Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Scramble for the Ball: Quarter Pole Projections

Mike and Tom weigh the chances of this year's class of receivers, running backs and tight ends who are on pace to break the magical 1,000-yard mark for the first time.

30 Jan 2008

The Fifth Annual Super Bowl Prop Bet Extravaganza!

by Bill Barnwell

If there's a yearly column that defines Scramble and the absurdity therein, it's our yearly trek through the myriad Super Bowl prop bets. For those of you unfamilar with our prop bet columns, you can find last year's column here.

If you don't know how a prop bet works or what it is, fear not, as original Scrambler Al Bogdan has written an explanation that's eminently suitable for stealing each year.

Number of pro wrestling references in Scramble for the Ball

Over 4.5 -105
Under 4.5 +130

Here, you would 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 Hornswaggle 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 $205: your $105 that you wagered plus $100 more (hence the "-105"). If you wanted to take the under, you would wager a hypothetical $100 to win $230: your $100 back plus $130 (hence the "+130"). Since we're already at 0.5 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 "Wes Welker +300" meaning that if you wager a hypothetical $100 on Welker and he scores the first touchdown, you'd win $400: Your original $100 back, plus $300 more. For those bets, "field" means any player or result not listed. We'll explain anything else that needs an explanation as we go along.

For the purposes of determining a winner of this column, we're laying 100 simoleans down on any of these sort of "pick one from a crowd" bets, and for over/unders, we're wagering 100 on any overs where we're receiving positive odds (e.g. anything above +101) and wagering whatever it takes to win 100 on any overs where we're receiving negative odds (e.g. anything below -101).

After I beat Ian Dembsky last year (albeit through losing several thousand dollars, but still faring better than Ian, who lost slightly more than several thousand dollars), Mr. Dembsky was so shamed that he went and had a child to have a built-in excuse for not facing me this year. Or, maybe, I don't want to get beat by Ian again. Drafted in his stead is he of the famed Career Forecast, Mr. David Lewin. As me and David are the two youngest FO writers, a victory here would seal my head of the kiddie table status at the yearly Football Outsiders picnic.

Of course, you should also note that any advice below is, as always with Scramble, for entertainment purposes only. Thanks, [comment deleted for breaking rule No. 1.].

Absurd/Frivolous Bets

How long will it take Jordin Sparks to sing the National Anthem?

Over 1:42 -115
Under 1:42 -115

Bill: Getting started off with an old favorite. Last year, Ian sang the National Anthem himself to try and gauge how long it would take. He was wrong. Jordin Sparks will be cherishing her moment in the sun. That means Over.

Dave: I looked up the classic Dr. Z column about timing the anthem. He had Beyonce at more than two minutes. I don't think Sparks will go that long, but she's going to drag it out past 1:42; Over.

Predict the Coin Toss

Heads -105
Tails -105

Bill: This manages to be both frivolous and absurd. Assuming he starts the toss heads up, Mike Carey will likely be excited and flip the coin with great furor. I predict that will cause it to flip over enough times to leave it Tails up.

Dave: Too bad you can't bet on nobody cares. Heads.

Team to Win the Coin Toss

Giants -105
Patriots -105

Bill: The Patriots will win the coin toss because of their veteran presence. But then again, the Giants could win it because of their momentum. It's such a hard one. I'm sticking Patriots, but if it ends up Giants, you can't say I didn't say so. Honest.

Dave: The Giants will win it because of their grit.

Who will Troy Aikman mention first after the Opening Kickoff?

Tom Brady -115
Eli Manning -115

Bill: What is stopping Troy Aikman, exactly, from having one of his good friends bet $600 on this and picking up some quick cash in the process? This amazes me. I am going to go with Tom Brady because, really, who can keep Tom Brady out of their mouth?

Dave: This does seem like an awfully easy one for Aikman to rig. I guess we have to trust his all-American integrity. I'm taking Brady.

How many times will Joe Buck mention Peyton Manning's name during the broadcast?

Over 5.5 -125
Under 5.5 -115

Bill: On the other hand, I don't think Joe Buck is competent enough to rig this over the course of a whole game. I'm going to take the Over here, with the idea that a big first-series run of three or four will be enough to push us well in the right direction.

Dave: I'm taking the Over and it's not going to be close.

Who will the MVP of the Game thank first?

Teammates 2/1
God 5/2
Family 2/1
Coach 5/1
Doesn't thank anyone 6/1

Bill: If only the MVP was B.J. Penn. I'm not sure anyone on these two teams likes God enough to pick him, but then again, my choice for MVP hasn't really had that sort of spotlight so far. I'm going to go with teammates here.

Dave: Tom Brady will be thanking his teammates. I am a little curious though about how they define thanking. It seems like that could be a bit ambiguous.

What song will Tom Petty sing to end his halftime show?

Free Fallin' 2/3
Don't Do Me Like That 5/1
Learning to Fly 12/1
Great Wide Open 9/1
Last Dance with Mary Jane 4/1
Runnin' Down A Dream 7/5

Bill: "Runnin' Down A Dream" has the obvious tie-in to football here, but I think he starts with that, while "Last Dance with Mary Jane" just seems like too obvious a weed reference to get into the halftime show. Then again, Prince and his giant phallic guitar did make it into last year's show, leading multiple Football Outsiders to literally roll on the floor and laugh, so I guess anything is fair game. I'm going "Free Fallin'" here and, if there is any justice, there'll be a montage of all the playoff teams that lost in the background.

Dave: Is there any chance it's not "Free Fallin'"?

Team Props

Team to Score First

Giants +150
Patriots -180

Bill: On to the real business here. I think the first team to get the ball will score, and there's an entirely equal proposition that either team will get the ball first, so I'll take the Giants.

Dave: The first score of the game is pretty random so I'm gonna take the odds and go with the Giants.

Team to Score Last

Giants +130
Patriots -160

Bill: This one's a little harder. You have to bet an event like this with a plan and follow that plan unless the odds are particularly strong one way or another, or the events within that plan (like team to score first) could have little to do with that outcome. The likeliest proposition, to me, is a big Patriots victory. In that case, they'll likely be running the ball at the end against a good rush defense, but then again, the Patriots weren't particularly concerned about running up the score early in the season. This is another relatively random event, so I'll take Giants again.

Dave: I think the Patriots will run out the clock when they get it after a late Giants score, so Giants.

The first score of the game will be?

Touchdown -190
Field Goal/Safety +155

Bill: Ooh. If I'm going with Giants to score first, do I really want to bet on Lawrence Tynes? No. Touchdown.

Dave: Lawrence Tynes isn't that bad. Field Goal/Safety.

The last score of the game will be?

Touchdown -175
Field Goal/Safety +145

Bill: See previous bet. Touchdown.

Dave: See previous bet. Field Goal/Safety.

The highest-scoring quarter will be?

1st Quarter 3/1
2nd Quarter 33/20
3rd Quarter 53/20
4th Quarter 11/5

Bill: In the Week 17 game, the second quarter was the highest-scoring, but I like the odds on the third quarter here.

Dave: Vegas knows what it's doing, I'm taking the second quarter.

Longest Touchdown in the game will be?

Over 47.5 +115
Under 47.5 -115

Bill: I'm predicting a kickoff return for a touchdown, so I'll go with Over here.

Dave: There's too many big play weapons in this game to not take the Over.

Team to have the longest kickoff return will be?

Giants -155
Patriots +125

Bill: Speaking of, I think one of the bigger mismatches in the game is the Giants kickoff coverage team versus Ellis Hobbs and the Patriots kickoff return corps. That will manifest itself in a Hobbs kickoff return for a touchdown at some point at the game, which, considering the odds, makes the Patriots an obvious pick for me here.

Dave: Those are some nice odds for the Patriots.

Team to commit the most turnovers will be?

Giants -300
Patriots +240

Bill: The odds are long here, but I'm still going with the Giants. Sixteen games show more than three.

Dave: It is a pretty steep price, but obviously you have to take the Giants.

The first turnover will be?

Fumble 5/4
Interception 20/33
No Turnovers 7/1

Bill: With the odds twice as long for a fumble as they are for an interception, and considering the pressure, the likelihood of someone getting stripped is too high to not go with the odds, even in what could likely be a pass-happy game. I'll go with fumble.

Dave: I agree. Vrabel or one of the Giants edge rushers is going to get a strip sack early in this game. Fumble.

Which team will record the first sack?

Giants +120
Patriots -150

Bill: I'll go one further: Giants, Michael Strahan, on a bullrush knocking down Nick Kaczur in the process.

Dave: The Patriots protect the quarterback far better than the Giants. Brady always gets the ball away in the nick of time.

Team to score the longest field goal?

Giants -125
Patriots -105

Bill: I refuse to bet on Lawrence Tynes. Stephen Gostkowski also has a much stronger leg than the Giants kicker, so it's easy to go Patriots here.

Dave: Patriots, no question.

Total number of interceptions in the game will be?

Over 2.5 +140
Under 2.5 -180

Bill: The possibility of Eli Manning totally imploding, combined with 40 Tom Brady pass attempts, makes three interceptions an entirely likely possibility. I go Over.

Dave: Over. Don't believe what everyone on ESPN says. Eli Manning is not very good.

Will a special teams or defensive TD be scored?

Yes +150
No -180

Bill: I've already stated that I think a kickoff return for a touchdown is in the cards, so I have to say Yes.

Dave: Seems unlikely, No.

Double Result

Giants win first half and game 5/1
Giants win first half and tie after fourth 28/1
Giants win first half and Patriots win game 5/1
Tie after first half and Giants win game 22/1
Tie after first half and tie after fourth 60/1
Tie after first half and Patriots win game 12/1
Patriots win first half and Giants win game 9/1
Patriots win first half and tie 25/1
Patriots win first half and Patriots win game 2/9

Bill: Well, the odds are so tilted in the Patriots-all-the-way favor that I feel like I should at least place a bet in the opposite direction. Let's say Tie after first half and Patriots win game.

Dave: I like where your head's at. Tie after first half and Patriots win game.

Alternative Game Lines

-400 Patriots -3.5 Giants
-220 Patriots -7.5 Giants
+120 Patriots -14.5 Giants
+200 Patriots -17.5 Giants
+275 Patriots -21.5 Giants
+400 Patriots -28.5 Giants

Bill: Going back to my plan of betting on a Patriots blowout, I feel pretty uncomfortable with betting the biggest lines, but I think Patriots -17.5 is about right. Three scores? That's not unreasonable.

Dave: I feel a little better about Patriots -14.5.


Check out the Football Outsiders comics archive and Jason's wacky Gil Thorp blog.

Player Props

Eli Manning Total Pass Attempts

Over 34.5 -120
Under 34.5 -110

Bill: If the Giants are behind, Eli will need to throw. That's an Over. He threw 32 times in the first game, but the Giants led for a good portion of it.

Dave: The Patriots are going to make Eli beat them. He won't. Over.

Eli Manning Total Pass Yards

Over 225.5 -110
Under 225.5 -120

Bill: I could surely see Manning put up 270+ yards, even in defeat. Again, the Over.

Dave: I agree, 225.5 yards is nothing. Over.

Eli Manning Total Rushing Yards

Over 2.5 -105
Under 2.5 -125

Bill: This is a tough one. I'm assuming it doesn't count sack yardage as negative. Manning's got 75 yards in 19 games this year, and that's an average above 2.5 per game, so I'll take the Over.

Dave: 2.5 is a very small number. He's got to go Over that.

Will Eli Manning Throw an Interception?

Yes -220
No +180

Bill: Eli Manning has thrown an interception in 13 of the 19 games he's played this year, and in 25 of the 38 games he's played the last two years. It just so happens that, in the last three games, he's thrown none. Again, I side with the larger sample here (as well as his interception against the Patriots and the likelihood he'll be throwing from behind) and say Yes.

Dave: Eli is a very mediocre, high-risk/high-reward quarterback. Yes, he's going to throw a pick.

Brandon Jacobs Total Rushing Yards

Over 65.5 -115
Under 65.5 +115

Bill: Jacobs had 67 yards in Week 17, but I wonder how many chances he'll get to run if the team is behind. He does, on the other hand, have the advantage of being a better pass blocker than Ahmad Bradshaw, and he's likely to appear in the backfield as a result. I'm on the fence about this one, but I'll go Over.

Dave: For whatever reason I have always loved Brandon Jacobs. Over.

Plaxico Burress Total Receptions

Over 4.5 -135
Under 4.5 +105

Bill: Burress is probably going to be the healthiest he's been all year, he looked great all week, and he was able to make plays out of nothing against the Patriots in Week 17 just by outleaping their smaller receivers. I'll take the Over.

Dave: Burress is the Giants best offensive player and a true difference maker. He is going Over 4.5 catches.

Plaxico Burress Total Receiving Yards

Over 75.5 -115
Under 75.5 -115

Bill: I figure Burress should average more than 15 yards a catch. Therefore, if I pick the over for receptions, I've got to pick the Over for receiving yards, too.

Dave: This is a nice chance for me to hedge my bets a little, but if I took Eli Manning Over 225.5 then I pretty much have to do the same here.

Plaxico Burress Longest Reception

Over 23.5 -115
Under 23.5 -115

Bill: Burress going downfield seems a very likely option, and a catch of 24 or more yards seems entirely plausible. Over.

Dave: I hate to keep agreeing, but Over. Eli Manning is a good downfield passer and Burress is his favorite target.

Steve Smith Total Pass Receptions

Over 3 +125
Under 3 -155

Bill: Those would be the Patriots that rank 11th against No. 3-and-worse wideouts, right? I'll take the Under.

Dave: Eli's going to have to throw it to someone on all those second-half pass attempts. Over.

Kevin Boss Total Pass Receptions

Over 1.5 -180
Under 1.5 +150

Bill: On the other hand, the Patriots are 23rd against tight ends, and Boss had four catches in Week 17. The sure-handed tight end should easily get two catches in the game. Over.

Dave: I love to watch Boss. He's big and surprisingly fluid. I expect him to go Over.

Will a Jeff Feagles Punt Result in a Touchback?

Yes +200
No -260

Bill: Six touchbacks in 86 attempts for Feagles, and that's up from three in each of the two previous seasons. That's a line I want to take advantage of. No, that clutch punter will not kick the ball into the end zone. No sir.

Dave: Feagles is a crafty veteran who doesn't have the strongest leg. That's a recipe for No touchbacks.

Tom Brady Total Pass Attempts

Over 37.5 -110
Under 37.5 -120

Bill: Brady's averaged 35.5 attempts per game this year. While there is the slim possibility that his ankle is something to worry about, and it's likely that the Patriots win big, I just think the nice weather and the strengths of the Giants defense make 40-plus attempts a very likely possibility. Over.

Dave: Maroney has been running too well for the Patriots to get pass-happy. Under.

Tom Brady Total Passing Yards

Over 300.5 -105
Under 300.5 -125

Bill: I think 301 yards is a low target for Brady. Over.

Dave: Tom Brady will be very efficient. Over.

Tom Brady Longest Completion

Over 47.5 -115
Under 47.5 -115

Bill: This one would have been a 50/50 winner/loser over the regular season. Of course, Randy Moss famously got open for those back-to-back bombs in Week 17, and the Giants safeties don't exactly take great angles at the sideline. I'll go with the Over.

Dave: This feels like an Under and I don't know why.

Will Tom Brady throw an interception?

Yes +115
No -145

Bill: That seems like an eminently reasonable possibility. Yes, Tom Brady will throw one interception.

Dave: I'd be pretty surprised if he didn't. Yes.

Laurence Maroney Total Rushing Attempts

Over 20.5 -110
Under 20.5 -120

Bill: I don't know about this one. Even if the Patriots run the ball a lot with a big lead, Maroney's not going to see the field as often as he has the last couple of weeks for a couple reasons. I think you'll see more Kevin Faulk because of the rushing capabilities of the Giants front four, and with much better weather in Arizona than there's been in Foxborough, there's a little less motivation to run the ball when you can just air it out. I'll go with Under here.

Dave: He'll go Over on his last, crucial, clock-killing, first-down carry.

Laurence Maroney Total Rushing Yards

Over 88.5 EVEN
Under 88.5 -130

Bill: In that same vein, I see the Giants keeping Maroney relatively quiet. That'd be another vote for the Under.

Dave: I'll take the odds and the Over.

Laurence Maroney Total Pass Receptions

Over 1 +155
Under 1 -190

Bill: Weird Maroney facts: He had four catches in the regular season. He had two two-catch games. He had a one-catch and two-catch game in the playoffs. He's also now had eleven games this season with no catches. I'll take the Under.

Dave: For whatever reason Maroney does not catch passes. Under.

Kevin Faulk Total Rushing Attempts

Over 3 -105
Under 3 -125

Bill: I really, really like the Over here. Brady will audible to a running play at least once or twice with Faulk in the backfield, and he'll get the ball a few times as the game winds down.

Dave: Faulk will get his touches in the passing game, but I don't see him getting many carries so I'm going Under.

Randy Moss Total Pass Receptions

Over 5.5 -120
Under 5.5 -110

Bill: Moss has been disturbingly quiet this playoffs, but he's going to be facing an inferior cornerback this week, whoever lines up against him. I'm totally tossed up about this one, but I also am going to bet heavily on a Moss big game in the following two bets, so I might as well go all the way and say Over.

Dave: Randy Moss doesn't like the cold, but it's not very cold in Arizona. Over.

Randy Moss Total Receiving Yards

Over 93.5 -110
Under 93.5 -120

Bill: Even if he only gets five catches, the likelihood that they won't involve serious downfield yardage is slim. One 40-yard catch and one 30-yard catch would make Over 94 yards a virtual lock.

Dave: Try as they might, the Giants are not going to be able to cover Randy Moss. He's going Over 100 yards in this one.

Will Randy Moss score two or more touchdowns?

Yes +250
No -325

Bill: These are pretty good odds for a guy who had two touchdowns against the Giants in Week 17 and had eight games with two or more touchdowns during the year. I'll say Yes, he does.

Dave: I'll stick with my big game for Moss theme and say Over.

Wes Welker Total Pass Receptions

Over 7.5 +125
Under 7.5 -155

Bill: Welker absolutely terrorized the Giants in Week 17, and for a team with linebackers that are awful in coverage, Welker's the perfect guy to exploit them. I think he's the most likely non-Brady player to be game MVP on sheer numbers, and Over 7.5 is one of the bets I feel strongest about on the entire page.

Dave: I feel pretty good about the Over too. Welker impossible to cover in the slot.

Wes Welker Longest Reception

Over 20.5 -115
Under 20.5 -115

Bill: On the other hand, I don't really feel particularly confident Welker's going to break one. I'll say Under.

Dave: He's not really a breakaway threat. He'll stay Under 20.

Ben Watson Total Pass Receptions

Over 2.5 -115
Under 2.5 -115

Bill: The Giants struggle against tight ends, too, and while Watson's responsibilities were primarily to block with Kyle Brady inactive in Week 17, he'll have more of a chance to go out for pass patterns in the Super Bowl. I'll take the Over.

Dave: Watson is not a very big part of the offense. He'll catch one here and there, but I think that'll be it. Under.

Will Mike Vrabel score a touchdown?

Yes +400
No -700

Bill: Too many weapons. He's not needed. Nah.

Dave: Yes. Bill Belichick has a strange sense of humor.

Most Passing Yards

Eli Manning +65.5 +105
Tom Brady -65.5 -135

Bill: First thoughts that popped up when I cleared my mind and thought "Passing yards?" were 272 for Manning and 346 for Brady. That would mean that I'm taking Brady.

Dave: Manning, but barely and only because of garbage time.

Most Rushing Yards

Brandon Jacobs +22.5 -140
Laurence Maroney -22.5 +110

Bill: Again, I'm not sanguine on a big game for Maroney, so I like Jacobs here.

Dave: Maroney's going to get a lot more chances.

Most Rushing Yards

Ahmad Bradshaw -28.5 -115
Kevin Faulk +28.5 -115

Bill: I just don't see Bradshaw having a big game in the Super Bowl. If the Giants are losing, he's not going to be in there as a runner since he's a poor pass blocker. He might see some yardage on swing passes when Manning has to check down, but Faulk's just got a much more likely chance of being involved than Bradshaw.

Dave: It's hard to turn down Faulk getting 28.5 yards.

Most Receiving Yards

Plaxico Burress +20.5 -130
Randy Moss -20.5 EVEN

Bill: I think their yardage in this game has a good chance of being relatively similar. So, then, I have to go with Burress.

Dave: I'm with you on this one. Both over 100, Burress close behind Moss.

Most Receiving Yards

Plaxico Burress +3.5 -115
Wes Welker -3.5 -115

Bill: This is a tougher one since I'm really unsure about what Welker will do for yardage. I feel extremely confident he'll have ten or more catches, but that could mean 85 yards, or it could mean 185. Since I'm so strongly behind him, I'll go Welker here.

Dave: Burress will have more yards. Welker's going to catch a lot of checkdowns.

Player to Score the First Touchdown

Eli Manning 30/1
Brandon Jacobs 6/1
Ahmad Bradshaw 15/1
Plaxico Burress 15/2
Amani Toomer 10/1
Kevin Boss 20/1
Steve Smith 12/1
David Tyree 40/1
Madison Hedgecock 40/1
Tom Brady 20/1
Laurence Maroney 11/2
Kevin Faulk 13/1
Heath Evans 20/1
Randy Moss 7/2
Wes Welker 5/1
Donte' Stallworth 15/1
Jabar Gaffney 12/1
Benjamin Watson 9/1
No TD Scored 150/1
Field 7/1

Bill: I bet on the Giants to score first before, right? Well, that means I have to pick a Giant, so I might as well go with their power back. Jacobs to score the first touchdown.

Dave: Heath Evans looks pretty good at 20-1.

Player to Record the First Interception

Aaron Ross 9/1
Antonio Pierce 15/1
Corey Webster 15/1
Gibril Wilson 5/1
James Butler 8/1
Kawika Mitchell 5/1
Sam Madison 9/1
Adalius Thomas 10/1
Asante Samuel 9/1
Ellis Hobbs 15/1
James Sanders 15/1
Junior Seau 8/1
Randall Gay 6/1
Rodney Harrison 8/1
No Interception in Game 6/1
Field 5/2

Bill: I think the Giants' game plan will involve going at Ellis Hobbs, who's primed for a big game in my little world. All it takes is one putrid throw from Manning to win this bet.

Dave: Asante Samuel is a ball hawk.

First Offensive Lineman to be called for Holding

Chris Snee 7/1
David Diehl 7/1
Grey Ruegamer 8/1
Kareem McKenzie 7/1
Shaun O'Hara 5/1
Dan Koppen 7/1
Logan Mankins 7/1
Matt Light 7/1
Nick Kaczur 8/1
Rich Seubert 7/1
Stephen Neal 8/1
Field 4/1

Bill: I love this one. I'll eliminate the Ruegamer/O'Hara/Seubert combination, since injury might determine who is or isn't playing as the game goes along. I don't think Snee will hold, and Koppen and Mankins are out for me, too, and I don't see the field needing to come into play. That narrows it down to Diehl, McKenzie, Light, Kaczur, and Neal. Light will have the best pass rusher going at him, but he's also the best lineman in the group. Kaczur's the weakest, and up against Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck, it's not hard to concoct a scenario where he desperately holds one of them back to keep him off Brady. I'll go with Kaczur for the hold.

Dave: David Diehl's due for a mistake.

(Aaron's note: Given that seven of the 12 playoff teams were not flagged for a single offensive hold this postseason, where is the option for "none?")

Odds to win 2008 Super Bowl XLII MVP

Ahmad Bradshaw 15/1
Amani Toomer 15/1
Antonio Pierce 45/1
Brandon Jacobs 10/1
Corey Webster 15/1
Eli Manning 7/2
Gibril Wilson 40/1
Lawrence Tynes 20/1
Michael Strahan 30/1
Osi Umenyiora 30/1
Plaxico Burress 8/1
Sam Madison 45/1
Steve Smith 33/1
Adalius Thomas 45/1
Asante Samuel 15/1
Benjamin Watson 30/1
Donte' Stallworth 20/1
Jabar Gaffney 20/1
Junior Seau 25/1
Kevin Faulk 12/1
Laurence Maroney 5/1
Randy Moss 4/1
Rodney Harrison 18/1
Stephen Gostkowski 25/1
Tedy Bruschi 25/1
Tom Brady 1/2
Wes Welker 5/1
Field 11/2

Bill: Well, on one hand, the desire to confirm Brady's legacy with as many Super Bowl MVPs as possible is pretty high amongst the media. That being said, there are some strange odds here. Kevin Faulk at 12/1? Steve Smith at 33/1? Corey Webster at 15/1? Would anyone take any of those bets? I'm going to take Welker here.

Dave: The media loves Brady almost as much as they love Favre. He's a lock. Remember, they gave Brady the award when Ty Law deserved it in SB XXXVI.

Historical Bets

Most Passing Yards: Manning vs. Manning

Eli Manning, Super Bowl XLII +5.5 EVEN
Peyton Manning, Super Bowl XLI (247 yards)-5.5 -140

Bill: I love this bet. I'll go with Eli, throwing from behind.

Dave: This will be the one thing Eli has on Peyton.

Most Passing Yards: Brady vs. Brady

Tom Brady, Super Bowl XLII +50.5 -120
Tom Brady, Super Bowl XXXVIII (354 yards) -50.5 -120

Bill: You want to give the greatest offense in NFL history a 50.5-yard head start? I'll take that, and Sunday's Brady.

Dave: I couldn't agree more. XLII.

Most Rushing Yards: Jacobs/Bradshaw vs. Anderson/Meggett

Jacobs/Bradshaw, Super Bowl XLII +30.5 -125
Anderson/Meggett, Super Bowl XXV (150 yards) -30.5 -115

Bill: Even if the Giants try and play ball control, the Patriots rush defense is too good to give up 150 yards here. I'll take the vaunted Tecmo Bowl combination of Ottis Anderson and Dave Meggett.

Dave: Yeah, I don't see the Giants getting 120 yards on the ground. Anderson/Meggett.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 30 Jan 2008

47 comments, Last at 05 Feb 2008, 2:40am by Sid

Comments

1
by David (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 12:42pm

What, no "first Giants player to be called for a false start" bet?

2
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:08pm

Where can I bet on Joe Buck mentioning "Jub Jub" first?

3
by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:26pm

We get a bet for who Troy Aikman mentions first, but nothing about whether Brady will have a higher completion percentage than the Heat will have points?

4
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:39pm

Can we wager on what Bill said to violate commenting rule #1?
Vote Quimby.

5
by Are-Tee (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:42pm

Cartoonist too loaded to correctly spell "accordion".

6
by Joey Harrington Attacks! (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:45pm

Last year I did a derivation of this with some of my friends and added an over/under along the lines of "references in the broadcast to the fact that Rex Grossman 'just wins.'"

7
by Are-Tee (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:46pm

Re. "longest field goal" -although Gostkowski has the stronger leg, I think it's more likely the Pats will consistently get close enough to the Giants' goal line, so that they won't have to try a long field goal.

8
by Mac (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:49pm

I'm hoping that Tom sings "The Waiting". The halftime is way too long.

9
by Jimi (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:49pm

How about this bet: will the combined number of times the words "perfect", "1972 Dolphins", "Week 17" and "ankle" are mentioned in the pregame show be higher or lower than Brady's quarterback rating?

10
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 1:59pm

8: I hope he sings "Last dance with Mary Jane" in a duet with Ricky Williams.

11
by michael (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 2:21pm

because, really, who can keep Tom Brady out of their mouth?

I would have put the O/U on # comments before someone mentioned this line at 2.5, and taken the under. I'm stunned it went this long before a mention.

12
by ammek (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 2:27pm

Ah, but which coach will make the first replay challenge?

13
by mrh (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 2:31pm

Re 10 - or Travis Henry and his kids.

14
by JasonK (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 2:51pm

#7:

Also, don't forget that Belichick is a much more aggressive coach than Coughlin with regards to going for it on 4th down. If the yards needed for a new set of downs are anything under 6, I don't expect to see the Pats attempting any FGs longer than 35 yards. I think Tynes is an easy pick on that one, despite Gostkowski's stronger leg.

15
by coldbikemessenger (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 2:53pm

I am going out on a limb and predict that petty closes with handle with care
Traveling wilbury's

I read that when the Pats beat the Rams the media voted mostly for Law but the fans voted for Brady overwhelmingly
I think that was the first time fans could vote for super bowl mvp
I read this in usa today so who knows

16
by Dan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 3:10pm

In response to...
"Dave: Over. Don’t believe what everyone on ESPN says. Eli Manning is not very good."

Wow. You are a complete idiot. Terrible addition to this column. ACTUALLY ESPN is a complete joke of a network and has been following the media FOREVER NOW. When Eli was pre week 17, they were BASHING him and have been his whole career. Now he finally gets a LITTLE breathing room and you think ESPN is backing him? You are a joke...

LETS SEE---YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND CONCEPTS RIGHT? Well, the whole year i had been posting here explaining coughlin's offense and the lack of a third wide receiver have been Eli's problem---NOT eli. Week 17 the news story that gilbride has changed the offense making LESS optino routes and LESS time developing routes that gave eli no time, and much more SIMPLE plays---combined with STEVE SMITH who was finally healthy...and BAM you get a solid Eli Manning. What is it 9 td's and 1 pick in last 4 games since this happened? With a healthy plax all season, this more simple offense, practicing all long, I think we would have seen a Brady-Moss, Peyton-Harrison (in their prime) like season from Eli and Plax. I really do.

17
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 3:30pm

I think it’s more likely the Pats will consistently get close enough to the Giants’ goal line, so that they won’t have to try a long field goal.

But they may get so close that they don't kick any field goals.

18
by Jake (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 3:48pm

Dan is apparently an angry Giants fan who would like you to ignore Eli Manning's 20 picks this year and the fact that he's averaged over a pick a game his entire career. How dare anyone criticize Saint Eli and his consistently negative DVOA!?
He's a below average QB.

19
by Nate Dogg (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 5:14pm

" I am going to go with Tom Brady because, really, who can keep Tom Brady out of their mouth?"

You're naughty....

20
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 5:19pm

"16:
I think we would have seen a Brady-Moss, Peyton-Harrison (in their prime) like season from Eli and Plax. I really do."

OK, I actually like Eli, and sympathize with his plight of having to follow in Peyton's wake (had his name not been Manning, he probably would have been a much later pick, but ultimately a better QB). But to claim that a healthy Plaxico and a few revised offensive schemes are all that stopped him from having 40+ TDs is silly. Heck, how many dropped snaps and unforced fumbles alone did the guy have this year? Half a dozen at least. Seriously.

21
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 5:20pm

Tom Petty will play Ankle Deep In Love off his new album, and dedicate it to Tom Brady.

22
by Tom (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 5:33pm

there should be an over/under on "number of people changing the channel to Women's College Softball after the patriots get ahead by two or more scores"

23
by Tom (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 5:36pm

also, lol @ "LETS SEE—YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND CONCEPTS RIGHT?"

concepts? Never heard of it. Please describe.

24
by Some Dude (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 5:54pm

I'd just like to point out that Elisha was fifth in his DIVISION in DPAR this year. That's right, Todd Collins racked up more DPAR in 4 games than Eli through the whole season. So don't expect many people at this site to agree that Eli is a particularly good qb.

25
by Sobered-Up Cartoonist (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 6:12pm

#5: Thanks for the tip...fixed.

That's what happens when nobody on the staff reads my comics before they go live. (Hey, how else could you explain why they keep letting me submit retreaded Gil Thorps every week?)

26
by James, London (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 6:56pm

"That’s what happens when nobody on the staff reads my comics before they go live. (Hey, how else could you explain why they keep letting me submit retreaded Gil Thorps every week?)"

Er, because they've been hysterical all year? Seriously, Jason is an FO-MVP contender this year.

27
by Dan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 7:17pm

Did you read my explanation or just read the first line seeing me defending him and then stop to write your own comment? Believe it or not, these guys aren't the KNOW IT ALLS. I go over every game the giants play, preseason included. I have watched each game this year I would say at least twice as a whole. No matter what you or these guys say I know that I have more knowledge about the team than you and them. Until this year I was NEVER a huge Eli supporter but he has improved GREATLY this season. To extents that are so huge I can't even fully get into.

28
by Ben (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 7:54pm

I'm curious about this "high-risk/high-reward quarterback" claim.

Eli's career int % is 3.5%, which seems about average to me...

Another question: my impression is that the Giants have been a bit pass wacky for a non-west-coast offense team since Eli's been around--is there any data on whether or not it is more difficult to be efficient in passing with a high % of passing plays.

29
by jebmak (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 7:58pm

Why didn't you bet on the color of sports drink that gets dumped on the winning coaches head? Orange all the way baby!
Unfortunatley, I do kinda want to bet on that. Way cooler than the coin flip.

30
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 8:04pm

28: There was an article a few years ago here about how the Giants went deep more often than other teams, which would make it more difficult for a QB to be efficent.

31
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 8:10pm

"really, who can keep Tom Brady out of their mouth?" Uh, Bridget Moynahan?

11, 19--just doing my part, guys.

32
by BDC (not verified) :: Wed, 01/30/2008 - 10:05pm

What about the over\under on number of minutes before kickoff my girlfriend decides to turn on the washing machine, dishwasher, and vacuum cleaner? The line has to be around 1.5; anywhere I can place a bet on this?

33
by Chad Gerson (not verified) :: Thu, 01/31/2008 - 1:58am

Number of talentless celebrities in the audience to appear on Fox's broadcast:

Over 7 -110
Under 7 -110

Number of offensive, exploitative "reality" shows promoted by Fox during pre-game and game:

Over 5 -150
Under 5 +210

Number of times a player will make a routine play and then jump up and down, flex his muscles and/or bump chests with a teammate:

Over 15 -140
Under 15 +115

Number of players who will do this and later miss at least one play due to injury:

Over 4 -110
Under 4 -110

Person whose girlfriend is mentioned the most times by Fox commentators during pre-game and game:

Tom Brady -200
Tony Romo -150
Condoleeza Rice +600

Number of members of the Manning family (including by marriage) shown during Fox pre-game and game:

2 or fewer +500
3-5 -160
6-8 +110
9 or more +200

Tom Petty to sing these songs at halftime:

Even the Losers +220
You Got Lucky +180
All Mixed Up +190
Two Gunslingers +125
Asshole +400

Joe Buck expresses his wish to fellate Brett Favre:

Yes EVEN
No EVEN

34
by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/31/2008 - 3:29am

#32 BDC, I waited about 36 years for my Colts to make the SB again and last year about the time for kickoff, my 2 year-old fills his diaper and my wife is nowhere to be found. ARRGH!

So I take him to his room to change it. While I'm in there, my 6 year-old comes in and says "Touchdown!" but has very little additional detail. Who? How? What happened? He THOUGHT it was the Colts, but based on the timing I was pretty sure it was Hester. Yup. Probably better that I missed that one. A shitty start to the game (pun intended).

Good luck with the appliances!

35
by Jets Fan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/31/2008 - 9:58am

If Eli Manning didn't have Burress to toss the ball up to.. say he played for the Jets- he would be the worst QB in the NFL.. of course, if Peyton Manning played for the Jets he would be runnin' for his life most of the time too..
but thats my story and I'm stickin' to it...

36
by theosu (not verified) :: Thu, 01/31/2008 - 11:43am

i wish i could bet on how many times joe buck will be filled with righteous indignation during the course of the broadcast.

37
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 01/31/2008 - 12:20pm

I hear for the halftime show, Tom Petty is going to play Guitar Hero 3. He's attempting DragonForce on Expert.

38
by Johonny (not verified) :: Thu, 01/31/2008 - 1:18pm

I always wonder why media people don't take the underdog on every game? Why wouldn't you pick the Giants in this game. 99.999 % of people will never ever remember who you picked. If by some chance the underdog wins however you can spend several seasons throwing out "I know what I'm talking about, I was the only one that predicted... blah blah blah". On the other hand picking the overdog means you'll be right more often but, no one cares if you predicted the team that everyone already though was going to win. Actually, why do media people pick games again? I guess it kills time, column space from actual analysis.

39
by Temo (not verified) :: Thu, 01/31/2008 - 4:02pm

38. I'm pretty sure they do it so that fans of every team can use those predictions to show how slighted their team is and how there is a media bias against them.

40
by Andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 02/02/2008 - 2:13am

Re: 34
TiVo is your friend.

41
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 02/03/2008 - 2:24pm

there are mistakes on some of the odds, by the way.

Brandon Jacobs Total Rushing Yards

Over 65.5 -115
Under 65.5 +115

That's an example. Anyway, I predict you both end up losing. :)

Prop bets are fun, but they're not really fair.

42
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Mon, 02/04/2008 - 12:25am

I am officially the world's biggest idiot for not betting everything I had on the Giants. I'd be a millionaire right now.

43
by Sid (not verified) :: Mon, 02/04/2008 - 2:54pm

RE: 22

there should be an over/under on “number of people changing the channel to Women’s College Softball after the patriots get ahead by two or more scores”

I think the correct answer is something around zero. ;)

44
by jjb (not verified) :: Mon, 02/04/2008 - 11:21pm

Anyone know where online you can find the results to the non-stats props? Thx.

45
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 02/05/2008 - 12:04am

Well, after tracking only the bets where Bill and Dave disagreed (NOTE: in general, both lost TONS of money, but here one will be positive, one will be negative), the results are... Bill Barnwell, by a landslide (+$1635 to -$385).

Bill's big windfall came with the Hobbs interception bet (I'm assuming he bets $100 there and wins $1600, so net +$1500).

46
by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 02/05/2008 - 2:35am

yes, 15/1 means a profit of 15 for every 1 you bet.

47
by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 02/05/2008 - 2:40am

I have a comment on that bet, though. The odds were nonsensical.
Kawika Mitchell was 5/1 and the favorite? He had 1 interception this year. He should've been part of Field. Madison and Wilson had 4 apiece, and Samuel had 7 (6+1). A bunch of guys who don't get many interceptions (most notably Seau and Mitchell) had lower odds than Samuel. With those odds, Samuel was an easy bet. He didn't win, but that's what the odds dictated.