Super Bowl Coin Toss: Odds, History, and Bettor’s Guide

super bowl coin toss

If I’m being honest, I don’t have much juice for the Super Bowl 53 matchup. Tom Brady going for a sixth title against a Rams team that people in Los Angeles don’t even care about? No thanks. Besides, there’s still plenty of time to talk about the positional and schematic advantages on each side as we inch closer to the game and decide how to best attack the point-spread. So to help keep my attention on what I feel is a somewhat underwhelming this year, I’ve decided that this is the year that I’m going to own the prop betting market, and in order to do that, I have to own the Super Bowl coin toss.

Why wait four hours for a full-game bet to play out when you can get closure before kickoff. If you lose, there’s plenty of time to chase, and if you win? Get that money and pump it back in for some MORE ACTION. That’s next level degenerate stuff, and I’m here for it.

That’s how you Super Bowl.

At the very least, the coin toss should 100% be on your list of prop bets on Super Bowl Sunday. Be sure to throw some on the total, a side, and mix in a parlay or two, but if you’re not in on the coin toss, then are you even really betting the big game? I want you to be the person who jumps around the room like a total psychopath when that coin lands.

Bottom line: I want you to set the tone of your Super Bowl party. So I recently spent hours – multiple hours – researching all of the major trends and information related to the outcome of a distinguished coin tosser standing at midfield and flipping a commemorative hunk of rare Earth metal into the air. Let’s get into it, and let’s dominate the Super Bowl coin toss.

 

Super Bowl Coin Toss History

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The coin toss is the ultimate 50/50 proposition, so I was surprised to learn that tails has hit in 27 of 52 Super Bowls. That’s 51.92% percent of the time, giving it a distinct advantage over heads. OK, fine. Maybe that’s not much of an edge at all, but I did actually come across what you could consider to be useful information if you actually intend to play a side of this prop for a reason other than it’s what you used to call during recess.

The Patriots have won the toss in only 3 of their 10 Super Bowl appearances, but if you’re backing Bill Belichick’s team, you most certainly want to see it lose the toss again this time around. The Patriots have lost all three Super Bowls where they won the coin toss. In the seven contests in which they have lost the flip, they are 5-2, including 5-1 when Tom Brady is the starting quarterback.  

The Rams, meanwhile, are 1-2 in Super Bowls when they win the toss. It’s worth noting, however, the Rams may be the greatest Super Bowl coin toss team of all-time. People don’t talk about this for some reason. The only other undefeated Super Bowl coin toss team with at least three appearances is the Seahawks, but I have to give the nod to the Rams because they won in it in three different decades. That type of consistency is unrivaled. Will anybody ever forget that heads result prior to Super Bowl XIV in January of 1980? Legendary.  

One other note: New England has been successful when tails wins, going 4-2 in those contests, but only 1-3 when heads wins. The Rams, on the other hand are 1-0 when the result is tails and 0-2 when it is heads.

If you’re looking to select who wins the toss based purely on conference – a bold strategy for sure – then know that from 1998-2011 the NFC won it 14 straight seasons, giving the conference an all-time .673 Super Bowl coin toss winning percentage.

 

Super Bowl coin toss odds

Since this is an even bet, the odds are -103 on each side, meaning that you have to wager $103 to win $100. There are no favorites here.

 

Heads or Tails?

One thing that made this research a bit more valuable is the number of New England Super Bowl appearances. This isn’t a small sample size. Everybody knows more data means more meaningful conclusions. We’re talking 10 New England coin tosses to provide us with a meaningful sample. Knowing this, heads is 4-6 in their 10 Super Bowl appearances. The Rams, meanwhile, have a much smaller sample. Heads has hit in two of their three appearances. Wait, I guess that doesn’t matter at all. Oh, well.

Tails is on a pretty good run dating back to Super Bowl XLVIII, going 4-1. The lone loss came in last year’s heads result when the Patriots won the toss. That’s worth mentioning because the toss has been streaky in recent seasons. The last time the coin toss alternated results over a three-year stretch was between Super Bowl XLI and XLIII when it went heads, tails, heads.

But wait, there’s more.

The greatest streak of tails is four consecutive Super Bowls, while there has been one five-game heads streak. Could this be the year where we return to true parity? Stay tuned.

 

Does Winning The Toss Impact The Game Result?

Not recently. The last four coin toss winners have each gone on to lose the game. The last team to win both the toss and the game is Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII, which is relevant this year because there has never been a streak of more than four years of a team winning the toss and losing the game. Thus, this could be the first time in Super Bowl history where the winner of the toss lost in five straight years.  

Historically speaking, the winner of the coin toss has only gone on to win the game in 24 of 52 Super Bowls, so there doesn’t appear to be a direct correlation between toss and game success. It’s more or less… a coin flip.

 

Coin Toss Outcome

There’s no arguing that the Rams have been a historically great Super Bowl coin toss team, but I can’t overlook the clutch Patriots’ heads call in overtime of the AFC Championship Game. People can talk about Tom Brady’s greatness all they want, but everybody knows that winning the toss is the real reason New England is even in the Super Bowl for the 11th time, so I think they’re going to ride the emotional high of that dramatic coin flip here. As for heads or tails, tough call. Ha.

Tails had been so hot before last year’s game, but I think that lack of year-to-year parity will continue as heads hits for consecutive years. Finally, as I noted earlier, the Patriots aren’t historically great with the Super Bowl coin toss, but the toss winner hasn’t won the game in four years, and that streak has never reached five games. I’m going to say that trend continues here.

Give me the Patriots to win the toss with heads (-103). Also give me the pats to win the toss and game (+240).

 

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