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Added February 4th, 2010 by David Glisan

Superbowl Betting:  The Blocked Punt Prop

Our Superbowl betting analysis continues with yet another solid bet based exclusively on the underlying statistics of how often something occurs in NFL football. As we’ve discussed extensively this week, there’s obviously an advantage to playing prop bets that don’t require one team or the other to win–or for that matter for the game to play out a certain way. Sportsbooks offer a variety of wagers on whether or not something will or won’t happen, and this prop from Bodog asks if there will or won’t be a blocked punt:

Total number of blocked punts in the game by both teams

OV 1/2 +800
UN 1/2 -1300

This is worded differently than other props of this sort, but obviously going the only way you can go ‘Under’ 1/2 is for no blocked punts to happen.

Blocked punts are an extremely rare occurrence in NFL football.  It’s one of those things that frequently has a game changing impact and ends up on Sportscenter highlights, so it “seems” that there are more blocked punts than there actually are.  This season there were 6 blocked punts during the NFL regular season.

So let’s do the math on that–that’s roughly a blocked punt in 2% of NFL regular season games.  The playoffs is a slightly different dynamic with teams being more aggressive in certain situations, but its likely countered by the qualitative superiority of the punters and coverage teams.

That makes the true moneyline odds on a blocked punt in a given NFL game in the neighborhood of +4900, which obviously makes the ‘Yes’ position a serious underlay situation.  On the other hand, despite the big moneyline price playing the ‘No’ is statistically the right thing to do.  At -1300, theoretical break even is just under 93%, giving us some value.   If you assume that blocked punts will happen in 2% of all NFL games,  the ‘true odds’ on a 98% likely event (eg:  no blocked punt) is -4900.

Like the prop bets concerning many other rare game events like safeties and overtime, its always tough to lay a lot to win a little.  This may be the best statistical position of all of the ‘rare occurrence’ props with the bet against a blocked punt providing decent moneyline value.

PLAY ‘WILL THERE BE A BLOCKED PUNT’ –NO -1300

 
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