NEW YORK — You may have heard a thing or two about Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s use of the word “Omaha!” in his famously complicated and loud calls at the line of scrimmage. It’s morphed into a phenomenon, with Omaha companies donating money each time Manning uses the city’s name during a game and an Omaha zoo naming a penguin chick after the quarterback. Of course there’s an over/under prop bet in Las Vegas — what’s the point unless it can be converted into a prop bet? The gambling gurus have set the magic number of times Manning calls “Omaha!” during Super Bowl XLVIII at 27.5.

We caught up with over a dozen current and former NFL players, coaches and broadcasters on the red carpet at the 3rd Annual NFL Honors awards show at Radio City Music Hall to get their picks on the “Omaha!” prop bet. (Disclaimer: these are only predictions and no actual wagering took place). Based on research conducted by the Wall Street Journal, the smart money is on the over. Let’s see what the NFL greats had to say.  

Under 27.5 “Omaha!” Calls

Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets DT; 2013 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers LB; 2013 AP Defensive Player of the Year

Kiko Alonso, Buffalo Bills LB; Finalist, 2013 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears CB; 2013 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year

Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears WR; Five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver

Jay Feely, Arizona Cardinals K; Finalist, NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year
“You can put a prop bet on anything. I’m going to go under because I think Peyton’s smart enough that he’s going to change his call up. He’s not going to keep using Omaha. He’ll probably throw a couple words in there that don’t mean anything but because of all the attention that the word Omaha has got.”

Bonus Omaha-related fun fact courtesy of Jay Feely:
“I played with Eli all the way back in 2005-2006 and he was saying that all the time back then using Omaha all the time. I actually have a video of my son doing Eli doing the same thing, checking in the middle going ‘Omaha! Omaha!’”

Over 27.5 “Omaha!” Calls
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles RB; FedEx Ground Player of the Year

Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers LB; Finalist, 2013 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins RB; 2013 Pro Bowl
“Over. I think he’s going to say it a whole lot so we’ll see what happens. That’s funny that they have an over or under on that.’ [laughs]

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens head coach; 2013 Salute to Service Award
“Over, definitely. He’ll use it more than that [27.5 times].”

Emmitt Smith, Pro Football Hall of Fame; Three-time Super Bowl champion
“I think Omaha’s a dummy call so he may use Omaha quite a bit. I’m going to say over on the 27.”

Torry Holt, NFL Network analyst, seven-time Pro Bowl WR, Super Bowl champion
“I think he’ll say Omaha 35 times. I’m going to take the over.”

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.