President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara were the honorary tossers of the Super Bowl coin. The Patriots, as is their tradition, called heads. It came up tails. That didn't make the folks at Bookmaker.eu happy. They had put a line up on the toss, failing to the realize the Patriots' tradition. The overall tally is tails 27, heads 24 in the 51 Super Bowls.
Luke Bryan comes in for the 'under' crowd of the anthem
The over/under on the national anthem was 135 seconds (2:15). Country star Luke Bryan didn't make anyone who went under take a deep breath as he clocked 124 (2:04).
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The first turnover is a fumble
The Patriots' LeGarrette Blount fumbled the ball in the second quarter. Atlanta's Deion Jones recovered, making winners of the people who wagered a fumble would be the first turnover. The odds at Oddsshark.com? Minus-140.
Devonta Freeman breaks the ice for Falcons' fans
When Devonta Freeman scored the game's first points in the second quarter, he made winners of those who wagered on the Falcons' running back to score their first touchdown. The return? A sweet $400 for every $100 wagered. If you felt risker and felt he would be the first to score a TD in the game, you did twice as well, winning $800 for every $100 wagered. Those who bet on the jersey number of the first player to score a touchdown to be over 18.5 also cashed. Also cashing were those who bet on the Falcons to score first, minus-105 and on a touchdown to be the first scoring play, minus-165.
Brady's picked off
Tom Brady threw the first interception of Super Bowl 51, which was returned for a touchdown by Robert Alford. The result was a winning wager of $120 for every $100 bet. The oddsharks thought Matt Ryan was more likely to toss the first pick, with odds on that being plus-150.
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The Lady Gaga show, Part I
Lady Gaga would have blown the roof off NRG Stadium had she not had to open it for her amazing entrance. For those who bet on any other song at plus-110 you cashed as she opened with a medley tribute to America.
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Lady Gaga, Part II
There was a wager on hair color and the prohibitive favorite blond came through for those who had the courage to post $500 to bring back $100 in winnings. In horse racing parlance, that was like cashing on a 1-5 favorite. And her stellar performance was not marred by a wardrobe malfunction that exposed, um, an intimate body part. So if you bet on that happening, you lose.
The Associated Press
Lady Gaga, Part III
Dave Mason of BetOnline.ag. said the bulk of the money was coming in on Lady Gaga showing cleavage. "Looks like majority of bettors will be chanting "Skin to Win" during the halftime show. 59% of bets came in on Lady Gaga to have cleavage (-210). Those who disagreed came out ahead in the flesh dance.
USA Today Sports ImagesMark J. Rebilas
Julian Edelman's arm pays off
Julian Edelman's experience as a quarterback in college made him the most likely to throw a pass other than Matt Ryan or Tom Brady. And the oddsmakers offered the chance to test that theory. When Edelman threw an incompletion in the third quarter he made a winner of those who put up $250 for the chance to win $100. Those who thought it wouldn't happen hoping to cash on a chance at 4-1, tear up the tickets.
Bet on Gisele
It took until the fourth quarter but the Patriots rallied and Gisele Bundchen -- aka Mrs. Tom Brady -- paid off for those who figured she might make two appearances on the telecast on FOX. Over 1.5 paid even money while the doubters had to cough up $140 for the chance to, as it turns out, lose $100.
A bet on overtime paid a hefty return
A $100 bet on the game going to OT would have paiid $750 in return. Those who bet against overtime would have had to wager $1500 just to win $100, which (as it turned out) wouldn't have been a very wise decision.
Darron CummingsAP photo
And the big winner was ...
The folks in Las Vegas. Because when James White scored the game-winning touchdown on Sunday in overtime it averted what could have been a douple push, with the Patriots three-point favorites and the over/under at 59 points. A 31-28 victory would have sent money back to bettors. When White scored, the final margin was six points, and Vegas and New England exhaled.