12 absurd Super Bowl prop bets that can win you real money

Football junkies can bet on just about any aspect of the big game, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars

Peyton Manning
(Image credit: (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images))

If you want to bet on the Super Bowl and be boring about it, you can simply wager on which team will win. But if you're feeling more adventurous, you can plunk down money on any number of obscure, oftentimes ridiculous options.

Proposition bets — wagers on whether practically any event or circumstance will come true — have become a huge part of overall Super Bowl betting, comprising nearly half of all bets on the big game, according to Las Vegas' Fox 5. And with gamblers betting a record $99 million through Vegas bookies on last year's contest, that's no chump change.

Some of the bets are run-of-the-mill. You can, say, wager on who will win the MVP award, how many touchdowns each quarterback will throw, and so on. Other bets are more whimsical — far, far more whimsical.

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Here, some of the most absurd bets you can actually make on this years' contest:

(All prop bets from betting site Bovada and Pregame.com)

How many times will Peyton Manning say "Omaha"? (Over/under 27.5)

Manning's frequent barking of the Nebraska city's name has been one of the more amusing, puzzling stories of the postseason. He shouted it 44 times in his first playoff game, and 31 in the next, so he should beat that 27.5 mark Sunday. More likely though, he switches up the signal to "Papa Johns" due to some secret contractual clause from his sponsor, and Omaha is heard no more.

What hat will Bruno Mars wear to start his halftime performance? (Fedora, fur hat, tuque, or no hat)

Yes, this is a real bet. It even comes with some very serious, strongly worded parameters:

Live pictures only, any taped pictures or past video does not count towards wager. Book Manager's decision is final. Must be clearly shown on TV. NO OVERLIMITS

This is a trick question though: Mars' hair is a fedora.

Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless during their performance? (Yes favored at -150)

This is also a real bet, and an easy one. Of the RHCP members, only Anthony Kiedis has worn a shirt since 1998; Flea has never worn nor owned clothes besides tube socks.

Will Richard Sherman get a taunting penalty? (No favored at -700)

Sherman is taunting incarnate. He's not the thug many in the media made him out to be, but he's a professional troll as well as a profoundly talented cornerback. Meaning, he's bound to make a big play at some point that will necessitate him taunting someone, be it the Broncos, the refs, the goalposts, the fans, himself, or any combination thereof.

You an also bet on whether Sherman will be flagged for unnecessary roughness or pass interference, whether Erin Andrews will interview him after the game, and whether the 49ers' Michael Crabtree will diss him on Twitter while the game is in progress.

Will Manning score a touchdown, rushing or receiving? (Odds 10/1 against)

The Manning lumber-hobble naked bootleg is a beautiful bit of trickery, but the QB says he only breaks it out once every five years or so. Since Manning used it earlier this season for a rare rushing touchdown, it's therefore out for the Super Bowl — except that's exactly what he'd want you to believe.

Expect Manning to run bootleg after unstoppable bootleg all day long.

Will the stadium's power go out during the game? (20/1 against)

After last year's screw-up, and all the blathering from talking heads that then had to fill the dead air, the league will never let this happen again. This will, however, only lead to a new conspiracy theory about the absence of a power outage.

Will Knowshon Moreno cry during the singing of the national anthem? (No favored at -250)

The Broncos running back cried some super-sized tears before a December game, and later said he often gets choked up during the anthem. So will he cry again? That all depends on the next question…

Will Renee Fleming wear gloves when she starts singing the national anthem? (Yes favored at -400)

If she's wearing gloves, Moreno won't cry. But if she's wearing mittens instead, it will remind Moreno of an idyllic childhood memory of playing in the snow, and he will cry.

How many times will Eli Manning be shown on TV during the game? (Over/under 1.5)

There will be at least one camera trained on the younger Manning at all times to: 1) Point out, ad nauseum, that he's won two titles to Peyton's one; and 2) Catalog all the Manning Face.

How many times will Archie Manning be shown on TV during the game? (Over/under 1)

See above, substituting "zero" for "two."

What will the Dow Jones do the day after the Super Bowl? (Go up favored at -140)

Presumably, the market is expected to rise as investors frantically cash in on all the business created by clever ads.

Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first in his acceptance speech? (God, teammates, fans, other team/team's player, coach, family, owner, none of the above)

This one depends on who wins the trophy. If it's Manning, he'll probably mention Papa Johns. If it's Richard Sherman, he'll probably mention Crabtree. If it's someone who sold his soul to the devil to become an NFL star, he'll probably shout "Hail Satan!" which could count as either "owner" or "none of the above."

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Jon Terbush

Jon Terbush is an associate editor at TheWeek.com covering politics, sports, and other things he finds interesting. He has previously written for Talking Points Memo, Raw Story, and Business Insider.