Edson: Prop Bets Add Zest to Your Super Bowl Party

Most Super Bowl parties are fun just being around friends, watching the new TV ads and then sitting down for the game.

But if you want to add even a little more fun to your evening, try making what Las Vegas calls “prop bets” at your party before the game.

Prop bets are those ridiculous – but fun – side bets on everything but the final score.

For instance, here are some of the things you can bet on right now in Las Vegas.

* Who will win the coin toss? (It’s a 50-50 betting line so far).

* What will be the length of the National Anthem? (I lost this bet last year.)

* What will Gladys Knight wear when she sings the Anthem – dress or pant suit? (Betting favorite is the pant suit).

* Which head coach will be shown on TV first after the Anthem is finished? (Big money here on Bill Belichick).

* Will Gladys Knight’s microphone be on a stand or held by hand? (Toughest call so far).

* Which song will Maroon 5 open up with at halftime? (“One More Night” is currently the favorite).

* Will any performer fall down? (The very existence of this prop bet makes me believe that someone will take a fall and collect the money.)

* Will Adam Levine wear a leather jacket at halftime. (Odds are, the experts say, that he will).

* The Patriots will record more first downs that the Rams. (Even though the Rams ranked first in picking up first downs this season, they favor the Patriots for the Super Bowl. Why? They think the Patriots will have success running the ball and building a lead, thus controlling the clock and the first downs. Personally, I think if the Rams have to rally and throw the ball, they’ll have more first downs).

* The Patriots are favored by 2.5 points. (Personally, I would take the Patriots and give up the 2.5 points. With that said, I have to admit I’m rooting for the Rams to win.)

* The over/under is 57 points, meaning the combined points for the game. (I never bet the under, so I’m crossing my fingers and taking the over.)

We’ll see how all these bets pan out Sunday evening.

And when someone asks you what time the Super Bowl starts this week, please resist saying, “For the 42nd straight year, it’s starting at 6:30 on Sunday night.”

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.