Some consider it an essential prop bet ahead of every Super Bowl. Others call it the dumbest bet in sports.
No matter which side of the coin you’re on – see what I did there? – there’s a better than 50-50 chance you’re betting the coin toss before Super Bowl 2023, and you’re not alone. The coin toss is routinely the most-bet prop of the big game, regularly drawing six figures’ worth in wagers on each side of that ceremonious silver-plated coin.
That’s true ahead of Super Bowl 57, too. Earlier this week, tails (-105) had seen the third-most bets placed of any Super Bowl prop at BetMGM, with early money favoring tails at both BetMGM and Caesars.
But is that the right play this year?
With the vast resources available to us at the Post, we launched a thorough investigation to determine which side of the coin we’ll see before Sunday’s big game between the Eagles and Chiefs – and the results may surprise you.
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History of Super Bowl coin toss
As you might expect, we’ve seen a roughly 50-50 split between heads and tails in the storied history of the Super Bowl coin toss.
Tails has a slight edge over heads with 29 successful flips in 56 tries (51.8%) – not enough to be profitable in the long run, but enough to earn bragging rights over its opposite-sided rival. That said, heads has cashed each of the last two years and three times in the last five, which followed a four-year run of tails dominance from 2014-17.
The last two times we saw one side of the coin win in consecutive years (2016-17, 2019-20)? The third time was not the charm – the reverse result happened both times. Could that mean tails is due for a reversal of fortune in Super Bowl 57?
Bettors sure seem to think so. Early money was all over tails at BetMGM, drawing nearly 60% of the handle in the first 36 hours of wagering – a trend that’s continued through this week. Still, with so much public money flooding this market, it’s hard to differentiate a sharp from a sucker.
For that, we turn to the experts.
Experts weigh in on Super Bowl 2023 coin toss
Everyone has a different way of approaching the coin toss. And some are more scientific than others.
Bill Bradley, who oversees betting content at the Post among other publications, says it’s crucial to know the weight of the imprint on the front and back of the ceremonious Super Bowl coin. If the design is bigger and heavier on one side, he says, then the rotation will allow the heavier side to hit the ground first.
“Remember, it’s not a 50-50 proposition if one side is heavier,” Bradley said.
Thomas Casale, sports betting editor at the Post, takes a different approach with the coin toss. He’s a contrarian when it comes to America’s favorite prop bet and says he’ll be placing his money on heads this year.
“I think tails is always overvalued because people like to say, ‘Tails never fails,’” Casale said. “Go against the grain.”
In some ways, that’s the view taken by betting writer Matt Jacob, who has a dedicated routine for the Super Bowl coin toss.
In the two weeks leading up to the game, Jacob says he’ll flip a coin 10 times each day – three times before breakfast, lunch and dinner and once before going to bed. He logs all of those results for 14 days, he says, before running them through a “sophisticated and proprietary” computer model.
“Then, exactly one hour before kickoff, I completely ignore what the computer says, flip a coin one more time, and bet the opposite of whatever it lands on,” Jacob said. “Because, you know, there’s no WAY a coin lands the same way twice in a row.”
Heads or tails in Super Bowl 2023?
Inspired by Jacob’s ultra-scientific approach, we decided to flip a coin 100 times in the lead-up to this year’s Super Bowl. And the results couldn’t have been clearer.
Tails was the overwhelming winner in our study, edging out heads 57-43 across the 100-flip sample. It was the first, last and median result in our experiment, ending on a three-flip streak to run away with the final tally. At one point, our heralded coin landed on tails a shocking 11 straight times to cap off a dominant 32-16 run for last year’s runner-up.
Ready to start your Super Bowl 2023 betting?
At some point, all of the data is hard to ignore. Tails has won the majority of Super Bowl coin tosses, is drawing the most money in the betting market, and led wire-to-wire in our scientific study. And thus, after hours of evidence-based research and experimentation, we’ve come to the same conclusion as the old coin-flipping adage that has guided even the sharpest bettors for decades:
“Tails never fails.”
Read the full article here
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