Super Bowl COVID-19 Prop Bets: Odds & Analysis

Updated: January 21, 2021

Let’s start by making something clear: There is nothing fun about COVID-19. But when it comes to gambling, the fact is that betting sites will post Super Bowl props on just about anything that is topical or relevant. And in the 2020-21 NFL season, COVID-19 was — and continues to be — relevant and so we have Super Bowl COVID-19 props.

The NFL was able to get through the season and playoffs on time but multiple games were postponed and dozens of players missed games due to the virus. As the Super Bowl nears, bettors will want to keep a close eye on breaking news in order to gain an advantage on the various prop offerings.  

Super Bowl COVID-19 prop odds

Betting sites started posting COVID-19 prop odds during the week leading up to the conference championship games. Here are the latest odds as of January 20, 2021:

How many players will miss the game due to COVID-19?

Selection Odds
Under 1.5 players -300
Over 1.5 players +200

What will be said first?

Selection Odds
COVID -165
Pandemic +125

What will be said first?

Selection Odds
Mask(s) -130
Coronavirus -110

Will there be a COVID-19 vaccine commercial?

Selection Odds
Yes +300
No -500

How many commercials will show a person wearing a mask?

Selection Odds
Over 1.5 commercials -750
Under 1.5 commercials +450

COVID-19 props explained

There is a saying that if you can think of it, you can bet on it during the Super Bowl so it should come as no surprise that online sportsbooks are offering coronavirus-related betting props for Super Bowl LV — with the main market being the Over/Under on how many players will miss the game due to COVID-19.

If you’re looking for a lighter way to stay engaged with the Big Game through betting, check out these Super Bowl prop options:

NFL COVID-19 protocols explained

Teams have been operating under the league’s COVID-19 intensive protocol, introduced prior to Week 11 of the regular season. Since the intensive protocol was put in place, along with a mandate calling for a five-day isolation period for individuals identified as “high-risk close contacts” of a player or coach who tested positive, the NFL has been able to eliminate widespread outbreaks like the one suffered by the Tennessee Titans back in Week 4. That setback triggered a major disruption to the schedule.

Look at the rundown of the league’s coronavirus protocols and how they work:

The reserve/COVID-19 list

Players who have tested positive for the coronavirus, or who have been in close contact with an infected person, are placed on this list. Subsequently, players are removed from the 53-man active roster and temporarily replaced, usually with a player from the team’s dedicated practice squad. 

Most recently, free agents were required to enter a six-day testing period before being eligible to practice and play in games. However, changes have been made to help fill teams’ postseason roster. Players who are currently in the league’s COVID-19 testing protocol will be allowed to join or try out for a new team without having to start a brand-new six-day testing period. Players can then sign with a team only if they take all the required tests, travel privately, and successfully pass a rapid-response test.

Waiting game: when can players return? 

Players who test positive are required to self-quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and continue their testing. Any players considered “high-risk” close contacts must be sidelined for at least five days.

NFL teams do not have any control over when infected players can be cleared to return. If a player is asymptomatic, they are allowed to resume team activities 10 days after they returned their positive test. Players who are symptomatic can return, but only after at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared and at least 72 hours after they last experienced any symptoms.

Getting physical: contact tracing 

All NFL players and team personnel have been mandated to wear proximity recording devices whenever they are at their team facilities, at practice, and while travelling. 

These devices are also built into the players’ equipment for use during both practices and games. They collect data about an individual’s proximity to another to perform contact tracing when an individual is either symptomatic or if they test positive for COVID-19. 

The NFL released a video explaining that it isolates infected individuals and prevents them from further contact with teams for 10 days. The league’s chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills and a dedicated contact-tracing squad, team personnel, and other health experts review the cases, which are assigned to a subgroup of contract tracers.

Missing in action

While no NFL postseason games have been postponed due to COVID-19, the virus’ impact has been felt. 

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the team’s Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Stefanski later returned to the sidelines for the Browns’ Divisional Round game versus the Chiefs, following the 10-day isolation period mandated by the NFL.

The team also lost Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge due to positive tests. Tight ends coach Drew Petzing and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard joined several other players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, along with three other coaches who tested positive. 

Super Bowl COVID-19 rules

The league issued a memo to the teams stating that postseason local bubbles are not mandatory. According to NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills, it is data driving the decision: “In our intensive protocols, our high-risk close contacts are down dramatically. In fact, our most recent data shows that nearly 90% of all of our new cases have zero high-risk contacts, which is exactly what we wanted to see…our clubs are doing a great job at mitigating risk.”

A COVID-19 sign at FedEx Field before the game between the Washington Football Team and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 9, 2021 – Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Ongoing efforts to keep the Big Game on track include encouraging teams to implement extended testing for friends and family. This measure is designed to combat community exposure since individuals outside of the team environment, like chiropractors and massage therapists, may be interacting and treating its players.

Fans in stands

According to ESPN, the NFL is planning for 20% capacity at the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. 

In accordance with local COVID-19 safety protocols, face masks will be mandatory and social distancing measures enforced, including fans placed in pods spaced out in six-feet increments. Capacity at Raymond James Stadium is 65,890, meaning a little more than 13,000 fans are expected inside to finish a season played during a pandemic. It’s a sizable drop from the expected 75,000 that would have been in attendance.

Cash deemed unclean

Raymond James Stadium officials have implemented cashless food and beverage locations. Reverse ATMs are also on-site, allowing fans to convert cash to a universal-use Visa value card.

Ticket holder’s oath

Those fortunate enough to hold Super Bowl tickets must comply with the stipulations outlined earlier. Additionally, they must agree to not come to the game unless they can confirm, on behalf of themselves and their guests, that none of the following are true:

  • Within the last 14 days, ticket holders have not tested positive for, or been exposed to, COVID-19. 
  • Within the last 48 hours, ticket holders have not experienced symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Within the last 14 days, ticket holders have not traveled to any state or international territory identified by federal or applicable local governments as being subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.

Instant replay: Super Bowl COVID-19 Props

Betting on Super Bowl props at online sportsbooks can enhance your Big Game viewing experience. Keep these factors in mind if wagering on coronavirus-related markets:

  • The Over/Under for how many players will miss the game is driving the action.
  • Keep tabs on breaking Super Bowl news to gain an advantage.
  • Players not on the active roster could suddenly turn the tide.

Super Bowl COVID-19 FAQs

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