Super Bowl Prop Bets for TV ratings: Viewership record a good bet, but…


Some fun posts out today on all the exotic prop bets you can make on the Super Bowl. A few of them are, of course, TV ratings related:

What will the Nielsen Rating of the game be? 
Over 47.5   (-120)
Under 47.5   (-120)

Which region will have the higher Nielsen Rating?

Boston   (+110)
Seattle   (-150)
How many viewers will the game have?
Over 113 Million   (-120)
Under 113 Million   (-120)

Rob Perez at the Big Lead is taking the over for the household rating, Boston and the over for viewership.

We’re going the other way across the board!

For entertainment purposes only:

Over/Under 47.5 household ratings

Take the under.

Perez bets the over because everyone wants a piece of “Deflategate.” We agree, but  the household rating hasn’t actually been above 47.5 since 1986 (Bears of Super Bowl Shuffle fame vs. Patriots).

That’s nearly 30 years and the household rating has only been over 47 once since then (47.1 in 2012 for Giants/Patriots).

Better local market rating, Boston or Seattle?

We’re going with Seattle for the higher local market rating.

Perez reasons Boston is the bigger market and he’s getting juice. Boston is definitely a bigger market  –2.4 million households vs 1.8 million. That’s exactly why you should go the other way!

Ratings are percentage calculations which can be looked at as fractions. Boston will almost surely have a bigger numerator, but its bigger denominator is definitely working against it as was the case during the 2014 regular season.

Seattle averaged a 42.3 rating (~763K homes) vs a 35.5 rating for Boston (860K homes).  But remember, in this example the bet is *not* 860K vs 763K where Boston would easily win, it’s 42.3 vs 35.5 where Seattle wins easily.

The only way we see Boston having the higher local market rating is if the Pats are up big by halftime.

Over/under 113 Million viewers?

We’re not sure we can argue with Perez betting the over because Goodell is the devil. All other things being equal, Deflategate should certainly help here. Of all the bets Perez makes, we’re most on his side with this one.

But we’re still taking the under. If it was simply over/under the previous Super Bowl record (112.2M viewers set last year) we’d probably bet the over. But without a dramatic finish, nearly a million viewers watching all 4+ hours of the contest seems like a lot.

One thing to keep in mind: you want to almost completely ignore numbers released in the early AM next Monday. The national household rating and viewership bets will  be settled on national final ratings and the overnight household ratings you see will not be those. Those overnight ratings should be fine for settling which market had the bigger ratings.

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