Betting the Super Bowl makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop.
You stand in front of the kiosk and there's a seemingly unending list of possibilities.
First play. Player props. Player against player. Spread. Moneyline. I could go on and on (and odds are that I have wagered on that prop).
A case could be made for any of these in this series, but there's one in particular that I fell in love with and is now always part of my repertoire: The first score.
I always enjoy bets with variety, and there are so many options to choose from with accompanying payouts that can be quite sizable. Remember the second Giants-Patriots Super Bowl that began with a safety? What about the Broncos surrendering a safety in the first 12 seconds to the Seahawks? Just think of the payout if you bet that!
While betting a safety might be risky, the safe play is to obviously go with a touchdown or field goal. But which team should you bet?
That's part of the greatness of this bet. Your team may not even have a chance to get that first score if they lose the coin flip. So not only do you potentially need the coin flip to go your way, you then need that drive to according to plan.
It creates some serious rooting interest to start the game, especially if you have some other props you need to cash as well (such as your box pools).
I also appreciate how this bet is mostly luck. Sure, you can study trends. But it's hard to predict when one team may not even touch the ball. This isn't first-play tendency.
Leading into last year's Super Bowl, I wagered the first score would be a Chiefs field goal at 4-1 odds. Did I have any data pushing me in that direction? Nope! My thought process was that a strong Tampa Bay defense could get an early stand.
But that bet almost backfired right out of the gate when Tampa Bay won the toss. I'm no Mike Ditka, but I believe you need the ball to kick a field goal.
The Chiefs' defense did its part to force a punt. OK, things are looking up.
But the Bucs' defense forced a punt. Oh no. Can this Chiefs defense force another punt? I won't lie. I thought I was cooked.
Well, wouldn't you know, the Chiefs' defense delivered again! Another punt. Maybe this will galvanize me to a great betting night since I had action on 17 props.
Kansas City got the ball into Tampa Bay territory, and that's where it became dicey. I needed a stop, but that can be tough against the Chiefs.
The Buccaneers forced a stop on third down, setting up a 49-yard field goal for Harrison Butker. Far from a gimme.
You know how we all say "one time" when we've asked for "one time" like 1,567,842 times in our life? I may have said that.
Butker delivered. I had my victory.
Little did I know, that moment proved to be the last joy of my betting night.
I finished 3 for 17 with my props, and ended the night on an 0-for streak. I started so fast but then crashed and burned.
But that's a story for another day.
Let's just focus on the beauty of the first scoring play.
It's a game of luck with nice payouts, and makes the first quarter quite entertaining. The odds are much higher than betting just the coin flip or the first play.
Gambling should be fun, and this is one of those "fun" bets.
And, hey, maybe you'll get that safety and have lots of extra disposable income.
It beats my night, where the winnings just lessened the overall beatdown of the night.
But at least I correctly bet the first score!
Previous Entries in the "My Favorite Bet Series"
• Tied at Halftime, Either Team to Win or Overtime