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Heads or Tails? A Super Bowl Prop Bet Dilemma

Super Bowl Odds

Every high school freshman has charted tallies of Heads and Tails in a math class notepad, flipping a coin a hundred times–or more–to see that the more you flip, the closer to 50% it always comes. Yet this simple coin toss takes special prominence on one of the world’s biggest stages every winter.

The Super Bowl Coin Toss has evolved into an elaborate ceremony at midfield, with team captains from both sides, honorary captains, legendary special guest coin tossers, and specially minted commemorative coins. But in essence it remains the same heads or tails coin flip from that math class chapter on probability.

A two-sided coin is flipped and one team calls head or tails. If the call is right, that team determines if they would like to start the game on offense or defense. You can make your bet the same way: heads or tails. If you are right, you have won the prop bet.

The odds on either heads or tails in the coin toss are -105. Bet $105 to win a total of $100 if you are right.

The Big Super Bowl Coin Toss Prop Bet Question: Which Way Does the Coin Fall?

In the 53 year history of the Super Bowl championship game, Tails has come up in the Coin Toss 28 times to 25 Heads.  Tails has come up five of the last six years, after a five-year dominant streak of Heads. That Heads streak, of course, followed another five-of-six year run and a nine-of-eleven year run for Tails. Prior to that, neither side ever had a streak of more than four years.

If you are a follower of lady luck and a believer in the hot hand, Tails may be the way to go. If you are more logical and pragmatic, you might feel that Heads has come out on top to even out the total count.

How does the Coin Toss influence the outcome of the Super Bowl?

One team is designated as the visiting team and they are asked to call the Coin Toss. Over the last ten years they have called wrong six times, including the last three and four of the last five.

Coin Toss winners have been on a bad streak as well. Let’s look at the stats.

In Super Bowl LIII in 2019 in Atlanta, New England called Heads, but Tails came up. Los Angeles won the toss. Los Angeles lost the game 13-3.

In Super Bowl LII in 2018 in Minneapolis, Philadelphia called Tails, but Heads came up. New England won the toss. New England lost the game 41-33.

In Super Bowl LI in 2017 in Houston, New England called Heads, but Tails came up. Atlanta won the toss. Atlanta lost the game 34-28.

In Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco, the Carolina called Tails and Tails came up. Carolina won the toss. Carolina lost the game to Denver, 24-10.

In Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, New England called Heads, but Tails came up. Seattle won the toss. Seattle lost the game 28-24.

Finally, reaching all the way back to Super Bowl XLVIII in New York, Seattle called Heads and Heads came up. Seattle won the toss. Seattle won the game over Denver 43-8.

Overall, the Coin Toss winner has been the Super Bowl game winner only 24 of the 53 games.

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