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September 22, 2014

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Ray Brewer: From the Pressbox

ray brewer:

Super Bowl prop bet report card: How Baltimore punter Sam Koch impacted Super Bowl Sunday for Vegas bettors

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor (2), quarterback Joe Flacco (5), and defensive end Arthur Jones (97) celebrate after winning the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. The Ravens won 34-31. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Super Bowl XLVII

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and quarterback Joe Flacco celebrate their 34-31 win against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Another safety. And with four seconds left in the game.

The gambling gods were shining on a few lucky handicappers late in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Of course, I wasn’t included in that good fortune.

Last week, I gave readers my picks for a few proposition wagers, including one predication I felt strongly about. There was no way there would be a safety.

That looked like an accurate pick until Baltimore punter Sam Koch walked out of the side of the end zone for to give the San Francisco 49ers a safety and two points with four seconds to play. It was a strategic move in Baltimore’s 34-31 victory, giving them a clean kick on the restart kick, which wound up being the last play of the game.

The safety had a huge impact for bettors at Las Vegas books. Most houses listed a safety at +600, meaning gamblers would win $60 for every $10 wagered. It was the second straight year for a Super Bowl safety, and as I explained in last week’s column, I stopped wagering on a safety last year after a decade of wasted Super Bowl safety prop bets.

Next year, no matter how bad of a wager it seems, I’ll be betting on a Super Bowl safety.

Here’s a look back at some of my prop-bet predictions with the results. I posted a 4-5 record with my picks, which means that if readers took my "expert" advice, they would have still broke even or made a small profit. That’s because one of my winners was at +180.

Total under 37.5 at +330. LOSER. I felt strongly the two defensive-minded teams would play a low-scoring game, and until late in the second quarter, this appeared to be a good ticket. Turns out this was a big-time loser with the over covering by more than four touchdowns. Both teams scored more than 30 points for just the second time in Super Bowl history. Great pick, right?

Total number of players to attempt a pass. Over 2.5 at +290. LOSER. Being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I already loved former coach Bill Cowher. My appreciation for his football brilliance grew during the 34-minute power outage when the current CBS commentator suggested the 49ers bring in Alex Smith for Colin Kaepernick because the more experienced Smith would be more efficient in managing the clock. Turns out Kaepernick rallied San Francisco and I lost my bet. Only Kaepernick and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco attempted a pass.

Heads on the opening coin toss. WINNER. That’s five straight years for heads.

Will there at least be one scoreless quarter. Yes. LOSER. The inaccurate low-scoring game theory lightens my wallet once again.

Will Baltimore punter Sam Koch have a touchback. Yes at +180. WINNER. On his first punt of the game, Koch’s kick sailed into the end zone for a touchback. Talk about making an impact where it counts most — at the sports book.

Who will have more: Kobe Bryant points against the Detroit Pistons or 49ers points? This opened at Bryant -0.5, but closed with Bryant +2.5. LOSER on both lines. Bryant, who has been taking more of a facilitator role in the Lakers offense over the last week, only made 8-of-20 field goal attempts for 18 points. He had just 11 points with five minutes remaining. Still, this bet looked good until the power outage gave the 49ers a chance to regroup.

Who will have more: Total points in three Sunday Big East college basketball games or total yards by the Ravens? Ravens +45.5 yards. WINNER. The Ravens won without the help of the points, gaining 367 yards while the three Big East Conference games combined for 361 points. That includes a 19-point overtime in the Connecticut-South Florida game.

Who will have more: Oregon State-Stanford points in college basketball or 49ers rushing yards? 49ers -13.5 yards. WINNER. San Francisco rushed for 182 yards, while the Stanford-Oregon State game produced 154 points.

Who will have more: Sergio Garcia’s fourth-round score in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic or Torrey Smith receiving yards? Smith +2.5 yards. LOSER. Smith had two catches for 35 yards, and Garcia fired a fourth-round 71.

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