Live On Air

Streaming now: Prime Time Action

play Watch Live radio Listen Live

What To Know About Betting the Super Bowl Coin Toss

January 29, 2021 12:16 AM

We have a loaded betting menu today with 35-plus college basketball games, 10 NBA games and 1 NHL game. For an updated breakdown of Friday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET. I'll also be joining the Lombardi Line with Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher at 1:45 p.m. ET to offer a market update.

Yesterday marked a "Christmas Day" of sorts for many recreational and professional bettors. We're talking about "Propapalooza" of course; the day when sportsbooks unveil their countless Super Bowl prop bet offerings to the betting public. The options are seemingly limitless and have grown in popularity with each passing year. In fact, the handle on Super Bowl prop bets has started to exceed the handle on the actual game in recent years.

Prop bets range from Super Bowl MVP and first touchdown scorer to "will there be a safety?" and "will the game go to overtime?" For all of the props, limits are typically set at $2,000 per bet and no parlays are allowed.

For the betting public, props are seen as "fun" bets which spice up the game and provide an added rooting interest outside of which team will win the game (or cover the spread). Everyone wants to get in on the action for the big game. Year in and year out, one of the most popular Super Bowl props is betting on the coin toss.

On the surface, the coin toss, known as a "novelty prop," seems harmless and fun. After all, there are only two options: it has to be either heads or tails. This means you have a 50/50 chance and if you get it right, you win your bet and have some extra cash in your pocket before the game even starts. But here's the catch: it's not exactly a 50/50 shot because sportsbooks force you to pay the juice on both sides of the bet. For example, most books will juice both heads and tails at -105 each. Why is this important? Because -105 odds translates to an implied probability of 51.2%. This means you would expect to win this bet slightly more than half the time over the long run. But in reality you will only win a coin flip 50% of the time. In order words, you are paying a higher price than the coin flip is worth and you are not getting any positive expected value (+ EV) long term. Simply put, the juice isn't worth the squeeze.

This is why sportsbooks love the coin toss prop. Theoretically, no matter the outcome, they rake in the juice on both sides and are guaranteed a profit (unless the action is lopsided and the popular side hits). For this season, the odds are stacked against the coin-flip bettor, which is why your best bet is to probably just lay off.

It's interesting to note that in the past 54 Super Bowls, the coin flip has landed on tails 29 times and heads 25 times. The mantra of "tails never fails" is once again the popular bet this year. At BetMGM, 51.9% of the tickets 52.8% of the handle is on tails.

If you enjoy going down conspiracy theory rabbit holes, earlier this week I received a direct message on Twitter that stated the following:

"My friend who is an engineer has told me for YEARS that a coin flip is closer to 53/47 for tails because the weight of the coin is NOT even. Especially if it's a commemorative coin like for the Super Bowl. The side that is heavier is always heads, therefore a tails bet is more than 50% likely to hit."

It could be completely bogus. Or maybe it has some merit. But whether you believe it or not, here's one thing we can all agree on when it comes to the coin toss: if you're going to bet it, make sure you shop around. Regardless of which side you prefer, make sure you find the lowest juice possible so you can maximize your payout.

For example, the South Point is offering both heads and tails at -102. This would save you 3-cents on either side compared to your standard -105 price.

The more you know.

back to news

FREE Email Sign-Up

Get the latest sports betting news & VSiN programming updates with this free daily email from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network.

Headlines

View All
  • Bulls' Futures Improve with DeRozan, Plus Wednesday MLB Sharp Report

    Bulls' Futures Improve with DeRozan, Plus Wednesday MLB Sharp Report

    Day 1 of NBA Free Agency was won by the Miami Heat, who improved from + 3500 to + 2500 to win the NBA Title after signing Kyle Lowry....
  • Mr. Ed's Saratoga on (about) $100 a Day (8-4)

    Mr. Ed's Saratoga on (about) $100 a Day (8-4)

    MONEY MATTER$: After three weeks, it appears Mr. Ed is better at predicting the weather than picking winners … No one promised Mr. Ed a rose...
  • youmans

    Sharps get in on preseason action

    When the NFL preseason kicks off Thursday, the only action Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might get is a TV interview with a sideline reporter....
  • USATSI_16495000

    My favorite Olympic bets for Tuesday night/Wednesday morning

    It was a disappointing walk-off loss for Team Israel against the Dominican Republic in Olympic baseball. I thought we were going to get a nice winner...
  • reynolds

    Best bets for Memphis PGA event

    The PGA Tour took a week off for the Olympic Games but returns to Memphis for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational with an elite field of just 66 players....
  • kuhn

    Analytical look at UFC 265

    (To view the charts accompanying this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly) Even with the loss of an Amanda Nunes title defense, the fight card...
  • finocchiaro

    Gane, Lewis offer UFC contrasts

    UFC 265 will be held in front of a packed house Saturday in Houston. This fight card is stacked with key matchups and clashes of styles featuring fighters...
  • hill

    Split ticket: 1 bet on NFL, 1 on MLB

    Surely some of you have these types of people in your life: “You bet on the NFL preseason?” Those who judge you for betting on the NFL exhibition...
  • tuley

    Tuley's Takes on NFL topics

    I celebrated my 55th birthday Monday, and my best gift every year at the Tuley’s Takes home office party is that football season is here! The...
  • makinen_cfl

    Getting reacquainted with CFL

    Football returns this weekend, not quite in full force. But unlike the NFL preseason game Thursday night, the results actually count in the Canadian Football...
  • andrews

    Outlooks for Steelers, Cowboys

    Don’t get caught napping! Pro football returns Thursday night with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys in the annual Hall of Fame Game...
  • makinennfl

    Betting trends for HOF game

    (To view the chart accompanying this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly) It’s not the Super Bowl or the regular-season kickoff, but the...

custom-banner-3
VSiN Logo Plus

Free Trial

Make a risk-free bet on VSiN!

VSiN+ FREE TRIAL

  • Afternoon subscriber-only email with highlights and best bets from the day's programs
  • Point Spread Weekly, VSiN's digital magazine on sports betting
  • 24-7 Live video stream of VSiN programs plus replays
  • Any special sport-specified betting guides we do
  • All exclusive subscriber-only stories and data on VSiN.com
Sign Up Now
Google Play
App Store
Close