Sunday, February 2nd, is more than just an unofficial holiday for professional football. In fact, it’s an epic animal loving day that not only allows us to celebrate weather forecasting groundhogs, but to also “oooh and aaah” over some of the cutest puppies alive.
That’s right, move over Super Bowl 54 because these fur babies are competing in the 16th annual Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet and they’re set to steal the spotlight.
Puppy Bowl 16 will start hours before the Super Bowl, so there’s no excuse not to check out all of this cuteness.
With that said, online betting sites have released their odds on Puppy Bowl XVI along with numerous prop bets for your wagering enjoyment. Let’s sniff through these wagers to find the winning ones.
The Puppy Bowl was created to promote pet adoption and animal cruelty. Originally inspired by the Yule Log Christmas program, the Puppy Bowl first began in 2005 and has become a pop culture favorite among animal lovers throughout the world.
In 2015, the Puppy Bowl changed its format to become a team vs team competition and the dog loving fans have been howling over it ever since. Puppy Bowl XI marked the beginning of an epic feud between Team Ruff vs Team Fluff that continues each Super Bowl Sunday.
Puppy Bowl Rules
Like the Super Bowl, these cuddly competitors must follow the rules or get penalized and hurt their teams. In addition to the strictest of safety measures, the Puppy Bowl features the following playful penalties:
Dog collar tackle
Terrorizing the ref
The one penalty that can really interrupt the flow of the game is a puppy potty break. You can imagine with all of those puppies that there are messes up and down the field. Fortunately, Animal Planet doesn’t air these “time outs”.
Another great aspect of the Puppy Bowl is that there are cameras all over the field to bring viewers the best angles and replays from all of the canine chaotic action. Some of the cameras will be placed on the pylons and water bowls. Additionally, there’s a Puppy Kiss Cam that will certainly fill your TVs with adorable moments.
Puppy Bowl 16 Betting Odds
The following Puppy Bowl XVI betting odds are courtesy of Bovada:
Team Ruff +7.5 points (-105)
Team Fluff -7.5 points (-135)
Team Fluff comes into this contest as the favorite after being the underdog last year in more ways than one. The odds for each team’s spread offers decent betting value. However, the value goes away with the moneylines as Team Fluff is a sizable betting favorite:
Team Ruff (+220)
Team Fluff (-300)
Before we pick a winner and the traditional wager to go with, let’s review the past results and take a closer look at the litter of prop bets.
Puppy Bowl Results
Since the format changed to a team vs team competition in 2015, there have been five Puppy Bowls. Team Ruff has moved ahead in this rivalry by a tail as they lead 3 to 2:
Puppy Bowl XI: Team Ruff 87 – Team Fluff 49
Puppy Bowl XII: Team Ruff 70 – Team Fluff 44
Puppy Bowl XIII: Team Fluff 93 – Team Ruff 38
Puppy Bowl XIV: Team Fluff 53 – Team Ruff 47
Puppy Bowl XV: Team Ruff 59 – Team Fluff 51
Funny Puppy Bowl Prop Bets
Not all Puppy Bowl prop bets are focused on gameplay or on-field puppy production. There are some props that take this puppy madness to another level. Check out the following Puppy Bowl prop bets that will have you barking up a storm:
Will a Puppy Attempt to Mate?
This isn’t Cinemax here, this is Animal Planet where they keep everything clean and family friendly. Although they have a puppy kiss cam, there won’t be any indecent style of play.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, Animal Planet has rarely even showed puppy accidents on the field so you can safely wager that they won’t show any puppies trying to create future members of Team Ruff or Team Fluff.
Puppy Bowl Prop Bet:No (-600)
Will Mike Vick Tweet About the Puppy Bowl?
You can thank the oddsmakers over at Bovada for this prop bet. It’s funny on the surface, but when you dig deeper into what happened, the humor goes away.
Mike Vick was one of the top stars in the NFL and was sent to prison in the prime of his career for dog fighting, animal cruelty and other related charges. He became the poster child for animal cruelty and is still protested to this very day by dog lovers around the country.
With that in mind, I don’t see any scenario where Mike Vick tweets about this. Perhaps, if the odds were reversed then we might see some action on the “yes” option.
Puppy Bowl 16 will feature nearly 100 puppies from over 60 animal shelters around the country. All of the dogs are between the ages of 12 weeks and 26 weeks old. The following is a list of starting lineups for each team:
Team Ruff’s Starting Lineup
The all-time leader in head to head wins, Team Ruff will roll out the following starters:
Aspen (22 weeks): Australian Cattle Dog/Cocker Spaniel
Betty (17 weeks): Bulldog
Brody (16 weeks): Chihuahua/Miniature Dachshund
Cafecito (15 weeks): Crested/Yorkshire Terrier
Candy (16 weeks): Old English Sheepdog/Boxer
Crumpet (14 weeks): American Staffordshire Terrier
Sadie(18 weeks): American Staffordshire Terrier/American Bulldog
Sol (26 weeks): Chihuahua/Border Collie
Spritz (18 weeks):German Shepherd/Rottweiler
Theodore (13 weeks): Pomeranian/Siberian Husky
Wilbur (16 weeks): Miniature Poodle/Shih Tzu
Puppy Bowl MVP Prop Bets
Each year, the Puppy Bowl crowns an MVP of the game that goes beyond just their on-field production. This award also unofficially takes into consideration how well they play with others, how well behaved they are, more time competing and less time mating, bladder control, and of course, cuteness.
Before I dig into these Puppy Bowl 16 MVP prop bets, let’s take a look at my lead dogs for the MVP race:
Team Ruff MVP Candidates
Daphne is a 16 week old German Shepherd with size and intelligence advantages over the competition. She’s named after a Scooby Doo character and embraces a fearless style of play. I wouldn’t be surprised if she leads Team Ruff to victory.
At 20 weeks old, Ferris is one of those dogs flying under the radar for this big game. Ferris is a Labrador Retriever/American Eskimo mix and has a crazy look on his face with eyes that are different colors. Ferris will be the wild card for Team Ruff as he could score multiple touchdowns or have the most potty breaks.
Filbert is an 18 week old Shetland Sheepdog/Border Collie with good size, stamina and football IQ. He looks like a reliable option for Team Ruff and could explode for a big game on offense or defense. Filbert is also a special needs dog that will melt your heart and Team Fluff’s defense.
This 20 week old Alaskan Malamute/White Swiss Shepherd mix named Lee is quite the character. His game face may crack you up, but his skills won’t be denied. Watch out for Lee on Sunday as he has all of the physical tools to be the best puppy on either team.
Team Fluff MVP Candidates
Bert is a 12 week old mixture of Great Pyrenees and Weimaraner. He’s from New York and is one of the smallest competitors in the game. However, Bert’s deceptive size could really come into play on Sunday as he’s probably one of the quickest out there. A few well-timed jukes and Bert could be the leading scorer.
No Puppy Bowl would be complete without a Collie in the mix. This year’s Collie is named Duncan and he’s 20 weeks old. From Portland, Maine, Duncan is a blue collar type of dog that could do a lot of the dirty work in the trenches. Watch out for his run stuffing skills.
Don’t let Killian’s desire to be a lap dog fool you. At 16 weeks old, this Great Dane is one of the biggest puppies taking the field on Sunday. If motivated, he could be a one dog wrecking machine. He could also be benched for excessive cuddling with the ref.
Spritz could end up being the best defender on the field or the best blocker. This 18 week old puppy is a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix which means there’s a great blend of football IQ along with brute strength.
Age of Puppy Bowl MVP
Over 17.5 Weeks (+130)
Under 17.5 Weeks (-170)
Of the 42 listed starters, 24 of them are under the age of 17.5 weeks old which is “ruffly” 57%. With the numbers favoring under 17.5 weeks old, the safe play would be to lean towards the Under betting option. However, I like the value with the Over.
Of my eight candidates for the MVP award, five of them are over 17.5 weeks old. Last year, Bumble won the MVP award as the 20 week old Lab/Chow Chow mix earned 70% of the votes. She was the third dog over the age of 17.5 weeks to win the MVP in the last five years.
I like the chances that one of the older dogs will win this award on Sunday.
MVP Age: Over 17.5 weeks (+130)
First Letter of Puppy Bowl MVP
When looking at the starting lineups for each team, there are 21 puppies that have names starting with A through J letters and 21 puppies that have names starting with K through Z letters. So, there’s no numbers advantage for either option.
However, five of the eight dogs that I believe could win the MVP award all start with the letters from A through J. Additionally, over the last five years, three of the five MVP winners have had names that started with letters from A through J.
Since this prop bet is a coin flip, I’m going to go with the trends over the last few years and take the option of A through J.
MVP First Letter: A-J (-120)
Puppy Bowl MVP Gender
The odds favor the male gender due to their being a few more male puppies than female. However, let’s not rush to wagering here. Four of the last five MVP winners have been females. When you combine that with the great betting value of Even odds, I say take the “female” betting option for this puppy prop.
MVP Gender: Female (Even)
Will the MVP Be Mixed Breed or Pure Bred?
Pure Bred (+450)
Mixed Breed (-650)
This prop bet heavily favors mixed breed due to the fact that the majority of puppies in the starting lineups are mixed. In fact, only 10% of the starters could be considered pure bred.
I’m not saying that a pure bred can’t win. In fact, one of my MVP candidates is a pure bred. With that said, three of the last five MVP winners were mix breeds. When you combine that number with the amount of dogs that are mix breed in this year’s competition, it’s easy to see which option to lay your bones on.
MVP Mixed or Pure?Mixed Breed (-650)
Who Wins Puppy Bowl 16?
Team Ruff won the first two Puppy Bowls following the format change to a team vs team competition in 2015. It was a doggy demolition as Team Ruff outscored Team Fluff by a combined total of 157 to 93.
Heading into the third team Puppy Bowl, PB XIV, Team Ruff was a Bull Mastiff sized betting favorite. However, Team Fluff came into this game and showed off their stuff as they pulled off the biggest upset in Puppy Bowl history. Team Fluff won 93 to 38, which is the largest margin of victory for a Puppy Bowl team competition.
Team Fluff would roll into Puppy Bowl XIV as the favorites and they didn’t disappoint. However, the game was a lot closer as they won by a whisker 52 to 47.
Last year, Team Fluff was the favorite to win their third straight Puppy Bowl. But, Team Ruff had other ideas as they came out with energy and focus. Although the lead would go back and forth, Team Ruff was able to hold on in the end and snap their two game losing streak.
We have two betting theories for this weekend’s Puppy Bowl matchup. If you look at the first four games, each team won two in a row. If that trend is to continue then Team Ruff will win on Sunday.
The other theory is that Animal Planet will have Team Fluff win the game in order to tie up the all-time series at three Puppy Bowl championships apiece.
The last two games have been close contests with the margin of victory being eight points or less. Team Ruff is getting 7.5 points (-105) for Puppy Bowl 16 and I think there’s value with that bet.
Take Team Ruff and the plus 7.5 points as not only do I think they will cover the spread, I also believe they will win the game. I like Ruff’s squad. Not only does that team have a great blend of size and speed, they also have my favorite dog in Ferris.
If you rather pick an outright winner than taking the spread, Team Ruff also offers great value with a +220 moneyline.
Winner:Team Ruff +7.5 points (-105)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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