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Super Bowl prop bets go beyond the big game to Kobe's score and Beyonce's hair

Singer Beyonce performs the National Anthem during the public ceremonial inauguration for U.S. President Barack Obama. The singer's hairstyle during the halftime show is a popular prop bet for the Super Bowl this year.

The San Francisco 49ers are favorites to win the Super Bowl next weekend. That's how the conventional betting has it. But there are many other ways to bet on the game, and anything remotely connected to it.

Proposition bets, or prop bets, let you wager on everything from the Super Bowl going into overtime, to Beyonce's hairstyle at halftime.

"It's simply a game within a game to spice up the action," explains veteran Las Vegas bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro.

A lot of this year's prop bets are focused on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. There are 30 different lines on him at William Hill US, where Vaccaro directs public relations -- some of which go beyond the football game itself.

"We have cross-sports props," Vaccaro says. "We have things up such as will Kaepernick throw at least 27 times, or will Kobe Bryant score 27 points in his game that day. Those are the juicy ones."

You won't see them in Las Vegas, but some bookmakers are even taking bets on how long the national anthem will run. The side wagers are increasingly popular with both bookies and bettors.

"We're seeing that people on an average are betting five to eight of these proposition bets," says Vaccaro. "So if a guy comes to town or a woman comes to town with their $200 bankroll, they'll probably bet about $100 on the side that they want to see win, and then utilize the other $100 on proposition bets."

In Las Vegas, you can even bet on individual plays, with odds updated in close to real time. So what about the sitting down with a beer and chips and just watching the game? No way, says Vaccaro.

"That's long gone, that's when I was a kid, and maybe you were a kid also."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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