The Super Bowl is easily the most high profile sports betting event on the sports betting calendar on an annual basis. There are more prop bets received for the Super Bowl by some sportsbooks than there are prop bets for all of the other NFL playoff games combined and a big part of that is the long list of options that are made available. Even the pre-game coin toss has become one of the most popular Super Bowl prop bets. While it may be entirely random, it is also one bet that gets a ton of attention. Here is a look at the math behind betting on the Super Bowl coin toss.
The coin toss has become one of the most overhyped spectacles of the Super Bowl over the years. The NFL has asked celebrities and former players to add to the spectacle of the process over the years by doing the coin toss before the game as well. The flip is pretty much entirely random regardless of who does the honors.
The AFC is designated as the home team for every even-numbered Super Bowl and the NFC is designated as the home team for every odd-numbered Super Bowl. The designation means the AFC will make the call on the coin toss in even-numbers years while the NFC will make the call in odd-numbered years. Once again, the outcome of the coin toss is completely random.
The Magical Streak
In 49 Super Bowls, the winner of the coin toss has gone on to win the actual game 49% of the time while the coin flip loser has won the other 51% of the time. While the outcome of the games in relation to the coin toss is just as random as the actual event, there is a misperception among some casual fans that there can be a streak based on numbers. The reason for this is referred to as the “Magical Streak”, which references a team between 1998 and 2011 when the NFC won the coin toss 14 times in a row. The odds of that happening are very slim but the fact that it did happen means that some casual fans took the outcomes as being something more than just random even though that clearly isn’t the case at all.
The most important thing to remember when betting on the coin toss is that each flip is completely random regardless of who is flipping it, whom is calling it and what the outcome is. The flips are totally independent and any corresponding streaks are merely circumstance rather than justification for predicting future patterns. Betting on the coin toss could be another fun element of the Super Bowl betting process but only if you remember that it is a completely random process. It simply doesn’t make sense to put a lot of money down on a coin toss bet when your odds are 50/50, especially when you should be able to find better value elsewhere with plenty of prop bets available for the biggest sports betting event of the year.