Whether you’re excited for the Super Bowl itself, the halftime show and commercials or just the simple fact that a week from now Tom Brady’s ankle will no longer be front-page news, nearly everyone has a vested interest in this Sunday’s Patriots-Giants matchup.

Me? While those are enough to get me excited, I truly love the Super Bowl for another reason.

Prop bets.

When else is it socially acceptable to put money on whether the coinflip will be heads or tails? (Tails never fails, obviously.) Does the idea of winning money for correctly guessing the length of the national anthem intrigue you? (Always take the over, nobody simply sings the traditional anthem anymore.) Wouldn’t you be excited to be rewarded for simply predicting the first person the Super Bowl MVP thanks after the game? (The early favorite: God.)

Let’s be honest – Sunday’s game won’t be that good. Despite what 40.5% of ESPN.com’s visitors (and a lot of delusional New Yorkers) say, the Giants don’t have much of a chance. Since the pageantry of the Super Bowl can only entertain you until the Patriots take a double-digit lead, prop bets are a great way to stay awake as the confetti falls and the post-game celebration begins.

Does being bored through games where the outcome is pretty much already determined hit close to home for you? If you’re a University of Michigan student, it should.

So instead of helplessly watching the Michigan basketball team limp across the finish line this season, I’m offering you a variety of odds to spice up your Michigan sports viewing experience.

Case in point: Yesterday’s Michigan-Michigan State hoops game. Most of Wolverine Nation was probably upset over the 15 point loss. Me? I was high-fiving my roommates after Michigan’s buzzer-beater made the margin 15 points (the spread was 16.5). Pathetic? Of course – but I’m a Michigan basketball fan. I’ll take any silver lining I can find.

Of course, I don’t condone gambling for cash – you should be wagering M&M’s or high fives or anything else I need to say to cover my butt. With that disclaimer aside, if you’re up for something new, here are some starter lines to enhance your Michigan sports experience:

Michigan football: Number of innovative plays in Michigan’s home opener this year vs. total number of innovative plays in the past 13 years. (Early favorite: home opener).

Michigan women’s basketball team: Total wins this season vs. total home attendance this season. (Early favorite: Total wins).

Michigan men’s basketball team: Moral victories vs. actual victories. (Early favorite: Moral victories – by a lot).

Michigan hockey: Kevin Porter’s chances at winning the Hobey Baker award vs. the field. (Early favorite: Porter).

Michigan hockey: Number of curse words coming from the Yost crowd at the next hockey game vs. number of letters in the alphabet multiplied by 1,000,000 plus grains of sand along the Pacific Coast. (Early favorite: curse words at Yost).

Michigan/Michigan State interaction: Number of MSU students who say “Who’s little brother now?” in the next week vs. number of Michigan students who respond with “Hey, at least I still go to Michigan.” (Early favorite: Push).

Michigan football: Michigan landing the nation’s No. 1 recruit Terrelle Pryor vs. Ohio State getting Pryor’s commitment. (Early favorite: Ohio State).

Michigan graduation: Seniors graduating in the Big House vs. seniors graduating in Anchorage, Alaska. (Early favorite: Anchorage).

Michigan football: Number of angry Michigan students if Terrelle Pryor goes to Ohio State vs. number of angry Michigan students if graduation isn’t at the Big House. (Early favorite: Push).

West Virginia/Michigan interaction: West Virginia fans with rational arguments plus West Virginia fans with full sets of teeth vs. number of former Mountaineer coaches at Michigan. (Early favorite: Number of former Mountaineer coaches at Michigan).

– Bell can be reached at scotteb@umich.edu

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