost u1.5: (-130)

Vivek: Under. The fact that this is fumbles lost and not fumbles total helps me with this bet.

Al: Under. Two fumbles lost is a lot for two teams that don't fumble the ball much to begin with.

Total Punts by BOTH Teams

Total Punts o8.5: (-170)
Total Punts u8.5: (+140)

Vivek: Under. Assume nine drives for each team, two of which end each half, one turnover and seven scoring drives. That leaves us at eight, and more money can be had there. I say nine because I anticipate some long, time-consuming possessions.

Al: Nine drives each is a bit low. These two teams averaged just over 22 drives per game during the season. Seattle was actually one of the more frequent punting teams in the league, coming in 19th in the league in fewest punts per drive. Taking both teams average drives per game and punts per drive gives us an expectation of 9.3 punts in the Super Bowl. Over.

Over/Under FIRST Punt of the Game (Must be an Official Punt)

First Punt o42.5 : (-115)
Return Yards Don't Count u42.5 : (-115)

Vivek: I am going strictly by season average here, and both Tom Rouen (41.6) and Chris Gardocki (41.8) are below that line. Under.

Al: Yeah, but those two are punting at home in outdoor stadiums in Seattle and Pittsburgh. Gardocki at least has been much better in domes this year, averaging over 46 yards per punt indoors. Over.

Over/Under Largest Lead of the Game

Largest Lead o13.5 : (-115)
After Conversion Attempt u13.5 : (-115)

Vivek: Under. It'll never reach two touchdowns.

Al: Under.

Total Number of Different Players to have a Pass Attempt

Pass Attempts o2.5: (-180)
Pass Attempts u2.5: (+150)

Vivek: Over. The question is will the third player be Hines or Antwaan?

Al: Over. This one's almost gimme. You're also forgetting that Seattle used Seneca Wallace as a wide receiver against Carolina. I wouldn't be shocked if he was involved in a trick play Sunday.

Team to get FIRST First Down of the Game

Seahawks: (-110)
Steelers: (-120)

Vivek: The Steelers will have the ball first, so let's have them extending their opening drive.

Al:Seattle. It's crazy how many bets you can potentially lose just by guessing who will get the ball first incorrectly.

Team to Challenge Referee First – Excludes Official Challenges

Seahawks: (-115)
Steelers: (-115)

Vivek: Steelers. The Cowher face when he challenges is worth a thousand words.

Al: Seahawks, just so we don't agree.

Team with the Most Penalty Yards

Seahawks: (-130)
Steelers: (+100)

Vivek: Steelers. The Seahawks recorded seven penalties for 63 yards in the NFC championship right after only two penalties for ten yards against Washington. Pittsburgh has allowed 61, 39 and eight penalty yards. I'll Pittsburgh with the better money.

Al: Over the regular season, however, the two teams were fairly close, with Seattle losing 876 yards to penalties and Pittsburgh losing 846 yards. Offensive holding was the biggest culprit for both teams, costing Pittsburgh 187 yards and Seattle 250 yards because of grabby offensive linemen. Seattle, however, was also hurt terribly by defensive pass interference calls, losing 199 yards. Seahawks.

Team to Commit the First Penalty -- Declined Penalties EXCLUDED

Seahawks: -115
Steelers: -115

Al: Seahawks.

Vivek: Seahawks, and how is this for being specific. It will be a holding penalty on the defensive line.

Will a Team Make a Field Goal in the First Quarter

Yes -155
No: +125

Al: Yes on the opening drive of the game.

Vivek: No.

Will Both Teams Make a 33 or Longer Field Goals

Yes (If No FG -- NO WINS): +110
No (If No FG -- NO WINS): -140

Al: Yes. Both teams will have at least one, and if either team is going for three it will be because it couldn't find its way into the red zone.

Vivek: Yes.

Will there be a Successful Two-Point Conversion

Yes +450
No: -650

Al: No, there's never a two-point conversion.

Vivek: No. Carolina failed on one attempt two years ago and Oakland came up empty twice the year before. You'll have to go back to Super Bowl XXIX for the last successful two-point try.

Will there be a Safety

Yes +850
No: -1350

Al: No. It's always tempting to say yes because of the huge potential payout, but the actual odds against getting a safety are much less than even 13.5 to 1 against. In the 240 NFL games played this season, there were only 11 safeties. Based on that, the odds should be closer to 22 to 1 against.

Vivek: No.

Will there be Overtime

Yes: +600
No: -950

Al: This one will be close, but I'm not betting on an overtime. No.

Vivek: No. Never happened before, won't happen this year.

Will the game be Decided by Exactly 3 Points

Yes: +400
No: -600

Al: If only the Patriots were in this, it would be an easy yes. Even though I have a feeling this will be a three point game, it could just as easily be a four point game or a two point game. No.

Vivek: No. I've already given my score.

Will the Game be Tied after 0-0 -- Tied Determined after Conversion

Yes: +100
No: -130

Al: Yes, in a close matchup like this, the teams will likely be tied up at some point.

Vivek: Yes. Over/Under on the number of times that Football Outsiders Assistant Editor Tim Gerheim has tried to poke his eyes out while editing this article: 8.5.

Al: And we're not even one-third of the way finished.

Will the Team that Scores First Win the Game

Yes: -185
No: +150

Al: Yes. And we're not even 1/3 of the way finished.

Vivek:Yes.

Will one Quarter be Scoreless -- 1 Quarter will have 0-0 Score

Yes: +240
No: -300

Al: Yes, scoring stalls in the third quarter as the teams successfully adjust against what worked for the other in the first half.

Vivek: Yes.

Matt Hasselbeck -- What will he Throw First -- Must Play

Complete Pass: -185
Incomplete Pass: +150

Al: Finally, we're up to the player props. Hasselbeck was a 65.5% passer on the year. Using that as Hasselbeck's baseline, complete pass has the better odds.

Vivek: Complete pass.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Total Passing Yards -- Must Play

Passing Yards: o234.5 (-115)
Passing Yards: u234.5 (-115)

Al: Hasselbeck has hit that number in eight games this season, but only once since November. Even if he has a good game like I expect him to, Hasselbeck could still end up under this number.

Vivek: Under. We should expect a high volume of running plays to prevent the Pittsburgh defense from succeeding with the blitz.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Total Completions -- Must Play

Completions: o20.5 (-130)
Completions: u20.5 (even)

Al: During the regular season, Hasselbeck averaged 18.375 completions per game. Even if you take out his meaningless Week 17 performance, Hasselbeck would only average 19.2 per game. Seattle will pass early, but run Shaun Alexander enough for Hasselbeck to finish with 20 or fewer completions. Under.

Vivek: Under, for the same reason that I gave above.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Total Pass Attempts -- Must Play

Pass Attempts: o33.5(-105)
Pass Attempts: u33.5(-125)

Al: 34 pass attempts is a lot for Hasselbeck this year. He's only topped that six times, and only once since October. Under.

Vivek: Under.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Total Rushing Yards -- Must Play

Rushing Yards: o9.5(-130)
Rushing Yards: u9.5(even)

Al: Hasselbeck has been running a lot, at least for him, during the playoffs. I'll say he gets 10 yards just be running away from oncoming rushers that somehow make it past the offensive line. Over.

Vivek: Over.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Total Rushing Yards on FIRST ATTEMPT

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o3.5+(105)
Must Play: u3.5(-135)

Al: Under. Since there's a realistic chance that Hasselbeck won't have any rushing attempts at all, or that his first rushing attempt is a one yard scramble past the line of scrimmage to escape a potential sack, I have to take the under, especially when it has the best odds. ‘

Vivek: Under. It's more likely to be a short gain to avoid the sack.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Longest Completion -- Must Play

Longest Completion: o34.5 (-130)
Longest Completion: u34.5 (even)

Al: Pittsburgh can be beaten deep. Over.

Vivek: Over.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Total Touchdown Passes -- Must Play

TD Passes: o1.5+(115)
TD Passes: u1.5(-145)

Al: Under. One sounds about right when you have Shaun Alexander there to run the ball into the end zone.

Vivek: Under.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Will He Throw an Interception -- Must Play

Yes: -195
No: +160

Al: Wait, they're saying it's more likely that Hasselbeck will throw at least one pick? He's thrown only one since November and none in the post season. Easy no.

Vivek: No.

Matt Hasselbeck -- What will he Throw First -- Must Play

Touchdown Pass : -160
Interception: +130

Al: Since I don't think he'll throw an interception, Touchdown Pass.

Vivek: Al was always the one that was good at thinking things out. Touchdown Pass.

Shaun Alexander -- Total Rushing Yards -- Must Play

Rushing Yards: o88.5(-115)
Rushing Yards: u88.5(-115)

Vivek: Alexander has topped that mark 13 times this season (including the post season), and he missed most of the Washington playoff game because of a concussion. He should easily hit that mark. Over.

Al: Yup. Over.

Shaun Alexander -- Total Rushing Yards on FIRST ATTEMPT

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o3.5 (even)
Must Play: u3.5 (-130)

Vivek: Over.

Al: Crazy line. Alexander over five yards per carry this year, yet the over is getting the better odds? I don't get it.

Shaun Alexander -- Longest Rush from Scrimmage -- Must Play

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o18.5(-115)
Longest Rush: u18.5(-115)

Vivek: I can see Alexander breaking off a 20+ yard run. Over.

Al: Alexander topped this 10 times this season. Over.

Shaun Alexander -- Total Rushing Attempts -- Must Play

Rushing Attempts: o20.5 (-115)
Rushing Attempts: u20.5 (-115)

Al: I'm guessing the oddsmakers are very down on Seattle's chances if the line on this is only 20 carries. Alexander has also only missed this number five times, including the Washington game. I guess if you think the Seahawks will be behind early and big, they won't be able to keep handing the ball off to Alexander. I didn't think I was predicting that big of an upset, but going through these lines makes it more apparent that the betting public isn't giving the Seahawks much of a chance. Then again, not too many people gave Rey Mysterio Jr. much of a chance to win the Royal Rumble last week, especially since he was one of the first two people in the ring, but Mysterio will be heading to the main event at Wrestlemania, just like Alexander is heading to Disney World. Or at least he would if the Super Bowl MVP still did that. Over.

Vivek: Over.

Shaun Alexander -- Will he Score a Touchdown in the First Half

Yes (Must Play): +125
No (Must Play): -155

Al: Yes.

Vivek: Yes.

Shaun Alexander -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o6.5(-115)
Receiving Yards: u6.5(-115)

Al: Under. Alexander hasn't had seven receiving yards in his past five games combined.

Vivek: Seattle has never used Alexander as a receiver. He topped this mark only five times. Under.

Mack Strong -- Total Rushing+Receiving Yards

Rushing+Receiving Yards: o13.5 (-115)
Must Play: u13.5 (-115)

Al: Nothing like betting on fullback yardage. Strong's known more as a blocker, opening holes for others to run through, but also he's pretty effective when carrying the football himself. Strong will get at least couple of dump-offs thrown in his direction and should be able to get more than 13 yards. Over.

Vivek: Strong can easily surpass 13.5 yards with one pass reception. Over.

Mack Strong -- Longest Rush from Scrimmage -- Must Play

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o2.5 (-115)
Longest Rush: u2.5 (-115)

Al: Strong might not even get a carry, so I have to say under.

Vivek: There is a very good chance that Strong will not see a carry all game. Under.

Mack Strong -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o5.5 (-130)
Must Play: u5.5 (even)

Al: Strong averaged 7.5 yards per reception in 2005, and 6.8 yards per reception over his career. Over.

Vivek: Over.

Maurice Morris -- Total Rushing+Receiving Yards

Rushing+Receiving Yards: o10.5 (-115)
Must Play: u10.5 (-115)

Al: Morris has seen solid playing time as of late, even if you don't include the Washington playoff game. He should get a handful of carries to spell Alexander, which should be enough to push him over 10 yards. Over.

Vivek: Over. Since Week 13, Morris has been averaging 27 rushing yards per game.

Maurice Morris -- Total Rushing Yards on FIRST ATTEMPT

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o2.5(-130)
Must Play: u2.5(even)

Al: 4.1 yards per carry this season; 4.7 for his career. Over.

Vivek: Under.

Maurice Morris -- Longest Rush from Scrimmage -- Must Play

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o3.5(-130)
Longest Rush: u3.5(even)

Al: When the longest run is below a player's career average, you have to go over, even after taking into consideration the risk that he won't get any carries.

Vivek: Over.

Darrell Jackson -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o69.5(-115)
Receiving Yards: u69.5(-115)

Al: These Seattle receiver bets will be tough decisions. You never know who is going to get the most yardage in a single game, even when Jackson is healthy. Jackson has, however, topped 70 yards in three of his four games since coming back from injury, so I'll take the over.

Vivek: Over. He's back and he's healthy.

Darrell Jackson -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o10.5(-115)
Must Play: u10.5(-115)

Al: Another over. These first reception/carry lines all look way too low for the Seattle players. Maybe I'm not as high on the Pittsburgh defense as oddsmakers are, but I think there's some good money to be made on these bets.

Vivek: Under. A short hitch to Jackson early on.

Darrell Jackson -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o19.5(-130)
Must Play: u19.5(even)

Al: Over. Another number Jackson has topped in three of his last four games

Vivek: Over.

Darrell Jackson -- Total Receptions -- Must Play

Receptions: o6.0+(130)
Receptions: u6.0(-160)

Al: Tough call. This number is right where it should be. I'll take the better odds and go over.

Vivek: Over.

Darrell Jackson -- Will he Score a Touchdown -- Must Play

Yes: +160
No: -195

Al: Seattle has too many receiving threats to bet on any one of them scoring a touchdown. No.

Vivek: Yes. There's more money to be had here.

Darrell Jackson -- Will he have a Rushing Attempt -- Must Play

Yes: +450
No: -675

Al: No. Where did this bet come from? Jackson had one rushing attempt all year. His last one before that came in 2002.

Vivek: He's had one in the past three seasons. Um, no.

Bobby Engram -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o37.5(-115)
Receiving Yards: u37.5(-115)

Al: Engram's numbers have been down since Jackson returned to the lineup. He hasn't topped 37 yards since Jackson's first game back from his injury. Under.

Vivek: Engram's production will decrease with the return of Jackson. Under.

Bobby Engram -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o8.5(-115)
Must Play: u8.5(-115)

Al: Over. The first down machine will run a perfect 10 yard pattern to move the chains on Seattle's opening drive.

Vivek: Under.

Bobby Engram -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o13.5(-115)
Must Play: u13.5(-115)

Al: With Jackson back, the Seahawks don't need Engram to be a deep threat. Under.

Vivek: Under.

Bobby Engram -- Total Receptions -- Must Play

Receptions: o3.0 (-115)
Receptions: u3.0 (-115)

Al: These total reception numbers have been spot on. Coin flip says over.

Vivek:I'm surprised that this line does not have a half in it. I think it'll be a push, but I'll take the Under.

Bobby Engram -- Will he Score a Touchdown -- Must Play

Yes: +325
No: -450

Al: If I say no to all the Seattle receivers, I shouldn't get burned if one of them get into the end zone. If two of them do, however, I'm losing some virtual dollars here. No.

Vivek: No.

Jerramy Stevens -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o38.5 (-115)
Receiving Yards: u38.5 (-115)

Al: My old tag team partner Ian Dembsky has drafted Stevens in at least one of our fantasy leagues for no good reason each of the last four years. He finally emerged as a decent fantasy play this season, but his yardage totals have been too inconsistent to take anything but the under.

Vivek: Tight ends have had a challenge getting yardage against Pittsburgh. Under.

Jerramy Stevens -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o8.5(-115)
Must Play: u8.5(-115)

Al: Over again. He averaged 12.3 yards per catch this year.

Vivek: Over. Five yards out for the catch, and another five yards after the catch.

Jerramy Stevens -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o15.5(-115)
Must Play: u15.5(-115)

Al: Under. I'm just tired of taking overs.

Vivek: Under.

Jerramy Stevens -- Total Receptions -- Must Play

Receptions: o3.5 (even)
Receptions: u3.5 (-130)

Al: I like three here. Under.

Vivek: Over.

Joe Jurevicius -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o26.5 (-115)
Receiving Yards: u26.5 (-115)

Vivek: Under. His stats have taken a hit as the other receiving options have gotten healthy.

Al: His role in the passing game has been almost non-existent since Jackson came back, but Jurevicius has still topped 26 yards in four of his last six games. Over.

Joe Jurevicius -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o8.5 (even)
Must Play: u8.5 (-130)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Under.

Joe Jurevicius -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o13.5(-115)
Must Play: u13.5(-115)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Under.

Ryan Hannam -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o4.5 (-130)
Receiving Yards: u4.5 (even)

Al: You know you have a serious gambling problem if you actually wager on the number of receiving yards Ryan Hannam will have in the Super Bowl. Under.

Vivek: Whenever you have to look up a player to see if he is indeed on the active roster, take the under.

Lofa Tatupu -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles: o6.0 (-115)
Must Play: u6.0 (-115)

Al: All of these tackle numbers include those made on special teams. Seattle is going to need some big stops in the running game from Lofa if they're going to win. Over.

Vivek: He'll be busy with the running backs. Over.

Jordan Babineaux -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles: o4.5(-130)
Must Play: u4.5(even)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Will Big Ben pass enough to give the secondary the opportunities to top this line? No. Under.

Marquand Manuel -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles: o3.5(-130)
Must Play: u3.5(even)

Al: There's no way someone actually puts real money down on this line. Under.

Vivek: Under.

Michael Boulware -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles: o5.0(even)
Must Play: u5.0(-130)

Al: Let's go crazy and predict a big game from Boulware. Over.

Vivek: Under.

Leroy Hill -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles: o5.5(-115)
Must Play: u5.5(-115)

Al: One of Ned Macey's unsung players to watch should have a solid game. Over.

Vivek: Over.

Will Lofa Tatupu or Michael Boulware Intercept a Pass

Yes (Both Must Play): +210
No (Both Must Play): -250

Al: An interception by Roethlisberger is unlikely in and of itself, but predicting which of two players might be the ones to potentially pick him off? No.

Vivek:No. They had seven on the year, but the money and chances make this an easy pick.

Josh Brown -- Total Points -- Must Play

Total Points: o6.5(-150)
Total Points: u6.5+(120)

Al: Over.
Vivek: Under

Seahawks -- Total Rushing Yards vs the Steelers

Rushing Yards: o102.5(-115)
Rushing Yards: u102.5(-115)

Al: Over. The only way this is under is if the Steelers jump out to a big lead and take Alexander out of the Seattle game plan.

Vivek: Over.

Seahawks -- What will Happen First

Seahawks Score: -115
Seahawks Punt Twice: -115

Al: Seahawks score on the opening drive.

Vivek: Seahawks score.

Total Number of Different Seahawks to have a Rushing Attempt

Rushing Attempts: o4(-130)
Kneeldown is a Rush Attempt: u4+(100)

Al: Hasselbeck, Alexander, Strong, Morris, and who? I don't see a fifth likely candidate, so under it is.

Vivek: Under

Total Number of Different Seahawks to have a Pass Reception

Record a Reception: o6.5+(150)
Record a Reception: u6.5(-185)

Vivek: Under.

Al: When will we ever get to the Pittsburgh props? Under.

Total Number of Different Seahawks to Score -- Includes Kickers

Safety DOESNT Count: o3(-120)
Includes 2 Pt Conversions: u3(-110)

Al: Since it includes kickers, I like the over.

Vivek: Easy -- over.

Seahawks -- Total Third Down Conversions MADE

Third Downs Conversions: o5.5+ (125)
Third Downs Conversions: u5.5 (-155)

Al: Seattle averaged under five third down conversions a game this year. Under.

Vivek: Under.

Seahawks -- Will they Score a Touchdown in the First Quarter

Yes: +140
No: -170

Al: Yes.

Vivek: Yes.

Seahawks -- Will they Score in First and Second Quarter

Yes: -115
No: -115

Al: Yes, why the hell not?

Vivek: Yes.

Seahawks -- Will they Convert a Fourth Down Attempt

Yes (Conv by Penalty Excluded): -115
No (Conv by Penalty Excluded): -115

Al: How is this an even money line (after the vig)? Seattle averaged only one Fourth down conversion attempt every other game. No.

Vivek: Yes, in the fourth quarter.

Seahawks -- Will they Score a Rushing Touchdown in the Second Half

Yes: +120
No: -150

Vivek: Yes. And, if you don't mind me saying so, King Kong Bundy. (Random wrestling reference inserted to push the total closer to the 4.5 line that Al set in the introduction.)

Al: Bundy would have made a great fullback. Yes.

Seahawks -- Will they Ever Have the Lead in the Second Half

Yes: -125
No: -105

Vivek: Nope. Good point about Bundy, for both of them. King Kong and the pride of Polk High, Al.

Al: Every other line has Seattle playing from behind except for this one. Yes.

Ben Roethlisberger -- What will he Throw First -- Must Play

Complete Pass: -165
Incomplete Pass: +135

Al: Hey, a Steeler! Ben completed 62.7% of his passes this season. Complete pass.

Vivek: Are we there yet? Complete pass.

Ben Roethlisberger -- Total Passing Yards -- Must Play

Passing Yards: o220.5 (-115)
Passing Yards: u220.5 (-115)

Al: 220 is a lot for Roethlisberger. He's topped this number only three times in his nine games since returning from injury. Under.

Vivek: Agreed. Under.

Ben Roethlisberger -- Total Completions -- Must Play

Completions: o15.5 (-150)
Completions: u15.5 (+120)

Al: Another under.

Vivek: Under.

Ben Roethlisberger -- Total Pass Attempts -- Must Play

Pass Attempts: o26.0(-115)
Pass Attempts: u26.0(-115)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Under.

Ben Roethlisberger -- Total Rushing Yards -- Must Play

Rushing Yards: o5.5(-115)
Rushing Yards: u5.5(-115)

Al: He's been under in four of his last five.

Vivek: True, but just one scramble can hit the line. Over.

Ben Roethlisberger -- Total Rushing Yards on FIRST ATTEMPT

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o2.5(-110)
Must Play: u2.5(-120)

Al: For the same reasons I gave for Hasselbeck 20 pages ago, under.

Vivek: Under.

Ben Roethlisberger -- Longest Completion -- Must Play

Longest Completion: o41.5(-115)
Longest Completion: u41.5(-115)

Al: Under. If there's a completion that long, it won't be thrown by Roethlisberger.

Vivek: Under.

Ben Roethlisberger -- Total Touchdown Passes -- Must Play

TD Passes: o1.5 (-150)
TD Passes: u1.5 (+120)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Over. Two short ones on the day.

Ben Roethlisberger -- Will He Throw an Interception -Must Play

Yes -165
No: +135

Al: No.

Vivek: No.

Ben Roethlisberger -- What will he Throw First -- Must Play

Touchdown Pass : -175
Interception: +145

Al: Touchdown Pass, since I don't see Roethlisberger throwing any interceptions.

Vivek: Touchdown Pass. At the rate that this is taking to finish, we might have to start on Super Bowl XLI.

Willie Parker -- Total Rushing Yards -- Must Play

Rushing Yards: o60.5 (-115)
Rushing Yards: u60.5 (-115)

Al: Under. Willie's going to have a tough time on Sunday. Seattle has the best run stopping front seven in football according to our numbers. The strength of Pittsburgh's rushing attack with Parker, running around the left end, goes right into the previously mentioned Leroy Hill, possibly the quickest of Seattle's linebackers.

Vivek: Parker has not rushed for more than 60 yards during the playoffs. Under.

Willie Parker -- Total Rushing Yards on FIRST ATTEMPT

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o3.5 (even)
Must Play: u3.5 (-130)

Al: Even if I think Parker won't have a good day, I'm sticking with my trend of going over on these first attempt/catch lines.

Vivek: Over.

Willie Parker -- Longest Rush from Scrimmage -- Must Play

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins:  o15.5 : (-115)
Longest Rush u15.5 : (-115)

Al: Parker's not going to break a long one against Seattle's front seven. Under.

Vivek: Under.

Willie Parker -- Total Rushing Attempts -- Must Play

Rushing Attempts: o16.5 (-115)
Rushing Attempts: u16.5 (-115)

Al: This is a tough line. Under by a hair.

Vivek: Under.

Willie Parker -- Will he Score a Touchdown -- Must Play

Yes: +220
No: -280

Al: If Parker wants to score he's going to have to do it from the 30. Once Pittsburgh sniffs the end zone it will be Jerome Bettis time. No.

Vivek: No.

Willie Parker -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o19.5 (-115)
Receiving Yards: u19.5 (-115)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Under.

Willie Parker -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o7.5 (even)
Must Play: u7.5 (-130)

Al: Parker averages over 12 yards a reception. Over.

Vivek: Under.

Willie Parker -- Total Receptions -- Must Play

Receptions: o2.5 (-110)
Receptions: u2.5 (-120)

Al: Three's been Parker's magic number this postseason. Over.

Vivek: Yes.

Willie Parker -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o10.5 (-115)
Must Play: u10.5 (-115)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Under.

Jerome Bettis -- Total Rushing Yards -- Must Play

Rushing Yards: o39.5(-115)
Rushing Yards: u39.5(-115)

Al: Bettis' role has been increased in the post season, but 40 yards seems like a lot. He'll get his share of carries inside the 20, but not enough to top this number. Under.

Vivek: Agreed. Under.

Jerome Bettis -- Total Rushing Yards on FIRST ATTEMPT

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o2.5 (-120)
Must Play: u2.5 (-110)

Al: Here's one where I can take the under.

Vivek: Under.

Jerome Bettis -- Longest Rush from Scrimmage -- Must Play

NO Attempt -- UNDER Wins: o9.5 (-115)
Longest Rush: u9.5 (-115)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Under.

Jerome Bettis -- Total Rushing Attempts -- Must Play

Rushing Attempts: o13.5(-110)
Rushing Attempts: u13.5(-120)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Under.

Jerome Bettis -- Will he Score a Touchdown -- Must Play

Yes: -170
No: +135

Al: Yes. Might be the safest bet on the board.

Vivek: Yes.

Verron Haynes -- Total Rushing+Receiving Yards

Rushing+Receiving Yards: o16.5(-115)
Must Play: u16.5(-115)

Al: This looks like a solid over to me. Haynes hasn't topped this in his last two games, but easily beat this number in the each of the five games before that.

Vivek: Over.

Antwaan Randle El -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o32.0 (-115)
Receiving Yards: u32.0 (-115)

Al: Randle El was a mainstay on my weekly draft Loser League team this season. He was good for two to four catches and under 40 yards pretty much every game. Under.

Vivek: Cedric Wilson has bumped Randle El's productivity down a notch, so under.

Antwaan Randle El -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o10.5 (-115)
Must Play: u10.5 (-115)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Over.

Antwaan Randle El -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins o15.5: (-115)
Must Play: u15.5: -115

Al: This line's a little low. Under.

Vivek: Under.

Antwaan Randle El -- Total Receptions -- Must Play

Receptions o2.5 (-165)
Receptions: u2.5 (+135)

Al: Will it be two or three? I'll take the better payout and say under.

Vivek: Three for me. Over.

A Randle El -- Will he Record Both a Pass & Rushing Attempt

Yes (Must Play): +350
No (Must Play): -500

Al: Both a pass and a rushing attempt? If it was just a rushing attempt I'd be tempted to say yes, but Randle El really doesn't throw that often. No.

Vivek: No.

Hines Ward -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o68.5 (-115)
Receiving Yards: u68.5 (-115)

Al: Ward is one of my favorite receivers. He'll be the focal point of the Pittsburgh offense and have a nice game. Over.

Vivek: This is a tough line for me. Ward's totals during the playoffs are ten, 68 and 59 yards. He can still be the focal point of the offense, but with under 68.5 yards.

Hines Ward -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o10.5(-135)
Must Play: u10.5 (+105)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Under.

Hines Ward -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins o21.5 (-115)
Must Play u21.5 : (-115)

Al: Over.

Vivek: He'll be good for one. Over.

Hines Ward -- Total Receptions -- Must Play

Receptions: o4.5 (-160)
Receptions: u4.5 (+130)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Over.

Hines Ward -- Will he Score a Touchdown -- Must Play

Yes: +110
No: -140

Al: I'm surprised this is as close to an even money proposition as it is. I normally lean towards no on these, but I'm saying yes here.

Vivek: Yes.

Heath Miller -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o35.5 (-115)
Receiving Yards: u35.5 (-115)

Al: Over. Seattle has struggled against tight ends.

Vivek: Over.

Heath Miller -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o9.5 (-115)
Must Play: u9.5 (-115)

Al: Over.

Vivek: Over.

Heath Miller -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o20.5(-115)
Must Play: u20.5(-115)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Under.

Heath Miller -- Total Receptions -- Must Play

Receptions: o2.5 (-135)
Receptions: u2.5 (+105)

Al: I expect a nice game from Miller over.

Vivek: Over.

Cedrick Wilson -- Total Receiving Yards -- Must Play

Receiving Yards: o40.5(-115)
Receiving Yards: u40.5(-115)

Al: Interesting line. Seattle has struggled against third and fourth receivers this year, and Wilson has seen his role in Pittsburgh's offense increase during the playoffs. Still, though, Wilson was shut out against the Colts. Unless this game is a shoot out, I'm not expecting a big game. Under.

Vivek: There won't be enough passing yards to go around after Ward, Miller and Randle El. Under.

Cedrick Wilson -- Total Receiving Yards on FIRST Reception

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o13.5 (even)
Must Play: u13.5 (-130)

Al: If he catches a pass, it will likely top this, but there's enough of a chance that he won't get a single ball for me to go under.

Vivek: Under.

Cedrick Wilson -- Longest Reception -- No Recept Under Wins

NO Reception -- UNDER Wins: o20.5(-115)
Must Play: u20.5(-115)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Under.

James Farrior -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles: o7.5 (-130)
Must Play: u7.5 (even)

Al: Eight is a lot of tackles, a number Farrior has only hit once since missing two games in November. Under

Vivek: Why did the Jets let this guy go? I'll peg him as a surprise on defense. Over.

Larry Foote -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles o6.5 : (-115)
Must Play: u6.5 : (-115)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Under.

Troy Polamalu -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles: o6.0 (-130)
Must Play: u6.0 (even)

Al: Under. As active as Polamalu has been during the post season, he hasn't had more than five tackles. He's had more than six only twice this year.

Vivek: When do we get to the fun bets? I've been researching the FBR open and the NBA matchups. Under.

Joey Porter -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles o3.5 : (-135)
Must Play: u3.5 : (+105)

Al: WILL THIS EVER END!?!?! Over.

Vivek: Over.

Chris Hope -- Total Tackles (Solo+Assisted Tackles)

Solo+Assisted Tackles o4.5 : (-130)
Must Play: u4.5 : (even)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Under.

Will Troy Polamalu or Chris Hope Intercept a Pass

Yes (Must Play): (+210)
No (Must Play): (-250)

Al: No interceptions all game. No.

Vivek: No.

Jeff Reed -- Total Points -- Must Play

Total Points: o7.5 (-140)
Total Points: u7.5 (+110)

Al: Under.

Vivek: Over.

Steelers -- Total Rushing Yards vs the Seahawks

Rushing Yards o112.5: (-115)
Rushing Yards u112.5: (-115)

Al: Under. There's no reason for this line to be higher than the one for Seattle except if you think Pittsburgh will jump out to a huge lead and Seattle will completely abandon the run for the second half.

Vivek: Over.

Steelers -- What will Happen First

Steelers Score: (+125)
Steelers Punt: (-155)

Al: Only one punt? Steelers punt.

Vivek: First drive. Steelers score.

Total Number of Different Steelers to have a Rushing Attempt

Rushing Attempts: o4.5 (-200)
Kneeldown is a Rush Attempt:  u4.5 (+160)

Al: How is under the longer odds? You'll need Roethlisberger, three running backs, and a wide receiver to all run the ball to hit the over. Oddsmakers are making way too much of Pittsburgh's propensity to pull an occasional trick play.

Vivek: Under.

Total Number of Different Steelers to have a Pass Reception

Record a Reception: o6.5 (-160)
Record a Reception: u6.5 (+130)

Al: The Steelers won't get their ten Madden Points for completing a pass to seven different receivers. Under.

Vivek: Over. Cedric Wilson, Willie Parker, Hines Ward, Heath Miller, Antwaan Randle El, Verron Haynes and a receiving option to be named later.

Total Number of Different Steelers to Score -- Includes Kickers

Safety DOESNT Count o3.5 : (+105)
Includes 2 Pt Conversions: u3.5 : (-135)

Al: Good line. Over.

Vivek: Over.

Steelers -- Total Third Down Conversions MADE

Third Downs Conversions: o5.5 (-130)
Third Downs Conversions: u5.5 (even)

Al: Pittsburgh averaged just over four third down conversions a game this season. Under.

Vivek: Under.

Steelers -- Will they Score a Touchdown in the First Quarter

Yes: (+100)
No: (-130)

Al: No.

Vivek: Yes

Steelers -- Will they Score in All 4 Quarters

Yes: (+220)
No: (-280)

Al: I'm surprised that these lines aren't closer given the obvious Pittsburgh favoritism throughout the rest of the lines. No.

Vivek: One quarter should be scoreless. No.

Steelers -- Will they Convert a Fourth Down Attempt

Yes (Conv by Penalty Excluded): (+130)
No (Conv by Penalty Excluded): (-160)

Al: Pittsburgh converted a fourth down less than once every three games. No.

Vivek: No.

Steelers -- Will they Score a First Half Rushing Touchdown

Yes: (-130)
No: (+100)

Al: Yes, Bettis gets in during the second quarter.

Vivek: Yes.

Margin of Victory

Seahawks Win By 01-03 pts: 7-1
Seahawks Win By 04-06 pts: 11-1
Seahawks Win By 07-10 pts: 10-1
Seahawks Win By 11-13 pts: 18-1
Seahawks Win By 14-17 pts: 15-1
Seahawks Win By 18-21 pts: 30-1
Seahawks Win By 22 or more: 25-1
Steelers Win By 01-03 pts: 11-2
Steelers Win By 04-06 pts: 7-1
Steelers Win By 07-10 pts: 11-2
Steelers Win By 11-13 pts: 10-1
Steelers Win By 14-17 pts: 7-1
Steelers Win By 18-21 pts: 10-1
Steelers Win By 22 or more: 7-1

Al: For all of these lines, we'll pick our favorite to put $100 on. Seahawks win by 01-03.

Vivek: Steelers Win By 07-10

Seahawks vs Steelers -- First Scoring Play of the Game will be

Seahawks Field Goal: 5-1
Seahawks Touchdown Pass: 4-1
Seahawks Touchdown Run: 5-1
Seahawks Any Other Touchdown: 20-1
Seahawks Safety: 50-1
Steelers Field Goal: 16-5
Steelers Touchdown Pass: 18-5
Steelers Touchdown Run: 18-5
Steelers Any Other Touchdown: 15-1
Steelers Safety: 40-1

Al: Seahawks Field Goal.

Vivek: Steelers Touchdown Run.

Seahawks vs Steelers -- Total Points Scored by Both Teams

00-14 Points: 40-1
15-21 Points: 25-1
22-28 Points: 10-1
29-35 Points: 6-1
36-42 Points: 4-1
43-49 Points: 3-1
50-56 Points: 7-2
57-63 Points: 6-1
64-70 Points: 15-1
71-77 Points: 25-1
78 or More Points: 22-1

Al: I like something like 27-24, so I'll go with 50-56 points.

Vivek: My predicted total of 44 points has the lowest payout, so I'm going for a little more money with 50-56 points as well.

Super Bowl XL -- Player to Score First TD (All Bets Action)

Shaun Alexander (Seahawks): 5-1
Darrell Jackson (Seahawks): 8-1
Jerramy Stevens (Seahawks): 15-1
Joe Jurevicius (Seahawks): 12-1
Bobby Engram (Seahawks): 12-1
Maurice Morris (Seahawks): 20-1
Mack Strong (Seahawks): 25-1
Ryan Hannam (Seahawks): 30-1
Matt Hasselbeck (Seahawks): 25-1
Jerome Bettis (Steelers): 6-1
Hines Ward (Steelers): 8-1
Willie Parker (Steelers): 12-1
Heath Miller (Steelers): 10-1
Antwaan Randle El (Steelers): 12-1
Cedrick Wilson (Steelers): 12-1
Verron Haynes (Steelers): 25-1
Jerame Tuman (Steelers): 25-1
Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers): 25-1
Field (All Others Players): 6-1
No Touchdown Scored: 100-1

Al: I'm a bit surprised that Bettis isn't the lowest line. I'll take Shaun Alexander.

Vivek: Jerome Bettis

Most Completions -- Both Players Must Play

Matt Hasselbeck -4.5 : (-130)
Ben Roethlisberger: +4.5 : (+100)

Al: Again, the oddsmakers think Seattle will be throwing the ball as they come back from behind. I'll take Roethlisberger.

Vivek: Hasselbeck.

Most Pass Attempts -- Both Players Must Play

Matt Hasselbeck -7.5 : (-130)
Ben Roethlisberger: +7.5 : (+100)

Al: Why would I change from the last line, other than to hedge my bet and guarantee at best a slight loss? Roethlisberger again.

Vivek: Hasselbeck.

Most Touchdown Passes -- Both Players Must Play

Matt Hasselbeck +0 : (+150)
Ben Roethlisberger: +0 : (-180)

Al: So they think Hasselbeck will throw the ball eight more times than Roethlisberger, but find the end zone fewer times? I don't buy it.

Vivek: Roethlisberger.

Most Rushing+Receiving Yards -- Both Must Play

Shaun Alexander -17.5 : (-115)
Willie Parker +17.5 : (-115)

Al: Alexander big.

Vivek: Alexander

Most Rushing Yards -- Both Players Must Play

Maurice Morris: +31.5 (-115)
Jerome Bettis: -31.5 (-115)

Al: They're spotting Morris over thirty yards? That seems like too much.

Vivek: Morris. I don't get that spread either.

Most Receiving Yards -- Both Players Must Play

Darrell Jackson -1.5: (-115)
Hines Ward +1.5: (-115)

Al: Ward is Pittsburgh's clear number one, while I still don't know exactly who will get the majority of the looks from Hasselbeck.

Vivek: You are underestimating Jackson. Over.

Most Receiving Yards -- Both Players Must Play

Bobby Engram -4.5 : (-115)
Antwaan Randle El: +4.5 : (-115)

Al: Big game from the first down machine. Engram.

Vivek: Engram.

Most Receiving Yards -- Both Players Must Play

Jerramy Stevens -4.5 : (-115)
Heath Miller +4.5 : (-115)

Al: Miller and the yardage. Great bet.

Vivek: Miller.s

Kicker to Record More Points

Josh Brown +0.5: (+110)
Jeff Reed -0.5 : (-140)

Al: I would have taken Brown even without the half a point and better odds.

Vivek: Reed.

Team to Record Most Rushing Yards

Seahawks: +9.5 : (-115)
Steelers -9.5 : (-115)

Al: Seattle has the leading rusher in the NFL on their team and they're getting yards?

Vivek: Seahawks plus the yards.

Team to Record Most First Downs

Seahawks +1.5 : (+105)
Steelers-1.5 : (-135)

Al: Seahawks.

Vivek: Pittsburgh

Team to Record Most Points

Seahawks -- Full Game Points -8.5: (-115)
Steelers -- First Half Points +8.5 : (-115)

Al: Will Seattle score nine more points over the entire game than the Steelers do only in the first half? I think so.

Vivek: Steelers.

Player to Throw First Touchdown Pass

Matt Hasselbeck: (+110)
Ben Roethlisberger: (-140)

Al: Hasselbeck.

Vivek: Roethlisberger.

Player to Record a Touchdown First

Shaun Alexander : (-140)
Jerome Bettis : (+110)

Al: Alexander.

Vivek: Bettis.

Player to Record a Reception First

Darrell Jackson: (-130)
Hines Ward: (+100)

Al: I have to go with Jackson, just because I've been betting on Seattle getting the ball first all along. By all along, of course, I mean 30 pages ago.

Vivek: Ward for the same reason as Al, but with Pittsburgh

Player to Record a Reception First

Bobby Engram: (-130)
Antwaan Randle El:  : (+100)

Al: Engram.

Vivek: Engram.

Player to Record a Reception First

Shaun Alexander: (+165)
Willie Parker: (-200)

Al: Alexander might not get a reception all game. Parker.

Vivek: Parker.

Points Scored by Seattle Seahawks

00 Points: 40-1
02 Points: 1000-1
03 Points: 40-1
04 Points: 2000-1
05 Points: 300-1
06 Points: 20-1
07 Points: 20-1
08 Points: 50-1
09 Points: 300-1
10 Points: 15-1
11 Points: 50-1
12 Points: 50-1
13 Points: 15-1
14 Points: 15-1
15 Points: 50-1
16 Points: 20-1
17 Points: 12-1
18 Points: 40-1
19 Points: 40-1
20 Points: 8-1
21 Points: 8-1
22 Points: 50-1
23 Points: 15-1
24 Points: 12-1
25 Points: 50-1
26 Points: 40-1
27 Points: 12-1
28 Points: 12-1
29 Points: 50-1
30 Points: 30-1
31 Points: 15-1
32 Points: 50-1
33 Points: 40-1
34 Points: 25-1
35 Points: 25-1
36 Points: 60-1
37 Points: 30-1
38 Points: 30-1
39 Points: 100-1
40 Points: 75-1
41 Points: 40-1
42 Points: 40-1
43 Points: 75-1
44 Points: 60-1
45 Points: 75-1
46 Points: 75-1
47 Points: 75-1
48 Points: 40-1
49 Points: 40-1
50+ Points: 30-1

Al: 27 points at 12-1.

Vivek: 17

Points Scored by Pittsburgh Steelers

00 Points: 60-1
02 Points: 3000-1
03 Points: 75-1
04 Points: 5000-1
05 Points: 100-1
06 Points: 75-1
07 Points: 40-1
08 Points: 75-1
09 Points: 60-1
10 Points: 35-1
11 Points: 100-1
12 Points: 75-1
13 Points: 20-1
14 Points: 20-1
15 Points: 50-1
16 Points: 30-1
17 Points: 12-1
18 Points: 40-1
19 Points: 35-1
20 Points: 12-1
21 Points: 12-1
22 Points: 40-1
23 Points: 15-1
24 Points: 12-1
25 Points: 40-1
26 Points: 30-1
27 Points: 10-1
28 Points: 10-1
29 Points: 40-1
30 Points: 20-1
31 Points: 12-1
32 Points: 50-1
33 Points: 25-1
34 Points: 15-1
35 Points: 15-1
36 Points: 40-1
37 Points: 25-1
38 Points: 20-1
39 Points: 60-1
40 Points: 40-1
41 Points: 25-1
42 Points: 25-1
43 Points: 50-1
44 Points: 40-1
45 Points: 35-1
46 Points: 60-1
47 Points: 50-1
48 Points: 60-1
49 Points: 50-1
50+ Points: 35-1

Al: Another 12-1 line, 24 points.

Vivek: 27 points.

Super Bowl -- Team to Score First vs Final Result

Seahawks Score First & Win Game: 3-2
Seahawks Score First & Lose Game: 7-2
Steelers Score First & Win Game: 5-8
Steelers Score First & Lose Game: 7-2

Al: Seahawks score first and win the game.

Vivek: Crappy odds for me again. Steelers score first and win.

Super Bowl XL -- Highest Scoring Quarter

First Quarter: 3-1
Second Quarter: 2-1/b>
Third Quarter: 3-1
Fourth Quarter: 5-2
Tie (Two or More Quarters High): 7-2

Al: I really like the tie line, but I'll go with a high scoring Fourth quarter instead.

Vivek: Tie.

Seahawks vs Steelers -- First Half Winner and Game Winner

First Half-Seahawks/Game-Steelers: 4-1
First Half-Steelers/Game-Seahawks: 5-1
First Half-Tie/Seahawks-Game: 15-1
First Half-Tie/Steelers-Game: 12-1
Seahawks win First Half & Game: 13-5
Steelers win First Half & Game: 2-3

Al: I did great with this last year, predicting a first half tie and a Patriots victory. I'll do that again and predict a first half tie and Seahawks victory.

Vivek: Steelers win first half and game.

Seahawks vs Steelers -- LAST Scoring Play of the Game will be

Seahawks Field Goal: 5-1
Seahawks Touchdown Pass: 7-2
Seahawks Touchdown Run: 6-1
Seahawks Any Other Touchdown: 25-1
Seahawks Safety: 30-1
Steelers Field Goal: 3-1
Steelers Touchdown Pass: 3-1
Steelers Touchdown Run: 3-1
Steelers Any Other Touchdown: 10-1
Steelers Safety: 30-1

Al: Seahawks touchdown run.

Vivek: Steelers field goal.

Super Bowl XL -- Player to Score LAST TD(All Bets Action)

Shaun Alexander (Seahawks): 5-1
Darrell Jackson (Seahawks): 8-1
Jerramy Stevens (Seahawks): 15-1
Joe Jurevicius (Seahawks): 12-1
Bobby Engram (Seahawks): 12-1
Maurice Morris (Seahawks): 20-1
Mack Strong (Seahawks): 25-1
Ryan Hannam (Seahawks): 30-1
Matt Hasselbeck (Seahawks): 25-1
Jerome Bettis (Steelers): 6-1
Hines Ward (Steelers): 8-1
Willie Parker (Steelers): 12-1
Heath Miller (Steelers): 10-1
Antwaan Randle El (Steelers): 12-1
Cedrick Wilson (Steelers): 12-1
Verron Haynes (Steelers): 25-1
Jerame Tuman (Steelers): 25-1
Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers): 25-1
Field (All Others Players): 6-1
No Touchdown Scored: 100-1

Al: I'll go with Alexander again. Is anyone actually going to bet on Jerame Tuman?

Vivek: Hines Ward

Super Bowl MVP

Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers): 2-1
Shaun Alexander (Seahawks): 7-2
Matt Hasselbeck (Seahawks): 7-2
Jerome Bettis (Steelers): 12-1
Hines Ward (Steelers): 12-1
Willie Parker (Steelers): 12-1
Darrell Jackson (Seahawks): 18-1
Cedric Wilson (Steelers): 40-1
Troy Polamalu (Steelers): 15-1
Antwaan Randle El (Steelers): 30-1
Bobby Engram (Seahawks): 40-1
Heath Miller (Steelers): 35-1
Jerramy Stevens (Seahawks): 45-1
Joey Porter (Steelers): 30-1
Lofa Tatupu (Seahawks): 45-1
James Farrior (Steelers): 45-1
Joe Jurevicius (Seahawks): 60-1
Larry Foote (Steelers): 60-1
Leroy Hill (Seahawks): 70-1
Jeff Reed (Steelers): 50-1
Josh Brown (Seahawks): 75-1
Mack Strong (Seahawks): 100-1
Maurice Morris (Seahawks): 100-1
TIE (2 or More Players Win): 20-1
Field (Any Other Player): 15-1

Al: After scoring two touchdowns and gaining over 100 yards, Shaun Alexander walks away with this one.

Vivek: Did I mention that this whole thing has a crappy payout if you think the Steelers will win? Big Ben.

Best Bets

Al: (1-1 Conference Championship Games, 4-6 postseason)

For our best bets, we'll pick our favorite of the cross sport proposition bets. These are the wagers where you compare events that will happen in the Super Bowl and events that will happen in other sporting events that day.

Who Will Have More on -- Kobe Bryant Points vs Hornets

Seahawks+Steelers Pts -6.5 : (-115)
Kobe Bryant (Lakers) Points +6.5 : (-115)

I'm going with the combined Seahawks and Steelers points. Kobe has talked recently about how he is a bit embarrassed over all of the attention from his 81 point game. While I don't believe that for a second, I don't think he'll go out of his way to put up 50 against the Hornets. By the way, there are at least a half a dozen different Kobe bets out there.

Who Will Have More on Feb 5th -- Listed Players Must Play

W Parker Rush Attempts +1.5: (-115)
A Kirilenko (Utah) Points -1.5: (-115)

I'm a big AK47 fan. He could struggle if matched up against Ron Artest, but Kirilenko has been improving his scoring this season, averaging nearly 19 points a game in January.

Who Will Have More on Feb 5th -- Listed Players Must Play

H Ward Receiving Yds +4.5: (-115)
T Woods Fourth Round Score: -4.5: (-115)

The golf lines are the best. You know Tiger's going to have a score somewhere between the mid 60's and low 70's. If Ward gets just 70 receiving yards, he's a lock on this one.

Who Will Have More on Feb 5th -- Listed Players Must Play

Canadiens shots goal in first period +0.5: (-115)
M Morris Rush+Receive Yds -0.5: (-115)

And finally, the most ridiculous bet available. The Canadiens have been averaging 29 shots per game, or just under 10 a period. They'll be playing Philadelphia, who have been allowing about the same number of shots per game, 28.5. Will Morris get over 10 combined yards? I have no memory of what I said his total would be 30 pages ago, but 10 yards shouldn't be a problem. Morris combined yard.

Vivek: (0-2 Conference Championship Games, 4-6 postseason)

Who Will Have More on -- Kobe Bryant Points vs Hornets

J Bettis Rushing Yards +0.5: (-115)
Kobe Bryant (Lakers) Points -0.5: (-115)

He finished January with a ridiculous 43 point per game average. Bettis: 36. Kobe: 39. Kobe.

Who Will Have More on Feb 5th -- Listed Players Must Play

Hines Ward Receptions +1.5: (120)
Rockets 3 Point FGs Made: -1.5: (-150)

The Rockets average six per game, so Ward should cover even without the points.

Who Will Have More on Feb 5th -- Listed Players Must Play

Eric Staal (CAR) Points -0.5: (-115)
S Alexander Receptions +0.5: (-115)

Eric Staal might have had the most growth during the lockout, going from a .38 point per game average to nearly one point per game better. The addition of Doug Weight means that opponents will not be able to always throw their top defensive line at Staal.

Posted by: scramble on 01 Feb 2006

41 comments, Last at 08 Feb 2006, 1:22pm by Al

Comments

1
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 2:01pm

Didn't New England have a successful two point conversion in superbowl 38?
Judging from Vivek's picks and his betting history, I predict a Seattle victory 24-21.

2
by pawnking (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 2:08pm

The fact that people put real money on these bets is proof positive that people are stupid. Putting down 1.15 to win 1.00 on who receives the first kickoff is the dumbest thing I've ever hear of in my entire life.

That being said, I really enjoyed this article, written as always with homor and some good analysis on some of the bets. Thanks.

3
by Bill (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 2:48pm

thecubsfan is a lucha god.

4
by J (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 3:27pm

#1: The Patriots did indeed make a two point conversion in SB XXXVIII -- on a direct snap to Kevin Faulk, with just over 4 minutes left in the game. It was the difference between the Patriots being behind and being tied with the Panthers for their game-winning FG.#2: All things considered, is it really any more of a crapshoot than just betting on the game?

5
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 3:32pm

Carolina failed on one attempt two years ago and Oakland came up empty twice the year before. You’ll have to go back to Super Bowl XXIX for the last successful two-point try.

Carolina actually had two failed tries, but the Pats were successful on their try with a Kevin Faulk run.

6
by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 3:41pm

Best. 342 Page. Article. Ever.

7
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 3:42pm

It looks to me like they're trying to take advantage of people who haven't been paying attention to what Bettis' role has become, and are assuming with all the publicity around him he must be doing a lot for the Steelers. I really wonder whether the prop bets attract more of the casual fans or not.

8
by Teddy (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 4:11pm

This article, and its spiritual cousin, the pre-season wins o/u article, are bizarrely near and dear to my heart.

My buddies and I keep meaning to have a meta-pool based on this. Everybody kicks in x dollars, makes a pick on all or some of the above using funny money, and the best aggregate total wins the real money pot. The excitement during coin toss alone will help mitigate the Pats absence from the SB this year.

9
by jebmak (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 4:38pm

If Bettis has an amazing game, I will be one of those people crying in my beer.
Excellent article, I look forward to it come playoff time every year (well, the two years I have known it was coming). I appriciate you guys 'typing til your fingers bleed' for us.

10
by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 4:49pm

This is OT, but since I didn't see anywhere else to ask... I thought there was going to be voting for the "FFHoF" this year on the site?

11
by Björn (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 4:58pm

Nobody is going to care, but the Montréal Canadiens are terrible right now. 29 shots on goal is a ridiculous total for them to achieve the way they have been playing. I guarantee you that the oddsmakers are thinking more along the lines of 4-6 shots on goal in the opening period for the Habs. If I had a farm, I would lay it on Maurice Morris.

12
by J.S. (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 5:09pm

RE:

I think the Bettis bet is because of what he was required to do when they went to Chicago. He capped off 100+yds in the snow and showed the bears what Steeler Football was all about. Now with the rest of the team healthy he has been back at his usual "3rd and short, and if we are anywhere nere the 5 yard line in the redzone" routine. with that in mind I think the Vegas Bookies are counting on some easy money from so very not-football watching people. Because if they take that bet they have forgotten about his priamry role this year AND last year as a short yardage back. Anyway as always a humours look at the life and times of people that have nothing better to do then bet on sports. I just can't belive I could bet on so many things. What I think is funny is that Vivek thinks that this game will be decided by more than three points, I don't see that. I see a true classic in the making coming down to the last play of the game, just like St. Louis vs tennesse. You know that St. Louis was holding thier breath on that final play. So with all of that said I think the game is won on a missed point Final score SEA: 28 PB 27

13
by Al (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 5:25pm

#8: Ian Dembsky did that as a Super Bowl pool the year the Pats won their first championship. It worked pretty well and was more interesting than the traditional 10X10 box pool.

14
by VarlosZ (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 6:07pm

Aww, you guys missed the best one. Currently available on pinnaclesports.com:

What phrase will John Madden say 1st after the kickoff?
"Heck of a" +115
"Big time" +364
Horsecollar +709
Manhandled +903
Boom +674
Wham +1500
Not say any of these all game +645

None of the above was only +450 or so on Monday, so if you want that it might be best ot wait.

15
by Mark (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 7:32pm

What a load of useless CRAP!

Sincerely,
Mark.

16
by admin :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 8:02pm

Re: 10. I screwed up. I left it out of the awards by accident. My fault. We'll either do it after the regular awards or next year in the preseason.

17
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 8:11pm

The final error is that they compare the death rates of “big� NFL players with the general population. “

I did this last year, only for the non-math-inclined I reduced the odds to points (assuming a 10-point bet placed at the actual odds).

So it would be something like:

Will the Steelers score a TD in the first quarter?

A) Yes: 10 points
B) No: 13 points.

Before the game everyone picks and you tot up the scores at the end. It was great fun and we're doing it again this year.

18
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 8:11pm

Damn cut-and-paste. That was meant to be a response to #8.

19
by fyo (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 9:45pm

How come we keep using lame "US odds" instead of the much simpler and more meaningful "x times your money back"? Parleys are just one reason why the way we do it sucks. As for using decimals versus a fraction, I don't really care - both seem to have their advantages.

(Oh, and what happened to the site? It was down for quite a while this time)

20
by FamousNabob (not verified) :: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 2:18am

Can you parlay any of these bets? I would like to take my favorite to score first, the total points in the game, the winner of the game, and MVP. 'Scuse me while I call the boys in Vegas! HA!

21
by Potomac .Drainage Basin Indigenous Person (not verified) :: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 5:41am

Jerome Bettis ruined Stewie's 6 2 quinella!

22
by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 12:35pm

I can't imagine the effort that went into writing and researching this article. It's so giant that I can't comprehend it in its entirety. It's like driving by a building construction site and noticing that something's going on until one day the completed project just sits there and you wonder how they did it.

I doff my hat to you, sirs.

23
by J.S. (not verified) :: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 2:23pm

RE 14

Yea but if you take none of the above all game you will loose because somehow some way Madden manages to say "Horsecollar" at least once in a game. and "Heck of a ..." he will say that at least once too. I.E. That Ben Roethlesburger is on Heck of a Quarterback.

24
by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 2:29pm

I think the Bettis bet is because of what he was required to do when they went to Chicago.

That game was in Pittsburgh.

25
by J.S. (not verified) :: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 3:19pm

RE 24

ok ok quit nit picking, I live out here on the west coast and I am damn lucky to see anykind of good football. Most of the time I have had to put up with crap plays from both the Raiders and the Niners. all I get to see of some good football is what i can catch on ESPN or at the Half on FOX or CBS. So shot me if I get the Satium wrong, But the point is this. Bettis was needed to do that vs. Chcago and now wit a healthy tem he does not have to do that. I am saying the Bettis bet is a sucker bet if you take the over

26
by Tim (not verified) :: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 8:24pm

The first Bettis score won't come by pounding. He'll come in inside the 5 yard line, but then he'll take the ball, roll right, and hit Ward in the endzone for the TD.

27
by Zac (not verified) :: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 11:52pm

The first post I made is in COMMENT LIMBO LAND, but since then, I found an article that made my point better. Click my name for an article from SI.com about prop bets.

Basically, it says that (1) Heads is nearly always called by the picking team (31 of the past 33 times), (2) the Heads side (which has the two team helmets on it) is usually heavier than the tails side, which means it's more likely to end up Heads side down. Or at least there are those who believe that it does. Either way, that's why Tails pays out less.

28
by Israel (not verified) :: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 4:12am

No line on whether each team's play from scrimmage will be a run or a pass?

Or if some PIT receiver, defensive back or return guy will step out of bounds on the one yard line to make sure Jerome gets his touchdown?

29
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 11:13am

I never understand why anyone would bet the toss-up bets. The house is screwing you over.

Vivek: Wow, two prop bets in, and I’m already turning to the coin flip for my picks. It came out as heads. I’m not sure which team that represented, so I’ll just say the Steelers to go against Al.

Interesting logic.

30
by Fnor (not verified) :: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 1:04pm

#29: I dunno, sounds solid to me. ;)

"Heck of a..." is the lock of the board, I think. BOLD PREDICTION: he uses it to describe the first kickoff it is at all good.

31
by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 4:10pm

I bet Madden will say that this is "going to be one heck of a game" before the kickoff. He'll probably say that before he goes into the matchups (i.e. what players the network really wants them to talk about all game even if they don't do anything) and says that Roethlisberger, Bettis, or Alexander are "one heck of a great (player's position)."

32
by Mark Gillespie (not verified) :: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 8:40pm

My personal favourite bets are when it does'nt matter who scores,so i will be betting as usual on a last 2 minute score in the 2nd quarter.

33
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2006 - 3:59pm

Heads for the coin toss.
A team will score in the first 6:30 of the game (game time, not real time, ;) )

Steelers under 26 points.

First turnover will be a fumble. What if there are no turnovers?

Over on 2.5 players getting pass attempts.

No successful 2 point conversion.

The game will be tied after 0-0.

OK, I'm tired of the prop bets already. I give up.

34
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2006 - 4:03pm

Oh, I also love Maurice Morris (+31.5) over Bettis. Is there any way I can lose that one? Doubtful.

All things considered, is it really any more of a crapshoot than just betting on the game?

Yes. The game is not totally random. You can look as past games and judge the talent levels and coaching ability. Who wins the coin toss and a lot of the other crap is almost totally random. It's throwing away money to bet on it.

35
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2006 - 4:08pm

Morris will have more rush/receiving yards than first period Canadiens shots on goal.

36
by Zac (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 2:45am

And the numbers are:
Al with 100 correct bets out of 197.
Vivek had 89 correct bets out of 196.

Some notes:
* Someone DID score from the 1, but it wasn't Bettis.
* Maurice Morris had NO rushing yards. Yes Sid, you can lose that one ;-)
* The game was never tied after the first score. But a team did score in the final two minutes of the first half.
* Willie Parker +17.5 outgained Shaun Alexander.
* Heath Miller was held without a catch, which meant you guys were wrong a bunch of times about him.
* Shaun Alexander caught a pass before Willie Parker did.
* Randle El got the pass he needed, but he didn't get the rushing attempt. Hines Ward got that instead.
* The Steelers did indeed have 5 different rushers, and it was Roethlisberger, 3 RBs, and a WR, just like Al said it would have to be. Too bad he didn't pick them.
* Vivek correctly predicted that Ward would score the final TD, on nice 8-1 odds.
Best Bets:
Al went 2-2, as Kirilenko scored more than Parker rushed, and Ward easily outscored Tiger Woods, who won the Dubai Desert Classic with a 69 in his final round. Kobe Bryant outscored both Super Bowl teams, and the Candiens had something like 12 shots on goal in the first period, en route to beating Philadelphia 5-0. Maurice Morris finished with 6 total yards.
Vivek went 1-2, correctly predicting that Hines Ward would catch more passes than Houston would shot 3's (they had only 3). Eric Staal scored a goal and an assist, while Alexander had 2.5 receptions (including the .5 reception he was getting). Also, Jerome Bettis rushed for more yards than Kobe Bryant scored points. Kobe had 35 in a loss to the Hornets, while Bettis had 43 yards rushing.

I might post again tomorrow, figuring out how much you would have won if you bet $100 on each item.

37
by Sid (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 1:05pm

Yeah, I did lose that one. I was pretty surprised. I expected Morris to get a few carries.

38
by Zac (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 9:07pm

Betting $100 on each item, Al finished $1200.44 in the hole. His best bet was correctly predicting that a Seattle FG would be the first score, at 5-1 odds.

Vivek, meanwhile, finished $3033.20 in the hole. His best bet was correctly predicting that Hines Ward would score the last TD, at 7-1 odds.

39
by Ian (not verified) :: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 11:37am

Thanks for the money update. Just goes to show ya; Vegas always wins.

40
by aih (not verified) :: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 7:45pm

#36 I think you are wrong on one item. Willie Parker caught a pass before S. Alexander. I think I must have made a profit since I had Ben scoring the first TD at 25-1, and an 11 pt. margin at 10-1. Probably lost money on the rest of it. Not sure I will ever get around to adding it up, though.

41
by Al (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 1:22pm

Hmmm. Our calculations were different. I ended up positive, while Viv was much less negative.