Exotic Prop Bet Mania: Profiting Off the Madden Curse

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Beware, Megatron, beware.
When the average sports fan hears the word "wagering," for the most part they equate it with football and basketball, betting on spreads and total points scored. But if you read my work in this space, you know that the occasional prop bet is a fun diversion and oftentimes a chance to have more long-term wagering "investments" in your degenerate portfolio.

It's important that you understand, as you look around at the sports and entertainment landscape, you can wager on (and, in turn, drum up fabricated interest in) almost anything. Hell, I'm sitting on a "Phil Phillips +300 to win American Idol" ticket as I type. True story.

So is it any surprise that we can get some action down on an NFL phenomenon as old as the Xbox itself?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your Madden Curse prop bet for the 2012 NFL season.

If you're unfamiliar with the Madden Curse, you probably skip over my posts anyway, but in case you're the one person who likes sports but doesn't know about this scourge upon the seasons of star football players, the players on the cover of the Madden video game, shortly after adorning in the box, are beset by misfortune ranging from injury to incarceration.

The cover boy for the Madden '13 video game (which will contain the rosters and stats for 2012...don't worry, I never understood it either) is none other than "Megatron" himself, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, as voted on by you, the NFL video gaming nerds.

So, I know what you're saying -- "Damn, Sean...betting on whether or not someone is going to get injured? Really? REALLY?"

And to that I answer: "Fair question. Do I feel good about it? No. But an investment is an investment."

Now, I know what you're saying as a follow-up -- "Wow, Sean makes a GREAT point! What are the odds on this exotic prop bet of yours, Seanie my boy?"

And to that I answer: "Glad you asked, young gambling padawan! Here it is...."


So for the uninitiated, if you think Calvin Johnson will miss one full game due to injury this season, then you have to risk $280 to win $100; if you think he can play in all 16 games, then you can risk a mere $100 to win $190. (Overriding caveat on all of this is that he must play in Week 1 for the bet to be valid; if he doesn't play in Week 1, you get the amount you risked returned to your account to be flushed down the toilet on some other prop bet.)

So let's assess where the value is on this bet, based on history.

Let's start with the most important history and that's Calvin Johnson's personal injury history. Like a degenerate doctor, we pull out his medical file and find out the following:

2007 -- played in 15 games (started 10), battled a lower back injury for most of the season
2008 -- played in all 16 games
2009 -- played in 14 games, missed two games with a knee injury
2010 -- played in 15 games, missed the final game with an ankle injury
2011 -- played in all 16 games

So in three of his five seasons (60 percent), Calvin Johnson missed at least one game due to injury.


Madden, NFL

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