Super Bowl Prop Bets and Other Fun Football Betting Games

super bowl prop bets
Photo by Pgiam/Getty Images

For many football fans, the highlight of the NFL season is the granddaddy of all games: the Super Bowl. The two best teams battling it out on the gridiron in a winner take all showdown. What could be better?

Making money while watching the game, of course.

Come on, wipe that skeptical look off your face. A little gambling between friends never hurt anyone. (Don’t Google this assertion for accuracy, please.) As long as everybody can keep a sporting attitude about it, putting down a few bucks is a fun way to keep game day interesting. And for those whose favorite team has long been eliminated, it’s a way to put your dog back in the fight, so to speak.

If your Super Bowl shindig could use a little more spice, consider these forms of raising the stakes. And if you want some “real” spice, check out some of our tasty Super Bowl party recipes.

Prop Bets

Why let the high rollers in Vegas have all the fun? Proposition bets, also known as side bets, are never more appropriate than during the Super Bowl. Essentially, prop bets are bets made regarding something happening (or not happening) during the game that does not directly affect the final score or outcome.

super bowl party essentials

Will the coin toss be heads or tails? Will Belichick wear a hoodie? Will there be a Budweiser commercial featuring a horse? These are just a few of the 1,000 prop bets currently available from Sin City bookies, but the fun part is making up your own. Just make sure to explain to your wife why you’re leaving the house with a fistful of singles.

Over/Under

This is a sub-category of prop betting that can be as hilarious and creative as your imagination allows. Over/under can be all about the game, or it can be all about the commercials, depending on who’s up for a bet. It’s pretty simple. You pick a scenario or event, and a number of times it will happen. For instance, if you wager over or under 3.5 field goals in the first half, someone takes the over and someone takes the under (The reason you add the .5 is so there are no “pushes,” or ties.) Don’t get bogged down by the numbers. Just relax — you’re doing fine as long as someone picks the over and someone picks the under.

Squares

This classic football betting game is perfect for Super Bowl parties. It’s easy to set up and play, it’s great for any number of people, and the homemade format keeps people from taking it too seriously. All you need is a piece of paper, a pen, and a ruler to draw the grid (or you can download a template here).

squares

There’s no skill necessary — you don’t even need to know anything about the teams or the game of football itself. You just have to put your name down in one or more of the squares, wait to see what happens in each quarter, and keep your fingers crossed for a 4 or 7 square, and pray you don’t get the dreaded 2. It’s kind of like bingo, but with the scores: If your square lines up with the last digit in both teams’ scores, then you win. Depending on the people and the stakes, you could walk away with some serious extra cash, even if you don’t know exactly how you won. Find full game directions here.

Online Betting

This one bears mentioning because, well, it happens. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t also mention that the majority of online betting sites get some serious side-eye from the Feds. And online betting makes it extra easy to get screwed over, even if you win. Your best bet (see what we did there?) is to sign up with a trustworthy online “sportsbook,” as these sites are known. (How do you know if a site is not trustworthy? The same way you know those $25 Ray-Bans aren’t real. You can just tell.) Once you’ve selected your site, you set up an account with a credit card; be advised that a site that’s on the up-and-up is likely to require a phone call and a multi-step authorization. From there, you pick your game, lay your money down, and watch what happens. Be advised that if you win, getting your payout can be a long, complicated procedure, almost certainly involving fees. For our money, we’d rather risk being stiffed by a human being — preferably one smaller, slower and more easily intimidated than us.

Feature image by Pgiam/Getty Images.