The coin toss is one of the most popular – and controversial – betting props on the board at every Super Bowl.
It’s easy to see why it is an appealing bet, especially for novice bettors or non-football fans. It’s a simple wager that is settled fast with no gray area and allows casuals or folks who do not watch/bet the NFL to get some skin in the game.
Another reason folks love betting the coin toss is that there’s no way to find a handicapping edge. There’s no past history to lean on, no models to run, and there are no lineup decisions to wait on before placing the wager. It’s just a pure gamble.
It’s also a good teaching moment about how betting works. And there’s nothing that seasoned handicappers love more than to tell somebody who bets the coin toss that it’s a sucker’s bet. But there’s more context to it than that.
Most sportsbooks will list the coin flip with some juice (aka the vigorish, which is the cut the sportsbooks get for taking the bet) on each side.
Super Bowl coin toss history, last 10 year
|Chiefs vs. Eagles
|Rams vs. Bengals
|Chiefs vs. Bucs
|Chiefs vs. 49ers
|Patriots vs. Rams
|Patriots vs. Eagles
|Falcons vs. Patriots
|Panthers vs. Broncos
|Seahawks vs. Broncos
|Seahawks vs. Patriots
For example, BetMGM has heads and tails both listed at -105 odds. That means you’d have to bet $10.50 to win $10 or $105 to win $100. In other words, you’re not getting 50% true odds on a bet that is the literal definition of a 50/50 punt. (Simply put, if you bet $100 on heads you should net $100 in theory, but with the -105 juice, you’d net $95.20).
That is why experienced bettors love to warn people about betting the coin flip.
And yet, there are a lot of other popular ways to gamble that have larger vigs than the -105/-105 that BetMGM is offering on the coin toss. For example, a normal roulette table takes more juice than even the -110/-110 markets that are supposed to be the industry standard in sports betting (if a game is a true pick’em, both sides would be -110 on the moneyline).
Betting is supposed to be fun, and as long as you acknowledge that laying juice on a literal coin flip is not a +EV wager and you’re only gambling with money you’re 100 percent OK with losing, there’s nothing wrong with a bad bet every now and then.
Plus, the next time your smarmy betting friend rags on you for betting the coin toss, you can explain that they made a worse decision the last time they visited the roulette tables in Atlantic City.
Super Bowl LVIII Gatorade color prop
In a lot of ways, the ever-popular Gatorade betting prop is the other bookend to the coin-toss prop.
While bettors love to bet on the coin flip because it’s quick, simple and allows you to get some action in before the game even starts, betting on the Gatorade bath keeps punters invested until the very end of the evening.
You might lose all your bets during the game, but if you had a flutter on the Gatorade prop you’ll stick around until the end of the game to see if you cashed on what is a ridiculous bet.
Super Bowl LVIII Gatorade color prop odds
|LVIII Odds (via BetMGM)
|Times Won Since 2001
The Gatorade Prop has been around for years at unregulated and offshore sportsbooks, but it’s only been legal in the U.S. (and is still only allowed in some states) since 2019 when the blue version of the sports drink was dumped on Bill Belichick and cashed as a +150 favorite.
Super Bowl Gatorade color history, last five years
Another reason punters love betting on the Gatorade Bath is that there is some mystique to it. There really is no “handicapping edge” but every once in a while you’ll hear stories about the color being leaked.
One of the most infamous versions is when late New York Giants quarterback Jared Lorenzen tried to help some buddies by telling them the color of the Gatorade in the cooler. The kicker is that he, along with most everyone else, assumed the Patriots would beat the Giants in 2007.
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The story – which was told by Drew Franklin of Kentucky Sports Radio to Chad Millman of the Action Network on “The Favorites Podcast” – alleges that The Pillsbury Throwboy went over to the Patriots sideline and then texted his pals the color of their Gatorade.
Of course, the Giants would go on to upset the Pats that night, rendering Lorenzen’s tip – like so many others in the annals of gambling history – useless.