2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) Prop Bet: The Coin Toss/Flip


Leading up to the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, we'll be taking a look at Super Bowl proposition betting, or more specifically, the fun or funny Super Bowl 45 (XLV) prop bets that you hear so much about. That includes props on the Super Bowl coin toss, Super Bowl halftime show, Super Bowl National Anthem, Super Bowl postgame Gatorade Shower dump and much more. Follow along on the Super Bowl sidebar to the right!

One of the most bet on Super Bowl prop bets is, appropriately enough, over before the game even begins. It will have absolutely nothing to do with the Packers or Steelers or the game that is played. It is, of course, the opening Super Bowl coin toss/flip. As a matter of fact, quite a few of the popular prop bets have little to do with football, as they require no knowledge of the actual game and are essentially a 50/50 chance. Or, you guessed it, a flip of the coin.

So when it comes to the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) Coin toss/flip prop bet, should you go with heads or tails? NFC (Packers) or AFC (Steelers)? As always, let's turn to our good friend history to iron out some of these flipping details. Here are some fun facts about the Super Bowl coin toss/flip:
  • Remarkably enough, the 50/50 proposition that is a coin toss has, through 44 Super Bowls, been a 50/50 split. Heads and Tails have both shown an equal 22 times, with last year's Heads call evening things back up.
  • The team to win the coin toss has a losing record in the Super Bowl of 21-23, but these "winners" have had even less success recently. In the last 14 Super Bowl coin flips, the winner of the toss lost the game in 10 of those 14, including five losses in the last seven Super Bowls (the underdog Giants and Saints are the exceptions).
  • The NFC has not had much success in the Super Bowl since winning 13 straight of them in the 80's and 90's, however the conference has won the last 13 Super Bowl coin tosses and is 30-14 all-time in calling the correct side of the coin over the AFC representative.
  • Only one team has chosen not to receive the opening kick, when the Arizona Cardinals chose to defer after winning the coin toss in 2008 at Super Bowl XLIII (43), better known as "the last time the Steelers were in the Super Bowl." Arizona, for what it's worth, lost the game.
  • As the visiting team, the Steelers will make the call of heads or tails, just as they did when they lost the call (but won the game) in 2008.
  • The Packers hold an all-time record of 2-2 in the Super Bowl coin toss coin flip (1-2 in wins; 1-0 in losses).
  • The Steelers, on the other hand, are just 1-6 all-time in the Super Bowl coin flip (1-5 in wins; 0-1 in losses).
Given that a coin flip has, by nature, a 50/50 chance of landing on either side, the odds for the Super Bowl coin flip are obviously even, minus some juice:

What will be the result of the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) coin toss/flip
Heads (-105)
Tails (-105)

It helps, too, that the toss has landed an even 22 times on both options, to get rid of the conspiracy theorists who might say that one side of the coin carries more weight or that it bounces favorably for one side or the other off of natural grass versus an artificial surface (yes, these are things gamblers think about). Obviously, if you can find a book that has odds favoring one side of the coin over the other, take the better odds. Since we landed on heads last year, we like the Steelers to make a heads call and lose the toss, giving tails the 23-22 all-time Super Bowl coin flip advantage.

The Coin flip/toss betting doesn't end with heads and tails, though. As we mentioned, the NFC has a 13-game "win" streak going when it comes to the toss, and you can bet on whether the Packers or Steelers will win it.

Which team will win the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) coin toss/flip?
Packers (-105)
Steelers (-105)

This is a no-brainer. You have to ride the hot hand and go with the Packers, representing the unstoppable NFC coin-flippers. Although, it was the Packers who, in 1998 Super Bowl XXXII (32), ended the NFC's reign of 13-straight Super Bowl victories. Could unlucky 13 undo the Pack again at The Big Game? We still say no.

Lastly, you can bet on whether the Steelers will correctly call the flip. This is pretty much the same bet, just worded differently.

Will the player making the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (45) coin toss/flip call be correct or incorrect?
Correct (-105)
Incorrect (-105)

Since we know that the visiting Steelers are calling it, this really means the exact same thing as which team will win the toss. In which case, we'll say that the Steelers are incorrect, giving the Packers (and the NFC) another coin flip victory.

The bottom line when it comes to the 2011 Super Bowl XLV coin toss proposition bet? Don't flip out. Stick with what we know and ride the trends until proven otherwise.

More 2011 Super Bowl XLV prop betting coverage to come. Stay tuned throughout the next two weeks as we continue to break down the most ridiculous Super Bowl props out there.